The EU Science Diplomacy Alliance for Addressing Global Challenges launched

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The “Using science for/in addressing global challenges-S4D4C” EU funded project, in which FECYT participates, has celebrated its final conference between March 15 and 19 with more than 100 speakers in 30+ sessions and 1.000 people registered, announcing the launch of a European Union Science, Technology and Innovation Diplomacy Alliance to address global and societal challenges as an interface platform in charge of fostering integration of science diplomacy practices in the EU.

The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) is a founding member of the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance for Addressing Global Challenges that will promote the integration of scientific diplomacy and its practices in the EU provide training and institutional capacity development.

The S4D4C project, funded by Horizon2020, started in January 2018 and ends in April 2021, has promoted a multi-stakeholder endeavor and searched to nurture a European science diplomacy community where scientists, scholars, innovators, diplomats, policy-makers, and other practitioners have the opportunity to interact for the benefit of EU science diplomacy. Nurturing this community and developing new talent at the interface of science and diplomacy might be the path to develop new ideas and models to better address existing and emerging social challenges in the EU.

S4D4C Project “Using Science for/in Diplomacy for Addressing Global Challenges” main achievements
The Networking was inaugurated by Cecilia Cabello, general director of FECYT; Elke Dall, coordinator of the S4D4C project, and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth at the European Commission. Additionally, the Minister of Science and Innovation Pedro Duque intervened, intervened advocating for a strong European scientific diplomacy community to address global challenges.

During the meeting the main achievements of the S4D4C project were highlighted:

  • The “Madrid Declaration on Science Diplomacy”. Led by FECYT, this declaration  proclaims a common vision of science diplomacy in the future, emphasises the benefits science diplomacy can bring to tackling the global challenges of our time, and outlines the principles needed to foster science diplomacy worldwide. It has been supported by hundreds of experts from all over the world.
  • 9 Case studies. Infectious diseases; Food security cooperation; Cyber security; Water diplomacy; Research infrastructures (SESAME); Joint programming; Flagships; Open science diplomacy; Science advice mechanisms (fisheries).
  • 15 Key conceptual and policy papers. FECYT lead the following:

- Calling for a Systemic Change: Towards a European Union Science Diplomacy for Addressing Global Challenges. In this policy report, a vision and a set of recommendations for the EU to set up a strategy on science diplomacy for addressing global challenges is proposed.

- “How to set up a knowledge exchange experience in policy and/or diplomacy environments for researchers. The S4D4C open doors experience”. In this report, the experience of the S4D4C Open Doors programme is used to propose a set of recommendations on hot to design exchange programmes in policy and/or diplomacy settings for researchers.

- “Nurturing the EU Science Diplomacy Community: The Launch of a EU Science Diplomacy Alliance for Addressing Global Challenges”. This report proposes a taxonomy for science diplomacy stakeholders and networks, identifies their strengths and challenges and recommends the launching of a EU Science Diplomacy Alliance for Addressing Global Challenges.

  • 37 Key training outputs.

- FECYT was deeply involved in the first science diplomacy massive open online course “European Science Diplomacy online course“ , with more than 6000 Trainees and interested users, and the series of 6 interactive webinars about the modules of the course, with over 1000 participants from over 100 countries.

- The S4D4C Open Doors programme, in which 5 researchers had the opportunity to participate in a “European Science Diplomacy tour”.

- 2 in-person trainings (Vienna and Trieste), in which researchers, diplomats and policymakers had the opportunity to widen their knowledge on science diplomacy.

- 3 Networking events. Gathering experts on science diplomacy from all over the world.

1st in Madrid 2018, hosted by FECYT and  resulting in the Madrid Declaration signed by more than 150 individuals
2nd in Berlin 2019,  resulting in the Policy Report “Calling for a Systemic Change
3rd online 2021 hosted by FECYT, with more than 1000 people registered, 100 speakers and 30 sessions

About S4D4C
The project, funded by Horizon2020, aimed at supporting current and future EU science diplomacy for the benefit of the Union’s strategic capacities, foreign policy goals and the development of solutions for societal challenges. The consortium has brought together scholars of foreign and science policy, advisors, science diplomacy professionals and diplomatic training institutions for 3 years and 4 months (project started in January 2018 and ends in April 2021).


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