Launching of the new H2020 Project EaP PLUS
"EaP PLUS", a new coordination and support action (CSA) funded by the EU's Framework Programme "Horizon 2020" was launched on 1 September 2016. The 17 partners of the project participated in a kick-off meeting on 26 September, in Athens Greece.
EaP PLUS, or STI International Cooperation Network for Eastern Partnership Countries – PLUS, aims to stimulate cooperation between researchers from the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries and EU Member States (MS) and enhance the active participation of the EaP countries in the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme.
Building on the results of the predecessor FP7 project "IncoNet EaP", EaP PLUS will eliminate remaining obstacles to EU-EaP STI cooperation through a number of innovative and targeted actions:
- strategic priority-setting through supporting EU-EaP policy dialogue and through maximizing the impact of the association to Horizon 2020;
- stronger interaction between researchers & participation in H2020, i.e. Info days, cooperation with scientific diaspora, and grants for networking;
- promotion of the research-innovation interface supporting communities of excellence, through co-patenting analyses, clustering schemes, promotion of the technology platforms concept to EaP countries;
- optimal framework conditions and increasing coordination in policies and programmes through training seminars for STI policymakers, increased coordination and synergies between policies and programmes of EU/MS and EaP, i.e. JPIs, COST,
Coordinator of EaP PLUS is Dr. George Bonas, Managing Director of the Centre for Regional & International STI Studies & Support - CeRISS. The consortium of EaP PLUS consists of 17 experienced partners presenting a broad geographic coverage and complementary competences.
Partners from 14 countries are participating in the consortium with good balance between EU and EaP partners: 9 from EU MS and 8 from EaP countries. Two of the partners possess an international character, namely the International Centre for Black Sea Studies – ICBSS located in Greece and the European Business and Innovation Centre Network – EBN located in Belgium.
The eight institutions from all the six EaP countries participating in the project include public authorities/funding agencies (UKRTECHNIFORM acting on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science/UA; SRNSF/GE; SDF-AZ/AZ), research organizations (NASU/UA, NAS-RA/AM, CIP on behalf of the Academy of Sciences/MD, BelISA/BY) and civil society (ICARTI/GE).
On the EU side, the consortium includes partners from 8 MS i.e. Austria (ZSI), Belgium (EBN), France (Inno TSD), Germany (DLR), Greece (CeRISS), Hungary (RCISD), Poland (IPPT-PAN) and Portugal (SPI), who have experience as: a) responsible drivers of international STI cooperation with the EaP region; b) innovation specialists and members of important EU innovation networks; c) NCPs.
The project has a 36-month duration ending on 31 August 2019.