On the evening of November 26, 2021, the 9th BRICS Science & Technology Ministerial Meeting was held by video conference. The Chinese delegation was led by Vice Minister of Science and Technology Zhang Guangjun. Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Marcos Pontes, Russian Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education Natalya Bocharova, Indian Minister of Earth Sciences, Science and Technology, and Director-General of the South African Department of Science and Innovation Phil Mjwara attended the meeting. The meeting was hosted by India which holds the rotating BRICS presidency this year.
The ministers exchanged views on the science, technology and innovation (STI) development and policies of the five BRICS countries, and were briefed on the annual reports regarding the work progress of BRICS thematic groups, implementation of joint research project on COVID-19 response, and the report on the 2021 joint call for proposals. In his speech, Vice Minister Zhang Guangjun noted that the STI cooperation among BRICS countries enjoys a solid foundation and great potential. The five countries should, in line with the spirit of extensive communication, joint contribution and shared benefits, strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation, and fully harness the role of STI in underpinning and driving development, to share the fruits of innovation with all BRICS countries and their peoples, and ensure sustained and steady progress of BRICS cooperation. Vice Minister Zhang also expressed China’s readiness to strengthen communication with other BRICS countries and make good planning for the agenda and outcomes as it takes over the BRICS presidency in 2022. The ministers also shared their countries‘STI policies and priority areas, and applauded the progress made in STI cooperation among BRICS countries in 2021.
The meeting adopted the Declaration of the 9th BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting, the BRICS Innovation Cooperation Action Plan (2021-2024) and the 2022 calender of activities and other documents. The convening of the 9th BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting paved the way for the smooth progress of BRICS STI cooperation at a special time. It boosted confidence and charted the course for future cooperation, and contributed STI outcomes to the BRICS leaders’summit.
Representatives from the Department of International Cooperation, Department of Science and Technology for Social Development, and Department of Research Commercialization and Regional Innovation of the Ministry of Science and Technology, China Science and Technology Exchange Center, the Torch High Technology Industry Development Center, China National Center for Biotechnology Development, the Administrative Center for China‘s Agenda 21, the International Cooperation Bureau of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the International Cooperation Bureau of the National Natural Science Foundation of China attended the meeting.