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Science and Technology International Cooperation Network for Gulf Cooperation Countries aiming at the promotion of bi-regional dialogue

Final Report Summary - INCONET-GCC (Science and Technology International Cooperation Network for Gulf Cooperation Countries aiming at the promotion of bi-regional dialogue)

Executive Summary:
1.1 Summary description of project context and objectives
INCONET-GCC develops and supports the bi-regional dialogue by bringing together policymakers and stakeholders of the GCC and EU. It creates a dialogue and action platform to identify common interests in research areas, set up S&T priorities, support capacity building activities, and enhance the interaction between different cooperation instruments of the EC and EU. It promotes actions in order to monitor, develop, promote and contribute to the creation of synergies among the various S&T cooperation programmes between the GCC and the EU, and fosters the participation of the GCC in the FP7. In this sense, an observatory of EU-GCC cooperation in S&T created in its framework. The main outputs of INCONET-GCC are:
• Creation of the INCONET-GCC open networking platform for policy dialogue and the future S&T.
• Contribution of INCONET-GCC to the European Strategic Framework for International Cooperation in Science and Technology
• Report on Collaborative plan in S&T policy advisory contributing to the decisions of the GCC-EU Joint Council
• INCONET-GCC White Paper
• Support for the creation of the GCC NCPs and facilitation for their integration with the European NCP network
• INCONET-GCC roadmap and sustainability report
• International Conference & other dissemination events
INCONET-GCC consortium comprises partners coming from distinguished institutions in Europe and the GCC region and includes representatives of countries of the Arabian Peninsula and Yemen. The Ministry of Education and Scientific Research in Egypt and the Ministry of Higher Education of Morocco are MIRA partners that will act as the liaison with MIRA and their cultural background is close to those of GCC region.
INCONET-GCC serves the Strategic European Framework for International Science and Technology Cooperation since defines the strategic priorities for S&T cooperation with GCC third countries. INCONET-GCC fits to the context decided by GCC-EU Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting that welcomed the new opportunities opened by the FP7 in the field of science and technology. It is a key objective of the Joint Council between the European Community and GCC the Research and Development cooperation in order to explore the potential cooperation between the EU and the GCC in this area. The GCC-EU welcomed the latest steps on research and development co-operation with the establishment of a regular policy dialogue and the launching of a network linking researchers, academics and businessmen.

Project Context and Objectives:
INCONET-GCC has concluded its implementation and finalized its activities on 31/12/2012. Below we discuss the current state of the project back-to-back with the project objectives. In details the progress of the project can be presented as follows:
• INCONET-GCC is supporting the bi-regional dialogue on Science and Technology between stakeholders from the GCC and the EU. The preparation of the comparative analysis on Research in the EU and the GCC region has been finalized through the deliverable D1.1-“Report on comparative analysis and best practice recommendations on Research in Europe and GCC region”, as reported in the D1.2 - List of comparative S&T policy themes and Research organizational capacities in Europe and GCC and D1.3 - Report on collaborative plan in S&T policy advisory. It is important to point out the development of the bibliometric study and the mapping of the research priorities.
• Collaborated and facilitated the policy dialogue with relevant stakeholders in the GCC region, such as the GCC General Secretariat, MASDAR Institute, Qatar Foundation, Qatar National Research Fund, National Research Fund in UAE, Industrial Innovation Center in Oman, Abu Dhabi Systems Integration, NY University in Abu Dhabi, Petreleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, etc.
• Set-up and organized the External Advisory Committee as reported in D6.1.1 and D6.1.2.
• Cooperation and coordination with other EU networks operating in the Gulf and in the MENA region are given special attention. Collaborated with other relevant projects and initiatives such as the Clean Energy Network.
• Developed the strategy for the identification of stakeholders and identified the key INCONET-GCC stakeholders in the region that leads to the creation of the INCONET-GCC open networking platform for policy dialogue and the future S&T. It has been reported in the Deliverable D2.1 – “INCONET-GCC report on the identification and engagement of target stakeholder’s group” and Deliverable D2.2 – “INCONET-GCC institutionalization Strategy”
• Elaboration of the detailed mapping of joint Research Themes between EU and GCC and at enhancing the S&T cooperation in specific fields of research. Key areas have been evaluated in terms of implementation of Science and Technology Innovation (STI) policies, which are essential in achieving a competitive advantage for both regions. The final output has been the identification of research topics of common interest that aims to enhance and support joint research programmes in the frame of the FP7 and HORIZON 2020 and to create effective research networks between EU and GCC stakeholders on selected prioritized areas. The choice of research priorities needs to reflect a number of considerations as reported in D2.3 – Report on RTD mapping. Apart from developments that are intrinsic to science and research internationally, these include the societal agenda of the region itself and considerations how research and innovation can contribute to the development of critical solutions to outstanding issues. There is also the need of building on existing strengths and the opportunities at hand through already established research collaboration. Finally, it needs to be underlined that the determination of research priorities must take the shape of an ongoing process that involves multiple stakeholders. The output of the project must therefore be seen as input to a wider process that must be strongly rooted internally in the various participating countries. An important objective of INCONET-GCC was to help identify those research areas that are of particular common interest to the Arab Gulf countries and to the EU, in which S&T cooperation is potentially of the greatest mutual benefit. INCONET-GCC organized this work so as to allow for matching with existing EU programmes. At the same time, it will be important to keep evaluating the ongoing developments in both regions, including in regard to the implementation of STI policy decisions on both sides. The selected research priorities are described in more detail in other deliverables and are the following as matched with the specific societal challenges of HORIZON2020:
• Water, Environment and Climate (“Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020) including also Food (“Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research & the bioeconomy” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020)
• Information Communication Technologies (which in HORIZON 2020 will be part of “Enabling and Industrial Technologies” or issues can be consider under the “Inclusive, innovative and secure societies” Societal Challenge)
• Health Innovation (“Health, demographic change and wellbeing” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020)
• Energy Security (“Secure, clean and efficient energy” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020)
• Preparation of INCONET-GCC White paper as reported in the D2.5 – INCONET-GCC White Paper.
• Organisation of NCPs in GCC region. INCO NCPs nomination has already taken place in place in Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Yemen based on the D3.1 – “NCP development and organisation methodology”.
• Training material prepared as reported in D3.4 – “Training material of the training seminar”.
• Dissemination material prepared as reported in D3.7 – “Dissemination material”.
• Mentoring and training of local experts organized as reported in D3.2 – “Participant list in the Thessaloniki training seminar, and D3.3 - Participant evaluation in the Thessaloniki training seminar”.
• Information days organized in Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Yemen. INCO NCPs participated in European Events of the European NCP network such as the INCOTACT conferences, the NCP days in Europe, etc. Local INCO NCPs are organized as planned in order to facilitate the capacity building and the enhancement of the participation of GCC stakeholders in EC programmes and activities.
• Supported the research policy dialogue in the GCC region through different activities such as round tables discussion in the Oman, Qatar and Kuwait based on the project results, bilateral meetings with policy stakeholders as reported in D1.4.1 – “Meeting minutes, agenda, MOU, etc of events (workshops)”.
• The 20th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting (Luxembourg, 14 June 2010) welcomed the latest steps on research and development co-operation with the establishment of a regular policy dialogue and the launching of a network linking researchers, academics and businessmen. Activities such as INCONET-GCC are welcomed by the EU-GCC Joint Council.
• INCONET-GCC sustainability. Project’s members are in close contact with the GCC Secretariat in order to communicate its results and to further exploit the collaboration in the Research Policy dialogue field, as reported in D2.4 – Final INCONET-GCC roadmap and D4.3 – INCONET-GCC Sustainability report. It should be mentioned that INCONET-GCC is discussing with the GCC General Secretariat the possibility of the set-up of a “FP” like programme in the GCC countries under the supervision of the GCC General Secretariat. INCONET-GCC proposed to organise a workshop on the processes of the FP. In addition, it should be mentioned that a successor project proposal prepared and submitted to the EC for funding with an enhanced consortium and enhanced activities.
• Raised the awareness of public organisations, universities and researchers of the opportunity to establish effective research collaboration with EU countries, and the importance of GCC participation in EU improvements and innovation programs through the preparation of the INCONET-GCC web site, the preparation and distribution of the INCONET-GCC brochure, the participation in relevant events, the successful organisation of INCONET-GCC networking and dissemination events as reported in D5.1 – “Dissemination of Support Material (including project web site and leaflet)”, D5.2 – “Dissemination strategy and actions report” and D5.3.x – “Yearly Dissemination and promotion activities report that includes the follow-up and evaluation of the events”. In addition, INCONET-GCC organised “The International INCONET-GCC conference” that took place in Abu Dhabi on May 6-7/2012, where all the major results of the project and the policy dialogue activities presented and finally recommendations for the future were formulated (http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/abu-dhabi-conference/conference-may6-7/).
Project Results:
During INCONET-GCC implementation, important results have been achieved in each of the work packages, which have enabled INCONET-GCC to generally progress in a coherent and homogeneous manner. The work progress and achievements of WP1, WP2, WP3, WP4 and WP5 are reported in the following sections.
WP1: ENHANCING AND PROMOTION OF BI-REGIONAL S&T POLICY DIALOGUE AND COLLABORATION
Objectives
The objectives of WP1 are to:
• Review and evaluate the state-of-the-art of methodologies and practices used in current European and GCC Research Initiatives as S&T policy advisory.
• Identify common themes and practices and provide a comprehensive list of Research organisations in the two regions with similar activities and potential for collaboration.
• Establish a concrete plan of collaboration in S&T policy advisory resulting from the comparative evaluation of methods and impact in Research and based on the particular context and policy structures of the two regions.

