Framework Programmes and Horizon 2020 in particular are open to intentional cooperation with other countries all over the world. To foster this collaboration and create links NCP Poland has so far participated in many INCO-NETs projects related to the cooperation between the European Union and third countries and regions.
IncoNet EECA – the STI Cooperation Network for Eastern European and Central Asia Countries funded under the 7th European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, run from January 2008 to June 2012. Its main objective was intensification and supporting partnership between the European Union and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. By linking the scientific potentials, and working on political, economic and social development the IncoNet EECA project strived to obtain mutual benefit from strengthen the cooperation between EU and EECA.
The most significant achievements of the project were:
- Preparation of ‘The White Paper on Opportunities and Challenges in View of Enhancing the EU Cooperation with Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South Caucasus’, which identify the series of Challenges and Recommendations for enhancing the EU-EECA STI cooperation;
- Strengthening the participation of researchers form EECA countries in FP7;
- Setting up Central Information Office (CIO) which collects, process, and presents information on the S&T cooperation between EU-EECA.
The IncoNET EECA project established considerable background for two sister projects IncoNet EaP and IncoNet CA. Funded under the 7th European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, with a duration 36 months, the projects started on September 2013.
Building on the experience of its predecessor both projects are supporting the bi-regional STI policy dialogue with an explicit focus on the Social Challenges which have been identified to be mutual interest for the EU Member States and the Central Asian and the Eastern Partnership Countries. In particular the projects aim to identify action and stakeholders and implement innovative pilot activities to strengthen the coordination and impact of the individual actions.
The IncoNet EaP and IncoNet CA provide a solid basis for a mutually beneficial joint work in addressing Societal Challenges (Climate Change, Health, Energy) and of mutual concern in promoting Innovation. It is expected that projects will:
- Identify needs in STI to be jointly addressed simultaneously paving the way for an enhanced STI cooperation between EU and CA/EaP Countries;
- Mobilize a considerable number of STI stakeholders in the target countries such as policy makers, representatives of sectoral Ministries/Agencies, representatives of Innovation related structures – platforms, clusters, agencies, etc.;
- Address the Social Challenges of mutual concern – Climate Change, Energy, Healt;
- Increase the level of cooperation in the entire ‘research to innovation chain’ by developing partnership for Innovation;
- Increase the participation of researchers from CA/EaP Countries in H2020.
In order to achieve envisaged impact following actions are being performed:
- Stimulation of the establishment of specific links between entities in CA/EaP and the European Technology Platforms;
- Implementation of trainings and seminars in aim to build capacity in research and innovation;
- Enhancing cooperation of the CA/EaP Countries with the Enterprise Europe Network and exploration the extension of the European Innovation TrendChart to CA/EaP Countries;
- Promotion of comprehensive approaches and reduction of fragmentation by implementation pilot action such as twinning of projects;
- STI Policy Mix Review implementation as well as a benchmarking exercise of research institutes from all the CA Countries and mentoring activities for key research institutes in all EaP Countries;
- Organization of Policy Stakeholders Conferences focusing on three Social Challenges as well as horizontal STI policy issues;
- Preparation of recommendations for future cooperation strategy involving policy makers and representatives of the research communities;
- Implementation of a grant scheme in order to enable CA/EaP researchers to participate to Brokerage events in EU;
- Organization of awareness campaigns and trainings of the National Contact Point structures in CA/EaP Countries, as well as Info Days on H2020 in all targeted countries.
The projects constitutes the bridge between the 7th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration and the new Research and Innovation Programme – Horizon 2020.