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New EUREKA strategy for coordinating industrial research

Following a major conference entitled "EUREKA meets Asia", held in Macao from 31 March to 4 April 1998, a two-stranded strategy has been adopted to improve the coordination of industrial research across Europe, within the framework of the EUREKA research cooperation initiative...
Following a major conference entitled "EUREKA meets Asia", held in Macao from 31 March to 4 April 1998, a two-stranded strategy has been adopted to improve the coordination of industrial research across Europe, within the framework of the EUREKA research cooperation initiative and the EU's Fifth RTD Framework Programme.

The first strand involves a new set of guidelines, entitled the "Macao Guidelines", which aim to make the launch of strategic cluster projects easier and faster. They aim to respond to the growing scarcity of major, strategic projects in the EUREKA portfolio. One of the main problems impeding the take-up of cluster projects is the fact that the initial framework of activity for a project is launched as an act of political will without the definition of funding details. However the financial commitment has become a much more important issue in the project approval process and has therefore rendered the process for the launch of cluster projects more difficult.

The Macao Guidelines aim to break this deadlock by separating the political and funding commitment by twelve months. They allow a project to be launched once it has political backing, while giving the participants a year to finalise details, define sub-projects and find funding from industry and public agencies.

The second strand, which also came to fruition during the conference, involving a number of meetings involving industrialists, National EUREKA Project Coordinators and European Commission officials which aim to promote coordination between EUREKA and the EU's Fifth RTD Framework Programme. This EU-EUREKA Joint Working Group (JWG) has drawn up a list of EUREKA projects, both those ongoing and those under preparation, to which the Fifth Framework Programme could contribute.

A series of workshops have also been organised which aim to enable industrialists, national EUREKA funding agencies and the relevant programme managers to discuss possible major projects which could be financed through both organisations. The overall aim is to ensure a closer integration of industrial needs and public funding priorities. This should help participating industrialists to target their various sub-projects at the different national and European funding agencies more precisely, and should ensure that the relevant work programmes of the Fifth Framework Programme's Key Actions should reflect themes of particular interest to the EUREKA-EU joint projects.

Source: EUREKA Secretariat

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