INCO-COPERNICUS - EU funds RTD cooperation with Central and Eastern Europe
The European Commission has approved 261 projects, with total funding of ECU 68 million, involving cooperation with the Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) and the New Independent States (NIS) in key areas of RTD policy. The projects have been approved under Area A2 (CEEC and NIS) of the specific RTD programme for scientific and technical cooperation with third countries and international organizations (INCO). The projects selected are likely to have a major impact on the environment, health and the improvement of industry in the CEEC and NIS. The 1996 call for Area A2 of the INCO programme, known as INCO-COPERNICUS, was directed towards subjects not covered by other specific programmes of the Fourth Framework Programme, and towards areas where the EU and Central and Eastern Europe have mutual interests (Caspian Sea, Aral Sea, post-Chernobyl, etc.). Participation by Central and Eastern European entities in the INCO-COPERNICUS programme increases the links between researchers of Eastern and Western Europe. Projects respond to the special needs of these countries, such as the stabilization of RTD potential and improvement of quality of life. The aims of projects in each area are: - Environment: . Develop conservation and utilization of natural resources, preserving a sustainable environment and long term economic development; . Restoration of the balance between nature and economic development in endangered eco-systems such as the Black Sea, Aral Sea and the Caspian Sea; . Prevent and limit the damage in accidents such as earthquakes and areas contaminated by radioactive substances; - Health: Contribute to solving health problems associated with political and economic reforms in these countries, particularly relating to occupational medicine and the health consequences of radiation exposure; - Energy: Improve the rational use of energy and providing opportunities for renewable energy sources and cleaner and more efficient use of fossil fuels; - RTD targeted on industry: . Communication technologies: Increase the use of telematics for health and education. For information technologies, demonstration projects, networks of excellence and education projects will permit further integration of IT research between EU and CEEC/NIS; . Industrial and materials technologies, measurement and testing: Increase the capability of industry in CEEC/NIS to design and manufacture products of high quality with a comparison of measures and accreditation of laboratories; . Biotechnologies and agro-food: Improve the quality of life in Central and Eastern Europe (quality of food, vaccines, etc.); - Social sciences: Address issues concerning the diffusion of innovation in CEEC/NIS; - Innovation Relay Centres: Ten selected projects in the CEEC will provide opportunities for dissemination of RTD results and information concerning EU calls for proposals, as well as promote innovation and technology transfer. As a result of the previous INCO-COPERNICUS calls, companies, research institutes, SMEs and universities are joining together to improve the industrial aspects of RTD. In COPERNICUS 1996, the 261 proposals to be funded involve some 1,670 partners. Of these, over 15% come from industry and 34% from research centres.
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Belarus, Czechia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan