The 4th BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministers meeting was held in Jaipur, India on October 8th 2016. This meeting was held according to the Ufa Declaration and the BRICS MoU on STI Cooperation released during the 7th BRICS Summit in Russia in July 2015. Representatives from five BRICS countries attended the meeting, including Hou Jianguo, China’s Vice Minister of Science and Technology, who headed a Chinese delegation and Harsh Vardhan, Indian Minister of Science and Technology, who presided over the meeting. Vice Minister Hou made a keynote speech, introducing the activities China had carried out within the Framework of BRICS Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation; expressed China’s wishes and suggestions on how to promote cooperation between BRICS countries in the areas of joint research, innovation and entrepreneurship, and young scientist forums among others.
Participants listened to the 2016 reports of BRICS countries on STI cooperation and adopted the BRICS STI Action Plan (2016-2017). Following the meeting, the Jaipur Declaration was made to reaffirm the commitment to vigorously implementing the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership; stress the role of STI in coping with global and regional socioeconomic challenges; and promote institutionalization and diversification of STI cooperation among BRICS countries in line with the MoU on STI Cooperation. At present, BRICS countries have joint research in 10 areas, with China playing a leadership role in new and renewable energy, and energy efficiency; information technologies and high performance computing.
In addition, the 6th Meeting of BRICS Science & Technology Senior Officials and the 2nd BRICS S&T Funding Working Group Meeting were held prior to this meeting.
BRICS is an important cooperation mechanism among emerging developing countries. In recent years, the BRICS countries have engaged in deepened cooperation, with a multi-dimensional and multi-level mechanism led by summits and complemented by high-level talks among relevant departments.
According to the action plan of Sanya Declaration made during the 3rd BRICS Summit in 2011, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology sponsored the first Meeting of BRICS Science & Technology Senior Officials in China, with the second to fifth sessions held in India, South Africa, Brazil and Russia in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively. During these sessions, policies exchanges were made and project information was released in a bid to promote cooperation in 19 prioritized areas of innovation and technology transfer, new and renewable energy plus energy efficiency, medicine and biotechnology, high-tech zones/science parks and incubators, geospatial technology and application, space and aviation, space exploration, astronomy and earth observation, food security and sustainable agriculture, etc. In February 2014, March 2015 and October 2015, the First, Second, and Third BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministers meetings were respectively convened in Cape Town, Brasilia and Moscow.