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Romanian Action for Integrating, Networking and Strengthening the ERAPetru Poni Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry

Final Report Summary - RAINS (Romanian Action for Integrating, Networking and Strengthening the ERAPetru Poni Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry)

The work performed during the three years duration of the project focused on reshaping the profile of the Petru Poni Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry (PPIMC) to better integrate its activity into the ERA.

The goal was to establish a coherent long term development strategy and to implement this strategy in PPIMC - an institute of excellence of the Romanian Academy. The main working directions related to this goal were:

- The strategy for long-term development of PPIMC was established based on (a) a self evaluation report, (b) evaluation reports performed by RAINS International Advisory Board members, (c) a SWOT analysis of PPIMC activity, performed considering (a) and (b). The strategy was discussed with PPIMC staff to raise awareness and commitment on the implementation of the new strategy.

- Based on the new PPIMC integration strategy, the research and networking policy of PPIMC has been improved and the major achievements were as follows:
(a) modern research topics such as multifunctional (polymeric) materials, nanosized materials, multicomponent systems for bioapplications, multiresponsive polymeric materials based on natural and synthetic polymers for eco-friendly processes, computational chemistry, a.s.o. were included in PPIMC research portfolio;
(b) new knowledge and skills were acquired through mutual exchange short-term research visits;
(c) the cooperation network of PPIMC was consolidated and sustained by new joint RTD projects focused on high added value multifunctional polymeric materials;
(d) the expertise and skills of PhD students and of young researchers in multifunctional polymeric materials was increased and the placement of young researchers in post-doctoral positions abroad was facilitated;
(e) the awareness and commitment of PhD students and young researchers in FPs was continuously stimulated through their involvement in project implementation;
(f) the connection with business media in order to increase the RTD potential of the NE Romanian Region and of the country was strengthened;
(g) the knowledge and skills acquired - including the use of new equipments - were shared with regional partners.

- To improve PPIMC research capacity, the following objectives were defined and achieved:
(a) PPIMC rules for research staff hiring have been established according to the system accepted in EU;
(b) a new training curricula for PhD students was established and specialised doctoral training was organised (trainers from abroad were invited in PPIMC or PhD students and young researchers were sent and trained abroad);
(c) new research equipments were purchased and upgrading of existing equipment was performed;
(d) young scientists and PhD students from both PPIMC and other regional / national research and education centres were trained on the use of new equipments and techniques.

- To modernise the administrative structure and to improve the working and living conditions in PPIMC:
(a) PPIMC functional services were reorganised in order to fulfil the requirements of its actual development / functioning;
(b) a cooperation support office was organised; (c) 10-12 PhD students were selected yearly, involved in RAINS activities (including the project management) and received incentive wages.

- To promote PPIMC, RAINS objectives and results, and Framework Programmes opportunities through regional / national / international innovative environment, a dedicated web site was built and a number of dissemination seminars / workshops were organised in PPIMC. Dissemination was also made by participation in seminars organised outside PPIMC. Media and TV presentation of RAINS project and Framework Programmes were performed. To improve the perception of general public towards science and chemistry, articles dedicated to the general public were published.