On 28 October, the BRICS Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation held a meeting in Moscow, after which they signed the Moscow Ministerial Declaration on the main spheres of cooperation for the medium term.

The declaration has a provision on establishing working groups on cooperation in the framework of major research infrastructures and on funding multilateral joint projects through the BRICS New Development Bank.

The document highlights the importance of creating a joint Research and Innovation Networking Platform for the substantive and coordinated approach of the BRICS research communities to the five priority areas of research and technical cooperation where leadership has been established by each country. Specifically, Brazil will focus on the prevention and mitigation of natural disasters; Russia will work on water resources and pollution treatment; India will lead research into geospatial technology and its applications; China will focus on new and renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and South Africa will lead astronomy projects.

During the signing ceremony, the BRICS Ministers of Science, Technology and Innovation reaffirmed their countries’ willingness to continue working to develop practical forms of cooperation, government regulation and assistance to joint research and technology programmes and projects.

The event was attended by Lyudmila Ogorodova, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Russia; Ambassador Carlos Henrique Cardim, Director of the Office for International Affairs of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil; Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences of India; Сао Jianlin, Vice-Minister of Science and Technology of China; and Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology of the Republic of South Africa.