Under the excellent theme of "Science for Peace" renowned scientists and policy makers from all over the world are discussing how science and science policy can improve lives, protect the planet and build a durable and secure future for all.
We are facing a number of serious and often inter-connected global challenges that make peace and security fragile, particularly in this part of the world. Finding solutions to migration, climate change, food insecurity and health pandemics, and so on, are pushing our capacity to master change to the limit.
Creating an enlarged area of scientific and technological excellence - preventing harmful intellectual brain drain - will create economic stability that will give young people around the world the space they need to dream, aspire and develop. This is stability that brings with it hope, security and prosperity.
During this visit we also signed during this visit an international agreement between EU and Jordan with which Jordan joins PRIMA (the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area). This new science diplomacy initiative brings together both shores of the Mediterranean in a joint research programme to work together on two of the major challenges of the Mediterranean - water scarcity and food security. Tackling these two challenges will also contribute to addressing one of the root causes of migration.
PRIMA will be supported by Horizon 2020 alongside many other international cooperation initiatives. The recently published Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-2020 includes around 30 international cooperation initiatives of large scale and scope on topics dedicated to international cooperation in areas of mutual benefit, comprising a total budget of over €1 billion. Being Open to the World remains one of the underlying principles of the EU research and innovation programme.
Among the new international cooperation topics are ones dedicated to collaboration with the EU Neighborhood and Middle East on cultural heritage, migration and radicalization; EU-Africa Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture; EU-China cooperation in food, agriculture and biotechnology; an All Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Flagship; EU-India water co-operation; cooperation with multiple international partners on nano-safety; structuring cooperation with Russia in research infrastructures and many others; climate action in support of the Paris Agreement; international cooperation in the context of Mission Innovation; collaboration with Canada on personalised medicine; multilateral international cooperation on road transport automation.
Over €200 million will be available for research related to migration, including its root causes.
In addition, for the first time we will be launching a €5 million EIC Horizon Prize on "Affordable High-Tech for Humanitarian Aid", aimed at supporting frugal innovation in the area of humanitarian aid and disaster response.
Science is and must remain 'Open to the World' as a matter of necessity (it cannot be otherwise in a globalised world), as a matter of quality (we need access to the best knowledge worldwide) and as a contribution to progress (investing in research makes sense in human, social and economic terms).
As part of my own commitment to research that is open to the world, I will continue to develop EU science diplomacy at every opportunity. I will engage with new countries and ensure that science in Europe contributes as much to peace as it does to prosperity.