Description of work
Task 1.1: Review of European and GCC S&T (Task Leader: HJ)
Task description
Work under this task should focus on information and knowledge exchange of the state-of-the-art in current European and GCC Research activities and initiatives. Group of experts from Europe along with the GCC experts should convene for a two-day event on this issue in order to prepare common Research practices.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
At the kick off meeting, European and GCC country experiences were presented, compared and discussed. A first set questionnaires was designed and distributed for the purpose of starting to build the platform for national level comparisons, notably on the following: (1) Identification of key outstanding needs (“grand challenges”) motivating science and technology, (2) Mapping and structuring of S&T policy/Gaps in S&T policy – Rationale for reforms and collaboration.
On this basis, a developed survey was put together, drawing on international guidelines and methodologies such as the Frascati Manual (OECD 2002), while a number of questions related specifically to the structure and policy experience of the GCC countries were added. A consolidated set of international statistics, based on dependable sources such as United Nations, World Bank etc., as well as available complementary sources, provided to the GCC members, in order for them to either build upon that, update it or add further to the available statistics, and in order for them to use as a sounding board when filling in the answers to the questionnaire.
Based on the collected information and their analysis the background documentation for the roundtable on best policy practices, hosted by TRC on the 6th & 7th of Dec. 2010 December prepared. The event attracted high-level regional attendance (more than 100 participants). A large number of experts and professionals were attending to represent research and innovation areas and organizations of the region. The workshop divided the audience into five thematic discussion groups, which covered the areas of intended joint research and collaboration between EU and GCC.
The outcome of this task was the preparation of the D1.1 - Report on comparative analysis and best practice recommendations on Research in Europe and GCC region. D1.1 prepared based on the input collected from the consortium members and finalised based on the discussion during the event described above. That report attempted picked up on other available results to date in the project as well, but the aim was firstly to make use good of the conference results and provide a coherent storyline and set of studies rather than to present everything.
Task 1.2: Identification of common themes and organisational capacities (Task Leader: UniFE)
Task description
The main common themes in S&T policy advisory should be identified and prioritised. A descriptive list of Research organisations in the two regions with similar activities and potential for collaboration should be created. S&T priorities should be linked to the European Commission programmes and initiatives.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
In the frame of this activity, INCONET-GCC assessed the common themes and organisational capacities in the different GCC countries in order support the chioce of common reseach priorities. From the results of a bibliometric analysis, developed at the LSE, and the results described in deliverable D1.3 INCONET-GCC has gone beyond solely mapping the topology and evolution of the research networks within the respective fields, by also deriving and depicting secondary information such as the percentage of total (weighted) publications of the GCC and Yemen produced by researchers affiliated with a particular GCC-country or collaboration, or the share of publications linked to a specific country written solely within that country and written in collaboration with others. The tables and figures reported in deliverable D1.3 interspersed in the discussion of the relevant priority area and subjects, display such derived data as well as the maps of research networks in different areas and subjects.
The bibliometric analysis thus yields a number of interesting and promising insights, mostly notably the fact that there is a strong upward trend in most priority areas, a large portion of GCC papers stems from collaborations with other countries, the publications from collaborations are on a steep trend and, of particular relevance to the INCONET-GCC, GCC-EU publications have the highest average adjused total cites per publication in the priority areas and subjects. There is however little collaboration amongst the GCC countries, nor are these collaborations on a clearly discernible trend.
The bibliometric analysis however also beckons new questions and points to areas of valuable future work. For one, it would be good to perform a similar bibliometric analysis using patents instead of (academic) publications in order to map and study more applied research and innovation activity in the GCC too. Future projects may want to focus its efforts on those areas where relevance and promise in both basic and applied research overlap. Furthermore, it would be worthwhile to zoom in and identify the individual research centres and R&D labs that are key players in the priority areas and subjects, and establish partnerships and specific collaboration projects with those for future INCONET-GCC projects.
Secondly, an analysis of the nature of the several collaborations of the GCC as well as the effect of collaborations on research productivity would be most useful. Are the GCC collaborations essentially a meeting of minds and exchange of ideas, the shared use of research facilities and materials, or different still? Does the nature of the collaboration matter for the effect it has on the research productivity of the partnership as well as the individual partners? More generally, we need to understand what kind of collaboration is most conducive of enhancing research capacity and growth of knowledge-based economies, and how those partnerships are best brought about and stimulated.
Thirdly, it would be valuable to evaluate the extent to which affiliation implies research is actually performed in the country of affiliation, and if and how this matters for research capacity and growth. More generally, we need to understand how the organisation of research differs across the GCC countries, analyse the policies for enhancing research capacity currently in place in the GCC, and evaluate the kinds of partnerships that fit best with the specific research environment and envisioned path of development in each of the GCC countries. More generally, we need an understanding of what constitutes best practice for stimulating research capacity. A careful design and study of (collaborative) research projects and their output could yield much needed insights into this realm.
Task 1.3 Creation of collaborative plan in S&T policy advisory (Task Leader: LSE)
Task description
Work under this task deals with policy recommendations on best practices and further collaborative research activities between the two regions. Work is on-going and it is expected that the results of the work under the specific task will take the form of a report that will be widely distributed in the S&T policy advisory communities in Europe and GCC.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
In view of HORIZON2020 and based on the commitments under the Innovation Union, the European Research Area (ERA) Framework and the recommendations of the interim evaluation of the FP7, INCONET-GCC proposes a strategic approach to enhance and strategic focus EU-GCC cooperation in the selected research priorities. INCONET-GCC established a networking platform that will be the basis for a sustainable GCC-EU policy dialogue. The objectives of the platform are to:
• Structure the communication channels, to support the bi-regional dialogue on S&T policy between EU-GCC, for the development of an EU-GCC knowledge area for the exchange of views and information on national and bilateral S&T policies relevant for the bi-regional S&T co-operation, and to integrate the Arab Gulf region in the activities of HORIZON2020. Common national and European priorities and global trends will be considered as well.
• Promote regional integration as an asset both for Arab Gulf Countries collaboration policy and for increasing the attractiveness for S&T co-operation through regional networking.
• Link with other Arab Gulf Countries policies, EU policies and instruments: external policies and cooperation policies, innovation policies, environment etc.
• Link with other Arab Gulf policies: national policies, bilateral policies
The activities of INCONET-GCC ensured a coherent approach and developing synergies with other Community External Co-operation Programmes and Policies. The focus will also be the Foreign and Co-operation Policy (DG RELEX), innovation policies (DG ENTR) and the Life Long Learning Programme (LLL, DG Education) and in addition all the DGs relevant with the selected thematic priorities in order to assure coherence of the activities and explore synergies. The following activities ensured the information flow and the policy dialogue:
• An increased flow of information and proactive dialogue between INCONET-GCC and the national and European stakeholders in charge of the planning and implementation of other policies.
• The development of recommendations for joint S&T driven actions targeting global challenges.
• The establishment of a networking platform for policy dialogue that will be open to all EU MS and Arab Gulf Countries.
• Coordination with other existing European or International research policies, networks and initiatives, the participation in events and concertation activities organized by the European Commission or other organisation and the facilitation of the exchange of information and knowledge. Liaison with other INCONET projects funded from the EC for exchange of knowledge and networking.
Task 1.4 Operation & Coordination of the ACM (Task Leader: TRC)
Task description
External Advisory Committee Members (ACM) operates under this specific task, in order to offer the INCONET-GCC achievements for a broader discussion and consultation.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
The Executive Committee meeting was set-up and includes the following members:
• National Research Foundation, UAE: Dr Kenneth Wilson, Director
• King Abulaziz City for Science & Technology, KSA: Mohammad Al- Badrani, Assistant Director - International Cooperation Department
• GCC - Secretariat General: Dr. Mohamad Al-Quabaisi
• Directorate for International Relations of the Ministry for Higher Education and Research, FR: Prof Jean-Luc Clement
• International Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research at the Project Management Agency (DLR): Ms Karin Wedde-Mühlhausen
• Qatar Foundation: Dr Abdelali Haoudi – Vice President, Research Division.
• MASDAR Initiative, UAE: Dr Yousef Baselaid.
• British Council, UK: Lloyd Anderson, Director, Science
• Abu-Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, UAE: Mohamed Baca
• MIRA Coordinator, ES: Dr Rafael Rodriguez
In addition, it should be noted that most of the ACM members are policy makers (i.e. GCC representative, Qatar Foundation representative, etc) that the collaboration and meeting with them was facilitating the policy dialogue in Research and Development in the region. Operation of the Executive Committee meeting as discussed.
Task 1.5: Coordination with other EU policies and initiatives (Task Leader: ECSA)
Task description
Work under the task aims to the coordination with other existing European or International research policies and initiatives, the participation in events and concertation activities organized by the European Commission or other organisation and the facilitation of the exchange of information and knowledge.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
During the reporting period INCONET-GCC participated in the clustering activities of EC for INCO projects such as:
• Participation to the 1st INCO conference, Athens, June 2010
• Participation to the 2nd INCO conference in Pretoria, June 2011
• Participation to International Learning network (ILN) conference, Brussels, June, 22-23, 2010 (participation of the coordinator, Ms Maglavera and Mr Zayer El Majid)
• Participation to the International Conference organized by the EC in Brussels, June 2011
• Collaboration with EU-GCC Clean Energy Network (http://www.eugcc-cleanergy.net/ funded by DG RELEX). The Network is dedicated in the GCC region and in the filed of Clean Energy. Exchange of knowledge with the network members and specifically with its coordinator, Prof. J. Psarras. Participation to their activities and discussion groups. Prof C. Flesia gave a presentation titled “INCONET‐GCC: Opportunities for multidisciplinary energy cooperation” in one of the Networks events: 1st Meeting of the Network’s Discussion Groups that took place on 30/11-1/12/2010 in Dubai. Members of the Clean Energy Network are invited to participate in INCONET-GCC Conference and to make presentations there.
• Cooperation with other EC funded projects relevant to the selected research priorities. Exchange of thematic knowledge with specific EU funded projects in the selected research priorities. Members of INCONET-GCC are in direct contact with different EU projects for exchange of knowledge and creation of future joint opportunities. Cooperation with other EU Networks has been effectively implemented in relation to relevant research priorities. In particular, the energy and water related issues have been discussed with the MIRA and Melia projects, Agrofood related issues with RAF-REGIONS project, etc.
• Participation to the 3rd INCO conference in Bonn, June 2012
• Participation to International Learning network (ILN) conference, Athens, May 10-11, 2012 and Brussels 29-30 of November 2012.
• Participation to the Mediterannean Conference organized by the EC in Barcelona, April 2-4, 2012
• Collaboration with EU-GCC Clean Energy Network (http://www.eugcc-cleanergy.net/ funded by DG RELEX). The Network is dedicated in the GCC region and in the filed of Clean Energy. Exchange of knowledge with the network members and specifically with its coordinator, Prof. J. Psarras. Participation of Prof Psarras to the closing event of INCONET-GCC (Dec 2012, Brussels)
• Cooperation with other EC funded projects relevant to the selected research priorities. Exchange of thematic knowledge with specific EU funded projects in the selected research priorities. Members of INCONET-GCC are in direct contact with different EU projects for exchange of knowledge and creation of future joint opportunities.
• During the period INCONET-GCC coordinated with other existing European or International research policies and initiatives in participating in events and concertation activities organized by the European Commission, OCDE, WorlBank, MIRA.
In the course of the coordination and support activities, INCONET-GCC kept an eye on parallel existing activities, networks and initiatives that involve Arab Gulf stakeholders. It was of interest to consider the following activities, initiatives and programs:
• EU-GCC clean energy network (www.eugcc-cleanergy.net/) which aims to respond to the common interests of stakeholders, both in the GCC and the EU, active in the field of clean energy. The EU - GCC Clean Energy Network is the practical instrument for development of concrete cooperation activities on clean energy, including the related policy and technology aspects, among various players across the EU and GCC countries.
• Al-Jisr initiative (www.aljisr.ae/) on EU-GCC Public Diplomacy and Outreach supported by the EC aiming to enhance public and well as professional knowledge and understanding of the EU its policies and institutions, among GCC citizens, to strives to strengthen reflection and debate about EU-GCC relations and contribute to the future of policy-making between the two regions and through dissemination of information on the EU, to ensure closer links between the EU and the GCC.
• Masdar Institute and Energy Technology Partnership: An important part of this initiative brings together Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi and Energy Technology Partnership to jointly develop and deliver advanced energy and sustainability research and development programmes with an industrial focus. This partnership brings together world class academic groups to initially focus on five key thematic areas; Carbon Capture and Storage; Solar Energy; Grid and Power Networks; Bio-Energy; and Building Energy Management.
WP2: Identification of joint research priorities, encouragement of S&T collaboration, strengthening the participation of GCC countries in FP7
Objectives

The main objective of this WP is to identify several mutual research areas of interest between the EU and GCC, with the ultimate aim of better strengthening – and benefit- from S&T cooperation. The activities foreseen, aim at elaborating a detailed mapping of joint research Themes between EU and GCC and at enhancing the S&T cooperation in specific areas of research. At the starting of the running of INCONET-GCC a stakeholders’ engagement strategy will be developed and INCONET-GCC will undertake all required activities towards stakeholder environment cultivation. The final aim of this WP is the identification of joint research topics to be submitted to the European Commission for future Work Programmes. To conclude, partner search activities will be further enhanced in order to streamline the scientific cooperation in the selected themes and topics of interests.

