Between 14 and 18 March 2022, more than 200 young scientists from Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union met virtually during the EU-LAC 2022 Young Scientists’ Networks Days, organised by the EU-LAC Foundation. The aim of the conference was to create links between the networks of young scientists present, as well as the articulation of their concerns, needs, ideas and perspectives on the EU-CELAC Common Area of Higher Education and bi-regional cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation. The event also served to formulate proposals and inputs for dialogue with universities, university associations and decision-makers in the field of science in both regions, and to facilitate interaction, visualisation and strengthening of the networks present.
The Conference was opened by Adrián Bonilla, Executive Director of the EU-LAC Foundation; Claudia Gintersdorfer, Head of Unit for the Americas of the European External Action Service; and Ambassador Pablo Grinspun, representing the Argentinean presidency pro tempore of CELAC. The Conference was divided into 13 thematic sessions, a networking session, and an open dialogue session among participants. During each thematic session, three to six researchers presented their projects, and a commentator from a university association provided short feedback to the speakers. The sessions were also moderated mostly by young researchers. The thematic sessions covered the following topics: gender perspectives in education and science; sustainable economic development; entrepreneurship and innovation; new technologies and the digitisation of scientific research; open, inclusive and citizen science; climate, environment, and natural resources; epistemology of science and research practice; learning and teaching; agriculture and food security; and culture and traditional knowledge. The conference was closed by Anna Barrera, Senior Programme Coordinator of the EU-LAC Foundation; Elizabeth Colucci, representative of the European University Association; and Oscar Domínguez González, Executive Director of the Colombian Association of Universities (ASCUN).
The conference was attended by around 80 speakers presenting their research, 15 speakers sharing their networks or collaborative projects, 10 moderators, 11 commentators from university associations, and more than 80 listeners. The event created new contacts and connections between researchers from the two regions, enabling scientific exchange, and opening doors for future collaborations in different areas of academic research.