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Study on Danube Region Research and Innovation funding (DRRIF) presented and follow-up being discussed

At the occasion of the 9th Steering Group meeting of Priorty Area 7 (Knowledge Society), the study carried out by EY was presented and follow-ups of this PA7 key project have been discussed. The study includes sound analytical findings (e.g. on the absorption capacities). The study was quoted to be "the end of the beginning", a basis to build on future activities in relation to joint funding of research and innovation. So the stakeholders have actively discussed the potential follow-up activities, in which also Danube-INCO.NET plays a role. The study will be publicly available in July 2015.

  • Posted on: 06.06.2015
  • Slovakia

The DRRIF study was started in April 2014 and finished in May 2015. Based on the data analysed, it is concluded that R&D absoprtion capacity exists in the DR and that it is substantial.

The presentation given by EY colleagues at the meeting has emphasized the most important results in relation to the absorption capacity, the thematic areas to be proposed (e.g. automotive industry and transportation; ICT; materials, enginieering and manufacturing; environment).

Horizontal areas of relevance have also been prioritized with the following areas standing out:

  • supporting innovative activities of SMEs in the DR
  • building partnerships between scientists, public and private sector
  • supporting and assisting in submitting applications for funding from various sources
  • promoting and raising awareness regarding EU programmes
  • increase participation of students and young scientists in R&I projects
  • encouraging human capital development and utilisation

In relation to the DRRIF, several alternatives have been discussed.

DRRIF as a fund

The fund’s goal should be to obtain financial resources from European, national and private sources to finance projects in accordance with its selected vertical and horizontal thematic areas, which help to increase the R&D and innovation level and cohesion among the DR countries.
Currently considered the least feasible option, due to limited funds of the countries, complexity of its establishment and potential overlapping regional activities.

DRRIF as a funding network

The network’s goal would be to identify existing national, bilateral and regional project, call or programme opportunities of funding and research performing institutions active in R&I in the DR which can be interlinked across borders to provide added value to the DR in the area of research, development and innovation. This approach has been assessed as a smaller-scale but realistic alternative.

DRRIF as a support center

The support center’s goal would be to indirectly support R&I cooperation in the Danube Region by supporting establishment of new successful partnerships of applicants and by interlinking the existing funding and research institutions. The support center will not directly finance any R&D projects.

During the discussion, also the fund developed under the "WISE facility" for the Western Balkan countries was discussed, that has similar aims to establish a secretariate and provide funds for several pillars (e.g. technology transfer) with financing from Multi-Beneficiary IPA or other sources. In particular the activities of the support center have been analysed in relation to overlaps. Also the Danube Strategy Point (DSP) needs to be taken on board. The European Commission also asks to clarify the proposal for the support center with the work of the Steering Group. Furthermore, Priority Area 10 activities need to be taken into account in relation to overcome the information gap (e.g. START, TAP-DRP, and an information plattform on financing opportunities).

Danube-INCO.NET presented a few options for funding networks, e.g. cooperation possibilities that have been explored with Science Europe and TAFTIE. One of the proposals aims at the use of the ERA-NET approach (e.g. through lobbying for a call in the workprogrammes 2018/19 or to create an ERA-NET without the co-funding from the EC). EUREKA as a mechanism for applied and SME projects should be repeated and further expanded, e.g. towards EUROSTARS. The identification of concrete activities to be proposed in an application for the Danube Transnational Programme, including a workshop to support the project development is included in this proposal.

The use of the Danube Transnational Programme (2014-2020) in relation to the implementation has also been discussed.

The study will be publicly available in July 2015 also on this website.

S&T field/scope: General | Affilation and Pillar: Danube-INCO.NET, EUSDR Priority Areas, Policy Dialogue, Analysis, Research and Innovation support Initiatives | Geographical focus: Danube Region

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