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South Africa is poised to become an associate member of EUREKA and its network of governmental agencies supporting innovation and market-oriented research accross the continent. The South African Republic could be the third country to join EUREKA under the status of associated country. South Korea and Canada became associated countries in 2009 and 2012 respectively.
'EUREKA HAS EVOLVED FROM ITS INITIAL GOALS - BOLSTERING EUROPEAN INNOVATION TO FIGHT COMPETITORS FROM THE US AND JAPAN—AND IS NOW OPEN TO GLOBAL COOPERATION.'
An important step forward has been taken during the XVIIIth EUREKA Inter-Parliamentary Conference, held in Brussels on May 16th, as the inclusion of the country within the network was discussed during the debates involving National and European parliamentarians as well as Turkish Minister Nihat Ergun and Norwegian State Secretary Jeanette Iren Moen. Mr. Pedro Sampaio Nunes, Head of the EUREKA European Secretariat and former Portuguese State Secretary. Mr. Pedro Sampaio Nunes explained that EUREKA has evolved from its initial goals—bolstering European research and innovation to fight competitors from the US and Japan—and is now open to global cooperation.
Mr. Daan du Toit, Minister Councellor and advisor to the South African mission to the EU, added that his country 'looks at EUREKA with much excitement.' Becoming an associated country would be a natural follow-up to 'long-standing science cooperation' with other European bodies including the European Commission, Mr. du Toit said.