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Reinforcing the Pacific-Europe Network for Science, Technology and Innovation (PACE-Net Plus)

PACE-Net Plus is a three-year project, funded by the European Commission that will strengthen bioregional cooperation in science, technology and innovation (STI) between the Pacific region and Europe.

Approximately twenty-five representatives of Pacific countries and partner organisations took part in the project’s first workshop, from 9-11 October 2013 at IRD Noumea.

The main objectives of PACE-Net Plus are:

  • to reinforce dialogue between the Pacific region and Europe in STI;
  • support bi-regional research and innovation efforts;
  • promote scientific excellence and industrial and economical competition.

Coordinated by IRD, this project of three million Euros will enhance Pacific involvement in the European Union’s large research funding programme, called Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 is focussed on supporting scientific excellence, strengthening industrial leaderships, and on addressing major societal challenges.

The PACE-Net Plus consortium consists of 16 members, including 8 partners from the Pacific region as well as regional and international organisations. Based on mutual interest between the Pacific and Europe, and the increasing geostrategic important of the Pacific, PACE-Net Plus will focus its efforts around the three following societal challenges:

  • Health, demographic change and well-being;
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research, and the bio-economy;
  • Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials.

The major activities of the project include a series of high-level bi-regional policy dialogue platforms to be hosted alternatively in the Pacific region and in Brussels. These platforms will bring together key government and institutional stakeholders in both regions, around STI issues.

These policy dialogue platforms will be supported through a series of thematic workshops on the above-mentioned societal challenges that will identify synergies amongst current initiatives (for example, in climate change research).

The project will work towards identifying difficulties faced by innovation actors, and help to bridge the gap between the public and the private sectors in the Pacific countries.

kick-off meeting
PACE-Net Plus kick-off meeting, October 2013

This kick-off workshop also provided an opportunity to celebrate 30 years since the establishment of “STI programmes for Development” by the European Commission.

PACE-Net Plus is the successor project of PACE-Net (2010-2013), which successfully contributed to Pacific-EU bilateral collaboration by improving the visibility of science and technology networks in the Pacific region. PACE-Net recommendations have been communicated to the Pacific Plan Review, strategic tool of governance of the oceanic countries, and members of the Pacific Forum.

PACE-Net PLUS Consortium members:

Prof. Jean-François MARINI, project coordinator (