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Enhancing the bilateral S&T Partnership with the Russian Federation

Final Report Summary - BILAT-RUS (Enhancing the bilateral S&T partnership with the Russian Federation)

The project focuses on enhancing the bilateral science and technology (S&T) partnership between Russia and the EU Member States, Candidate Countries and other Associated Countries. The project aims at contributing to the sustainable implementation of the 'common space on research, education and culture' and at further strengthening the participation of Russia in European Commission (EC) programmes - most prominently in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

The BILAT-RUS project started in September 2008 and the duration was at first planned to last 36 months. In 2011, the project period was prolonged (cost-neutral) for another 12 months (September 2011 -,August 2012). Nine partners are involved: five from the European Union (EU) Member States and four from the Russian Federation.

The main objectives of the project were:
- to facilitate coherent information dissemination and awareness raising;
- to contribute to the optimisation of the framework and the instruments for enhanced future EU-Russian cooperation across all S&T and innovation themes;
- to create a knowledge base for emerging horizontal issues of sustainable cooperation;
- to meet the short and medium term needs of existing and upcoming joint thematic EU-Russian working groups on S&T cooperation.

The project BILAT-RUS had a positive impact on the coordination of the various (thematic) activities under the umbrella of the EU-Russian S&T agreement. The bilateral activities with the Russian Federation can be stronger coordinated at Community and Member States level. This was achieved by the activities of work package (WP) 2, resulting above all in the discussion paper on common legal and organisational frame on S&T cooperation. Assistance was given to define relevant sub-topics of particular joint EU-Russian interest and specificities of priority domains of cooperation, above all through activities of WP 3. Also, measures for the establishment of partner links have been taken and tools to utilise information and knowledge more effectively have been given. The latter activities, above all realised through WP 1, certainly result in a very positive effect in strengthening ties between the Russian and the European scientific communities.

Further details about BILAT-RUS and the project partners are available on the project website http://www.bilat-rus.eu.

Project context and objectives:

Since 2000, the creation of a European Research Area (ERA) has been one of the EU's main S&T policy objectives. However, as the EC correctly states in its Green Paper of April 2007, 'science knows no boundaries and the issues that research is asked to deal with are increasingly global.' Therefore, the ERA should be opened up to the world and 'S&T cooperation with partner countries should be steered in a coherent and policy-driven manner.'

Russia, as the EU's largest direct neighbouring country and as a global player on the political and economic stage is in many respects considered as one of the main strategic international partners of the EU. Russia has also been the most successful non-associated third country in the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) for research and technological development, both in terms of funding and as one of the most active third countries overall. However, there is still much potential for an enhanced cooperation. Therefore, to exploit the full potential of EU-Russian cooperation in S&T, a well coordinated, coherent, transparent and sustainable approach bringing together Member States, Associated Candidate Countries, the EC and the Russian Federation is vital.

The EU and Russia have fostered good cooperation in S&T for several years. According to the Country Strategy Paper 2007-2013 for the Russian Federation, 'EU cooperation with Russia is conceived in terms of, and is designed to strengthen, a strategic partnership founded on shared interests and common values.'

The partnership and cooperation agreement of 1997 forms the legal basis of EU-Russian cooperation. A renewed agreement is still under negotiation. At the St. Petersburg summit in May 2003, the EU and Russia agreed to create 'Four common spaces: a common economic space, a common space of freedom, security and justice, a space of cooperation in the field of external security and last but not least a common space for research and education (including cultural aspects). A set of roadmaps towards the common spaces was agreed at the St. Petersburg summit in May 2005. The roadmap for the fourth common space on research, education and culture - to be considered a facilitator for the first common economic space - identifies as one of its main objectives the 'further development of a dialogue to support joint efforts in elaboration and harmonisation of the approach towards the creation of a EU / Russia common space in the field of research.'

In summer 2010, the partnership for modernisation had been agreed upon between the EU and Russia, which opens-up a new dimension of cooperation along the lines of the 'Innovation union' Flagship Initiative.

However, despite the combined efforts of the EU and Russia, there is still room for improvement at operational level. To take full advantage of the rich research potential in Russia and to strengthen European research in general, a long-term, coordinated and sustainable cooperation framework between the EU and Russia is fundamental. This includes both complementary or even joint tools and instruments for an effective S&T cooperation to be offered by the Community, Member States and Russia. The EU-Russian S&T agreement which entered into force in May 2001 and was renewed in 2004 is one of the major legal frameworks on Community level.

The project BILAT-RUS (September 2008 - August 2012) focused on enhancing the bilateral S&T partnership between the Russian Federation and the EU Member States, Candidate Countries and other Associated Countries. The project aimed at contributing to the sustainable implementation of the common space on research, education and culture between the EU and Russia and at further strengthening the participation of Russia in Community programmes - most prominently FP7.