Description of work

The work performed in WP2 addressed issues and methodologies related to the choice of R&D priority strategic areas of cooperation between the EU and GCC countries, plus Yemen. Cooperation and coordination with other EU networks operating in the Gulf and in the MENA region are given special attention.
The activities foreseen aimed at elaborating a detailed mapping of joint Research Themes between EU and GCC and at enhancing the S&T cooperation in specific fields of research. Key areas have been evaluated in terms of implementation of Science and Technology Innovation (STI) policies, which are essential in achieving a competitive advantage for both regions. The final output has been the identification of research topics of common interest to be submitted to the EC to enhance and support joint research programmes in the frame of the FP7 and to create effective research networks between EU and GCC stakeholders on selected prioritized areas.
Further to the stakeholders engagement strategy and the S&T mapping performed during the reporting period, the results reported here have particularly aimed at the exchange of information about all possible research fields of common interest and at the selection of the most promising subject of collaboration.
The results are very promising. Whereas the regions are markedly different, with the EU having developed research structures and policies in place whereas the GCC countries are developing high standard research infrastructures and programmes, both regions demonstrate high interest for cooperation and string potential for mutual benefit joint developments in some strategic areas, building on the complementarities and potential mutual interests.
Task 2.1 Identify & engage target stakeholders’s target group within policymakers, research organizations, academics, industrial and economic operators (QU).
Task description
Work under this task should develop the Stakeholder Engagement Strategy and then describe the phases of their engagement in INCONET-GCC.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
As a first step and to spreads the information about the project activities, INCONET-GCC defined the methodology for the engagement of research stakeholders coming from the Arab Peninsula. The purpose is to support the participation of GCC institutions to existing EC research programmes, and enable the development of joint research activities between the GCC and EU. More specifically, the stakeholder engagement strategy has addressed four major aspects:
• Understanding of the nature and degree of engagement required by different research stakeholders from the GCC region in order for them to make good decisions about adaptation or transformation in the context of their own priorities. Addressing this goal requires a good confidence in the scientific information presented and a good understanding of the diversity of parameters driving the decisions by different stakeholders, particularly those requiring metrics other than economic impact.
• Identification of the sorts of information needed in order to make these decisions.
• Development of a framework for monitoring the success of communication, engagement and research. Centrally, this framework will require some form of ongoing mutual interaction.
Work reported in the deliverable D2.1 titled INCONET-GCC report on the identification and engagement of target stakeholder’s group.
Task 2.2. Create an institutionalization strategy & a networked structure of stakeholders across EU and GCC regions (UNIFE)
Task description
INCONET-GCC should undertake all required activities towards stakeholder environment cultivation. The results of this activity will be a White Paper that will identify the domains for intervention in terms of policy making and influence to the regional research policy agendas, research, technology policy at EU and GCC regions.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
Development of Institutional Strategy
Within this activities INCONET-GCC developed an institutionalisation strategy and a network of relevant stakeholders and policy makers across GCC region in order to deliver a roadmap, guidelines and recommendations for its wider adoption in GCC region for the research collaboration between GCC and Europe and for stimulating political consensus and support (deliverable D2.2).
The work performed in this task addressed the development of methodologies related to the definition of an institutional strategy for the identification and the engagement of target stakeholders in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries plus Yemen. The work, described in deliverable D2.2- “INCONET-GCC Institutionalisation Strategy” has been the follow up of the methodology described in deliverable D2.1: “Report on the identification and engagement of target stakeholder’s group".
The development of the INCONET-GCC stakeholders’ networking platform has ensured its sustainability through the further promotion of transnational actions and synergies among diverse actors. INCONET-GCC network includes policy makers, regional stakeholders, economic operators, research and technology experts, and content and service providers, while ensuring active involvement of representatives of all kinds of end-users.
The results of the previous studies and activities has been exploit by describing a credible approach to building continuity of the support mechanism that will have two dimensions:
• Continuing engagement with stakeholders, liaison with appropriate players and updating of recommendations in alignment with state-of-art developments.
• Continuing organizational support in order to meet the expectations of the stakeholder community.
As part of the Institutional strategy, INCONET-GCC delivered a networking framework in which those with knowledge are brought closer. As well as managing the interface between private and public research institutions, policy makers, including government and research institutes, INCONET-GCC can also functioned as a “signboard” organisation offering switchboard services and directing the various stakeholders who are seeking help in relation to projects, procedures, technological related issues concerning adoption and exploitation of recommendations and guidelines of research and innovation collaboration between GCC and the EU. The following figure depicts this.
Following the Engagement Plan, designed to provide a unique vehicle through which to understand the tactical and strategic concerns of stakeholders, INCONET-GCC operated as a platform of engagement with different regional orientations or constellations thereof without being entirely absorbed by any one in particular, taking a central role in providing different organizations with value added access to specific knowledge.
Based on the above-described methodology, the first step has been to identify the main policy-makers and research institutions that could impact the INCONET-GCC activities in the different countries.
A second step is the selection of the main interests of the different stakeholders as a function of the different major research field of common interests
An additional step is the cultivation and dissemination strategy, to extend the participation to the INCONET-GCC activities of a large audience of private sector companies, Non-Governmental Organisations and independent stakeholders. This is done by newsletters, brochures, website, and in particular through presentation at international conferences.
In addition to the website, and the newsletters, the dissemination and the stakeholder’s cultivation has been developed under the activities of WP5: “Communication, Dissemination activities and conferences”
Following the guide lines of the Institutional Strategy and Engagement plan, INCONET-GCC has, through their existing networks and by availing to their specific competences, reach into the communities, liaise with the EC and ultimately instigate and coordinate discussions and events that are aimed at bringing the different actors closer to each other, discussing their experiences and therefore cumulating the knowledge that they produce, creating virtues flow supported by the other components of the project.
Stakeholder’s cultivations
Following the institutional strategy, INCONET-GCC undertook all required activities towards stakeholder environment cultivation. Within this activity the regional stakeholders and the generic stakeholders have been integrated into the generic stakeholders User Forum that constantly expanded towards interested third parties, where the effort has been directed at the exchange of information about all possible research fields of common interest and at the selection of the most promising subject of collaboration. The results of this activity has been the White Paper identifying the research domains for intervention in terms of policy making and influence to the regional policy agendas, research, regulation, legal measures, technology policy in GCC and Europe (deliverable D2.4).
A descriptive list of research organisation in the Gulf has been established and links with EU stakeholders with similar activities and potential for cooperation has been further developed and results presented the in deliverables D2.1 D2.2 D2.3 D2.4 and D2.5 and have been further processed for the purpose of reaching a wider audience. To this purpose, an INCONET-GCC International conference has been be held in Abu Dhabi on the 6-7 of May 2012, with sessions of general interest and thematic session on the main research priority subjects, as identified in WP2.3 (D2.3: “Report on R&D Mapping”).
The final output has been the confirmation of joint research topics of common interests to be submitted to the EU Commission for possible joint cooperation in the frame of future Work Programmes and to create effective research networks between EU and GCC stakeholders on selected prioritized areas (Green Paper).
Results of the Institutional Strategy have also included the identification of the domains for intervention in terms of policymaking and the assessment of their influence to the EU and GCC research policy agendas (White Paper, deliverable D2.4).
In addition, the stakeholder’s community has been constantly updates during the all schedule of the project. The work has continued to address further issues and to link with follow-up activities in other work-packages.
Task 2.3 S&T Mapping (KFAS)
Task description
This task should collect as much information as possible about the region and compile it in a usable format for the rest of the activities of INCONET-GCC. The S&T mapping should be further linked to the European Commission S&T programmes and initiatives such as FP7, CIP and other S&T funding opportunities.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
In the first part of the project (deliverable D2.3) INCONET-GCC identified a list of research priorities that has emerged from a collaborative effort involving researchers and institutions in GCC countries plus Yemen and the EU over the past two years. The work foreseen aimed at elaborating a detailed mapping of joint Research Themes between the EU and GCC, and at enhancing the S&T cooperation in specific areas of research.
During the second part of the project, the results have been refined, and endorsed by the input of a more detailed survey as well as a bibliometric analysis of the main research fields in the GCC countries (deliverable D1.3). The selection of the R&D Priority Areas, National Research & Development Programmes of the different GCC countries as well as the evolution and current topology of their research landscape have been carefully taken into account and linked to the main EU and European Nation Research Programmes.
Beside the links with European and International R&D priorities, common national EU and GCC interests are important issues to promote the cooperation between GCC countries, to facilitate the joint research activities between stakeholders from Academia, Research Institutes, Industry and Public sector, and to establish a common and fruitful S&T common framework in both regions. From the previous results described in deliverable D2.3 the information has then been harmonized with the guidelines of the EU R&T programmes and GCC strategic development visions.
Current strength and evolution of research and research collaborations of the GCC and Yemen, have been assessed using a method of mapping and analysing research collaboration networks using bibliometric data developed by LSE as described in deliverable D1.3.
Moreover, key areas have been evaluated in terms of implementation of Science and Technology Innovation (STI) policy decision, and the results have been further linked to mainstream policy framework.
The result has been an interesting mapping of all possible research fields of common interest and the selection of the most promising subjects of collaboration.
In deliverable D2.3 key areas have been evaluated in terms of implementation common EU-GCC research interests, of Science and Technology Innovation (STI) policy decision. The identification of joint “S&T Research and Development Priorities Areas” has been pursued in parallel to the identification of the common guidelines and practices in S&T policy and following a bottom-up approach, in order to take advantage of the existing activities and excellence in both regions.
In the second part of the work, the mapping of common R&D activities showed a very wide and interconnected range of subjects, highlighting a very interesting framework for EU-GCC cooperation in a lot of different fields.
Four steps have been finally used to pursue the selection of the common research priorities fields, and to restrain the selected subjects to the most promising areas of cooperation:
1. Priority Areas: General fields of common interest, based on the guideline of the EU-PF7 programme, and the main national GCC national research strategic plans.
2. Priority Subjects: More specific research topics, selected within the prioritized areas and as a function of a mapping of the existing research interests, the main bi-lateral cooperation lines, and the stakeholders communities.
3. Case Studies. Selected concrete networks between GCC and EU institutions and stakeholders, ready to start effective collaboration and to submit joint proposal to the FP7 programme and GCC national funding authorities.
4. Bibiometric analysis: Current strength and evolution of research and research collaborations of the GCC and Yemen have been assessed using a method of mapping and analysing research collaboration networks using bibliometric data developed by LSE. The bibliometric analysis of the research landscape of the GCC comprises two parts: an exploratory analysis of the 20 largest research areas of the GCC and Yemen meant to help determine the priority areas and subjects, and subsequent bibliometric analysis of a (preliminary) list of priority areas and subjects to help finetune this list.
Exploratory Bibliometric Analysis: The Top-20 Research Areas of the GCC
Collaborations between local and international researchers in the EU and in the GCC countries may be of great importance for furthering a knowledge-based economy in both regions. However, little is known as to the kind or organisation of collaborations that are most conducive to Science & Technology growth, or indeed if and how research collaborations enhance research capacity and the development of knowledge-based economies. One of the initial steps towards shedding light on these questions has been a careful review and examination of existing scientific output in the GCC countries and their international linkages.
In order to aid the formation of a research collaboration network between the GCC and Europe in an efficient way, the LSE have developed a method for mapping research collaboration networks using bibliometric data. The purpose of the creation and evaluation of research network maps is roughly three-fold; it can help assess the current strength of research and research collaboration of the GCC across research fields, identify research areas in which collaboration between the GCC and Europe is particularly strong already, and discern the research areas with most momentum by tracking the evolution of research collaboration networks over time. By mapping and evaluating the research networks of the biggest research areas in the GCC (as measured by the number of publications) as well as the research priority areas identified by the GCC stakeholders we help compile a list of research priorities that is both relevant and conducive to increased fruitful collaboration between the GCC countries and Europe.
These maps yield a number of interesting insights into the research network of the GCC and Yemen. As an example, Figures 1 depict the Number of publications in the period 2007-2010 by research area and country for the top-10 research areas of the GCC and Yemen, weighted by adjusted total cites (based on JCR 2009) (Source: Prat and Ytsma’s own calculations)
The creation and evaluation of research network maps has been used to assess the current strength of research and research collaboration of the GCC across research fields, identify research areas in which collaboration between the GCC and Europe is particularly strong already, and discern the research areas with most momentum by tracking the evolution of research collaboration networks over time. Moreover, inputs have been very useful to further develop the stakholdres communities and enhance the User Forum.
Task 2.4 Organization of international forums (Task Leader: ITEMS)
Task description
The task is related to the formulation of focus groups and the discussion of the selected research priorities with the local stakeholders.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
One of major activities during the reporting period facilitated the organisation of international forum was the INCONET-GCC international conference which took place in Abu Dhabi on 6th-7th May 2012. The main objective of this conference was to present and discuss the R&D core competencies in both regions Europe GCC, exchange about the opinions of both Europe and GCC stakeholders on the constituencies and understand potentialities for deeper strategic cooperation with research entities; present success stories of S&T cooperation internationally and define the potential synergies with other initiatives and programmes in both regions as well as factors inducing innovation. The international conference and the different specific Focus Group meetings served as a base to help writing the INCONET-GCC position paper (“Green Paper”). Based on all those issues, the Program was built around focus Groups representing each research areas priorities. The discussion groups organized around the selected research priorities and are the following as matched with the specific societal challenges of HORIZON2020:
• Water, Environment and Climate (“Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020) including also Food (“Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research & the bioeconomy” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020)
• Information Communication Technologies (which in HORIZON 2020 will be part of “Enabling and Industrial Technologies” or issues can be consider under the “Inclusive, innovative and secure societies” Societal Challenge)
• Health Innovation (“Health, demographic change and wellbeing” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020)
• Energy Security (“Secure, clean and efficient energy” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020)
WP3: DEVELOPING, SUPPORTING AND RAISING THE CAPACITY OF NCPS IN THE GCC COUNTRIES
Objectives

The main objective of this task is to improve the quality of the Gulf countries participation in the FP7 by increasing the capacities and level of understanding of the administrative and technical issues related to the participation and the handling of FP7 projects. It also provides support to the regional partners in the GCC region for the establishment of NCP-type support services. The GCC NCPs organisation is based on the methodology provided by the already existing NCPs participating in the INCONET-GCC consortium. It should be noted that synergies with INCONTACT project are made. The tangible outcomes of the WP are:
• Methodology for the development, organisation and support of local NCPs
• To train local experts on FP7
• To establish a network of offices provide FP7 support services
• To raise regional awareness on FP7 activities and on the ERA
• To continuously support the operation of the local FP7 support offices
• To provide recommendations to local authorities

Description of work

The main objective of WP3 is to improve the Gulf countries participation in the FP7 mainly through raising the capacities and level of understanding of the program. The ultimate goal would be the establishment of local INCO NCPs in the region.
Task 3.1: Methodology for the development and support of NCP
Task description
During the task the existing NCPs planned to be created and presented the best practice of the development and planned to organise similar services in the GCC region. The methodology should provide guidelines and presentation of best practices that should facilitate and guide the organisation of NCPs in all GCC member states.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
FORTH prepared and produced the document “NCP development and organisation methodology” (Deliverable 3.1) that provided guidelines and presentation of NCP best practices and aims to support and guide the establishment of NCPs in all GCC member states and Yemen. Contributions to the document were also provided by MHESR and MENESFCRS. The document was circulated to GCC and Yemen partners in May. Milestone M3.1 was met.
Task 3.2: Organisation of public events in GCC region
Task description
Public events in all the Gulf countries of information of the content and opportunities of FP7, specially dedicated to the targeted countries and the identification and dissemination of opportunities for mobility.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
During the Executive Board Meeting that took place in Thessaloniki on the 21st of October 2010, it was agreed that the Info Days that the Info Days should be planned (if possible) in parallel with relevant local events in the countries in order to attract higher participation of local stakeholders.
According to the DoW, the purpose of this activity was to “To raise regional awareness on FP7 activities and on the ERA”. To this end there were organised information days, or information sessions within large events, in the Arab Gulf Countries.
The agendas of these events were more or less common:
 Overview of the 7th Framework Programme for RTDI.
 International cooperation within FP7.
 Focused presentation of FP7 thematic priorities targeted to each country.
 NCPs and the service they provide.
 Partner Search mechanisms.
Three infodays have been organised within the 1st reporting period:
• Oman: 6-7/12/2010 (WP1 Workshop: Best Practice in S&T policies EU-MENA countries)
• Qatar: 03/05/2011 (Qatar University Research forum)
• Kuwait: 10/05/2011.
The infodays in Qatar and Kuwait were actively supported by INCONTACT (The official network of the INCO NCPs) which assisted with the identification of expert speakers (including INCO NCPs) in International Cooperation in FP7.
During the 2nd Reporting Period there were 2 events organised:
 UAE – 07.05.2012: During “INCONET-GCC conference Abu Dhabi”.
 YEMEN – 27.12.2012: Dedicated FP7 Information day.
All material can be found at the INCONET-GCC website.
FORTH provided assistance in the organisation of the Information Days. FORTH created the agenda and members of staff participated as speakers in the UAE event where they presented “International cooperation within FP7” and “Partner Search Mechanisms”. FORTH assisted with the agenda of the Yemen event and provided material – presentations for the organisers.
Deliverable 3.5 “Organisation of 7 infodays (1 in each country)” was submitted on schedule.
Deviations from the contract (Annex I) and reasons for them (if applicable)
Events in two countries were not organised:
• Bahrain: due to unforeseen social unrest and a lack of national partner, there were difficulties in organising an event.
• Saudi Arabia: Continuous discussions with the Saudi partners and especially KAUST, did not lead to a possibility to organise an information day, due to strict security rules followed by the institution and the bureaucratic procedures.
It should be noted that Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are the two countries from the region that have not set-up NCP structures. This made the organisation of FP7 Information days even more difficult.
Task 3.3: Creation of supporting material
Task description
Creation of FP7 dissemination material to be used in all the Gulf countries (in Arabic). The brochure should include a short presentation of the FP7 programme tailor-made to the needs and culture of the region.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
A document with key information on FP7 has been created in English with the cooperation of FORTH and HJ. The short document provides all the necessary appropriate information to FP7 newcomers aiming to quickly reply the most common questions. The document has been translated in Arabic (Deliverable 3.7)
Task 3.4: Continuous Support
Task description
The focus is to organize a mechanism for stetting and supporting the operation of NCP-type offices. The task should include:
• A tailor-made 3-day training seminar, organised in Thessaloniki for the staff of the regional on specific issues: running and NCP office, providing of FP7 support services, special demanding issues of FP7, ICPC participation peculiarities. In addition, a 2-person assistance team (“Back-Up Office”) will be created by FORTH, providing assistance in all the everyday activities (e.g. FP7 questions, event organisation, partner searches, etc.) but also in strategic planning. The Back-up office should be consisted of 2 specific experts that should have the opportunity to work closely with the local teams for all the duration of INCONET-GCC.
• Partner search Support: The main objective of the task is to broadly disseminate a considerable number of partner searches to the Arabian research community. The EU project partners should collect partner searches for the NCP network as well from other databases and forward them to the regional teams for further dissemination. On the other hand partner searches coming from local organisations should be reviewed and disseminated through the NCP network. Added-value customized partner search should be performed for mature project ideas.
• An NCP specific self-evaluation tool for monitoring the NCP office performance should be delivered. This allows the FP7 Support Offices (FSOs) to periodically receive an accurate picture of its performance and accordingly fine-tune its operations.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
• Training Seminar in Thessaloniki: 11 experts from the GCC countries and Yemen participated in the Training Seminar that took place in Thessaloniki on the 19-20th of October 2010. They were trained by experts from the EU Member States and Morocco on FP7 related matters such as: Overview of FP7 and International Cooperation in the FP7 framework, participation in a project proposal, partner search and proposal submission and evaluation, legal and financial issues, setting up and operating an NCP office, monitoring NCP operations, etc. Deliverables 3.2 (Participant list in the Thessaloniki training seminar), 3.3 (Participant evaluation in the Thessaloniki training seminar) and 3.4 (Training material of the training seminar) were delivered on time and Milestone 3.2 reached
• Back-Up Office: A 2-person assistance team (“Back-Up Office”) has been created by FORTH, providing assistance in all the everyday activities (e.g. FP7 questions, event organisation, partner searches, etc.) but also in strategic planning. An announcement, along with a detailed description of the “services” of the Back-Up Office was sent to GCC and Yemen partners on the 6th of October 2010. HELP-FORWARD will provide, upon request, the following support services:
o NCP Office Organisation and Strategic Planning;
o Distribution of Documentation (forms, guidelines, manuals, etc.);
o Incoming/Outgoing Partner Search;
o Advice on administrative procedures and contractual issues;
o Support communication with the European Commission;
o Transnational Cooperation activities;
o Support organisation of / participation in Info-days and Brokerage events;
o Support participation in Info-days and Brokerage events in Europe;
• Training in situ on FP7 topic.
• Partner search Support: FORTH collected and processed Partner Searches from various sources and stored them in its servers. It provided all other partners with access details (usernames & passwords) so that they can have information at any time they needed. It also sent twice (Autumn 2011 & Autumn 2012) e-mails to all partners with open Partner Searches.
• An NCP self evaluation tool was designed and created for use by the NCPs of the Arab Gulf Countries, using well known techniques and current practices of work. This tool FORTH developed and sent as a PDF file to all NCPs of the Arab Gulf Countries.
Task 3.5: Integration of the GCC NCP in the European NCP network
Task description
The task should include deciding jointly with the GCC NCP and setting a plan for bringing the GCC NCP closer to the European NCP network. The plan may include:
• Preparing short reports on the NCP meetings performed and sending them to the GCC NCP
• Forwarding all the available information (statistics, documents, events, etc.)
• Arranging specific presentations of the GCC NCP in official NCP meetings.
• Efforts will be performed for the establishment of INCO NCPs in the Gulf countries
• Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
• INCO NCPs nomination has already taken place in place in Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Yemen and this is a significant outcome of the of the project.
• Another important aspect (in collaboration with INCONTACT), was that the 1st INCO Conference organised in Athens (9-10.06.2010) was focusing on the Arabic peninsula. A special session was dedicated in the presentation of the research situation in the GCC countries, the national policies and the opportunities for international scientific cooperation.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
INCO NCPs nomination has already taken place in place in Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, and Yemen and this is a significant outcome of the of the project.
The WP leader in collaboration with INCONTACT liaised the participation of INCO NCPs fro the Arab Gulf countries to activities that would increase their capacities and give them the opprtunities to network with colleagues from all over the world. In particular:
• INCO NCPs from Oman and Qatar participated in the 2nd INCO Conference "Supporting Research Integration" that took place in Pretoria between26-28 September 2011
• The second day of the conference was open to the INCO NCPs only and hosted the annual INCO NCP meeting and an INCO NCP training session. The INCO NCP for Oman presented to her peers the possibilities of research collaboration between Oman and the EU.
• INCO NCPs from Kuwait and Qatar participated in the 3rd INCO Conference "Challenges and opportunities of International Cooperation in Horizon 2020" that took place in Bonn between 18-20 June 2012.
• The third day of the conference was open to the INCO NCPs only and hosted the annual INCO NCP meeting and an INCO NCP training session.
Task 3.6: Development of a Gulf Area Partner Database
Task description
This task should include the identification of FP experienced Arabian teams (researchers, SMEs, large companies) and categorisation of the teams in a thematic web searchable database that should be integrated in the created INCONET-GCC portal. The database should also provide the option to organisations located in the Gulf area to upload their profiles. This pool of profiles should be the first stop for European teams looking for regional Arabian partners.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
The responsible partner (KSU-RTV) has initiated the collection of information for the development of the database. It contains information from Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar.
Task 3.7: Recommendations and Guidelines
Task description
Writing of recommendations for the national authorities to facilitate the participation of Gulf countries in FP7. The document should take into account the Commission’s guidelines for the operation of NCPs, the examples in other Third countries, and the local peculiarities. Moreover, specific incentives and support schemes should be suggested.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
The purpose of this report is to provide recommendations to the national authorities of the Arab Gulf countries concerning their NCP structures, wherever they exist. These recommendations are based on the current activities of the Arab Gulf countries' NCPs and also input concerning the Egyptian and Moroccan systems. This report is complementary to the Green and White papers produced by the project.
The report was based on an assessment of the activities of NCPs, a questionnaire that was disseminated in the Stockholm meeting and the input from Morocco on an assessment of Bilateral cooperation MOR/EU in science and Technology.
Deliverable 3.6 “Report of recommendations to the national authorities to improve the participation on FP7” was submitted on time.
WP4: ROADMAP AND SUSTAINABILITY OF INCONET-GCC
Objectives
The workpackage utilizes results of previous WPs in order to produce and research roadmap on International Cooperation between EU and GCC regions, a list of recommendation to the Commission, the National Governments, as well as a sustainability plan for the continuation of INCONET-GCC operations beyond the EC funding.

