Joining forces between FP7 projects is strengthening EU-CELAC cooperation
based on an interview with Dr. Rafael Andres Medina, Instituto de Salud Carlos III & EU-LAC Health Coordinator
Rafael Medina, coordinator of the project EU-LAC Health, stressed the good relationship that was already achieved between EU-LAC Health and ALCUE NET. Medina thinks that it is important to align activities with ALCUE NET in order to avoid unnecessary redundancies and duplications of efforts. Medina thinks that projects like ALCUE NET or EU-LAC health are important in order to support the activities and tasks of the SOM working groups. Even more, EU-LAC Health benefits from what is already done well by ALCUE NET, and vice versa. One direct consequence of this process was for example that a common topic - in the area of e-health - was selected by the ICT group in ALCUE NET and the EU-LAC health consortium. This was a more or less unintended achievement of the cooperation of both projects. What regards the impact on the national level, Rafael Medina can see for the case of Spain that the participation of two different Spanish institutions in these two parallel projects had also an impact on the bi-lateral relationship in the sense of trying to get better even at home in terms of cooperation.
In general, what he thinks that is a turn is that the two projects have found a way to work together. And this, he thinks, is the best, because it is not only for specific circumstances, it is to work together in the long term, an ongoing process, and this is a good thing.
For the future Medina wishes an enlargement of countries and people participating in these kind of supporting structures: “If we achieve to provide evidence that projects like ALCUE NET are delivering results according to what is expected, it is much easier for people and new countries who are hesitating to get on board. Also, regarding the alignment of scientific agendas it is really possible to progress and to provide evidence for that in several areas.”