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PROmotion and coordination of environmental research in Central and Eastern Europe for a sustainable Development with the support of the Enterprise Europe Network

Final Report Summary - PROCEED (PROmotion and coordination of environmental research in Central and Eastern Europe for a sustainable Development with the support of the Enterprise Europe Network)


Executive Summary:
The Challenge

Statistics show an uneven and unbalanced participation of European countries to EU 7th Framework Programme environmental research projects. While the vast majority of participants come from EU-15 countries such as Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, France and Holland, most of the Central and Eastern European Member States are under-represented, with the lowest participation from Latvia and Lithuania. Taking into consideration the country dimensions and the number of existing research institutions and universities, participation of researchers from Poland, Romania and Bulgaria can also be considered very low. Moreover, it can be noted that when institutions from new Member States participate in EU programmes, they are almost never coordinators. This indicates insufficient knowledge and experience in developing project ideas.

Some of the necessary pre-conditions for a strong participation of a country in European research programmes include well trained researchers and available research structures to lead the actions; a coherent and supportive national and regional policy framework to direct and finance the researchers; and engaged industrial stakeholders interacting with the research institutions to communicate their needs for innovation and contributing to the development and uptake of research results. New Members States from Central and Eastern Europe are developing these necessary conditions to participate in the European Environmental Research, but further support is still necessary.

Objectives

The key objective of the PROCEED project was to steadily promote innovative environmental research practices and results originating in Central and Eastern European countries, including Associated countries, in order to increase the opportunities for S&T (Science & Technology) collaboration in the fields of Environmental technologies, air pollution and chemical pollution with other European countries and the uptake of research results.

Methodology

The concept of the PROCEED project was to exploit the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), an existing and efficient network of Technology Centres, Chambers of Commerce, , universities and other private and public Research Centres present in all European countries and beyond, to create a communication network for environmental research results and practices originating in Central and Eastern European countries.

EEN members are in a strategic position because they already have developed effective communication means towards research centres, universities, industry and policy makers. The project objectives were achieved through the identification of the strengths and weaknesses in the current communication of research results towards policy makers, academia and industry on national, regional and EU-wide level; the selection of research practices and results which are then collected in a data base and disseminated through national and international brokerage events; and the involvement of European researchers in a dedicated Social Network.

The Outcome

The project aimed to support, expand and improve the work of public and private researchers from Central and Eastern European countries.

As the result of the numerous project activities the PROCEED team has contributed to
• an improved uptake of environmental research results in Central and Eastern Europe,
• new technology transfer agreements,
• better synergies with existing networks and projects supporting the coordination of Environmental research activities in Europe,
• better communication and better understanding of research results by policy makers,
• an increased number of research institutions from Central Europe (including Associated countries) participating in collaborative research projects,
• improved knowledge of intellectual property issues, and
• improved services to enterprises by the members of the Enterprise Europe Network.

Moreover, the project facilitated research networking through establishing a Social Network (www.proceed-rsn.eu) where EU researchers can share publications and ideas for new cooperation, and holding • several brokering events in Central and Eastern Europe, Italy, Greece and Denmark.

Project Context and Objectives:
European environmental research on air pollution, chemical pollution and environmental technologies, is an important research area which contributes towards green growth and sustainable development in coherence with the “Millennium Development Goals” and the general objective of tackling climate change.

An effective Scientific & Technological cooperation across Europe is vital for the development of a stable and strong European Research Area. However, statistics show an uneven and unbalanced participation of European countries to EU 7th Framework Programme environmental research projects . While the vast majority of participants come from EU-15 countries, such as Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, France and Holland, most of the Central and Eastern European Member States and Associated countries have low participation rates, with the least participants coming from Latvia and Lithuania.

The PROCEED project partnership covers an area which involves 3 EU-15 Member States (Italy, Denmark and Greece), 6 New Member States (Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Slovenia) and 3 Associated countries (Croatia, Serbia and FYRM).

The concept of the PROCEED project was to exploit the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN), an existing and efficient network of Technology Centres, Chambers of Commerce, , universities and other private and public research centres present in all European countries and beyond, in order to create a strong communication network for environmental research results and practices originating in Central and Eastern European countries. EEN members are in a strategic position because they already possess effective communication means towards research centres, universities, industry and policy makers.

With these assumptions, and in line with the 2010 work programme, the strategic objective of the PROCEED project was to promote innovative environmental research practices and results originating in Central and Eastern European countries, including Associated countries, through the Enterprise Europe Network in order to increase the opportunities for S&T (Science & Technology) collaboration in the fields of Environmental technologies, air pollution and chemical pollution with other European countries and the uptake of research results.