Description of work

Task 4.1: INCONET-GCC Roadmap
Task description
Task is related to the development of a joint roadmap and research and innovation agenda jointly for Europe and GCC countries.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
The aim of INCONET-GCC Roadmap is to propose a strategy to improve the level of cooperation between the EU and the GCC Region in the field of research and technology, and to increase the importance of the GCC region as S&T partner for the EU and represents the final report on roadmap activities of INCONET-GCC that started in January 2010. It syntheses and analyses results of work that has been undertaken within different previous deliverables. It contributes to the previous output however by presenting additional observations on the landscape for research and innovation in the GCC, by presenting our conclusions for areas that deserve particular focus in the future research collaboration between our regions, and in pointing out some new avenues for improving the dialogue among decision makers, research stakeholders and leaders on how to make Europe-GCC Research Cooperation more relevant, effective and meaningful. Such improved dialogue would have a number of positive effects on reducing fragmentation between the EU and GCC research agendas, improving the articulation between multilateral and bilateral cooperation level, improving the capacity to monitor cooperation progresses, responding to the need for persistence, continuity and sustainability and facilitating bench learning among the GCC countries. The last event to contribute to this agenda, and the present INCONET-GCC Roadmap, was the High-Level workshop that took place in Brussels on December 4th 2012, at which all the major results from the project were presented, the policy dialogue activity further progressed and recommendations for the future were tested and advanced. The INCONET-GCC Roadmap is also based in previous results and deliverables, such as: D1.1 D2.1 D2.2 D2.3 D2.5 and in addition: the consultations performed in the GCC during the specific events organized in Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Abu Dhabi. Information provided on (http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/workplan/wp3/); the consultation work that INCONET-GCC carried out with its Advisory Board and with key Research stakeholders directly and through online conferences;
The recommendations proposed are targeted to all the stakeholders involved in research across Europe and the GCC, including policy makers in Europe, the GCC region and the wider Middle East. The INCONET-GCC Roadmap comprises the following sections:
• Section 1. Vision and challenges: The report briefly presents the current state in the different countries, their national plans for RTD, the vision of Research cooperation of INCONET-GCC and the identified research priorities for future research cooperation between Europe and the GCC.
• Section 2. SWOT analysis and existing barriers and obstacles: A SWOT analysis for the RTD cooperation of with the GCC region is presented. In addition, the existing barriers and problems are presented, since should be overcome in order to reach the INCONET-GCC proposed vision.
• Section 3. Recommendations: This core part of the document spells out a set of strategic recommendations and also associated connected practical steps to be taken in order to improve the situation outlined in sections 1 and 2.
• Section 4. Planning and implementation: This part considers “how fast to move” and proposes milestones for the different recommendations, as well as a timeline to follow the future development of EU- GCC cooperation in the area.

Task 4.2: Valorization activities – INCONET-GCC sustainability
Task description
Task is related to the investigation of the exploitation of INCONET-GCC results, mainly by describing a credible approach to building continuity of the support mechanism.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
The aim of this activity was to describe the impact of the research cooperation of GCC and the EU and to further describe the sustainability of such research cooperation. The aim is to finally improve the level of cooperation between the European Union and the Gulf Region in the field of research and technology, and to increase the importance of the GCC region as S&T partner for the EU. Input to the preparation of the INCONET-GCC sustainability report came from the INCONET-GCC Roadmap and INCONET-GCC White paper deliverables.
The magnitude of the relationship between Arab Gulf Countries and the European Union started last years with activities of the EC-DG External Relations, continued with the implementation of INCONET-GCC and will be more mature in the future. It should be noted that INCONET-GCC expanded consortium will continue the activities of be-regional research cooperation for the next three years through the implementation of INCONET-GCC2 partnership, since it is based on the results of the INCONET-GCC attempt for RTD cooperation such as the selected research priorities, the SWOT analysis, the roadmap and recommendations and the real needs for joint research activities.
Task 4.3: Monitoring activities
Task description
The task is related to the collection, processing and facilitation of the access and exchange of S&T information between the two world regions.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
It should be noted that the 20th EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting (Luxembourg, 14 June 2010) welcomed the latest steps on research and development co-operation with the establishment of a regular policy dialogue and the launching of a network linking researchers, academics and businessmen. Activities such as INCONET-GCC are welcomed by the EU-GCC Joint Council. The project members are in contact with the GCC Secretariat in order to communicate the results of the project and to further exploit the collaboration in the Research Policy dialogue field. It should be mentioned that INCONET-GCC is discussing with the GCC General Secretariat the possibility of the set-up of a “FP” like programme in the GCC countries under the supervision of the GCC General Secretariat. INCONET-GCC proposed to organise a workshop on the processes of the FP.
In the course of the coordination and support activities, INCONET-GCC kept an eye on parallel existing activities, networks and initiatives that involve Arab Gulf stakeholders. It was of interest to consider the following activities, initiatives and programs:
• EU-GCC clean energy network (www.eugcc-cleanergy.net/) which aims to respond to the common interests of stakeholders, both in the GCC and the EU, active in the field of clean energy. The EU - GCC Clean Energy Network is the practical instrument for development of concrete cooperation activities on clean energy, including the related policy and technology aspects, among various players across the EU and GCC countries.
• Al-Jisr initiative (www.aljisr.ae/) on EU-GCC Public Diplomacy and Outreach supported by the EC aiming to enhance public and well as professional knowledge and understanding of the EU its policies and institutions, among GCC citizens, to strives to strengthen reflection and debate about EU-GCC relations and contribute to the future of policy-making between the two regions and through dissemination of information on the EU, to ensure closer links between the EU and the GCC.
• Masdar Institute and Energy Technology Partnership: An important part of this initiative brings together Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi and Energy Technology Partnership to jointly develop and deliver advanced energy and sustainability research and development programmes with an industrial focus. This partnership brings together world class academic groups to initially focus on five key thematic areas; Carbon Capture and Storage; Solar Energy; Grid and Power Networks; Bio-Energy; and Building Energy Management.
In addition, Arab Gulf stakeholders are participating in the following FP7 project:
• POLINARES (www.polinares.eu) (Competition and Collaboration in access to oil, gas and mineral resources) fund by the EC.
• SECURE consortium (Security of Energy Considering its Uncertainty, Risk and Economic implications), fund by the EC to carry out a wide-ranging study on European energy security.
• MEFOPA: European Project on Mendelian Forms of Parkinson's Disease (http://www.mefopa.eu/index.html): Partner - UAEU – Medical Department
• IOLICAP - Novel IΟnic LΙquid and supported ionic liquid solvents for reversible CAPture of CO2 (http://www.iolicap.eu): Partner: The Petroleum Institute, UAE
• Biotechnology for Africa’s sustainable water supply: WATERBIOTECH (http://www.waterbiotech.eu/) is EU funded project under the European Framework (FP 7) with the theme: Coping with water scarcity in developing countries: Role of Biotechnology in water treatment. Partner: King Saud University
• ARCADE (http://www.arcade-project.org). In Asia, ARCADE’s focus is on building capacity for research into social determinants of health (RSDH). An individual’s health depends heavily on the social and physical environment they inhabit, and health disparities are often symptomatic of wider social inequities. This is particularly challenging in Asia, home to some of the largest societies on Earth. Partner: Sultan Qaboos University
There are a number of examples of projects that were making important progress in the development of bilateral cooperation in each one of the Arab Gulf countries.
It should be noted that Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) established under as part of its ongoing commitment to establish Qatar as a knowledge-based economy. QNRF is organising yearly open call for proposals under the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) in order to support the overarching goal of QNRF, which is to foster a research culture in Qatar. Within these calls for proposal more than 88 EU organizations have been awarded a project and funded from QNRF.
Task 4.4: Observatory of EU-GCC cooperation
Task description
This task is related with the electronic Observatory that will be placed in the INCONET-GCC portal for the different cooperation activities in S&T between Europe and the GCC region.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
The INCONET-GCC Observatory functions as a platform for the structured collection and analysis of an extensive range of EU-GCC S&T information, gathered and analysed through the implementation of the project. The INCONET-GCC Observatory supports and promotes EU-GCC research collaboration and represents a EU-GCC partnership aiming at the support of the policy dialogue and the creation of research opportunities for EU and GCC stakeholders.
INCONET-GCC created a networking platform and an Observatory in Science and Technology for all interested stakeholders aiming at the deployment of the research cooperation opportunities between the EU and the GCC regions. The main tool for the dissemination and support of these activities is the INCONET-GCC web site (www.inconet-gcc.eu). All relevant activities reported in D4.1.
WP5: COMMUNICATION, DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES AND CONFERENCES
Objectives

The over-riding objective of WP5 is to ensure that the results from INCONET-GCC benefits as many stakeholders as possible as well as ensure that as many stakeholders participate in the development of the strategic research agendas and Joint Action Plan. This is achieved through the implementation of the dissemination strategy, which includes the development of dissemination materials, a website and the organization of INCONET-GCC Forums, workshops, events and an international conference.