The project intended to ensure coherence and coordination of the various (thematic) activities under the umbrella of the EU-Russian S&T agreement and will contribute to a stronger coordination of bilateral activities with Russia at Community and Member State level. According to the direction to be taken for the common space on research, it was supposed to provide assistance to optimise the framework for collaborative efforts, to specify fields of cooperation in joint priority research domains and to utilise information and knowledge more effectively. Moreover, it was designed to help developing and implementing measures aimed at strengthening the systematic and structural nature of EU-Russia S&T cooperation as well as devising effective machinery for the establishment of partner links.

The project concept of BILAT-RUS was built on the following main pillars:
- setting up a dialogue and collaborating with the major stakeholders in Russia and the EU, responsible for setting the frame for S&T cooperation (Russia: Ministry of Education and Science, Federal Agency for Science and Innovations, FP7 national contact points (NCPs), EU: Member State ministries and NCPs, EC, Strategic Forum for International Cooperation, Permanent Partnership Council);
- building on and complementing previous, ongoing and future coordination and support activities aiming at enhancing the cooperation between the EU and the Russian Federation;
- making optimum use of synergies with ongoing activities (Inco-Net EECA, ACCESS RU etc.);
- assuring coherence and consistency across the priority fields of cooperation;
- adding particular value through addressing the optimisation of the framework for cooperation and horizontal issues;
- increasing concrete joint S&T activities on project level.

The major objectives of BILAT-RUS were the following:
- To facilitate coherent information dissemination and awareness raising. This refers to effective and sustainable information gathering and dissemination on S&T in Russia, on EU and Russian S&T programmes, on ongoing cooperation programmes and activities. A database on S&T research institutes in Russia was set-up for this purpose and examples of particular good cooperation practice (case studies) were be collected and analysed. Moreover, the establishment of a web-portal with information on EU-Russian cooperation in S&T ensured a high level of information dissemination and awareness raising. A support tool for partner search was devised and the capacities of the Russian NCPs were further increased to provide targeted advice for Russian applicants.
- To contribute to the optimisation of the framework and the instruments for enhanced future EU-Russian cooperation across all S&T and innovation themes. Existing instruments, rules, regulations and agreements at bilateral (Member States and Russia) and Community level (EU and Russia) have been identified and compiled in an inventory. Examples of good practice and major barriers to successful cooperation have also been collected and analysed. Furthermore, options for optimising the common legal and organisational frame based on efficient instruments have been gathered for future discussion by policy stakeholders from EU Member States, the EC and Russia. Finally, suggestions for practical and efficient joint funding mechanisms have been collected in cooperation with Russian funding institutions.
- To create a knowledge base for emerging horizontal issues of sustainable cooperation. Here, the focus will be put on mobility, S&T infrastructure and innovation. Information has been gathered and analysed and options for joint EU-Russian action have been explored (e.g. the setting-up of new joint thematic EU-Russian working groups).
- To meet the short and medium term needs of existing and upcoming joint thematic EU-Russian working groups on S&T cooperation. This includes the identification and analysis of rules, procedures and support mechanisms for the working groups based on good practice and the existing terms of reference. In a dialogue process with EU and Russian stakeholders of the working groups the work has been organised in order to respond to the concrete needs of each working group. A knowledge base to support effective decision-making of working groups has been offered in order to define relevant S&T sub-topics of particular mutual benefit and to disseminate information on the activities, results and recommendations of the respective working groups.

The project BILAT-RUS has been built on joint EU-Russian interest and aims at mutual benefit. The particular Russian interest is highlighted in the support letters of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the Federal Agency for Science and Innovations. It is embedded in a variety of other related bilateral or bi-regional EU-Russian activities, highlighting on the one hand Community projects within FP6 and FP7 with major emphasis on FP6 SSAs such as SCOPE-EAST, CREATION, NIS-NEST, RUSERA/RUSERA-EXE, BS-ResPot, BRUIT (TrendChart activities), various support activities within the thematic priorities of FP6 and the themes of the Specific Programme 'Cooperation' (FP7) and the ongoing INCONET EECA targeting Eastern Europe and Central Asia (FP7), ERA.NET RUS as well as ACCESS RU (FP7). On the other hand, bilateral S&T agreements and other initiatives between EU Member States and the Russian Federation have been built upon as well.

One of the major success factors for BILAT-RUS was the equal balance between EU and Russian participants. The efficient joint management of the individual WPs was ensured by the co-leadership of two consortium partners - one from the EU and one from Russia.

Another success factors was the close continuous dialogue and the coordination of activities with Russian and European authorities, addressing in particular the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, the Federal Agency for Science and Innovations (which was integrated in the Ministry of Education in Science in 2010), as well as the responsible ministries / agencies in EU Member States and the EC.

Project results:

The project BILAT-RUS has been implemented in four WPs:
WP1: Information dissemination and awareness raising
WP2: Optimising the framework and instruments for enhanced future cooperation in S&T and innovation
WP3: EU-Russian working groups
WP4: Project management.

