Vital groundwork for R&D cooperation A European-funded project is seeking to strengthen the research and development fundamentals in central European nations, and bring them closer to the rest of Europe. Climate Change and Environment © Shutterstock The Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Poland have banded together to form the 'Central European research and development area' (Cereda) with the aim of boosting coordination and cooperation among relevant institutions and R&D stakeholders. Cerada has catalogued current R&D activities in the region as well as their exploitation potential. The data includes 150 research profiles and 800 partnerships. The project partners have produced SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) studies and documentation describing how the Cerada 'joint space' will take shape. On the skills and know-how front, Cerada has developed a training programme focused on R&D project management and technology transfer issues, to ensure professionals are available for future activities. Cerada has laid the groundwork for attracting SMEs and major industrial players to the region. And it has encouraged academic and private-sector researchers to work together through workshops, seminars, round-table discussions and expert meetings and conferences.