Description of work

Task 5.1: Dissemination plans and activities
Task description
The task is related to the dissemination activities such as: Project logo, Brochure, Web-site, Events and workshops, publications.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
The following activities have taken place within this WP5:
• INCONET-GCC kick-off meeting was hosted in Abu Dhabi by HCT. Apart from the project partners and representatives from the European Commission, the opening of the meeting was attended by H.E. Sheikh Nahayan, U.A.E. Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and H.E. Per Westerberg, Speaker of the Parliament of Sweden. (http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/launching-of-inconet-gcc-project-abu-dhabi/)
• Dissemination and support material was produced (Deliverable 5.1) these include:
o Project logo
o Project website (www.inconet-gcc.eu)
o Project brochure
• All public project deliverables are uploaded at the web site and all presentations related to the INCONET-GCC events are uploaded at the web site under the specific section of the events.
• Initial dissemination strategy was developed (Deliverable 5.2). The dissemination strategy is being updated every 6 months according to the dissemination needs of the project.
• Internal project website has been developed (https://externalportal.hct.ac.ae/inconet/)
• A networking session was successfully organized at the ICT Event 2010. The event took place in Brussels September 27th from 2:00pm to 3:30 pm. Representatives of most partners were there. Items undertook the dissemination of the event by the preparation of a list and an invitation email with the approval of the consortium. The target group was European and GCC countries contacts as well as the contacts who have expressed us their will to work in GCC. This selection process allowed us to list more than 6000 contacts from more than 30 countries in Europe and elsewhere. Presentations / publications are available on: http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/inconet-gcc-networking-session-ict-event/
• The Dec. 2010 conference in Muscat served an effective promotion and dissemination role. It raised the awareness of particularly public organizations about the importance of international research collaboration, particularly with the EU. It also raised the awareness of public organisations, universities and researchers of the opportunity to establish effective research collaboration with EU countries, and the importance of GCC participation in EU improvements and innovation programs. Presenations / publications are available on: http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/round-table-workshop-inconet-gcc-best-practice-st-policies/
• The Global Forum 2010 / Shaping the Future, which took place in Washington DC on November 8th & 9th has been used as a dissemination event for the INCONET-GCC project. INCONET-GCC has been promoted in view of the INCONET-GCC International Conference that will be organized during 2012. Many of the Global Forum 2010 participants showed great interest and ask to be updated on the information of INCONET-GCC. (http://www.items.fr/spip.php?rubrique106)
• Organisation of the Qatar Information day and Policy discussion event (3/5/2011) (http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/qatar-information-day/)
• Organisation of the Kuwait Information day and Policy discussion event (11/5/2011) (http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/kuwait-information-days/)
• On the 8th, May 2012, the FP7 Info Day was organised by the local NCP, Higher Colleges of Technology. The Info Day organized the next day of the INCONET-GCC conference. The agenda and the presentation can be found at http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/abu-dhabi-conference/fp7_infoday/
• A high-level workshop organized by INCONET-GCC in coordination with European Commission's Research and Innovation DG. The main objective of the workshop was to prepare the ground for a reinforced cooperation based on mutual interests, notably in the context of the upcoming Horizon 2020 programme. This workshop took place on 4th of December 2012 in Brussels. All the major results of the project and the policy dialogue activities presented and finally recommendations for the future were presented and discussed (http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/eu-gcc-workshop-brussels-december-2012/).
• On the 27th, Dec.2012 the FP7 Info Day was organised by the local NCP Mr Ali Hasan. It was attended by roughly 80 researchers and had good media coverage. The agenda included a short presentation of INCONET-GCC, introduction of http://NCP-Yemen.com/ a presentation of the CORDIS web site and HORIZON2020 (http://www.ncp-yemen.com/media.html)

Task 5.2: Delivery of one international conference

Task description
This task is dedicated to the design, planning, organisation and delivery of one international conference, which will take place in Abu Dhabi early May 2012.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
The International INCONET-GCC conference that took place in Abu Dhabi on May 6-7/2012, where all the major results of the project and the policy dialogue activities presented and finally recommendations for the future were formulated (http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/abu-dhabi-conference/conference-may6-7/). The relevant deliverable D5.4 summarises the activities and the results of the Conference. The agenda of the INCONET-GCC International Conference can be found at http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/abu-dhabi-conference/conference-may6-7/
INCONET-GCC International Conference was the unique opportunity for stakeholders from EU and GCC to be engaged in constructive policy dialogue on the selected research priorities and present best practices in order to conclude in recommendations and guidelines for the future cooperation. The conference organized in four parallel workshops based on the selected research priorities:
• Water, Environment and Climate
• The key role of ICT for Innovation
• Health Innovation
• Energy Security
• Plenary sessions organized on Horizontal activities of main interest in the GCC and EU, such as Cloud computing, ICT societal applications, smart cities, etc.
• The closing Plenary session where results of all parallel workshops presented and discussed.
The expected outcomes are:
• Feedback to the policy dialogue
• Input for the preparation of the recommendations and guidelines for the future research collaboration between GCC and EU
• Input to INCONET-GCC Roadmap
• Input to the INCONET-GCC Green and the White paper
• Enhancement of the research collaboration

