At the first ministerial meeting on science, technology and innovation held in Kleinmond outside Cape Town on 10-11 February the BRICS countries consolidated their cooperation and adopted a declaration to strengthen cooperation in science, technology and innovation, or STI, within the BRICS framework. The memorandum of understanding on cooperation in STI is expected to be signed in July in Fortaleza, Brazil.
As a first step towards implementing the objectives of the agreement each country would head one of the five thematic areas:
Brazil: Climate change and natural disasters
Russia: Water resources and pollution treatment
India: Geospatial technology and its application
China: New and renewable energy and energy efficiency
South Africa: Astronomy
Science ministers who spoke at the meeting emphasised the importance of these partnerships well for sharing expertise among member countries.
Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Marco Antonio Raupp said that while BRICS had started as a group of countries with future high economic growth potential, it had evolved into a political and diplomatic entity.
South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom said the BRICS countries were recognised as future growth engines of the world economy and were forecast to account for 50% of global gross domestic product by 2020.
Hanekom also said that the BRICS STI partnership had enormous potential to bolster existing strong political and economic relations between countries, while at the same time contributing to global sustainable development.
Wan Gang, China’s minister of science and technology, said that under the BRICS STI cooperation, his country welcomed the participation of BRICS researchers in Chinese programmes and students to further their study and research in China.
Also at the meeting were Ludmila Ogorodova, Russia’s deputy minister of education and science, and Indian Science and Technology Secretary Thirumalachari Ramasami.
South Africa’s Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, said in a statement that strengthening collaboration between BRICS universities; partnerships and knowledge exchanges on technical and vocational education and training; and portability and transferability of qualifications between BRICS countries were important for the cooperation.
THE SOURCE: University World News
Learn about International Universities Networking Conference