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Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education unites BRICS efforts to combat COVID-19 through science, technology and innovation

Минобрнауки России объединяет усилия стран БРИКС по борьбе с COVID-19 по линии науки, технологий и инноваций

On 25 May, a joint meeting of BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Steering Committee and BRICS STI Funding Working Group was held under the Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020 via videoconference. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the relevant ministries and Embassies of the five counties, as well as and the organizations from the BRICS countries that finance science, technology and innovation.

Discussing scientific cooperation on combating the spread and overcoming the consequences of COVID-19 became the main issue on the agenda of the meeting. . Viktor Smirnov, Russia’s BRICS STI Cooperation Coordinator, noted that over the past few months the global pandemic has inflicted a heavy burden on healthcare systems around the world, and although some countries are starting to lift their coronavirus restrictions and there has been some progress in curbing the epidemic, other countries are not yet past the peak. There are still unresolved issues with regard to rapid diagnosis of the novel coronavirus, its prevention and treatment methods.

“Today, all eyes are upon scientific community, which is being called on to combine efforts through international scientific and technical cooperation. In this regard, it is gratifying to note the availability of a working tool for the selection and financing of multidisciplinary research projects – BRICS STI Framework Programme. The use of this mechanism will facilitate the implementation of major research projects to respond to global challenges,” Viktor Smirnov said.

The Russian BRICS Chairmanship in 2020 envisages more than 20 STI events, including Meetings of BRICS STI Senior Officials and BRICS Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation.