This project builds on the long-standing collaborative partnership between the European Union (EU) and Australia in research. It is a relationship defined by “firsts”. The EU-Australia Science and Technology Agreement was the first agreement concluded between the EU and a ‘third country' in 1994. The Forum for European-Australian Science and Technology cooperation (FEAST), which promotes the opportunities for cooperation to researchers in Australia and the EU was the first bilateral cooperation platform of this nature and a model for other third countries. More recently, the AUS-ACCESS4EU project has successfully promoted open programmes for European researchers and the Australian research landscape in Europe.
EU and Australia have sought to strengthen the joint science relationship. Recent Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committees (JSTCC) and associated Roadmaps have favoured a strategic approach, focusing on cooperation in mutual priority areas. In March 2011, the Australian Government Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research and the EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation met and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation on research and innovation and to focus more sharply on a small number of major, shared priorities addressing global societal challenges.
The CAESIE project will seek to continue the work undertaken by the JSTCC, FEAST and ACCESS4EU as well as enhancing this by connecting to SMEs as well. CAESIE stands for Connecting Australian-European Science and Innovation Excellence The project will also promote policy dialogue on key issues affecting framework conditions for innovation.
CAESIE will enhance science, technology and innovation cooperation between Europe and Australia by identifying and facilitating opportunities for European and Australian researchers and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in research and innovation programmes managed by Australia and Europe.