Discussing funding mechanisms in first EU-LAC Health Scenario-Building Workshop…

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Buenos Aires, Argentina, 22-23 October 2012

The first ”Scenario Building Workshop”, realized by the EU-LAC Health project consortium,  was held between the 22 and 23rd of October in Buenos Aires. Project partners, as well as Advisory Board  members came together with European and Latin American experts from the health sector in order to analyze different scenarios of possible common funding mechanisms for joint health research collaboration.

EU-LAC Health is a 5-years project co-financed by the European Commission through the 7th Framework Program (Health theme). Its aim is to discuss commonly with scientists, policymakers/programme owners and stakeholders an efficient coordination of health research policies and funding between the EU (Europe) and LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) regions as well as to establish a consensus roadmap for cooperative health research for future collaboration.

The Workshop was opened by Ms Águeda Menvielle, Director of the International Relations Department of Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCYT), Mr Alfonso Díez Torres, Ambassador of the EU in Argentina, and Ms Carolina O’Donell; Technical Coordinator of Ministry of Health (MSAL) emphasising the importance of international cooperation between LAC and EU for scientific development.

The first part of the workshop consisted of a review of potential health research areas for collaboration suggested by EU and LAC country representatives in response to a preparatory survey carried out by the consortium. These areas need to be identified to determine
overlappings and common health research interests. The international cooperation in health research then brings an added value and mutual benefit to both regions.

In order to sort out possibilities for a common funding of bi-regional research cooperation initiatives, three different scenarios developed in deskwork prior to the meeting were presented during the second part of the workshop. These were examined through an indepth SWOT-analysis by the partners, experts and project advisors.

Many strengths and opportunities such as already existing well working funding mechanisms and bilateral agreements were exemplified. However, it was pointed out that weaknesses and threats such as the difficulty of harmonizing several countries’ interests or the difficulty of collecting resources from participating countries have to be kept in mind. This SWOTanalysis has been seen as a success
by the participants allowing the partners to better anticipate the risks and opportunities when it actually comes to
realistically plan, organize and establish common funding schemes of health research.

The second “Scenario Building Workshop” will be held in Italy, (Rome) in April 2013. It is planned as a continuation of the Buenos Aires Scenario-Workshop. The results will here be narrowed and worked with aiming at a consensus in common funding acceptable for all countries in the regions and developing a first draft of the common roadmap.

Project-Homepage with a description, information material, flyers and a complete list of the project partners under: www.eulachealth.eu
Project-Partners: ISCIII (Spain), RIMAIS (Costa Rica), INNOVATEC (Spain), COHRED (Switzerland / Mexico), DLR (Germany), FIOCRUZ (Brazil), MINCyT (Argentina), APRE (Italy).

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