LAC Environmental Sustainability Summit

Round table EU-LAC Cooperation for Energy Transition

Tuesday, 3rd of October 2023
9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m l CENAT, 1174-1200 Calle, San José, 10109

On 20 October 2022, the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science, and Culture (OEI) and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of the Republic of Argentina held an Ibero-American High-level Forum for Science and Technology in the city of Buenos Aires. The aim of this forum was to open a space for debate and reflection between the Ibero-American ministries responsible for policies of Science, Technology and Innovation about which initiatives of scientific cooperation can be adopted to increase the capacities and results of their R&D&I systems. The aim is to transform Ibero-America through science. 

Taking into account that the OEI, through its Observatory of Science, Technology and Society (OCTS-OEI), supports the production of regional statistical information on science, technology, innovation and higher education, which are already a regional public good, and that it is also responsible for some of the main regional programmes in science and technology, such as the FORCYT programme for the strengthening of CTI systems in collaboration with the European Union (EU), and the Ibero-American Researchers' Night, the OEI has drawn up an action plan approved by the Ibero-American High Level Forum for Science and Technology. 

This action plan also includes the request made by the Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities on Science, Technology and Innovation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), held in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 19 October 2022 in areas such as ancestral science, aerospace research, regional evaluators networks and biotechnology. In addition, energy transition was another area in which LAC countries are very interested in cooperating.

LAC is one of the regions of the world that has been suffering the most from climate change: lost crops, new public health problems, extreme meteorological phenomena, or the proliferation of sixth-generation fires. The energy transition implies both a need and an opportunity for the LAC region. The so-called “lithium triangle”, integrated by Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, represents the 56% of the global resources. It is also estimated LAC may produce 12% of green hydrogen demand by 2050. However, LAC has not the resources or the knowledge to exploit the full potential of those technologies on its own. The EU-LAC cooperation on energy transition must start by the cooperation among European and Latin American research entities. 

One of the objectives of this event-side proposal is guarantying a different role for LAC than the pure extractive one it still has regarding other raw materials. It is important these countries can move up in the value chain of lithium and green hydrogen, as well as of renewable sources of energy like solar-thermal one, so they can overcome the so-called Commodity Resource Curse. 

This round table with experts will be focused on a multidisciplinary approach to the energy transition considering technological, environmental, and social dimensions of the phenomenon. Conversation in a very practical way to share key information about energy transition and to promote reflexions based on the quadruple helix model, putting together researchers/representatives of academia, government, business, and civil society. 

Round table will take as a starting point the conclusions and recommendations of the Annual Report of the Ibero-American State on Science (2022) coordinated by OCTS-OEI, that analyses the statistical data of science, technology and innovation of Ibero-American countries. This year the report was mainly focused on energy transition.
9:00 - Reception and coffee
9:30 - Inaugural session

Inaugural session

Emmanuel González Alvarado-President of CONARE 
Eduardo Sibaja Arias-Director of CENAT
Melissa Wong-Director of OEI-Costa Rica
10:10 – 10:30 Experiences from EULAC institutions working on Energy Transition

Experiences from EULAC institutions working on Energy Transition

Maite Irazabal-Lifewatch (ERIC) 
Diego Martínez-EU-Solaris (ERIC) 
Adrian Bonilla-TECNM (Mexico) 
David Enmanuel Rua-INESCTEC (Portugal) 
Noemí Sogari-UNNE (Argentina) 
Luis Coelho-IPS (Portugal)
10:30 – 11:00 Multidisciplinary approach to the energy transition

Multidisciplinary approach to the energy transition

Martín Obaya-CENIT-EE y N-UNSAM (Argentina)
 Emilio Santiago-CSIC (Spain)
Allan Campo-CeNAT (Costa Rica) 
11:00 – 11:30 Discussion and conclusion
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