The PROCEED project intended to achieve a set of measurable specific objectives which related directly to the contents of the call for proposal:

1) to identify the strengths and weaknesses in the current communication of research results towards policy makers, academia and industry on national, regional and EU-wide level,
2) to define a methodology for and selection of research practices/results to be disseminated,
3) to discuss and implement a set of solutions for communication and dissemination at EU, National and regional level,
4) to create a steady channel of communication with Research Centres, Universities, Industry and Policy makers at EU, National and regional level,
5) to create synergies with the National Contact Points Network supporting the implementation of the FP7,
6) to foster the uptake of environmental research results,
7) to create synergies with existing networks and projects supporting the coordination of Environmental research activities in Europe and to actively cooperate with project(s) implemented under topic ENV.2010.5.1.0-1 (Dissemination and uptake of FP environmental research results with tangible impact on economic growth and social welfare) and with the ENVIMPACT project,
8) to create synergies with all existing networks and projects supporting the coordination of Environmental research activities in Europe,
9) to increase the number of research institutions from Central Europe participating in collaborative research projects, including Associated countries,
10) to improve the knowledge of intellectual property issues,
11) to exploit the results of the project after its lifetime.
These objectives were pursued through numerous activities and results described below.

Project Results:
The objective of the Work Package (WP) 1 was to collect innovative environmental research practices and results originating in the region of the Central and Eastern Europe.
More concretely, PROCEED jointly with its twin project ENVIMPACT mapped and assessed CEE research results in the field of environment. The projects identified and selected research results and projects originating from the CEE project partner countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia) and other CEE countries in the areas of air pollution, chemical pollution and environmental technologies. In order to accomplish this task, the project carried out an internet-based survey. More details on the survey are included in the PROCEED deliverable D1.1.
The collected results are included in an extensive online database available at http://www.envimpact.eu/databases/results.cfm. Currently the database includes 570 projects categorized by, country, area, sector, type of organization and project name. It is free for all the users

The SWOT analysis

In parallel with the collection of existing research practices and results in WP1, WP2 focused on the analysis and evaluation of current research communication practices and the and effectiveness of this communication.

The work in this WP did not focus on (but did not completely exclude) communication to the general public (which is already tackled by other projects), and concentrated on the analysis of communication from researchers and public and private research institutions in Central and Eastern Europe towards three categories of recipients:
- policymakers,
- academia, and
- industry.

The analysis considered three geographical levels of communication:
- regional,
- national, and
- EU-wide.

Data for the national SWOT reports were collected through three different channels: desk research, online questionnaire and guided interviews. Desk research was dedicated to identification of existing analyses and surveys, aiming at communication and dissemination of RTD results (also technology transfer). Companies performing RTD and collaborating with RTD institutions in the target sectors (Air pollution, Environmental technologies, Chemical pollution) were asked to fill an online questionnaire. A special attention was given to the part 4 “Comments and Recommendations” of the questionnaire since it provided the basis for the preparation of action plan, aiming at overcoming the identified weaknesses and threats.

The guided interviews represented a tool to gather relevant information from the Decision/Policymakers. The interviews highlighted the good practices of dissemination and exploitation of the research results and the possibilities for further.

General observations:

While companies of all sizes were interviewed;, the majority of answers came from micro (Croatia, Slovenia) and small companies (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia).

The results of the data collection indicate that most of the companies are dedicating less than 10% of the annual income to the RTD (40% – 63% companies have chosen this answer). Slightly smaller percentage of companies is investing in RTD between 10-20% of annual income (15,5% - 44%). Only a few companies are investing more than 20% (5,5%-37%).

The most representative sector of RTD (out of those included in the survey) was environmental technologies (20-60%), with the exception of Latvia, where the most represented sector of RTD was chemical pollution. Air pollution and chemical pollution sectors were moderately represented in all other countries.

The data indicate that companies tend to perform RTD project mainly from their reinvested profit. Central European companies rarely engage in research through participating in EU projects as partners and even less often through taking on the role of a project coordinator. There are some exceptions: Polish companies mostly take the role of EU project partners, and appear to be less likely to take the role of a project coordinator or reinvest their own funds.

Motivation of private sector participation in chosen RTD projects differs in the observed countries. The PROCEED team noticed that the most frequent motivator was „Keeping up with major scientific/technological developments“. It was stated as the most important motivator in 4 different countries (Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia). Other important motivators were „Networking / finding new partners“, (relevant for Bulgaria, Lithuania and Serbia), „Access to complementary resources and skills“; „Access to application fields for testing/validating theories“ and „Obtain funding“.

Results achieved by RTD projects proved to be multiple; e.g. frequently the results were a combination of know-how, improved processes and improved products. The most frequent results of RTD project in the CE region are “Know-how” and “Improved processes”. They are followed by “new products” and “improved technologies”.

