EL-CSID Working paper 20 - New horizons shaping science, technology and innovation diplomacy: the case of Latin America and the Caribbean and the European Union

20 / 2018
Begoña Sánchez

Europe and the world face a moment of transformation. The global financial crisis wiped out years of economic and social progress, exposed structural weaknesses in world economies and emphasised the importance of the real economies and strong industries. Modernisation and digitalisation of the industrial base together with the promotion of a competitive framework for industry through research, technology and innovation are drivers for recovery. Innovation, and particularly open innovation, is a key factor of global competitiveness. 

The European Commission (EC) addresses international cooperation policy in a wider framework and adapts to the evolving needs of partner countries at different stages of development (EC, 2018a). Latin America and the Caribbean countries’ (LAC) and the European Union’s (EU) cooperation on science, technology and innovation has a long history based on cultural roots and common concerns.They share a strategic bi-regional partnership, which was launched in 1999 and stepped up significantly in recent years. The two regions co-operate closely at international level across a broad range of issues and maintain an intensive political dialogue at all levels. EU-LAC relationships are moving from a traditional cooperation model towards a learning model, where sharing experiences and learning from innovations appear to be decisive (OECD, 2014). 

This paper focuses on the challenges that innovation nowadays poses to international relations and diplomacy. It is based on the evidence gained by the research team from participation in several EU-LAC projects, especially the ELAN Network project coordinated by TECNALIA, the INNOVACT project as well as other projects and activities.