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Encouraging scientific collaboration between the EU Member States and the Mediterranean Partner Countries.

The EU-funded project ‘Mediterranean Innovation and Research Coordination Action’ (MIRA), has been running successfully since 1st January 2008. MIRA is a European initiative aimed at encouraging scientific collaboration between the EU Member States and the Mediterranean Partner Countries.

MIRA seeks to create a dialogue and action platform to identify common interests in research areas, set up science and technology (S & T) priorities, and support capacity building activities. This will be achieved by bringing together policymakers and stakeholders of Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs) and EU (European Union) countries under the framework of dialogue structured through the Monitoring Committee for the Euro-Mediterranean S&T Cooperation in RTD (MoCo). The objectives of MIRA are: 1) To create a dialogue platform using the state of the art of ICT technologies, which will enable discussion between relevant stakeholders from both sides of the Mediterranean to improve S&T cooperation by, among other means, connecting and facilitating interaction between the dispersed S&T cooperation initiatives that already exist and are supported by the Member States, the European Commission and other political bodies; 2) To address training activities that will improve the quality of the participation and management of the partners of FP7 from the MPC; 3) To create discussion platforms and organising meetings to monitor and examine the content of the Thematic priorities of FP7 in terms of the common interest of the EU and MPC; 4) To create an Observatory of the EU-MPC S&T cooperation that will agree on indicators for the monitoring of RTD cooperation activities; 5) To create networks of research institutions and technological transfer services from both sides of the Mediterranean, to support strategic collaboration and provide a reference element for the development of the Euro-Mediterranean Innovation Space. All these activities are aimed at providing a strong institutional basis for EU-MPC S&T cooperation. This four-year initiative (2008 – 2011), co-financed by the European Commission, is based on several Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) projects. A number of partners within the MIRA consortium have worked in the last years in several actions aimed at analysing and supporting EU-MPC scientific cooperation. These include: ESTIME and ASBIMED, aimed at characterising the research system in the MPC and EU-MPC bilateral scientific cooperation, as well as supporting the creation of Information Points in the MPCs; the projects EUROMEDANET, ERAMED and MED7, which identified the topics of common interest between EU-MPCs for the priorities of FP7. These activities have provided the MPCs with a solid starting point for their participation in the Framework Programme of the EU, and in the MoCo, with data and arguments to recommend to the European Commission actions to be taken, to improve the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in research and technological cooperation. A successful Screening Conference has already been organised within the framework of the MIRA Coordination Action, held in Egypt on April 16 – 17, 2008. It sought to make the “state of the art” of the Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation in S&T by analysing past experiences of the Framework Programme and the MEDA actions, and building on these to identify new needs and the means of improving this cooperation. The identification of research priorities of common interest was one of the main objectives of the conference and was done by analysing the impact on the priorities defined in a previous project, MED7. Another important objective of the conference was to reach agreement on concrete measures to initiate the Euro-Mediterranean Innovation discussion platform. Partner countries in this project come from Member States, Associated Countries and Mediterranean Partner Countries. These are: Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Malta, Greece, Portugal, United Kingdom, Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Tunisia, Algeria, Eygpt, Morocco, Palestinian administered areas and Jordan. Since its launch in January 2008, MIRA has developed a comprehensive web site and users can find relevant information and upcoming events on the project's home page (http://www.miraproject.eu/). The kick-off meeting for the project was held in Carmona Spain.

Keywords

INCO-NET; Mediterranean Partner Countries

Countries

Spain