Science and technology ministers from BRICS nations are to meet in Fortaleza, Brazil in July 2014 when heads of state of the five nations sign a “strategic inter-governmental framework.”
At the forthcoming session, Brazil will take the lead on presenting cooperation proposals for developing the science of climate change and managing natural disasters.
News agencies reported that at the first Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Ministerial Meeting held at Kleinmond, southeast of Cape Town, South Africa February 10-12th, agreement was made between the five ministers regarding increased access to technology as well as the launch of the BRICS Business Council and the BRICS Think Tanks Council.
In South Africa, ministers focused on five sectors of climate change and mitigation of natural disasters; water resources and pollution treatment; geospatial technology and its applications; alternative and renewable energy; and astronomy to share experiences and complementarities.
South Africa agreed to take the lead on astronomy. New and renewable energy and energy efficiency would be led by China. India would thus drive geospatial technology and its applications. Russia would head water resources and pollution treatment, while Brazil, as mentioned, will lead climate change and natural disasters.
The South African Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom, said he was extremely pleased that this important milestone has been achieved in less than a year, and said it was a clear demonstration of the commitment to intensify cooperation in STI within the framework of BRICS.
The BRICS Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in STI, is expected to be signed later this year in Fortaleza, Brazil. At the South Africa meeting, Brazil was represented by Marco Antônio Raupp, the minister of science, technology and innovation.
These developments build on pioneering initiatives dating back to the 3rd BRICS Summit in Sanya, China, in 2011. This resulted in member-countries setting up working mechanisms that include a BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation senior officials meeting and the STI Working Group.
You can read a South African news report about the conference by clicking here.