The majority of companies had reserved funds that were dedicated to dissemination of project results. The majority of companies reserved 1-5% of the total project budged for dissemination of RTD results. Some companies dedicated more than 5% of funds for dissemination, while others had no funds for these activities (17,6% of companies in Slovenia, 12,5% of companies in Poland, 10% of companies in Bulgaria, and Macedonia, 6% of companies in Lithuania). The most frequently used channels for dissemination were the following: web, conferences, project’s web-site and professional contacts (the most frequent answer in 3 countries), followed by personal contacts and press releases (the most frequent answer in 2 countries). The least used dissemination channels were books, workshops, employee placement schemes, e-zines, tutoring, consultancy, open access publications and inclusion in EU documents.

The companies were also asked about IPR protection for their RTD results. Since the majority of the project results were Know-how and Improved processes, we've expected the IPR protection level to be quite low. The conclusions met our expectations: large majority of companies in the target region appear to have low IPR protection for their project results (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania. Serbia): only 10% of companies in Latvia and Lithuania, 50% of companies in Poland, 40% of companies in Macedonia, 47% of companies in Slovenia are protecting the results with national or international patents.

Relatively high number (over 50%) of companies (regardless if IPR is protected or not), exploit the result on the market (Slovenia, Macedonia). The percentage of companies, partly exploiting the results, is modest – it varies from 12,5% (Poland) to 65% (Lithuania). The percentage of not exploited results is high in Croatia (44%) and Poland (37,5%).

Most of the interviewed companies are looking for partners to exploit project results.

Almost all of the interviewed companies are interested in further participation in RTD projects. The positive answers range from 63% (Croatia) to 100% (Bulgaria, Lithuania, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia).

SWOT report on research dissemination and exploitation practices in the CE region

• Strengths of the CE region

The report shows Central European countries host good and excellent scientist, more and more willing to cooperate with companies. On the other hand, companies in the region are more willing to improve their production processes, services, products, also in collaboration with researchers from other companies and from RTD institutions. This fact may be the consequence of EU RTD programs and of the ever changing business environment. Due to the accelerating pace of RTD the companies are willing and sometimes forced into cooperation and “open innovation” models; this is shown in the motives for cooperation in RTD – the most important motivators are access to complementary resources and skills; networking, and joint creation/promotion of technical standards.

The channels for receiving relevant information are attending the conferences and other business/ RTD events with networking, cooperation with established national innovation and RTD support institutions and European networks like the Enterprise Europe Network.

The increasing role of science in innovation stimulates governmental and European financial support mechanism, intended for RTD and technology transfer. This is especially the case in the future Horizon 2020. Technology transfer offices in CE countries are becoming more and more experienced and efficient. Governmental initiatives stimulate even more willingness for collaboration between RTD and industry, intended for SMEs and big companies. The number of companies, seeking new project partners and seeking new project represents more than 50% of the observed population.

An increasing positive attitude towards “green economy” can be observed in the companies, especially in the project, aiming at efficient use of resources. Branding of companies is becoming more and more important, also developing trust and close cooperation with project, research and business partners. “Good and reliable partnership” is wanted attribute for every consortium.

• Weaknesses of the CE region

The report shows that the market for RTD results commercialisation is underdeveloped due to lack of knowledge (both in companies and RTD institutions), lack of funds, motivation and time, needed for planning and executions of applicative RTD project. There are also communication barriers between companies and researchers, based on different “cultures” (i.e. RTD culture and industrial culture). We could say that there is a lack of “translators” between RTD and industrial language. The companies and RTD institutions also appear to lack sufficient long-term strategic orientation, research and business focus.

In particular, the SWOT results indicate surprisingly large information gaps by many companies in the target region concerning relevant legislation, current technologies, state of development of a specific sector, state of the art of IPR, market information, as well as information on competitors, and potential business / research partners. Many companies also indicated a lack of information on activities of national RTD institutions.

Companies from CE region are very rarely EU project coordinators and more often partners. The level of cooperation is still low. These facts could be the consequence of poor time management, information overload and overall difficulties to identify useful information, events and business opportunities.

On the other hand, this could be the consequence of insufficient communication skills or inadequate dissemination (marketing) materials (of RTD institutions, support entities and also companies). Especially in SMEs, the lack of finance for RTD and information dissemination can be a big problem. Quite often companies do not attend nearby B2B meetings just because they do not receive funding for the event. The fact may also be connected to the lack of qualified staff (brain-drain) who would be able to recognise the opportunities of certain project results. Overspecialising the employees and researchers may lead to difficulties in communicating with experts from other sectors (lack of interdisciplinary “translators”), where the most of new innovations occur.