WPs 2 and 3 can be considered as thematic work packages. In contrast, WPs 1 and 4 are of a horizontal nature and thus supported the successful implementation of the whole project.

The individual activities and tasks to be implemented in the work packages of the project covered a wide array of activities. They included general information and awareness raising activities, the design of a web-portal with data and knowledge bases on S&T issues as well as inventories of existing cooperation instruments, the preparation of reports on good cooperation practice and lessons learnt, the identification of new cooperation themes in S&T, the provision of targeted support for the bilateral EU-Russia S&T working groups and advice for future applicants under FP7.

WP1: Information dissemination and awareness rising

A) Overview

WP leaders of WP 1 were German Aerospace Centre (DLR) and National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE). This WP aimed at facilitating coherent information gathering and dissemination on S&T in Russia and EU-Russian S&T cooperation programmes and projects. Its idea was to identify and advertise Russian S&T partners, their activities and opportunities for enhanced cooperation with a particular emphasis on the participation of Russian research teams in FP7.

WP 1 consisted of five tasks as follows:
Task 1.1: Information gathering on S&T and innovation activities in and with Russia
Task 1.2: EU-Russia S&T web-portal and project website
Task 1.3: Provision of efficient and targeted advice on the successful application for participation in the FP7
Task 1.4: General dissemination and awareness raising activities
Task 1.5: Links to relevant coordination and support activities.

B) Progress and achievements

Task 1.1: Information gathering on S&T and innovation activities in and with Russia
This task included verifying relevant and high quality sources of information (inside and outside Russia): An analysis of the database in Russia, previous EU-projects, EC activities, ISTC, OECD activities and those of other international organisations was implemented. In order to implement deliverable 1.1 'Searchable database as pool for the identified Russian S&T institutes', HSE collected information about 558 research organisations (about 1500 data sets) in Russia (including description of organisation research profile, participation in international projects, key research priorities, address, etc.) The work under this task implemented using synergies with the INCONET EECA project as the inventory of Russian key research institutes was collected and had to be tuned for usage in the database constructed under the BILAT-RUS project. During a revision, the classification of the scientific fields was changed in order to fit with the one developed by INTAS and modified by DLR. Some proposals have been discussed within the BILAT-RUS consortium to improve online access to the database and algorithm of the search tool. With the aim of precise examination and supplement of the list of collected institutions, HSE concluded subcontracts with Russian NCPs (Biotech, Health, Nano, Energy) - associated partners of the BILAT-RUS project. The database has been installed on the EU-Russia S&T web portal (please see http://www.st-gaterus.eu online).

Task 1.1 also included the continuous collection and analysis of relevant sources of information on S&T in Russia and EU-Russian S&T cooperation programmes, projects and activities at bilateral and Community level. Deliverable 1.2 'Several case studies of good cooperation practice in S&T (continuously) and analytical summary report on the lessons learnt' included the collection of twelve case studies of good cooperation practice in S&T and a summary report on the lessons learnt. Russian and European researchers representing the priority fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology, energy and health took part in the questionnaire survey. The collection and analysis of existing practice and examples of cooperation is an effective tool for the recognition of the state-of-the-art, advantage, obstacles and strategic trends in international research cooperation. The main conclusions are summarised below:
1. The accomplished analysis showed that, obviously, the scientific collaboration between Russian and EU's research teams is beneficial for the both sides.
2. At the same time collaboration is hindered by usual barriers to trans-border relationship like different languages, geographical distance, bureaucracy, visa provision, legal regulations diverse administrative and financial management, lack of financial resources, lack of information exchange and others.
3. Commercialisation of results achieved within international research collaboration is a subject of great importance that demands a special settlement and coordination.
4. At practical level organisations should increase their capacities for international project management, focusing on legal and financial issues.
5. Balanced mobility of leading experts and young researchers between EU and Russia as well as exchange of laboratory staff between partner institutions has been suggested to be increased.
6. Provision of projects finance from different financial sources complementing the projects budget would become a success factor of research performing if main funding is insufficient.
7. With the aim of quality improvement of research simplification of proposals submission process would allow researchers to concentrate more efforts on the research itself.

Task 1.2: EU-Russia S&T web-portal and project website

The main objective of task 1.2 was to develop a project website for BILAT-RUS and an EU-Russia S&T web-portal (deliverable 1.3). The project website (see http://www.bilat-rus.eu online) was launched in September 2008 and informs about the general activities carried out in the frame of the BILAT-RUS project.

The project website

The web portal S&T Gate RUS.EU was launched in February 2010 and houses information on the EU-Russian S&T landscape and related issues and developments as well as several information management tools such as a database on Russian S&T research institutes, a programme database (developed within the ERA-NET RUS project), a partner search tool (developed within BILAT-UKR project), an inventory of relevant cooperation programmes at Member State, Russian and Community level, an inventory of relevant rules and regulations for EU-Russia cooperation including frequently asked questions (FAQs), a selection of good cooperation practice examples (presentation planned for May 2010), a calendar of S&T related events, etc. Presentation of new aspects of EU-Russian S&T cooperation as well as news, programmes, calls, projects, etc. was a continuous task over the whole project duration. The web portal shall be continued within the follow-up project BILAT-RUS-ADVANCED (November 2012 - October 2015).

