The second EU-Tunisia Joint Research and Innovation Committee under Horizon Europe took place at the Novation City Sousse, Tunisia, on 17 October 2023.
The meeting was co-chaired by Ms. Anne Haglund-Morrissey, Deputy Head of the Horizon Europe Association Unit, European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, and Mr. Helmi Mardassi, Director General, Unit for the management of the EU's Research and Innovation framework programmes (UGPO), Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR) of Tunisia.
The EU co-chair underlined the mutual benefits involved and the participation opportunities that exist for Tunisian researchers and innovators from Tunisia’s association to Horizon Europe. Pointing out the important role of R&I in bilateral relations, Ms. Haglund-Morrissey praised the steady progress of Tunisian participation over the past years in terms of proposal success rate, signed grants and direct EU financial contribution.
The Tunisian co-chair welcomed the EU Delegation to Sousse and acknowledged the productive cooperation since Tunisia’s entry into the current Framework Programme. An overview was provided of the latest developments in the Tunisian R&I ecosystem, unpacked by updates on the components of the national research system and key innovation actions to leverage research results for sustainable growth.
The delegations discussed different support measures to encourage Tunisia’s Horizon Europe participation and addressed collaboration opportunities under specific actions related to health research, energy efficiency and the green transition. The Tunisian side introduced government initiatives such as the National Task force to accelerate the green transition. Utilising its high renewable (solar and wind) energy potential, the objective is to reach 35% renewable electricity production by 2030. To this end, representatives encouraged increased Tunisian involvement through European Partnerships, the renewable energy portfolio and Joint Research Centre activities.
The partners also took stock of the implementation of the reciprocity principle in the Association Agreement, Tunisia's participation in Programme Committee configurations and activities undertaken by the National Contact Points. Upcoming calls for proposals in relation to the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, the European Research Council, the European Innovation Council and Widening Actions were also presented.
Tunisia's involvement with the European Research Area actions and in the Global Approach multilateral dialogue on common values and principles was discussed, as well as developments related to the New European Innovation Agenda. On a regional level, both sides explored cooperation opportunities within the Union for the Mediterranean actions and the New EU-Africa Innovation Agenda.
- Publication date
- 19 October 2023
- Directorate-General for Research and Innovation