European and other countries of the Mediterranean are neighbours, and have much in common and a strong reason to work together. While numerous agreements have fostered such collaboration, the targets regarding a Mediterranean space of security, economic development and cultural exchange remain only partially achieved. The EU-funded 'Mediterranean innovation and research coordination action' (MIRA) project included 34 European and regional partners, and ran for 5 years to January 2013. The consortium's goals were to promote the participation of relevant countries in the building of a Euro–Mediterranean research space, particularly by fostering Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) projects. Additionally, the group aimed to support the creation of official agencies to coordinate the activities of involved countries, and to enact implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership in Research and Innovation. The project completed its six intended activities. These included creating a dialogue platform using current information and communication technologies, and devising training to improve project management. Activities further included organising discussions about common-interest FP7 priorities, and creating an observatory of science and technology cooperation to establish monitoring indicators. Additionally, the group created networks of research institutions and technological transfer services, and supported the policy dialogue between EU and the MPC through the functions of the Monitoring Committee (MoCo), capacity buiding and the functioning of the FP7 Contact Points Network in the MPC. Project members developed the common appropriation of MIRA's results, which helped to initiate innovation and establish scientific priorities in existing projects. They also created several working groups to take stock of current scientific practice and propose a “Common Euro-Mediterranean Research and Innovation Agenda” on behalf of a MoCo mandate. Also it should mention the identification of common research priorities to support the Program “Horizon 2020: De-contamination of the Mediterranean” by a group of experts mobilized by Project MIRA. Lastly, the team produced a book “Moving forward in the Euro-Mediterranean Research and Innovation Partnership: The experience of the MIRA Project” published by CIHEAM (SERIES B: Studies and Research, n º 71, 2013) with its main finding, conclusions and future expectations and lessons learned.
Mediterranean research, research network, innovation and research, capacity building