DIPLOMACY SCIENCE & TECH

Foreign, Research & Innovation Ministries sign protocol to support Romanian scientific research

Under a cooperation agreement signed on Wednesday by ministers Teodor Melescanu and Serban Valeca (photo L), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Research & Innovation Ministry will work to support Romanian research by scientific diplomacy actions and the promotion of Romanian research and innovation projects; in the same line, a dedicated section will be created on the website of the Foreign Ministry and of the Romanian diplomatic missions.

“Promoting Romania’s scientific activity and implicitly the national research and innovation potential is a goal the Foreign Affairs Ministry commits to today, together with the Ministry of Research and Innovation, by developing and signing this collaboration agreement. Of course, this activity is not new for us, but today it gets formalized as an example of institutional cooperation best practice. The protocol signed today is the direct consequence of the goals set forth in the governing program and provides for facilitating contacts with organizations, institutions and foreign experts through Romanian diplomatic missions and consular offices, the organization of scientific diplomacy activities, and the joint identification of the most effective ways to promote Romanian research and innovation projects,” ForMin Teodor Melescanu said at the Foreign Ministry headquarters at the end of the document signing ceremony.

He added that the first step in the implementation of the protocol will be “to create a special section dedicated to R&I projects on the website of Romanian embassies and consulates.”

Melescanu also listed the Romanian research projects to be supported under the protocol – the ‘Danubius’ International Center for Advanced Studies on River-Sea Systems; the Magurele laser; the technologies for generation IV reactors; and Romania’s participation in the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).

“The scientific exchanges between Romanian and foreign universities and research centers are hopefully also taking place with the support of the Foreign Ministry, embassies and consulates; human and professional contacts are established, allowing the identification and solving of common problems, establishing connection bridges even where political communication can sometimes encounter certain difficulties. In addition, the promotion abroad of Romanian major research and innovation projects can seriously contribute to attracting foreign investments and the creation of an appropriate framework where the results of innovation projects can easily find their use in business and industry, because more than ever, a pragmatic and integrated approach is needed now, and science and research are economic development catalysts,” said the Foreign Minister.

According to him, the protocol is also “proof of the fact that in a world undergoing rapid and permanent change, diplomacy cannot be understood only in its traditional meaning, but also needs to open to other areas such as research, education and culture.”

In his turn, Minister Serban Valeca expressed hope that under the partnership with the Foreign Ministry and at the side of career diplomats, Romanian researchers will also discover a vocation as “good ambassadors”, adding that this project” will offer increased and special openness for research and innovation.”

“As far as the program itself is concerned, (…) apart from the three projects mentioned by Mr. Foreign Minister, which are the pillars for research development until the 2030 horizon – the Extreme Light Infrastructure project at Magurele, ‘Danubius’ and generation IV reactor technologies – there are several hundred projects Romanian researchers are working on, also as part of international cooperation programs. Taking the occasion of this opening, we hope to follow three vectors: joint research projects, the ‘brain return’ concept seeking to encourage Romanian researchers to return from abroad and connect them to domestic projects and, last but not least, creating partnerships, because we also want (…) to create scientific and technological parks for high-tech industry partners to settle,” said Valeca.

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