Science and Technology

Joint Summary

December 5, 2019

Mr. Jean-Eric PAQUET, Director-General of the Directorate General for Research Innovation of the European Commission and H.E. Mr. NAKANE Takeshi, Ambassador for Science and Technology Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan co-chaired the fifth meeting of the Japan-EU Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, organised under the Japan-EU Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement, which entered into force on 29 March 2011.

It was attended by representatives from the European Commission, the European External Action Service and Ministries and Agencies from Japan.

Co-chairs noted that research and innovation are among the key areas of cooperation between the European Union and Japan and acknowledged their strategic importance. Both sides explored how the EU and Japan can enhance their cooperation given the priorities of the new Commission, the recent important agreements , as well as in anticipation of significant policy developments over the coming years, Horizon Europe 2021-2027 and the 6th Science and Technology Basic Plan (2021-2025), both of which will be introduced in 2021.

Both sides presented their visions of the new opportunities under the EU-Japan Partnership on Sustainable Connectivity and Quality Infrastructure and shared their intention to work together on concrete steps to ensure its implementation.

Report from the 4th Task Force Meeting (Tokyo, 31 October 2019) reviewed the progress in the research and innovation collaboration between the EU and Japan since the last Joint Committee Meeting (Tokyo, November 2017) and explored specific priority areas for future collaboration. Subsequently both sides discussed present activities, new initiatives and the ways to strengthen thematic cooperation in the areas of ICT, quantum technology, artificial intelligence (AI), automated and connected driving, hydrogen, healthy aging, regenerative medicine and testing methods, safety of batteries, standards of solar cell, utilization of satellite information, and human-robot interaction.

Both sides shared the view on a need to investigate how to link Horizon Europe - especially Missions - to the Moonshot Research and Development Program (the Moonshot Program). As the Missions of Horizon Europe and the Moonshot Program will invite international collaboration, there is the momentum to allow the EU and Japan to take the collaboration in research and innovation to the next level. The EU and Japan shared the view to work on strengthening cooperation in Horizon Europe and the Moonshot Program between the European Commission and the Cabinet Office of the Government of Japan. They also envisaged the possibility to work towards an arrangement in view of the EU – Japan Summit 2020.

Concerning the framework conditions for cooperation, the EU and Japan noted the opportunities created through the Implementing Arrangements, which allow researchers funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) to connect with the teams of researchers in Europe supported by the European Research Council (ERC). Both sides shared the recognition on further strengthening the schemes for mobility of researchers including through Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions.

In line with the Joint Statement of the EU-Japan Summit 2019, both sides reconfirmed their commitment to the EU-Japan Science and Technology Agreement.

Both sides decided to hold the next Joint Committee Meeting in Japan in 2021. The date will be coordinated through diplomatic channels.

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