Euromed: Horizon 2020, EU program for South

Presented in Cairo: 80 mln for health, environment, energy

10 February, 11:48

    EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Maire Geoghegan-Quinn gives a news conference on Horizon 2020 funding at EU headquarters in Brussels EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Maire Geoghegan-Quinn gives a news conference on Horizon 2020 funding at EU headquarters in Brussels

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - In 2005 a young Tunisian blacksmith, 28, who suffered from epilepsy, underwent surgery and recovered from his illness thanks to the cooperation between specialists at the Charles Nicolle hospital in Monastir and the hospital by the same name in Rouen, under the Eumed Connect2 project.

    'I trusted in God and lived in an increasingly difficult condition, looking for a solution to get me out of the situation', he says.

    His is one of the examples of cooperation between the southern and northern shores of the Mediterranean under the supervision, starting today until 2020, of the new European Union framework programme Horizon 2020 presented Sunday in Cairo to hundreds of researchers - including several Italians - and industrial operators.

    Funded with about 80 million euros to develop research, industrial innovation and confront today's social challenges - in health, medicine, food and drink security, environment and clean energy - the programme, said Ramzy George, the Egyptian minister in charge of scientific research, is 'a great opportunity to cooperate, open up and recover economically for countries on the southern shores of the Mediterranean'.

    Participants at the conference to launch Horizon 2020 - including EU ambassador to Cairo, James Moran, and the head of the European neighbourhood, Africa and Gulf Countries unit, Elisabeth Lipiatou - stressed relations developed between EU and Egypt under the association agreement which became effective in 2004 to promote the liberalization of commercial exchanges and Egypt's access to European markets.

    The new programme will now boost this possibility, specifically in the fields of research, industrial development and through actions to improve living conditions in countries like Egypt which are going through a difficult political transition.

    Among possible perspectives are the development of safe foods and organic products within a 'sustainable bio-economy' or increase the production of renewable energies which by 2020 should cover up to 20% of global consumption.

    The scientific office of the Italian embassy in Cairo directed by Franco Porcelli, which contributed to the organization of the conference, coordinated the session on the current state and future perspectives for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in research and innovation.(ANSAmed).

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