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Event Review: 2nd meeting of the working group Coordination of national funds within the Danube Region and Danube Region Research and Innovation Fund DRRIF

This PA7 Working Group has been set up to enhance and accelerate the implementation of the goals set in the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) Action Plan and Priority Area 07 (PA7) Roadmap related to the coordination of funds.

  • Posted on: 08.09.2014
  • Austria

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Several Danube-INCO.NET partners are also active in this working group and have therefore been involved in this meeting with different capacities. Heribert Buchbauer, Head of Department International Research Cooperation at the BMWFW welcomed the participants from eleven countries/regions of the Danube Area as host of the meeting and head of the working group. 

State Secretary Stefan Chudoba from the Slovak Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport introduced the background and aims of the feasibility study to implement a Danube Region Research and Innovation Fund - which is carried out by the contractor Ernst &Young. The study outcomes will be very important for the further advancement of co-operation in research and innovation in area. The team of E&Y presented an extensive analysis regarding the absorption capacities in the region (due to confidentiality agreements in the contract the document is not made available on the internet at the moment).

The tour the table of the participating countries showed a variety of measures being discussed and prepared at the moment, e.g. discussions to open-up the existing bilateral co-operation agreements towards multilateral co-operation in the Danube Region, the use of structural funds for the implementation of EUSDR objectives in the field of research, the participation in an EUREKA call with a specific focus on the Danube Region, the participation of other countries in a German BMBF Call for the Danube Region, success of the funding for flagship projects in cross-border cooperation funds or national, lobbying for positions towards the 2016/17 work programmes of Horizon 2020 for Danube specific activities, initiatives towards joint applications in the "widening participation" scheme of Horizon 2020 (teaming and twinning), cooperation with some other initiatives.

“Danube-INCO.NET - current activities” was also on the agenda: Elke Dall (ZSI) and Ulrike Kunze (DLR) presented the current status of the project focusing on Work Packages 2 “Policy Dialogue” and 6 “Scaling up Danube Funding Mechanisms“, as they are closest linked to the DRRIF Working Group. WP2 organizes specific meetings workshops and meetings to bring together policy makers from the region and there is a dedicated event calendar on the website to inform about related activities. Currently a mapping of relevant stakeholders for cooperation is carried out and a co-publication and co-patenting analysis for the region is carried out. A funding partner´s platform will be set-up to better link the agencies and programme owners in the region, currently actively cooperating with EUREKA. Furthermore a roadmap towards Article 185 will be discussed.

“EUREKA” is cooperating with the different stakeholders to coordinate towards a Danube Region call. Olaf Hartmann from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency presented history, different mechanisms and experiences of the EUREKA Programme. Moreover he focused on the possibilities EUREKA can offer to facilitate cross-border cooperation in the Danube Region with an already established, well-functioning call system most EUSDR countries are part of. Finally he explained the steps to be taken still this year for making a common Danube Call in EUREKA possible in the beginning of 2015.

Twinning” is an important initiative under Horizon 2020 with a good potential to increase capacities in the Danube Region.Ralf König from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency introduced the various activities within the Horizon 2020 part of “Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation”. He focused on the Twinning scheme call which opened in July 2014 and has a deadline of May 2015. This scheme aims at raising the scientific excellence and profile of an institution in a less performing member state (through activities like staff exchange, workshops, summer schools, expert visits, dissemination and outreach) and may have special potential for the cooperation in the EUSDR. Priority Area 7 flagship projects have already been contacted to raise their awareness and it is envisaged to spread the information also to EUSDR projects from other priority areas.

“Ulm Follow-up Group / BMBF Call” Andrea Fischer from the German BMBF reported that after first discussions with the EUSDR countries the key points of the call have now been established and it is expected that after a next round of comments in fall the text will be finalized at the end of the year.

The presentations from the meeting of the DRRIF Group 1st and 2nd of September 2014 are online and can be found at http://groupspaces.com/KnowledgeSociety/pages/workinggroup3drrif

and attached below. Please note that due to the confidentiality clause in the contract for the DDRIF feasibility study those documents cannot be made available online or distributed at this stage.

S&T field/scope: Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary | Affilation and Pillar: Danube-INCO.NET | Geographical focus: Danube Region

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