Important efforts have been done to reach satisfactory qualitative and quantitative levels of participation in order to ensure that the Conference objectives could be effectively reached. These efforts focused on promotion:
• Conference highlighted on the INCONET-GCC website,
• Promotion of the event through the social media
• Release of successive eNewsletters,
• Targeted email blasts
• Promotion through the INCONET-GCC Advisory Group.
• Promotion through the dissemination of the event in various communities, such as the Global Forum community, the EuroMediterranean community, the EC International Cooperation community, etc
Task 5.3 : Pan-European & trans-European Promotion & Dissemination Activities
Task description
This task is related to the widespread marketing of INCONET-GCC activities.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
• “Capacity Building Training Seminar on Integrated Water Management in the Mediterranean Region”, Venice, 24-29 October 2010. (Prof. Cristina Flesia) (http://www.meliaproject.eu/)
• “First Network Discussion Group meeting” Dubai 30 Nov-1 Dec, 2010, “INCONET-GCC: opportunities for multidisciplinary energy cooperation” (Prof Cristina Flesia) (http://www.eugcc-cleanergy.net/EventMaterial1.aspx)
• 3rd Innovation and Entreprereurship Conference, Thessaloniki 9/10/2009 (Stavroula Maglavera)
• Participation to the International Learning Network (ILN) Conference, Brussels, June 2010 (Stavroula Maglavera)
• Presentation of INCONET-GCC at the CAPACITIES PROGRAMME –International Cooperation Activities Programme Committee Meeting, Tuesday, 18 November 2010 (Stavroula Maglavera)
• Participation the Workshop on International cooperation projects in Support to Research and Innovation Policies and Competence Building, Brussels 16-17/6/2011 (Stavroula Maglavera)
• Women In Leadership (WIL): General assembly in Brussels on February 8th 2011. WIL is an important network whose ultimate objective is to promote gender equality and the advancement of women. (Dr. Toporkoff)
• Intelligent Community Forum (ICF): ICF conference on June 1st-3rd, 2011 in New York City. ICF is a think tank that studies the economic and social development of the 21st Century community that count among its attendees, mayors and government leaders from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. INCONET-GCC was presented to the world’s most dynamic communities, which use ICT to build prosperous, inclusive and sustainable communities. (Dr. Toporkoff)
• Open Innovation & Strategy Policy Group (OISPG): It is a group whose gathers representative from European companies and European Commission, which exchange on the crucial issues of Open Innovation to ensure a sustainable Growth. (Sébastien Lévy)
• Cap Digital network and its conferences: Cap Digital is a French business cluster for digital content and services in Paris and the Ile de France region. Cap Digital count 600 members, primarily innovative SMEs but also count major universities, higher education establishments, research labs, and corporations. Cap Digital members represent the digital industry's most active players in digital content. Nine vibrant member communities make a vital contribution to the strategy and direction of the cluster: Image, Sound and Interactivity, Video Games, Knowledge Engineering, Culture, Press, and Media, e-Learning and e-Training, Collaborative Technology & Intelligence, Mobile Lifestyle & Services, Robotics and Communicating Objects, and Digital Design. Dr. Toporkoff and Sébastien Lévy are strongly involved in this important French network and have been disseminating on a regularly basis information on INCONET-GCC. They have also tried since the beginning of the project to find initiative and project in which the GCC countries could take part.
• Sophia Antipolis Foundation network and Conference: Sophia Antipolis Foundation is a worldwide center of excellence and embodies a sign of modernity. It gathers more than 1400 companies; this place is birthed to encourage the exchange of ideas and cooperation in scientific, industrial and cultural matters at a national, European and international level, in order to create a new entrepreneurial culture, thereby turning Sophia Antipolis into an experimental laboratory for the future. Dr. Toporkoff and Sébastien Lévy which are collaborating with the Sophia Antipolis Foundation for many years used its large network to disseminate information on INCONET-GCC and its finding. Moreover the foundation is the perfect partner of INCONET-GCC as the foundation is seeking to collaborate on many subjects, which interest the GCC countries (Environment, energy) with them.
• Dissemination of the project at several IASP activities in 2010, such as the IASP European Division Workshop “STPs in a mature economy”, organised by Tecmaia, in Moreia da Maia, Portugal; the Manchester IASP European Division Workshop “Measuring the success of Science Park”, organised by Manchester Science Parks in Manchester, UK; the IASP European Division Workshop “Science and Technology Parks in a Green & Energy Saving World”, organised by Mersin Technopark in Mersin, Turkey; the IASP European Division Workshop “Recognition of Science Parks in Europe”, organised by SPoW – Science Parks of Wallonia in Brussels, Belgium.
• Presentation of the project in conferences at which IASP has had an active participation, such as ‘Baltics Dynamics 2010’, the ‘Conference on Science and Technology Parks in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe’, ‘Triple Helix VII: International Conference on University, Industry and Government Linkages’; and the WAINOVA Assembly 2010.
• Presentation of the project to delegations visiting the IASP Headquarters: Turkish delegation of STP managers and government officials from the MERSIN region seeking information on collaboration activities with Spain and GCC countries.
• Dissemination of the project at the IASP World Conference on Science and Technology Parks, organised by Scion DTU and Symbion in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the brochure was available at the IASP stand and information about the project offered to attendees to the conference.
• Dissemination and presentation of the project in conferences at which IASP has had an active participation, such as ‘KRSR Conference’ in Kuwait; ‘Thai BISPA day and workshop’ in Bangkok, Thailand; the ‘European Cluster Excellence’ in Paris, France; ‘Pro-Inno Europe Conference’ in Munich, Germany; the ‘Russian STPs Conference’ in Madrid, Spain; and the ‘CIP Forum’ in Gothenburg, Paris.
• Presentation of the project to other international organisations (such as WAIPA), European networks of STPs (Madrid Network in Spain) and governmental institutions (TORCH Center in China).
• Presentation of project progress in several IASP meetings with European institutions: meeting with the European Commission in January and the meeting with EESC in February.
• Participation to the Health NCP Meeting, Brussels 9/6/2011 (Dr. Kazem Behbehani)
• Participation to the Health NCP Meeting, Brussels 9/6/2011 (Dr. Dalia Badawi)
• Participation to the FP7 Health – Open Information Day and Partnering Event, Brussels 10/6/2011 (Dr. Dalia Badawi)
• Participation and presentation of the ICT developments in Oman at the Networking session, ICT event, Brussels, Sept 2010 (Dr Talal Al Balushi)
• Participation at the Nego Kick-off information meeting and Ethics training, & training session on Ethics in Health research, Brussels 5-8/3/2011 (Dr Talal Al Balushi)
• Link to the INCONET-GCC website on the webliography section of the IASP website.
• Participation to International Learning Network Workshop: Synergies between projects: International cooperation and coordination of national programmes and policies that took place in Brussels on 10-11 of November 2011 (Stavroula Maglavera)
• Items International introduced INCONET-GCC at the Global Forum 2011, which took place in Brussels on 7th & 8th of November 2011 at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to disseminate information on the project to its international and strong network. The Global Forum attracts each year more than 300 high-profiles industry leaders, senior policy-makers from national, regional and local governments, civil society leaders, and academic specialists from all over the world and various domains such as ICTs, Innovation, Healthcare, Green IT, etc. INCONET-GCC has been presented by Stavroula Maglavera in the session: CHALLENGES FOR OPEN INNOVATION at the Global Forum 2011 in Brussels in front of a high-profile audience. This session was one of the most successful with impressive speakers such as Bror Salmelin, Adviser to the Director ICT addressing Societal Challenges, DG INFSO, European Commission, Jay Gillette, Professor, Center for Information and Communication Science, Ball State University; Secretary Digital Policy Institute; Advisory Council Pacific Telecommunications Council, USA; Sébastien Bachollet, Member of the Board, ICANN, France, Bosco Eduardo Fernandes, Head of Corporate Research, Huawei European Research Centre, Germany, Mathew Heim, Senior Director and Counsel, Qualcomm European Government Affairs, Pierre Laffitte, Honorary Senator, President Sophia Antipolis Foundation, France, Elisa Liberatori Prati, Chief Archivist Manager, World Bank Group, Jean-Marc Merriaux, ICT Division Director, Universcience, Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, France, Eric Legale, Managing Director Issy-Média, City of Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, Carl Wickman, Director & Head of Services & ICT Division, VINNOVA, Sweden.
• During the Global Forum 2012 in Stockholm, the INCONET-GCC project was integrated in the session “Content evolution” as when we spoke about technology, networks, regulations, policy on ICT it is all related to content.
• “Europarliament Seminar: ICT Innovation for Quality of Life and Healthy Ageing” organised by NESTOR, Italy on September 22nd in Brussels (Sylviane Toporkoff)
• 6th European Ministerial eGovernment Conference, which took place on November 17th 18th in Poznań. This conference gathered more than 3 000 participants from all over the world and from various domains (Sébastien Lévy).
• On December 8th 2011 in Paris, France during an IREST (Institut de Recherches Économiques et Sociales sur les Télécommunications) workshop. This workshop allowed disseminating information about the project towards the French stakeholders in the telecom field which fit with the INCONET-GCC research priority identified: “Key Role of ICT for Innovation”
• On January 31st 2012 in Brussels, Belgium. Items International joined the general assembly of WIL network-Women in Leadership. As the WIL network is composed of the decision-makers at the highest-level from the four research priorities from all over Europe.
• On March 20th-21st in Paris, France, Items joined the OECD KNOWINNO second expert meeting on R&D and innovation in services. This allowed disseminating information on the INCONET-GCC project to the international and high-level audience of this event.
• On June 14th 2012 in Casablanca, Morocco, Items participated in a meeting called «Casablanca Ville Numérique: quels enjeux» which aimed at exchanging about the implementation of Smart Cities and their benefits. This meeting allowed to exchange with companies specialized in proposing services to cities to turn them into “Smart Cities” which fits with the research priorities identified in the INCONET-GCC framework.
• INCONET-GCC and its finding have also been promoted toward the OIPSG-Open Innovation & Strategy Policy Group which a group created by the European Commission which gathers international and innovative organizations such as IBM, Intel, Items International, HP, Nokia.
• Items International has also promote the INCONET-GCC project toward the ENoLL- European Network of Living Labs in order to evaluate the possibilities for the organization to help and label Living Labs that may emerge in the GCC.
• Promotion of the project at the World eGovernment Forum on October 12th & 13th in Issy-les-Moulineaux. This conference gathers each year around 150 cities and regions from all over the world (Sylviane Toporkoff)
• Attended the INCO Conference 2011 “International Research and Innovation Partnerships to meet Global Challenges” and the INCO NCP meeting and training workshop, it was held on 27 and 28 September 2011 respectively in Johannesburg, South Africa. The theme for the 2011 conference revolves around issues of International Research and Development co-operation to address global challenges, with particular, but not exclusive, focus on African EU Science and Technology co-operation. (Abdalla Adlan – QU, Umaima Al Mahdhori – TRC)
• Dissemination of the project at the Baltic Dynamic Conference, organised by TEHNOPOL Tallinn Science Park in cooperation with Business Support and Credit Management Foundation on 4-6th September 2011 in Tallinn, Estonia. The INCONET-GCC brochure was available at the IASP stand and information about the project offered to attendees of the conference.
• Dissemination and presentation of the project at the IASP North American Division Workshop on 27-28th September 2011 that took place in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. The presentation included the study of the number and type of collaboration initiatives between the USA and particular countries in the GCC region and to analyse the reasons behind the stronger bilateral cooperation with the USA.
• Updates on the development of the INCONET-GCC project has been presented at the two IASP European Workshops organised in the second half of 2011: the “Driving forces for R&D and innovative companies’ international mobility” workshop held on 3-4th October in Ljubljana (Slovenia), organised by Technoloski Park Ljubljana; and the “Measuring and improving the performance of Science Parks” workshop held on 10-11th November in Berlin (Germany), organised by Wista-Management/Berlin Adlershof. The project was also disseminated at the IASP European Workshop on "Green opportunities and challenges for science parks" that was held in Vitoria, Spain, on 16-17th October 2012.
• Presentation of the project to Spanish and Portuguese entrepreneurs and managers of Science Parks during the “Iberian Meeting of Science and Technology Parks” organized by the Spanish Science Park Association, APTE, in October 2011. The project brochure was distributed among the attendees to this event that dealt about innovation and internationalisation of science parks and their resident companies.
• Dissemination of project progress at the IASP Asian Division Conference / 15th ASPA Annual Conference on “the role of STPs in national and regional development plans”, organized by Isfahan Science and Technology Parks and which was held in Isfahan (Iran) on 22-24th November 2011. The project brochure was available at the IASP stand and information about the project offered to attendees at the conference.
• IASP has forwarded the IASP Manual “Organising Quality Conferences: knowledge and tips for the organization of IASP World Conferences and other events” to London School of Economics and Political Science. Having organised 28 world conferences and more than 60 regional conferences and specialized workshop and seminars IASP will collaborate with LSE in the preparation of the policy advisory workshop that will be organized as part of the INCONET-GCC conference in Abu Dhabi in 2012. IASP is also elaborating a survey to collect feedback and information from the participants at the Abu Dhabi conference and evaluate their knowledge sharing experience and the results of the event.
• Presentation of the project and project updates to Spanish entrepreneurs and managers of Science Parks at the Spanish Science Park Association (APTE) internationalisation commission, in Madrid, Spain on 7-8th May, 2012. The project brochure was distributed among the attendees at this event and a procedure set in place for companies/research institutions of the APTE network to have access to possible counterparts in the GCC region via IASP.
• Dissemination and presentation of the project at the European Investment Bank. Mr. Luis Sanz met with Mr. Rakesh Bhana from the Municipal and Regional Unit of the EIB, on 2-3rd July in Luxembourg to learn about the financial programmes provided by the bank and also to find out which of them may be best suited for science and technology cooperation and the opportunities for non-European institutions, namely GCC counterparts, to benefit from them.
• In addition to the above, IASP has made a dissemination of the project in conferences at which IASP has had an active participation, such as the Retis Conference (10-12th July, 2012 in Brest, France), the 2012 International Conference on Innovation Clusters (19-20th September, 2012 in Daejeon, Korea), the 16th Asian Science Park Association Annual Conference (24-26th October, 2012 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) and the Moscow Innovation Forum (31st October-2nd November, 2012 in Moscow, Russia)
• Dissemination of the project via e-mail and postal mailing among 233 IASP members in GCC and European countries and nearly 100 general contacts in GCC countries.
• Participation to the Euro-Mediterranean Conference on Research and Innovation, Barcelona 2-3 of April 2012 (Stavroula Maglavera)
• Participation to International Learning Network Workshop: Synergies between projects: International cooperation and coordination of national programmes and policies that took place in Athens on 10-11 of May 2012 and in Brussels on 29-30 of November 2012 (Stavroula Maglavera)
• The Direction of technology (MESRSFC), represented by Mr Reda El Fellah has participated to the 6th « International Learning Network » organised in Athens (10-11 May 2012) attended by prominent coordinators of International cooperation projects eg BILAT, INCONET etc and European commission representatieves.
• Presentation and dessimination to all partners and stakeholders of a report on the collaboration with Mediterranean partners, stressing on the following points: (1) Synergies between MIRA and INCONET GCC, (2) MIRA project self assessment, (3) Recommendations for Future Links between the two Bi-regional initiatives
• Participation of Mr El Majid Zayer (Direction of Technology) to the 16th MOCO meeting Monitoring Committee for euromediterranean cooperation in science and technolgy, held in Malte on 19-20 Novembre 2012, and participation to a preparatory meetin on ERANET MED initiative.
• RTV has attended and presented a paper about “Effective Management towards Successful Knowledge-Based Economy” in IASP 2012, Estonia, June 2012.
• RTV has also published a paper in the journal EJEL, about “Measuring the Effectiveness of National Knowledge Based Economy” 2012.
• 2-9 July, 2011, Londra, Cambridg, Mildton Keynes. The Gulf Research Meeting. Oral Presentation on: The Role of R&D International Cooperation Networks in the NSI concept approach. (C. Flesia)
• 4-9 March 2012, Participation to the 3rd Gas Processing Symposium, Doha. Presentation of the paper: Accuracy of alert systems to detect environmental disasters based on remote sensing satellite observation. This included the description of European GMES programmes and facilities. (C. Flesia)
Task 5.4 Conference secretariat (Int’l Conferences, Networking Workshops & Brainstorming events)
Task description
This task is related with the set-up of the events’ secretariat.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
The event secretariat was set-up from the beginning of the project and is including ITEMS and the local organisers of the different events. The secretariat is responsible to coordinate with the project members and the event organisers, to plan the events and to report on the events. Specifically:
• Linking with the previous conference, workshops and brainstorming events organized during the period, Items has done the following tasks. It has required many telephone calls, mailings and support on sites.
o Venues selection
o Event documentation preparation : programmes, promotional documents
o Speakers: dissemination to potential speakers, selection, discussion concerning the content of their presentations. Helping to prepare the presentations and PowerPoint. Booking and selecting airline tickets, hotels and accommodations
o Participants: dissemination to potential participants, follow-up, registration of participants. Selecting hotels and accommodations
o on-site logistics management: preparation of the venue, support for the presentations, collecting all the presentations
o Logistics support
Task 5.5 Follow-up activities (evaluation of events)
Task description
This task is related with the evaluation of the events.
Significant results (Activities and Deliverables)
In order to evaluate the relevance of the international conference of in Abu Dhabi, and to obtain information on knowledge sharing experiences, we gathered their feedbacks. Those collected information served also as inputs and insights from GCC actors and third parties for the Green Paper and the White Paper. This follow--up was useful to asset what have been done and what should be improved for future conference and collaborations.
WP6: PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Objectives
The objectives of project management and the relevant WP6 are to ensure execution of the project in conformity with the Commission contract, to negotiate any necessary changes to these agreements during the project, and to manage risk and perform contingency planning so that the project reaches its goals. Interface with the Commission and accomplishment of Project’s administration will also be ensured. More specific objectives of the workpackages are to enhance the communication flow both within the consortium and between the consortium and the EC project officer, to organise the kick-off and subsequent Consortium PMB meetings, to organise quality control procedures and develop a quality assurance manual (QA manual) and finally to monitor and oversee all activities for the analysis, development and implementation of research agendas, the mentoring activities, the integration of actors activities and overall the dissemination and exploitation tasks. As network Development is key to the project’s success, a task is dedicated to the monitoring and management of this activity with clearly defined actions and goals. Risk Analysis is also an important element of project coordination, identifying potential problems, delays and subsequently implementing corrective measures and outlining contingency strategies.
Consortium management tasks and achievements
Project management ensured that partners deliver their technical, financial reports (Form C) and all other reports in time and ensured the control on expenditures and the collaboration of partners in the various WPs. Moreover, project management organised and prepared all the Consortium meetings, technical and national meetings, wrote the minutes of the meetings, prepared the annual management report, took over most of the reporting work, besides the management reports, and co-ordinated the contractual issues.
There was close monitoring and ubiquitous communication with partners in order to ensure submission of the participants’ input and to verify compliance with the internal and official deadlines, and close monitoring of the internal deadlines, as these are defined by the INCONET-GCC Consortium, to guarantee sufficient time for quality assurance.
The proper functioning of the INCONET-GCC Project Management Committee (PMC) was assured during the project duration. The PMC ultimate guide for decision-making is compliance of the work with the project goals and strengthening the synergistic effects of the participant activities. Thus, the PMC decisions, reflecting the consortium views constituted an important tool for effective project management and all the participants respect them.
The management related results within the project were reported on an on-going basis by delivering periodic progress reports that includes the technical and the financial annual project report. The results were related to the status of the project, therefore they need not be summarised in this report.
The coordination and management activity in the reporting period has performed the following tasks:
- Pre-financing payment: Pre-financing Payment from European Commission was received from Euroconsultants on the dedicated bank INCONET-GCC account in Eurobank, December 2009. The pre-financing payment has been distributed according to the partners’ quotas in the Project in two instalments (February 2010 and March 2011). It was agreed that the 50% of the pre-financing payment to be distributed and the rest 50% to be distributed after the implementation of the activities of the 1st year and the internal financial reporting.
- 1st Interim payment: 1st Interim Payment was received from Euroconsultants on the dedicated bank INCONET-GCC account in Eurobank, September 2012 and was distributed to the partners according to their quotas.
- The Community development management and the coordination of the participants contributions towards the project objectives has proceeded as reported in the progress report in section 1. All milestones have been achieved and the all deliverables prepared and submitted to the European Commission.
- Seven Full Group meetings were organised:
o Kick-off meeting and launching event organised by HCT in Abu Dhabi on 23-24/2/2010
o 1st Executive Meeting and ACM meeting were organised in Athens on 9/6/2010
o 2nd Full Group Meeting organised in Thessaloniki on 21/10/2010
o 3rd Full Group Meeting organised in Kuwait on 10/5/2011
o 4th Full Group meeting organised in Venice (November 2011)
o 5th Full Group meeting organised in Abu Dhabi (May 2012)
o 6th Full Group meeting organised in Stockholm (November 2012)
- Project Management deliverables were prepared and submitted to the EC as foreseen in the Description of Work.
- Development and maintenance on a daily basis of several tools, which facilitate partners’ per day communication and support the management in its scheduling and reporting tasks.
- As far as concerning administrative management the following activities had been implemented
• Gathering of the Financial Forms
• Preparation and submission of the Periodic reports
• Preparation of agenda, organisation and coordination of full group meetings.
• Preparation of plenary meeting minutes.
• Final review and submission of deliverables due at the reporting period.
• Close follow-up of reports/activities/deliverables deadlines and responsible partners.
o As far as concerning technical management the following activities had been implemented
• Overview of all technical activities.
• Coordination between WPs 1-5 implementation work.
• Review of relevant documents and formal deliverables.
Finally, the consortium prepared the deliverable D6.2 – Project Management Handbook where all project procedures and relevant templates are described in detail. INCONET-GCC Quality Assurance procedures address both the process and the deliverables. All internal procedures developed and accepted by all partners from which the following will emerge:
• The quality standards of deliverables and their acceptance criteria;
• The standardisation of the deliverables on the basis of the above criteria;
• In house measures, that will ensure that the project is developing in such a way that the above criteria will be satisfied;
• Definition of the quality-sensitive parameters and their monitoring procedures;
• The control mechanisms internal and/or external of the deliverables;
• The corrective mechanisms.
Changes in the consortium, if any
The project proceeded to an amendment, which includes the following changes:
o Removal of the Bahraini partner – The Bahrain Center for Studies and Research, stopped its operation as shown by Royal Degree June 2010. The issue created the need for find a replacement in Bahrain, however due to the political situation in the country and the very slow reply in the project requests, it has been decided that no new partner from Bahrain will enter the consortium in replacement of the BCSR. The project coordinator managed to receive the Form C and the relevant financial report from BCSR and BCSR paid back the coordinator the remaining of the pre-financing. It should be mentioned that due to the unstable political situation in Bahrain the removal of the partner took some time to be implemented.
o During the implementation of the project and the different visit in the region and the discussion with relevant Research stakeholders, it was found out that Kind Abdullah University for Science and Technology – KAUST, it is a very important player in Saudi Arabia and the GCC region. Representatives of KAUST followed the activities of INCONET-GCC, such as the networking session in Brussels, September 2010, the information Day in Kuwait and the consortium unanimous decided the invitation to KAUST to formally participate in INCONET-GCC project. KAUST went thought the validation process of the European Commission and entered officially the project as a new beneficiary in October 2011.

