News from the MCAA - The MCAA chairs the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance


The EU Science Diplomacy Alliance

Between 2016 and 2022, the European Union funded, under Horizon 2020, three projects aimed at studying science diplomacy from different perspectives.

InsSciDE explored the history of science diplomacy focusing on themes such as heritage, health, security, environment and space.
S4D4C aimed at supporting European science diplomacy in developing a governance framework to find solutions for global challenges.
EL-CSID had the objective to articulate the relevance that cultural, science, and innovation diplomacy have for EU external relations, underlining the limits of an excessively simplistic approach to them.

The Coordinators of S4D4C, InsSciDE, and EL-CSID together launched the European Union Science Diplomacy Alliance at the Final Networking Conference of S4D4C on 19 March 2021, with the support of several founding members. The Alliance is grounded in the results and networks fostered by the three projects and aims at sustaining the dialogue on EU science diplomacy and cultivating new opportunities to progress the theory and practice of science diplomacy in Europe.

The European Union Science Diplomacy Alliance is a collaborative initiative bringing together institutions active in science diplomacy research, policy advice, education, and more, aiming at fostering cooperation and capacity building among its members for effective science diplomacy advising. The MCAA, as one of the Members, is chairing the Alliance between January and June 2023.

EU Science Diplomacy Alliance
EU Science Diplomacy Alliance

The main objectives of the Alliance are:

• Facilitating collaborations on science diplomacy projects

• Developing a community of practitioners and a network of knowledge

• Advising science diplomacy stakeholders

• Training new professionals in the field of science diplomacy

The Alliance is open to new partners, who can belong to one of three groups:

Members are based in the European Union

Global Networking Partners are either based outside the EU or have a geographical focus that lies outside.

Advisory Partners are involved upon invitation.

With the exception of the Advisory Partners, only institutions can be members of the Alliance, but it’s the members of these institutions who make its heart and soul.

The participants at the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance meeting, held as a satellite event of the MCAA AC 2023
The participants at the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance meeting, held as a satellite event of the MCAA AC 2023

The Members of the Alliance rotate every six months in chairing it, allowing each member to bring their own expertise and vision to it. Before the beginning of the chairing term, the chair-to-be institution publishes a work program on the dedicated page of the Alliance website to define the objectives that it aims to achieve.

The MCAA chairing term

The Alliance has a trio-Chair system. Every six months, the current, past, and future chair is active in the Alliance. The Marie Curie Alumni Association has been chairing the Alliance between January and June 2023 and will continue to support it as the Past Chair till December 2023. The current Chair of MCAA, Fernanda Bajanca, and the Executive Director, Mostafa Moonir Shawrav, are the Co-Chairs of the Alliance. The aim of the MCAA, among others:

• Providing organizational stability

• Enhancing the collaboration among members and global networking partners

• Contributing to the European Science Diplomacy agenda & strategy development

Furthermore, many events have been planned for the semester, such as the General Assembly of the Alliance and a dedicated Satellite Event in the frame of the Annual Conference of the MCAA itself.

On February 23rd, the Alliance organized in Cordoba a Satellite Event to the Marie Curie Alumni Association Annual Conference, taking place in the following days. The Event was titled "The Past, Present & Future of the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance'' and it aimed at collecting experiences and inputs from science diplomacy practitioners to draw lessons and ideas to strengthen the Alliance in the future. The audience was led through the journey that brought to the creation of the Alliance by its past chairs and received insights on the development of the European Science Diplomacy Agenda. Several researchers and practitioners shared their experience in science diplomacy from a multitude of points of view, sparking discussions and sharing engagement opportunities with the audience.

Federico Di Bisceglie
ESR, INSA Toulouse

Mostafa Moonir Shawrav
MCAA member
temporary co-chair of the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance

The recording of the event “The Past, Present & Future of the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance” can now be found on the MCAA YouTube channel.