International cooperation in research and innovation is a strategic priority for the EU. It enables
- access to the latest knowledge and the best talent worldwide
- business opportunities in new and emerging markets
- science diplomacy to influence and enhance external policy.
The EU maintains policy dialogues with countries and regions across the globe, through 3 different forms of cooperation
- Association to the research and innovation framework programme is the closest form of cooperation with countries outside the EU.
- The EU has bilateral agreements with 20 individual countries around the world. These agreements are based on common interests and priorities, aiming to increase cooperation in research and innovation.
- Science and technology dialogues between the EU and other regions of the world combine policy dialogue with project-based and bottom-up cooperation. Regional science cooperation seeks to find synergies with other EU policies and activities, and to complement EU countries' bilateral actions.
Examples of Regional dialogues include the dialogues EU-Latin America, EU-Africa, EU-Eastern Partnership, EU-Central Asia and EU-South East Asia.