Potential Impact:
The Middle East and specifically the Gulf Region has experienced strong macroeconomic growth in recent decades and recorded major improvements in, e.g. physical infrastructure, modern communications, education, and health services. Despite the advances, the development of the region is strongly reliant on natural resource extraction, especially in oil and gas, and public sector expansion. In addition, the region is characterized by very rapid population growth. In the present situation, the region must generate new economic activities and jobs to meet with the requirements of its rapidly growing and increasingly well-educated young population. These issues have been strongly highlighted by the developments over the last year and a-half that we now associate with the Arab Spring.
Given the cost and productivity levels displayed by the region, however, there are no possibilities for its economies to compete in mature standardized production. International competitiveness requires an ability to put new knowledge into new use through innovation. As the world becomes increasingly interlinked through globalization, however, organizations everywhere are turning to innovation as one of the few durable sources of competitive advantage. Success in this regard requires an ability to draw on unique combinations of assets and capabilities, so as to generate some sort of unique edge compared to what is achieved by others.
In the past, the Middle East used to be the centre for much development of new knowledge worldwide, e.g. in architecture, mathematics, medicine, arts, and so forth. Several hundred years ago that position was lost, and the region lost further ground during the colonization era. Over the last half century, it was able to regain control over its natural resources and attract foreign capital and technology for their exploitation and also processing into more high-value added refined products. However, the mindset of quality education, research and innovation is missing today. Without the ability to put in place a general culture of appreciation for creativity and innovation, economic diversification as a basis for a sustained high standard of living will simply not be possible.
This gives rise to a number of questions that are absolutely critical for the future well-being of the region? How can an innovation for quality science, research, quality education and innovation be created? Who should be in the driving seat? Which stakeholders could and should be involved?
Experience from around the world conveys a clear message that successful reform in this area requires broad societal collaboration. There is a need of top-down leadership, but also effective bottom-up initiative. Likewise, domestic processes and impetus for change need to be accompanied by an intensification of external relations and mutually beneficial collaboration across national borders. Adjacent countries in the same region can typically benefit from those exchanges and collaboration that draw on similarity in culture and history, while inter-regional collaboration can add a variety of angles and widen the horizons. Yet, although the countries of the Middle East have embarked on regional collaboration in some areas, they have thus far made very little effort to work together in areas of education, research and innovation. They have also, up to this point, enjoyed scanty collective collaboration with other regions in these domains.
In some respects, the Middle East has a lot of common with Europe, including through a strong influence in the development of its modern institutions. Still, in the knowledge era, since several decades the region put a great deal of focus on learning from the United States until it more recently switched much attention to East Asia. Yet, in the area of research and innovation, no other region has developed the kind of structured programmes and intra-regional collaboration enjoyed by Europe. In the exchanges made possible through the present proposal, the Middle East stands to benefit from distinct gains in both these respects, i.e. through enhanced constructive collaboration with their neighboring countries as well as through a deepening inter-regional collaboration with Europe, while focusing on the way in which research and innovation capacity can develop while responding to critical societal and economic issues. Europe will likewise also gain through the intensive engagement with the Middle East in this way.
In INCONET-GCC, the emphasis is on the GCC-countries, which in some respects represent the most developed part of the Middle East, although INCONET-GCC also features strong engagement of other major countries in the Middle East, and reflects the critical development agenda of the wider region. The activities that have unfolded represent an important new start to build the network and collaborative activities that can enable the Arab Gulf Countries (and associated with them, other parts of the MENA region) to engage in mutual learning for the purpose of dynamizing research activities and the innovation system in support of economic diversification.
RESEARCH STRATEGY AND ACTIVITIES IN THE ARAB GULF COUNTRIES
Qatar
Qatar National Vision 2030 states, “In order to further support human development, Qatar will aspire to be an active center in the fields of scientific research and intellectual activity.” As part of this endeavor, Qatar is growing its research and development capabilities. Qatar is growing its research and development capabilities. To this end it has committed to spend 2.8% of government revenues on research, technology and innovation.
Qatar is devoted to develop its economy towards a knowledge-based economy enriching its level of human capital and improving its competitiveness. Knowledge, as it is applied in innovation and entrepreneurship, research and development, product design and software, and in how people use their education and skills, is now considered to be one of the key growth in the global economy.
Design Features and Implementation Process: Qatar will be an international center for research and development excellence and innovation. The national research program will be based on inclusiveness and intellectual merit to: (1) Develop the capabilities of Qatar’s people and institutions, (2) Build and maintain a competitive and diversified economy, (3) Improve the health and social well-being of Qatar’s population, (4) Support Qatar’s distinctive culture and the security of its people, (5) Preserve and improve the natural and build environment. Four key ingredients (“pillars”) of the knowledge economy that the Campaign will emphasize: (1) Energy and Environment, (2) Health, (3) Computer Science and ICT, (4) Social Science.
Qatar University (QU) and Qatar Foundation (QF) are the major key RTD players in Qatar dedicated to building human capital in a part of the world where the need and potential for human development are considerable.
Qatar National Research Fund:
• Established in 2006, QNRF aims to advance knowledge and education by providing support to researchers.
• Administers funding for original, competitively selected research and fosters collaborations within academia, and through public/private partnership.
• Although QNRF actively seeks internationally recognized researchers, it is dedicated to funding research that meets the needs of Qatar
Qatar Science and Technology Park: Opened February 2009, Develops research into commercialization, Free zone status. Over 40 research centers some of the key tenants are: Cisco: Development and delivery of a global platform of business and collaboration. ConocoPhillips Water Sustainability Center. EADS Competence Center of Qatar: Training and Certification for NDT and maintenance. GE: GE Technology and Learning Center, iHorizons: iHorizons: software development in new market, ExxonMobil Research Qatar: LNG-related research.
United Arab Emirates
UAE research strategy s built around: (1) A Competitive Economy Driven by Knowledgeable and Innovative Emiratis, (2) A diversified and flexible knowledge-based economy will be powered by skilled Emiratis and strengthened by world-class talent to ensure long-term prosperity for the UAE, (3) Harness full potential of national human capital, (4) Sustainable and diversified economy, (5) Knowledge- based and highly productive economy. The main research stakeholders in UAE are:
The ICT Fund (launched 2008) aims to achieve rapid, progressive and concrete developments within the ICT sector specifically in the fields of intellectual capital, technological leadership, smart research, innovative ideas, and incubating start-ups. Its Board of Trustees encompasses high level professionals and dignitaries from the ICT private sector, the academia, and the telecom operators of the UAE, and Etisalat, both contributing 1% of the annual net profit to finance the Fund’s operations.
National Research Foundation (NRF): Established in 2008, its aim is to promote and coordinate research activity, to provide research leadership in the country and to provide funding support on a competitive basis to researchers. NRF offers: Research Centers of Excellence and Research & Scholarship Awards.
CERT Research Centers: CERT established in order to accomplish: (1) To make the intellectual and educational resources of the HCT available to the community and the region at large, (2) To contribute to the growth and development of an applied research culture in the UAE leading to a national capacity to contribute to the growing body of knowledge world wide.
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which comprises various research domains (Water, Environment & Health, Future Energy Systems and Microsystems & Advanced Materials) and centers (Energy Efficient Systems, Smart Grids and Smart Buildings, Carbon Capture and Sequestration, Solar Energy and Established Collaborators).
UAE University is an internationally distinguished comprehensive research university. As the UAE's first and most comprehensive residential university, it is committed to excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and service to the nation and beyond.
New York University – Abu Dhabi: A distinctive element of NYUAD is a robust research environment, one that supports the disciplinary areas of the curriculum, creates collaborations in new and exciting interdisciplinary fields, nurtures the development of graduate programs, and supports research of the highest quality on topics of importance and relevance to Abu Dhabi.
Arab Fund for Economic & Social Development (AFESD): AFESD is a regional financial institution, whose function is to assist the economic and social development of Arab countries through (1) financing development projects, with preference given to overall Arab development and to joint Arab projects; (2) encouraging the investment of private and public funds in Arab projects; and (3) providing technical assistance services for Arab economic and social development. Funding opportunities include a ‘Distinguished Scholar Award’ and ‘Outstanding research and/or University lecturing awards’.
Emirates Foundation: (2005), it is a nationwide initiative acting as the governing body of an endowment fund that is funded collectively through the private and public sectors and the government. The Foundation funds research, scholarships and initiatives in six core areas of interest: Education, Science & Technology, Arts & Culture, Social Development, Environmental Development, Public Awareness.
Grand Hamdan International Award honours individuals whose contributions to healthcare delivery have left an indelible mark by their quality, originality and impact on the delivery of health care. Universities, research centres, science institutions and individual physicians and scientists are eligible to nominate individuals for this award.
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation: (2007). This Dubai-based Foundation funds research, activities and initiatives under the key areas of culture, entrepreneurship and education.
The UAE has been at the forefront of development of ICT parks in the GCC. Dubai Internet City (DIC) –paved the way for specialised ICT clusters in the UAE, such as Dubai Techno Park (DTP), Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) and CERT, in Abu Dhabi.
Oman
Most research conducted in Oman has been done at the behest of the government. Oman’s research vision is to become the research hub for water, energy, downstream petrochemicals, and agro / marine biotechnology. The areas of research are linked to areas of importance for economic and social development in the Sultanate: (1) Energy and Industry, (2) Health and Social sciences, (3) Biology and environmental resources, (4) Education and human resources, Culture, (5) Humanity & Basic science and (6) Information and Communication technologies. Most R&D and S&T activities are allocated within the public and university sectors, with very small contribution from the private sector.
It is expected that over the next 10 years R&D policies will be focusing on a new range of issues such as Innovation policy, Entrepreneurship, Commercialization & value adding and patenting. Great strides have been made on the research front, with the establishment in 2005 of a national research body, The Research Council (TRC), which is mandated to adjudicate and fund research proposals in the national interest. TRC operates on the basis of a state-of-the-art strategic plan for the coordination and development of research and innovation for the nation. Since its creation, TRC has funded over 200 projects and in doing so has speeded up the research culture and the way ahead in S&T. TRC focuses on capacity building and made it a crucial part in submitting proposals to have capacity as an essential part of the project to be accepted together with the value added of the project. TRC is bridging with all academic institutes to reduce the missing link and covers the gaps to enable a smooth process. This network is vital for sustaining proper implementation between the government, the academia and the private sector. Incentives have been introduced to promote S&T and more flexibility and a wide range of programs to choose from in TRC to cater for the needs of either the academic institutes or the government sector. All of Oman’s universities, and especially Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) which has nine advanced research centers, have a strong focus on research.
Kuwait
Kuwait has established specialized scientific bodies, which can undertake work in the field of academic research with the ultimate aim of building up modern Kuwait. Kuwait has established three different types of institutes that have at their disposal funds to carry out research as follows: (1) Research specialized institutes: such as Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), (2) Higher Education Institutes that perform research beside their primary tasks such as Kuwait University (KU) and Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), (3) Funding Agencies that serve as funding bodies for Research and scientific activities such as Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS), Environmental Public Authority (EPA) and Kuwait Petroleum Company (KPC).
Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), which aims to promote scientific and applied research, particularly in matters related to industry, natural and food resources and other primary constituents of national economy. Its main objectives are to: (1) Conduct scientific research and studies concerned with the progress of national industry and which facilitate the preservation of the environment; (2) Explore and study natural resources and means for exploiting them, energy and water resources, and methods to improve agriculture and develop aquatic resources; (3) Render scientific, technological and research consultation services to the government and to national establishment; (4) Follow up the development of scientific and technological progress, and adapt it in ways that conform with the local environment; (5) Establish and foster relations, and carry out mutual research with higher education institutes, and the technological and scientific sectors in Kuwait and various parts of the world.
Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS). One of the foremost goals of KFAS is to promote scientific development in the State of Kuwait by supporting scientific projects, the scientific community and the country's scientific infrastructure. The major aims of KFAS are to: (1) promote social, cultural, economic and technological progress in the state by providing support to related programs, (2) support sustainable development with positives implications on the society, (3) develop resources and skills of the nationals through scholarships, training, workshop, seminars and conferences, (4) facilitate cross-institutional links and collaborative programs with international institutions for greater scientific development, (5) establish focus on education, health and environment, (6) award grants and prizes to encourage intellectual progress in the state of Kuwait and other Arab countries, (7) The Research Directorate (RD) at KFAS was established to support the advancement of science and research. The three major funding programs of RD are: the Research Grant Program, the Assigned Research Program and the Kuwaiti Shareholding Companies (KSC) Program.
Kuwait Science Club is a non-profit organization supported by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor of Kuwait, aimed at discovering, supporting and honing the talents of the youth and encouraging them to invest their time in productive scientific work. The Club receives monetary donations from KGL Holding, in line with their Corporate Citizenship program and their commitment to supporting the club’s academic endeavor and scientific undertakings especially of young scientists and members.
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia aims to develop and diversify its economy by harnessing its natural resources and the knowledge and talent of its people. KACST, created to facilitate this transformation to a knowledge-based economy, aims to develop and promote the fields of science and technology in SA. KACST created the first Science and Technology National Policy (STNP) in the Middle East region in association with key stakeholders.
The National Science Technology and Innovation Plan (NSTIP) was created as a product of STNP. The NSTIP is responsible for the planning, management and coordination of the policy, its objectives and growth in the 15 identified areas of science and technology including: Water, Oil and Gas, Petrochemicals Technology, Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, ICT, Space and Aeronautics, Energy, Environmental Technology, Advanced Materials, Mathematics and Physics, Medical and Health, Agriculture Technology, Building and Construction.
The highlights of the NSTIP Statistics are listed below: (1) NSTIP has funded 706 S&T projects since the year 2008; (2) NSTIP has funded projects from 16 different Strategic Technology Units; (3) NSTIP has awarded more than 1.2 billion SAR to science and technology projects; (4) The Medical & Health sector has received the majority of funding; 21.9% of the total; (5) The Biotechnology sector has received 20.9% of NSTIP’s total grant money; (6) 11.7% of the NSTIP grant money went towards R&D in the Nanotechnology sector; (7) 8.5% of the total NSTIP fund has been used for R&D in Environmental Technologies.
Bahrain
Considering the orientations of the economy it is not a surprise that research was never considered as a priority nor was intensely supported as such. Bahrain’s institutions of higher learning do not posses any considerable research capability and even though the University of Bahrain includes many accomplished doctoral level staff across a variety of disciplines and it maintains a traditional strength in engineering, it is not funded to carry out research. Nevertheless there are some universities and public bodies which are funding S&T.
Dr. Ali Bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa Research Fund: The Late Ali Bin Abdulla Bin Khalid Al-Khalifa Research Fund is an agency for supporting medical research in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The aim is to lead the way towards health research that improves people's health and quality of life. The main research fields concentrate on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of common diseases in Bahrain such as coronary heart diseases, diabetes, hereditary blood diseases and cancer.
The Bahrain Medical Bulletin: The Bahrain Medical Bulletin is an international independent peer-reviewed journal published by the Editorial Board of the Bahrain Medical Bulletin. It was first published in June 1979 and it is the second medical journal in the Arabian Gulf. The Bulletin is published four times a year and its mission is to encourage, promote and advance biomedical and health sciences and to provide a medium for local and regional high quality work to be disseminated internationally. Bahrain Medical Bulletin provides individual mentoring, training, funding and awards for research and publication. Furthermore, to encourage scientific research the editors of the Bahrain Medical Bulletin also organize “Research Writing and Editing Workshops” biannually.
Bahrain is served by more than 200 primary and secondary schools including 30 private schools that offer curricula from the UK, US, France, Japan, Pakistan and India. There are a vast number of specialist colleges and universities offering courses in subjects such as finance, medicine, and IT.
Yemen
In 1990, the number of State Universities in Yemen was 2 (including 35 colleges), and grew to 7 in 2005 (including 89 colleges/ 428 departments/faculties with about 4404 professors holding master and PhD degrees. There are 9 Private Universities (including 45 colleges holding up to 62 departments/faculties).
Despite the noticeable increase in the number of universities and colleges and governmental and non-governmental studies and research development centers as well as the establishment of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the status of national research and technology development issues in Yemen remain to be of shortcoming. The current status of research and technology development issues specifically in relation to research priorities for Yemen is still far from being fetched. Yemen has made some progress in the field of research and technology development field. There is a raise in the awareness to the importance of Scientific and Technological Development researches in Yemen, which is reflected by the establishment of several new agencies concerned with this matter. This includes the establishing of Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Higher Committee for Scientific Research, and the increase of public and private universities. In addition, the private sector has begun participating in this field particularly Al-Saeed Foundation for Science and Culture. In general, national research and technology development issues specifically in relation to research priorities in any country are conducted through the following entities: (1) Universities and academic facilities; (2) Specialized governmental and NGOs research and technology development centers; (3) Private and Public Economic and Industrial sectors.

