Cape Town, South Africa, 10 February 2014
1. In line with the mandate of the eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan of March 2013 adopted at the Fifth BRICS Summit held in South Africa, we the Ministers and their representatives for Science, Technology and Innovation of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met in Cape Town, South Africa for the First BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting on 10 February 2014, to discuss and coordinate positions of mutual interest and identify future directions of institutionalizing cooperation in science, technology and innovation within the framework of BRICS.
2. We reaffirm the vision to strengthen the BRICS partnership for common development and advance cooperation in a gradual and pragmatic manner, reflecting the principles of openness, solidarity and mutual assistance, and give substance to all the calls expressed at previous BRICS Summits to intensify cooperation in the spheres of science, technology and innovation, including the peaceful use of space.
3. We stress the paramount importance of science, technology and innovation for human development. Indeed, while recognizing the role and significance of competitiveness in the rapid technologically changing global environment, we agree that people-centred and public-good driven science, technology and innovation, supporting equitable growth and sustainable development, shall form the basis of our cooperation within the framework of BRICS.
4. In order to support this common vision, we agreed to enter into a BRICS Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation which shall serve as the strategic intergovernmental framework: (i) to strengthen cooperation in science, technology and innovation; (ii) to address common global and regional socio-economic challenges utilizing shared experiences and complementarities; (iii) to co-generate new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes utilizing appropriate funding and investment instruments; (iv) to promote, where appropriate, joint BRICS partnerships with other strategic actors in the developing world.
5. We agree with the text of the BRICS Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation and propose that it be signed on the occasion of the Sixth BRICS Summit in Brazil in 2014.
6. We agree under this BRICS STI framework the main areas of cooperation shall include: exchange of information on policies and programmes and promotion of innovation and technology transfer; food security and sustainable agriculture; climate change and natural disaster preparedness and mitigation; new and renewable energy, energy efficiency; nanotechnology; high performance computing; basic research; space research and exploration, aeronautics, astronomy and earth observation; medicine and biotechnology; biomedicine and life sciences (biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, biomaterials); water resources and pollution treatment; high tech zones/science parks and incubators; technology transfer; science popularization; information and communication technology; clean coal technologies; natural gas and non-conventional gases; ocean and polar sciences; and geospatial technologies and its applications
7. In pursuit of cooperation in the above areas, we agree to build upon existing bilateral synergies and other forms of multi-country frameworks of cooperation amongst the BRICS member countries.
8. With a view to supporting the immediate implementation of the objectives outlined in the BRICS Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation, we recognize and endorse, as a first step, the establishment of five thematic areas and leadership, namely: (a) climate change and natural disaster mitigation, led by Brazil;(b) water resources and pollution treatment, led by Russia; (c) geospatial technology and its applications, led by India; (d) new and renewal energy, and energy efficiency, led by China; (e) astronomy, led by South Africa.
9. We recognize the sharing and exchange of information on science, technology and innovation policies and strategies and the formulation of joint long-term problem-focused cooperation programmes will constitute the central modalities of this cooperation.
10. We recognize that specific cooperative activities under the BRICS STI framework may necessitate the provision of organizational, legal, financial and staffing support. This relates primarily to stimulating joint investment in the development of high technologies, creating common technology platforms, and the setting up of applied research and innovation centres and laboratories.
11. We recognize the importance and centrality of knowledge and technology transfer as the means of mutually empowering BRICS member countries. In this regard we support efforts to establish BRICS mechanisms that enhance technology and knowledge transfer amongst the member countries.
12. We support the establishment of a dedicated BRICS STI training programme to address human capital challenges in BRICS member countries.
13. We commit to strengthen and improve the governance mechanisms for BRICS STI cooperation, including meetings of STI Ministers, senior officials meetings, as well as the network of national coordinators for cooperation in the spheres of science, technology and innovation.
14. Brazil, Russia, India and China extend warm appreciation and sincere gratitude to the Department of Science and Technology of the Republic of South Africa for hosting the First BRICS Science, Technology and Innovation Ministerial Meeting in Cape Town on 10 February 2014.
15. Russia, India, China and South Africa wish the Brazilian government well in its preparations for the Sixth BRICS Summit where deliberations relating to science, technology and innovation will form part of the agenda.
Done in the English language in five copies, each copy being equally authentic, on 10 February 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.