The web portal S&T gate RUS.EU

Deliverable 1.4 'EU-Russia S&T cooperation internet guide' has been established and published on the project website.

Task 1.3: Provision of efficient and targeted advice on the successful application for participation in the EU FP7

Within this task, an 'EU advisory network (consisting of the Russian NCPs and selected NCPs in the EU into practice' (deliverable 1.5) was established. BILAT-RUS focused on encouraging and supporting the twinning of NCPs in the EU and Russia in order to enhance EU-Russian S&T cooperation and to increase capacities on both sides for this purpose. The concept for twinning developed in the course of the project was based on a partnership of NCPs assuming mutual interest and implemented through exchange of complementary knowledge. BILAT-RUS twinning proposed to be organised as a continuous communication process between each Russian thematic NCP and each European thematic NCP.

A first proposal on offering targeted advice to Russian NCPs was finished in May 2010. An online forum was proposed and installed as a communication tool between NPCs. The forum should be used together with INCONET EECA project participants; at the same time it would offer also some restricted area for BILAT-RUS project members. The common discussion brought critics on 'un-personal' communication character and suggested to change the concept of providing targeted advice through offering personal contacts.

An obligatory monthly teleconferencing following-up with reports on accomplished communications as the main activity of the proposed twinning process has been refused (neither Russian NCPs nor EU NCPs have reasons and budget to implement such activity). The project should offer a support which is really needed to Russian NCPs. In July 2011, it was decided to develop and collect a questionnaire on actual need of Russian NCPs. The questionnaire was developed and sent to Russian NCPs in August and September 2011. Most of Russian NCPs are already integrated into the EU-NCPs-networks and have sufficient knowledge on FP7; if they need advice, they are able to use their personal contacts to ask autonomously for advice or information. The discussion with Russian NCPs and the result of the questionnaire clearly show the following demand:
- support in organising events in Russia;
- support concerning IPR, as well as legal and financial support;
- support concerning partner search options;
- harmonisation of financial reporting of EU and Russia.

Task 1.4: General dissemination and awareness raising activities

In the course of the project, four different Information flyers have been developed and published (on the project web site and on the web portal S&T gate RUS.EU):
- BILAT-RUS project flyer;
- flyer about opportunities for EU-Russia cooperation and EU-funding within FP7;
- internet guide on the Russian S&T landscape (one version for policy makers, one version for scientists);
- information flyer on FP7 Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES) was provided in March 2012. A paper version of the flyer has been distributed among participants of FP7 information days and workshops organised by HSE (e.g. 29 May 2012, info-day on Specific Programme 'People' of the EU FP7, organised in Moscow within the FP7 PEOPLENETWORK PLUS project) and other Russian NCPs.

The work done is reflected in the report on deliverable 1.6 'Information flyers (on demand) on specific aspects of EU-Russia cooperation including access to FP7'.

Seven e-newsletters on EU-Russia S&T cooperation issue No 6 and issue No 7 were prepared in the course of the project. The e-newsletters were posted on the web site http://www.bilat-rus.eu/en/98.php and the web portal http://www.st-gaterus.eu/en/543.php. The deliverable 1.7 'Biannual e-newsletter on EU-Russia S&T cooperation' was completed in 2012.

HSE organised and / or contributed in task 1.4 with presentations to the following FP7 workshops and information days:
- 'Calls for Proposals of the FP7 for RTD of the EU', 15 September 2011, HSE branch in St-Petersburg, Russia;
- 'International cooperation of small and medium enterprises in the FP7 for RTD of the EU', 23 September 2011, HSE branch in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia;
- 'Russia-EU S&T cooperation under the FP7 for S&T development', 27 September, 2011, in the framework of the first Russian Medical innovation forum "RusInnoMed 2011", Perm Scientific Center, Perm, Russia;
- 'Specific Programme 'People' of the EU FP7', 29 May 2012, HSE, Moscow, organised within the FP7 PEOPLENETWORK PLUS project;
- 'Participation in the EU FP7', 30 May 2012, NCP Bio, Moscow;
- 'Participation in the EU FP7', 6 June 2012, Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia;
- 'Participation in the EU FP7. New Programme Horizon 2020', 8 June 2012, NCP Infrastructures, Moscow;
- 'The EU FP7', 22 June 2012, web presentation, N. P. Ogarev Mordovian State University, Saransk, Russia;
- 'The EU FP7', 5 September 2012, web presentation, Southern-Urals State University, Chelyabinsk, Russia;
- 'The EU FP7', 10 September 2012, web presentation, Perm State University, Perm, Russia.

