The Forum for East Asia- Latin American Co-operation (FEALAC) is a conference where twenty (20) countries in Latin America and sixteen (16) in East Asia currently participate. It places its main focus on strengthening political, cultural, educational, social, economic, scientific and technological relations amongst member countries. Both Colombia and Japan have recently been appointed co-chairs of the Work Group on Science, Technology, Information and Education.
Preliminary work led by the joint action of the Colombian Presidential Agency of International Cooperation (APC-Colombia), the Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation – COLCIENCIAS -, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, resulted in the development of Phase 1 within the consolidation of the Network of scientific-technological convergence. The proposal was presented to all FEALAC countries in June 2013, during the 9th meeting held by the Science and Technology Working Group in Bali, Indonesia.
The First Seminar of the Scientific-Technological Convergence Network took place in Bogota in April 2014. Results obtained during that year were presented during the 10th meeting held by the Science and Technology Working Group in Bangkok in August 2014.
Phase 1 resulted in the identification of a number of groups and researchers as well as a number of key areas of interest, from which, it was decided, the main focus should specifically be placed on nanotechnology and bio-refineries. As a result of this preliminary work, an outline of the main task was drawn for Phase 2, hence allowing it to set the Network of Bio-Nano Convergence in motion under the institutional coordination and execution of COLCIENCIAS, with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and APC-Colombia.
The objectives below have been agreed for Phase 2 around the two focal points of convergence:
- To identify problems of interest concerning countries participating in the Forum, around which scientific and technological cooperation projects with a high social value may be developed.
- To encourage synergic participation within various fields of knowledge around the focal points of convergence, avoiding dispersion.
- To promote the interest and participation of community in general in the solution of problems identified.
- To ascertain that the precautionary principles, as well as the principle of responsible use of nano/biotechnology processes and products are implemented, hence guaranteeing sustainability with no negative impact on the environment nor living beings.
Focal points of convergence
For the Network’s Phase 2, the identification and fulfillment of the commitments agreed by the members of the Bio-Nano Convergence Network regarding the joint formulation and management of projects within the area of bio-refineries and nanotechnology were proposed as its key goals. These two areas of knowledge will be considered as the “focal points of convergence” for this Network´s Phase. Within this context, four (4) projects are expected to be agreed.