Selected societal challenges – research priorities
The selected societal challenges / research priorities are based on work already implemented during INCONET-GCC. The choice of research priorities needs to reflect a number of considerations. Apart from developments that are intrinsic to science and research internationally, these include the societal agenda of the region itself and considerations how research and innovation can contribute to the development of critical solutions to outstanding issues. There is also the need of building on existing strengths and the opportunities at hand through already established research collaboration. Finally, it needs to be underlined that the determination of research priorities must take the shape of an ongoing process that involves multiple stakeholders. The output of the project must therefore be seen as input to a wider process that must be strongly rooted internally in the various participating countries.
An important objective of INCONET-GCC was to help identify those research areas that are of particular common interest to the Arab Gulf countries and to the EU, in which S&T cooperation is potentially of the greatest mutual benefit. INCONET-GCC organized this work so as to allow for matching with existing EU programmes. At the same time, it will be important to keep evaluating the ongoing developments in both regions, including in regard to the implementation of STI policy decisions on both sides.
The selected research priorities are described in more detail in other deliverables and are the following as matched with the specific societal challenges of HORIZON2020:
• Water, Environment and Climate (“Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020) including also Food (“Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research & the bioeconomy” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020)
• Information Communication Technologies (which in HORIZON 2020 will be part of “Enabling and Industrial Technologies” or issues can be consider under the “Inclusive, innovative and secure societies” Societal Challenge)
• Health Innovation (“Health, demographic change and wellbeing” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020)
• Energy Security (“Secure, clean and efficient energy” Societal Challenge of HORIZON2020)
Water, Environment and Climate
Water is an extremely scarce resource in the Arab Gulf Countries, which is one of the world’s most arid regions. Over the next decade, Arab Gulf Countries will be among the world’s highest per-capita users of water
One of the main issues is that the bulk of the region’s water is directed into agriculture, a sector that provides less than 5% of GDP.
Food
Arab Gulf Countries is on of main food-importing region and for this reason is vulnerable to spikes in global food commodity prices (i.e. 2008). That price increase has had a strong impact on the region’s food and agriculture policy, and will continue to have an impact over the next decade.
Food imports are projected to grow to US$53.1bn by 2020, or 8% of all imports in value terms. Ensuring that food imports remain available at an affordable price is a key strategic priority for the Arab Gulf Countries.
Energy Security
Given the Arab Gulf Countries’s huge oil and gas deposits, energy conservation may look to be unnecessary. The Gulf’s evolving energy policy:
• Invest in adding value to exported fossil fuels
• Invest in power production to meet soaring demand
• Invest in renewable fuels
• Devote more resources to developing “cleaner” energy Technologies
Information Communication Technologies
• GCC a rapidly developing region in terms of ICTs and characterized particularly by strong growth in the area of mobile telephony over the last five years.
• ITU estimates that by end 2011, about 31% of households in the Arab Gulf Countries had a computer, and that some 26% of households had Internet access at home.
• ICT authorities are organised in each country (ICTQatar, eGovernment Bahrain, etc)
Health Innovation
• Health (electronic or not) is not only a research priority but is a NECESSITY all around the world.
• ICT for Health and Ageing is a priority for all countries, rich and poor, diseases do not respect borders, 'Rich world' diseases (cancer, DM…) also affect developing countries and vice versa (Aids, TB…) and treatments and cures are universal.
• Health and ageing research requires co-operation across the globe
• ICT solutions for healthcare are universal
STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS (SWOT) ANALYSIS
The following SWOT analysis provides a comprehensive picture of the current situation in the EU-GCC research collaboration as drafted during the INCONET-GCC and the possibilities and threats of the future.
Strenghts
• Excellent teaching and research personnel; good reputation in the selected research areas.
• Interdisciplinary character; research expertise spans different areas of theory and engineering of the selected research areas.
• International experience gained through collaborative links mostly to USA Institutions, Universities, Research centers and companies. Specific niche areas with special knowledge at international level
• High degree of internationality; researchers are coming all around the world
• Excellent RTD infrastructures exist or currently being build in all GCC countries, especially supporting the selected research areas.
• Research Staff are very Diverse
WEAKNESSES
• Diversity of personnel is partly unexploited.
• Insufficient presence of the Arab Gulf Countries organizations within established EU R&D and innovation networks
• Lack of international project experience for most of Arab Gulf Countries Research Capacity in the selected RTD themes and focus on individual studies mostly developed on bilateral agreements with US organizations
• Inter-regional RTD cooperation is not exists. No specific actions to support clustering activities between stakeholders in the region coming from different countries.
• Lack of technology vision in firms themes. Focus on deployment of technology rather than technology development
• Despite the existence of policies and plans in RTD, insufficiency of incentives and enforcements in application and monitoring of the results
• Existence of problems in transferring accumulated knowledge from universities to industry
• Stakeholders have bilateral agreements with USA organizations and are far away from the business centers of Europe.
• Weak linkages between RTD and industry
• Lack of strategy setting capacities and capabilities
• Weak Research Culture
Opportunities
• O1. Diversity in expertise makes it possible to address a wide range of RTD challenges that can raise industry- academia collaboration.
• Many respectful research establishments and companies expressed their interest to collaborate.
• An regional umbrella framework research program (like FP7 or Horizon 2020) would motivate increased collaboration between team members to produce highly visible applications.
• The creation of centers of excellence of research and innovation for the wider Middle East region.
• Creation of networks
• In the newly shaped economical situation, GCC and the existing research centers can play the major role in the definition of the EU research strategy and cooperation.
• Strategic approach to manage the global crisis
• Internationalization of private sector
• Great opportunity for Arab Gulf countries to join forces in certain topics or themes
Threats
• Repeated cooperation in bilateral terms only with USA organizations; the best GCC PhD students are still attracted by far only by USA universities.
• Inability to establish sufficient integration between institutions to determine RTD policies and being in distance to private sector dynamics
• Closed networks in EU FP. Difficulty of participating for newcomers.
• Strong financial situation of Arab Gulf Countries is an obstacle to participate to FP and Horizon 2020 programs.
• Political situation of the GCC region
• The independency of the non-nationals
• Researchers lack of stability/ high turnover
DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES
One of the most important tasks for the Dissemination Responsible actor is the monitoring of dissemination activities. The dissemination record, created at the beginning of INCONET-GCC is continuously updated with new dissemination activities, such as publications, workshops, project presentations etc. The dissemination record also includes the planned dissemination activities of the near future.
INCONET-GCC Launching event, Abu Dhabi, 22/2/2010
The first day of the kick-off meeting was the launching event of INCONET-GCC project that was open to the different local stakeholders that took place such representatives from MASDAR. United Arab Emirates University, the Abu-Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, the Swedish delegation and many others. It should be noted that the opening event was covered by the local media such as Newspapers and TV Channels.
The official opening of INCONET-GCC started with the Opening Address of Dr Tayed Kamali, Vice Chancellor of Higher Colleges of Technology, representing H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan. Dr Kamali mentioned the importance of the project to the region. Mr Robert Burmanjer, Head of Unit of International Cooperation of the European Commission, continued with the European Commission Perspective and presented the “International dimension of FP7: process, instruments and trends”.

INCONET-GCC Networking session, ICT Event 2010, Brussels, 27/9/2010
A networking session was successfully organized at the ICT Event 2010. The event took place in Brussels September 27th from 2:00pm to 3:30 pm. Representatives of most partners were there. Items undertook the dissemination of the event by the preparation of a list and an invitation email with the approval of the consortium. The target group were European and GCC countries contacts as well as the contacts who have expressed us their will to work in GCC. This selection process allowed us to list more than 6000 contacts from more than 30 countries in Europe and elsewhere.
Information material can be found at: http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/inconet-gcc-networking-session-ict-event/
INCONET-GCC Round table on Best Practice in S&T Policies, Muscat - Oman, 6-7/12/2010
INCONET-GCC Round table on Best Practice in S&T Policies, which was hosted by The Research Council (TRC) of Oman in Muscat on December 6-7, 2010. The workshop in Muscat served an effective promotion and dissemination role. It raised the awareness of particularly public organizations about the importance of international research collaboration, particularly with the EU. It also raised the awareness of public organisations, universities and researchers of the opportunity to establish effective research collaboration with EU countries, and the importance of GCC participation in EU improvements and innovation programs.
INCONET-GCC conference aimed to result in a number of concrete conclusions on strengths and weaknesses of research in the GCC-countries, and help provide guidance of measures to be taken through international collaboration, in particular by initiating joint research and innovation activities between the GCC and European Union countries. The conference included substantive presentations on the relevance and benefits of addressing best policy practice in science, technology and innovation policy.
The results of the workshop presented at INCONET-GCC deliverable D1.1 - Report on comparative analysis and best practice recommendations on Research in Europe and GCC region. Additionally the presentation and the information material can be found at: http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/round-table-workshop-inconet-gcc-best-practice-st-policies/
INCONET-GCC Information day and Policy Dialogue in Doha - Qatar, 3/5/2011
The event took place at Qatar University on 3/5/2011. The agenda and the presentations made during the event can be found at: http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/qatar-information-day/. The Agenda of the meeting is on Annex I. The themes of the agenda are listed below:
o 7th Framework Program
o International Cooperation in FP7
o The NCP system in France and the example of the INCO NCP
o Research at Qatar University
o INCONET-GCC Research Priorities
o FP7 Marie Curie Actions for worldwide researchers and institutions
The Information day followed by Policy Discussion with local stakeholders coming from Qatar Foundation, Qatar National Research Fund, GCC General Secretariat, Qatar University and other European stakeholders.
INCONET-GCC Information day and Policy Dialogue, Kuwait City, Kuwait, 11/5/2011
The event took place at Dasman Diabetes Institute, the NCP of Kuwait on 11/5/2011. The agenda and the presentations made during the event can be found at: http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/kuwait-information-days/. The Agenda of the meeting is on Annex II. The themes of the agenda are listed below:
o e-Infrastructures and e-Health
o Egyptian NCP System and Success Stories: NCPs and FPs
o FP7 Marie Curie Actions for worldwide researchers and institutions
o International cooperation in the EU Framework Programmes - Health research
o 7th EU Framework Programme on RTD 2007-2013 – ICT Programme
o INCONET-GCC: Status of the project
o INCONET-GCC Research Priorities
o The NCP system in France, the example of the INCO NCP
The Information day followed by Policy Discussion with local stakeholders coming from Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Research, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, Kuwait University and other European stakeholders.
INCONET-GCC International conference
The International INCONET-GCC conference that took place in Abu Dhabi on May 6-7/2012, where all the major results of the project and the policy dialogue activities presented and finally recommendations for the future were formulated (http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/abu-dhabi-conference/conference-may6-7/).
The agenda of the INCONET-GCC International Conference can be found at http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/abu-dhabi-conference/conference-may6-7/
All dissemination materials produced for the conference are presented in the following pages. The list of participants is listed below.
All presentations of the International Conference can be found and downloaded on the above URL.
Important efforts have been done to reach satisfactory qualitative and quantitative levels of participation in order to ensure that the Conference objectives could be effectively reached. These efforts focused on promotion:
• Conference highlighted on the INCONET-GCC website,
• Promotion of the event through the social media
• Release of successive eNewsletters,
• Targeted email blasts
• Promotion through the INCONET-GCC Advisory Group.
• Promotion through the dissemination of the event in various communities, such as the Global Forum community, the EuroMediterranean community, the EC International Cooperation community, etc
A printed version of the agenda prepared and distributed at the Conference participants together with the background document.
INCONET-GCC Information Day in Abu Dhabi
On the 8th, May 2012, the FP7 Info Day was organised by the local NCP, Higher Colleges of Technology. The Info Day organized the next day of the INCONET-GCC conference. The agenda and the presentation can be found at http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/abu-dhabi-conference/fp7_infoday/
INCONET-GCC closing event
A high-level workshop organized by INCONET-GCC in coordination with European Commission's Research and Innovation DG. The main objective of the workshop was to prepare the ground for a reinforced cooperation based on mutual interests, notably in the context of the upcoming Horizon 2020 programme. This workshop took place on 4th of December 2012 in Brussels. All the major results of the project and the policy dialogue activities presented and finally recommendations for the future were presented and discussed (http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/eu-gcc-workshop-brussels-december-2012/).
The agenda of the INCONET-GCC high-level workshop can be found at http://www.inconet-gcc.eu/news-events/eu-gcc-workshop-brussels-december-2012/
All dissemination materials produced for the conference are presented in the following pages. The list of participants is listed below.
All presentations of the high-level workshop can be found and downloaded on the above URL.

List of Websites:

The INCONET-GCC Web Site incorporates a structure suitable to include all current and progressively developed information regarding the project. A special section for secure access to the project’s restricted area for internal workflow is available.
WWW offers a wide range of possibilities for the dissemination of INCONET-GCC. For this reason, the project website has been developed and will be maintained by making information related to the INCONET-GCC project available to the wide audience for dissemination of the project. It is intended to provide an overview of the project goals, an introduction to the INCONET-GCC consortium, and a gateway for discussing INCONET-GCC-related issues. The INCONET-GCC web site is considered as one of the most effective dissemination channel, as it is global and can be accessed anytime from any interested party. The INCONET-GCC web site offers general information on the project, such as its rationale, the project progress, expected results and partners. Since it serves as a promotional tool, it will be enriched during the project with attractive presentations of expected benefits, related reference information (e.g. studies, news, papers) and access to other promotional material such as brochure and poster.
The INCONET-GCC web site contains the project identity (logo, colour scheme, etc.) developed as part of the WP5 work and has been designed in order to provide both the general public and the project partners with useful information concerning the INCONET-GCC project.
The idea behind the site is twofold. Firstly, to provide a point of reference for people interested in learning more about the project (with information such as INCONET-GCC objectives, the expected benefits, participating partners, etc.) and secondly as a place from which to distribute documents and information addressed strictly to the partners. For this to happen the overall INCONET-GCC site is divided to two sectors, one for the public and another for authorized only users.
The INCONET-GCC project Web site can be found at the address: http://www.INCONET-GCC.eu
The structure of the web site is quite standard and at the onset of its operation contains the following basic sections (the public area):
− Home page, which is the main page of the website and shows its structure.
− Project, which includes information on
o Introduction
o Objectives
o Technical Approach
o Workpackages
− Partners, which includes information for all project partners, their specific activities and links to their individual web sites.
− News and Events, which includes information on
o News
o Events
− Resources, which includes information on
o Technical development
o Deliverables
Contact, which opens a specific page for contacting the project and address specific questions.

The INCONET-GCC private web site is located at https://externalportal.hct.ac.ae/inconet/

Coordinator contact details
Stavroula Maglavera
Euroconsultants S.A.
21 Ant. Tritsi, 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
e-mail: s.maglavera@euroconsultants.com.gr
URL: www.inconet-gcc.eu