MISIS and FFG jointly organised 'EU-Russian open days' on 24 - 25 October 2011 in Vienna (see http://rp7.ffg.at/eu-russian_opendays online). The leading European and Russian research organisations in the fields of solar terrestrial research (24 October 2011) and nanotechnology and material research (25 October 2011) were represented at the forum. The event provided a platform to discuss prospects for the future RTD cooperation and draft a common outlook for the potential activities in this direction.

An international workshop 'Exchange of experience and fostering networking with information service providers in the sphere of science, technology and innovation' took place on 26 April 2012 in Moscow. The objective of this event was to present sources of information on Russian scientific and technological innovation (STI) policy and instruments to support the policy implementation. Russian STI information providers have been invited to contribute to the existing information platforms such as the web portal 'S&T gate RUS.EU'. The intention was to allow such platforms to better provide easy access to de-centralised information on Russian STI and to promote respective information providers. The meeting provided the participants with an excellent opportunity of networking and channelling their information services to a broad international audience. Thus, the workshop also served as a forum to identify and discuss possible ways of cooperation between Russian and European information service providers on Russian STI activities.

Task 1.5: Links to relevant coordination and support activities

BILAT-RUS regularly coordinates its activities with other S&T policy and management projects targeting Russia:
- ERA.NET RUS
- INCONET EECA
- ACCESS4EU.RUS.
The ERA.NET RUS and INCONET EECA projects are also coordinated in Bonn by PT-DLR.

WP2: Optimising the framework and instruments for enhanced future cooperation in S&T and innovation

A) Overview

WP leaders were National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) and Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI). WP2 focused on the analysis of existing instruments and the development of proposals for an optimisation of instruments for enhanced future EU-Russian cooperation across all S&T related themes. Due to the growing interdependency of activities at bilateral (Member States and Russia) and Community (EU and Russia) level both were considered and their relation in terms of coherence, complementarity and linkage was analysed.

WP 2 consists of four tasks as follows:

Task 2.1: Inventory of existing instruments, rules and regulations
Task 2.2: Knowledge base on mobility
Task 2.3: Proposal for a common sustainable legal and organisational frame for EU-Russian research and innovation cooperation
Task 2.4: Enhancing EU - RUS cooperation in the field of innovation (new).

B) Progress and achievements

Task 2.1: Inventory of existing instruments, rules and regulations

Within Task 2.1 two major deliverables were produced during the course of the project:

The deliverable 2.1 'Inventory of existing instruments, rules and regulations on EU-Russian S&T cooperation' was prepared in 2010-2011 and published in August 2011 at the BILAT-RUS website. It includes sections on intellectual property rights (IPR), special economic zones (SEZ, including rules on Skolkovo), investment rules (including taxation), conditions for contractual research, relevant rules for access to scientific infrastructure, employment rules, import / export rules. Russian laws and relevant regulations for these fields were compiled by the task partners and then revised and complemented by ZSI in several feedback loops with the task partners. A SWOT analysis of the different regulations was undertaken by the project partners in 2011 - 2012, which highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the specific regulations. The SWOT analysis provided an input for deliverable 2.4 'Proposal for a common sustainable legal and organisational frame for EU-Russian research and innovation cooperation'.

The second major achievement in this task was deliverable 2.2 'Analytical report identifying 'best practice instruments' and barriers for successful S&T cooperation' including a reflection on S&T and the present agreements on bilateral (Member States and Russia) and Community (EU and Russia) level. This deliverable was related to the activity in task 1.1 and to the activities under ERA.NET RUS.

The BILAT-RUS report on good practice instruments was prepared in 2011-2012 under the guidance of BILAT-RUS partner ZSI with contributions from CNRS, HSE, and PT-DLR. The report was published in April 2012 at the BILAT-RUS website. In this comprehensive report the bilateral cooperation of 18 EU Member States and countries associated to FP7 with Russia was described and analysed. The following countries were covered: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.

Each country chapter of the report provides detailed information on the bilateral RTD cooperation with Russia. The chapters include the following sections: general overview of R&D and innovation cooperation of a certain country with Russia, thematic areas supported in bilateral cooperation, forms of cooperation / cooperation instruments, implementation procedures for bilateral programmes, statistics on cooperation, and perspectives for cooperation.

An analysis of bilateral S&T agreements, which Russia has concluded with a broad range of EU Member States / Associated Countries was included in the report. It provided however only very limited input for the analytical purposes of this task, as these agreements are mostly standard legal documents. Barriers for successful S&T cooperation were investigated in an ERA.NET RUS survey and a short analysis added as well to this BILAT-RUS report.

Moreover, for the most relevant bilateral cooperation programmes, templates with the core data of the programmes were prepared. They were compiled as an annex to the report and served as an input for a database of cooperation programmes established jointly under ERA.NET RUS and BILAT-RUS.

