Launch of a key international research collaboration to increase European and South Asian Cooperation in addressing global science and technology challenges

Monday 11 November 2013

A key international research initiative entitled CASCADE (Collaborative Action towards Societal Challenges through Awareness, Development, and Education) led by Salford’s Center for Disaster Resilience has been launched in November 2013.

CASCADE will prepare ground for a future research programme within European Commission’s Horizon 2020 that targets South Asian Countries and promotes bi-regional coordination of Science &Technology (S&T) cooperation, including priority setting and definition of S&T cooperation policies.

Accordingly, CASCADE will compile a regional position paper that identifies global challenges and research priorities; map and develop an inventory of national and regional stakeholders related to global challenges; and, raise awareness on research and innovation priorities for fostering cooperation and towards building mutual understanding on how to address common global societal challenges across its partner countries.

CASCADE will identify societal challenges on which to focus the cooperation and justify them in terms of common interest and mutual benefit relevant to the targeted countries in Southern Asia within the context of Horizon 2020 societal challenges:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing;
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research and the bio-economy; Secure, clean and efficient energy;
  • Smart, green and integrated transport; Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials;
  • Europe in a changing world- inclusive, innovative and reflective societies,
  • Secure societies-protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.

It will also provide up to date analytical evidence on key stakeholders and their competences in Southern Asia.

Professor Amaratunga commented: ‘Enhancing and focusing EU international cooperation in research and innovation, global challenges are important drivers for research and innovation. However, critical mass is lacking in many cases and the strategy driving the development of the actions is not always clear. there needs to be an ‘intensification of international cooperation‘ activities focused on ‘engaging with partners outside of Europe on equal terms and in programmes and activities of high mutual interest‘. CASCADE tries to provide this valuable link’.

Professor Haigh added: ‘it is our belief that this initiative will provide an important platform to encourage South Asian participation in the Horizon 2020 research programme’.

CASCADE is funded by European Commission “FP7 ACTIVITIES OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION”. There are 17 international partners including partner from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal  and Sri Lanka.

Salford’s Centre for Disaster Resilience, Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga is leading this initiative.

Further information on CASCADE

View the EU Press release regarding the launch of CASCADE research project.