Fostering Excellence Research in Outermost regions: The FORWARD Project
About this Event
The nine European ORs – the Azores, the Canary Islands, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, La Réunion, Madeira, Martinique, Mayotte, and Saint Martin – are an integral part of EU territory but as Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of European Union (TFEU) recognizes, they differ from the rest of the EU. Their characteristics: remoteness, insularity, small size, adverse topographical and climatic conditions, their high social needs, and their dependence on a limited number of local activities have long been considered as handicaps, that deprive them of the benefits of the integration led by the E.U.
However, Outermost Regions have engaged themselves in a paradigm shift from compensating specificities to exploiting singularities to feed the development of competitive advantages and unlock the prosperity of each region. This approach, which implies the structuration of their research-development and innovation ecosystems and the animation of an entrepreneurial discovery process, will also benefit the Union as a whole. Indeed, ORs exceptional geographical, geological and sociocultural assets indeed make them pioneers for research and innovation in domains such as biodiversity conservation and restauration, renewable energies, earth and climate observation, space sciences, circular economy, and social resilience. Outermost regions face today challenges that will concern tomorrow most territories of the planet, especially a critical demographic and economic growth in limited and vulnerable ecosystems, deprived of fossil fuels and resources, and affected by climate change. These constraints constitute an incentive to implement innovative solutions that could both address local issues and the needs of other territories facing similar conditions, particularly in their regional basins but also at the European level in remote regions.
In this context, the FORWARD project aims at increasing the connexion of the Outermost region’s Research&Innovation ecosystem with continental European hubs through the framework programs of the European Union, Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe.
This conference is an opportunity to present a short state of play of OR’s participation in the R&I framework programme as well as an analysis of the determinants which hinders their participation. It will also provide insights and recommandations to increase OR’s integration in the European Research Area.