Task 2.2: Knowledge base on mobility

The deliverable 2.3 'Analytical report on enhancing EU-Russian scientific mobility' presented the analysis of existing instruments of inward and outward mobility programmes between Russia and the EU (offered by Member States, the Community and Russia), the state-of-the-art of activities and proposals for enhanced future EU-Russia cooperation in researcher mobility. The analytical report contains recommendations for a potential joint EU-Russian agenda for enhancing scientific mobility prepared in interaction with the recently established (in June 2011) EU-Russia working group on researcher mobility. The report includes the identification of links and synergies between the international dimension of the FP7 Specific Programme 'People' and respective Russian instruments. Key elements of the report have been introduced to the EU and Russian stakeholders from scientific organisations, industry, policy and funding institutions at the workshop 'Russia-EU cooperation in academic mobility' on 25 October 2011. The inventory of inward and outward mobility programmes that exist in Russia and the EU is annexed to the report. An access to the analytical report has been provided via the S&T gate RUS.EU web portal.

Task 2.3: Proposal for a common sustainable legal and organisational frame for EU-Russian research and innovation cooperation

Within this task, the 'Discussion paper on a common legal organisational frame for S&T cooperation' (deliverable 2.4) was written. The paper was intended to provide a summary of the whole work package 2. The objective of this paper is to propose better synergies between the bilateral (Member States-Russia) and Community (EU-Russia) frame taking the experiences of relevant organisations such as the ISTC into account. The paper also considers determining factors for innovation cooperation like intellectual property rights. It also builds on an analysis of innovation clusters (like the new Skolkovo clusters) and the opportunities they provide for Russian-EU innovation cooperation. The paper also includes the results of task 2.1 and contains a summary of the SWOT analysis done in task 2.1.

In the description of work (DoW) of BILAT-RUS, the policy maker dialogue platform (PDF), established and organised by INCONET EECA, should function as the advisory committee for the BILAT-RUS project. Due to the non-existence of the PDF with Russia, this interface was lacking. Instead of this task, the expert meeting on success factors for Russian participation in the EU RTD Framework Programme was organised in May 2009 in Moscow. The conclusions of this event are summed up in deliverable 2.5 'Concluding report of policy maker forum regarding the evaluation of the discussion paper on a common legal organisational frame for S&T cooperation'.

Task 2.4: Enhancing EU - RUS cooperation in the field of innovation (new)

One of the most crucial problems in the Russian innovation scene is the weak link between academia and industry. The Russian Technology Platforms (RTPs) can be regarded as one instrument which can contribute to overcome this situation. Against this background and also with a view to the follow-up BILAT project BILAT-RUS-ADVANCED, which has a specific focus on innovation aspects, the consortium decided to reallocate available resources towards a task dedicated to support RTPs.

After the kick-off of the RTP, a basic overview with profiles was generated and published at the web portal S&T gate RUS.EU in August 2011.

In December 7, 2011 HSE organised in Moscow the international workshop 'Bridging Russian and European Technology Platforms'. The BILAT-RUS team exploited this occasion and presented first advice concerning an international orientation of RTPs. The first experiences of the RTP and their international cooperation were published (as a co-publication between HSE and ZENIT) in an article in the ITB info service of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); RUDNIK, P. and GUTH, M. (2012), Towards an enhanced technology transfer: Concept and options for RTPs, in ITB Infoservice, January 2012 (see http://internationales-buero.de/ online).

In order to contribute to the deliverable 2.4 'Discussion paper on a common legal and organisational frame for S&T cooperation' HSE prepared an overview and analysis of RTPs setting up process, including barriers and recommendations for cooperation with the European ones. The list of 30 RTPs with abstracts of their activities in English was annexed to the document.

The final activity in this task was the training workshop for RTPs 'Potential cooperation between Russian and European Technology Platforms' which was organised by HSE in cooperation with ZENIT on 9 July 2012. 18 representatives of the Ministry for Education and Science of the Russian Federation, the delegation of the European Union to the Russian Federation, six RTPs, as well as European and Russian experts participated in the event. A special questionnaire on potential cooperation between Russian and European Technology Platforms has been developed and disseminated among four Technology Platforms identified as a pilot RTPs (Medicine of the future; National software platform; Processing of hydrocarbons feedstocks; High-speed intellectual railway transport). The respondent RTPs expressed their interest to collaborate with the European Technology Platforms, selected concrete European Technology Platforms and subjects for cooperation. The results were summarised in the deliverable 2.6.

It is planned to continue the work with the RTPs/ETPs in the new project BILAT RUS ADVANCED.

WP3: EU-Russian working groups

A) Overview

Leaders of this WP were Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and Russian Research Centre 'Kurchatov Institute' (KIAE). The third WP aimed at addressing the short and medium term needs of joint thematic EU-Russian working groups. The main objective was to support EU-Russian cooperation in practical terms by offering tailor made assistance to the joint thematic EU-Russian working groups. The work was to be organised with the responsible units within the EC in order to respond to the concrete needs to be specified according to the present state-of-the-art and the further planning of the respective working group.

WP3 consists of two tasks as follows:

Task 3.1: Rules, procedures and support mechanisms for working groups
Task 3.2: Direct support to working groups.

B) Progress and achievements

Task 3.1: Rules, procedures and support mechanisms for working groups

The 'Analytical report on good practice of EU-Russian Working Groups' (deliverable 3.1) showed that the cooperation tool EU-Russia thematic working groups appeared to be well suited to the current scope of the cooperation between EU and Russian in R&D. Obviously, having a number of differences in performing their activities in different thematic domains due to various approached to the modes of operation and joint planning used by corresponding thematic Directorates, all results achieved and lessons learnt contributed greatly to better understanding and perceptiveness on both sides of the idea of joint programming of activities. Also, the results helped to identify existing bottlenecks and ways to overcome them.

Despite a few political obstacles faced during the project life cycle the activity of joint thematic working groups was not in any way affected, not least because of the support given by the BILAT-RUS consortium. As a result, success stories acquired from implementations of joint calls in 2008-2011 have helped to recognise on both sides the efficiency of such forms of cooperation and promoted further progress in developing of new schemes of support of joint activities, including their joint programming. As a direct result of acknowledgment of an added value of the EU-Russia S&T cooperation in priority areas, the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia included into a draft new national R&D programme for 2013-2020 an ear-marked budget. The intention was to support the development of cooperation under Horizon 2020 through the possible creation of a dedicated foundation (e.g. operated jointly with the EU) in order to provide funding of activities according to rules and procedures very similar to those used in the EU Member States.

Further developing of cooperation instruments under Horizon 2020 and future Russian public S&T programmes for 2013 - 2020 will be based on the practical experience gained, in particular, with continuous methodological support and advices rendered by BILAT-RUS and to be rendered by its successor project BILAT-RUS-ADVANCED.

Task 3.2: Direct support to working groups

The 'Activity report on the support of EU-Russia working groups' (deliverable 3.4) describes on-going activities in supporting joint thematic working groups. The project offered support activities to technology platforms in Knowledge Based Bio Economy (KBBE) and to the joint thematic working group on research infrastructures. The project was also involved in the working group 'Mobility' through the project-partner who co-chaired the meeting of this working group. In general, the joint thematic working groups didn't request any interference of the project in their regular meetings and negotiation processes, which were described as delicate. On the other hand, the organisation of informal meetings by the joint thematic working groups' members was welcomed.

WP4: Project management

A) Overview

Responsible for WP4 was DLR. The objective of this WP was to ensure the successful implementation of the project management of BILAT-RUS. As coordinator, DLR was in charge of the general administrative, legal and financial management of BILAT-RUS. At the same time, DLR was the intermediate between the project consortium and the EC.

B) Consortium management tasks and achievements

The coordinator DLR was in charge of the general administrative, legal and financial management of BILAT-RUS (WP4) and is the intermediate between the project consortium and the EC. During the course of the project, the following duties were carried out:

Project implementation:
- monitoring of the project progress according to the contractual obligations and schedule (deliverables, milestones);
- ensuring quality assurance of the deliverables;
- maintaining an up-to-date directory on the consortium partners;
- preparation and presentation of management reports to the EC (with the contribution of all consortium partners).

Financial management:
- management of funds;
- distribution of funds among contractors in accordance with the consortium agreement and the decisions of the management board approved every year by the project assembly;
- the collection of cost-statements from partners.

Moderation of communication and decision- making processes:
- proactive internal communication management with WP leaders, task leaders and the whole project consortium (including conflict management).

There has been a continuous information exchange between the coordinator and the WP leaders and the EC's project officer to ensure that the EC expectations towards the project would be met.

During the course of the project, four meetings of the whole consortium (project assembly) have been organised:

- first project assembly ('kick-off'), Brussels, 25 September 2008
- second project assembly, Moscow, 28-29 September 2009
- third project assembly, Vienna, 23-24 September 2010
- fourth project sssembly, Moscow, 4 July 2011.

Apart from the intern communication, the project partners and the project coordinator established cooperation and coordination with other projects and programmes. These have been most notably the following :

- ERA.NET RUS
This project contributes to the success of the European Research Area (ERA) by improving the coherence and coordination across Europe of international S&T cooperation programmes with Russia. The project focus is on exploring options for linking bilateral S&T programmes in a variable geometry. ERA.NET RUS further emphasises the significance of the EU-Russian partnership and help to reach a new level in EU-Russian S&T cooperation by improving the coherence and coordination of European scientific cooperation with Russia and the complementarities between Member States / Associated Countries and Community activities. DLR, HSE, CNRS and ZSI are consortium partners of this ERA.NET.

- INCO.NET EECA
This still ongoing four-year long FP7 project intents to set up a sustainable, knowledge based, bi-regional S&T policy dialogue between EU Member States, Associated Countries and twelve countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (including Russia). One core objective is to strengthen the participation of the region in FP7. PT-DLR, HSE and ZSI are consortium partners of this INCONET project.

- ACCESS4EU.RUS
This project intended to analyse Russian research and innovation initiatives in order to identify access opportunities to EU researchers. A particular focus was directed on the ongoing bilateral cooperation agreements and programmes between the Member States / Associated Countries and Russia in order to analyze their reciprocity conditions. ACCESS RU helped to enhance the S&T policy dialogue and to formulate the strategic recommendations on S&T collaboration between Europe and Russia. ICISTE was consortium partner of ACCESS RU.

Potential impact:

The project has succeeded in promoting and strengthening EU-Russian research cooperation in S&T and innovation addressing common interest and mutual benefit and building on mutual understanding and trust. It contributed to the international dimension of the ERA by improving the coherence and coordination of international scientific cooperation with Russia at Member State and EU level. With BILAT-RUS, the significance of the EU-Russian partnership as it is agreed upon in the frame of the 'four common spaces' and the partnership for modernisation has been emphasised. Through integrating 'innovation' into the BILAT-RUS activities, the proposed project has contributed to the strengthening of economic ties between Europe and Russia as the main target of the first common space, the partnership for modernisation and the debate to establish a European innovation union.

In general terms, BILAT-RUS has supported a better understanding of EU procedures and instruments vis-à-vis Russia and vice versa. It has helped to identify weaknesses in cooperation which have been analysed. Recommendations to foster EU-Russian research partnerships have been presented.

The project has improved the process of providing information on existing EU-Russian cooperation programmes and funding. It has gathered and processed information on S&T in Russia for the EU science community and on joint EU-Russian funding mechanisms for the EU and Russian communities. Suitable information facilities such as a website and an EU-Russia S&T web-portal with information services to present the collected information have also been delivered.

BILAT-RUS has identified and demonstrated mutual interest and benefit in S&T and innovation cooperation between the EU and Russia. WP1 identified and disseminated information on 'good cooperation practice'. WP2 has exploited options to enhance the cooperation in the innovation sphere on the basis of the emerging RTPs.

The project has also presented the state of the art and prospects for cooperation in particular fields. Complementing general information dissemination in WP1, an inventory and analysis of existing key instruments, rules and regulations regarding S&T cooperation including examples of best practice has been established. This inventory formed the basis for a discussion at policy-maker level on the creation of a coherent legal frame for EU-Russian S&T cooperation (deliverable 2.4). Moreover, important emerging issues and questions in S&T cooperation such as mobility have been analysed and concrete recommendation for enhancing the cooperation have been delivered.

Finally, several events and activities aimed at exchanging information and identifying priorities for EU-Russian collaboration in S&T have been undertaken in order to enhance the quality and visibility of future actions. This included, for example, information days on S&T cooperation for Russian NCPs. A thematic workshop on the emerging horizontal issue mobility to identify the specific needs of stakeholders has been implemented.

BILAT-RUS has shown impact at different levels:

- At Member State level, it has offered information on cooperation opportunities and formed the foundation for a more coherent legal frame of cooperation with Russia.
- At Russian level, it has provided advice and support for future cooperation between Member States and Russia and has endorsed the Russian participation in FP7.
- At EU level, it has supported the further development of a structured, sustainable and long-lasting framework of EU-Russia cooperation in S&T.
- At the level of the international dimension of the ERA, it has helped to open up the ERA to the world and to strengthen European research by establishing strong links between the EU and Russia. It has started to provide input for the debates in the European strategic forum for international cooperation, a line of action that shall be further followed in the follow-up project BILAT-RUS-Advanced.

List of websites:

Project website: http://bilat-rus.eu/
Web-portal: http://www.st-gaterus.eu/

Contact information:

Coordinators
Dr Jörn Sonnenburg and Dr Marion Mienert
International Bureau of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research at the German Aerospace Center
Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1
53227 Bonn, Germany
Tel.: +49-228-38211469
E-Mail: Joern.Sonnenburg@dlr.de and Marion.Mienert@dlr.de

Scientific representative of the coordinator
Dr. Jörn Grünewald
International Bureau of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research at the German Aerospace Center
Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1 53227 Bonn, Germany
Tel.: +49-228-38211457
E-Mail: Joern.Gruenewald@dlr.de

1. (Coordinator) PT-DLR, Project Management Organisation of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research - German Aerospace Centre, Germany
2. HSE, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia
3. KIAE, Russian Research Centre 'Kurchatov Institute', Russia
4. MISIS, State Technological University 'Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys', Russia
5. ICISTE, Centre for Study of International S&T and Educational Programmes, Russia
6. CNRS, National Centre for Scientific Research, France
7. FFG, Austrian Research Promotion Agency, Austria
8. ZSI, Centre for Social Innovation, Austria
9. Zenit, Centre for Innovation and Technology in NRW, Germany.

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