Most of the companies interviewed do not appear to invest their resources into real breakthrough innovations. They tend to invest their resources into small adjustments of existing technologies, products or services.
Opportunities of the CE region:

• Opportunities in the CE region

PROCEED has identified a number of opportunities, which could help the CE countries to overcome the identified weaknesses and threats.

The most evident opportunity is the creation of efficient, lean and dynamic innovation (RTD) support environment; i.e. governmental support instruments for RTD and commercialisation of RTD results; support to technology transfer (instruments, change of inadequate legislation), creating reward system for researchers, participating in applicative RTD projects and project, custom made for companies’ needs; creation of business environment, accepting risks and business failure; affordable financing of RTD projects; improvement of awareness of IPR and strategic management of IPR; inclusion of national knowledge centres into European development programmes; governmental support to high-tech export; insisting on “usable” science (tech.transfer); providing support and funding instruments on all stages of innovation development; establishing new instruments for supporting innovation, e.g. innovation procurement, demonstration projects, etc, which could initiate the absorption of modern technologies; improvement of general investment climate.

RTD institutions and companies can become more successful, if they grasp the already existing opportunities, e.g.: enhance the knowledge about each-other’s activities, strategies, plans; start collaborating on small scale projects and continue the cooperating on larger projects; utilise the innovation support networks (national, European); start planning mid-term and strategically, including all publicly accessible information (market information; business registers; IPR databases with information on state of the art of patents, models etc; apply for EU funding programmes; and increase the networking activities.

• Threats of the CE region

Lastly, we’ve identified threats which may stop the CE countries in their efforts toward knowledge driven economies. The key threats are the following: inability of governments for strategically and long-term planning, avoiding political programmes and thus implementing country development programmes; brain drain (capable and talented individuals migrate to western EU or to USA); the governments’ potential inability to implement all the necessary changes (stimulus for collaborating with industry; change of legislation, currently preventing the establishment of RTD spin-offs and technology transfer); lack of nationally accepted models for exploitation of RTD results,; cumbersome administrational requirements, especially in structural funds; inability of national governments to fight corruption; lack of provision of RTD funds; inability of governments to attract foreign investors.

Other threats, related to the management of RTD institutions and companies, could include: inexperienced/poorly trained managers who do not understand the importance of collaboration and innovation managers who prevent the researchers and employees to gain the necessary additional knowledge; lack of the understanding of the importance of IPR protection.

General overview of additional recommendations:

Project partners in the CE regional should continue encouraging companies in the region in taking part in RTD activities. This can be done through presentations of EU RTD programmes and information days, followed by B2B matchmakings, networking events among companies and researchers. Cooperation between companies and researchers should be further stimulated through joint company missions/visits, aiming at disseminating the need for RTD in companies and disseminating the RTD results of researchers, aimed at industry. intensified collaboration with NCPs and existing European networks (like Entreprise Europe Network) is also needed.

All involved parties should strive for more visibility of RTD results and presentations of best practices of collaboration. Future EU RTD programmes should continue to increase the support to applied research, innovations and marketing of RTD results. Future programmes should strive to fully include the needs of the industry and thus orient themselves in one part to basic RTD and in bigger part to applicative RTD. The projects should always involve future end users of the project results.

For graphs, tables and major details please consult D2.1 SWOT Report

Evaluation and monitoring of communication activities

The monitoring and evaluation of communication activities was carried out under WP2 and focused on providing information on the most common means used to communicate/acquire knowledge on research results/practices in the targeted countries. The main purpose was to obtain an overview on how well researches centres and industry know about and use existing channels, how they receive and acquire information on research results in Europe. The survey was carried out by national partners and provides valuable information on entities and organisations interested in promoting their research results and further participation in EU research projects. The results of the survey and detailed recommendations to participants in RTD projects for better dissemination/exploitation of results are available in the project deliverable D2.2

The first level check of the monitoring focused on the means to receive and communicate RTD results whereas the second level check focused on the effectiveness of these communication channels, including identification of barriers and enablers of D&E activities.. The second level of monitoring included the collection of feedback from industry and policy makers. The feedback was collected in the scope of the national SWOT analyses.
All national SWOT were prepared based on the questionnaires, targeted at (1) Decision/Policy makers and (2) companies, collaborating with RTD institutions on projects, relevant to the PROCEED project, i.e. Air pollution, Environmental technologies, Chemical pollution.

The monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the communication of research results focused on effective use/delivery of communication channels by:

• Policy makers at national and EU level; • Industry using on line questionnaire for collecting feedback from private sector in the following countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia.

Main conclusions regarding dissemination and exploitation of the RTD results

• Companies in the targeted countries in most cases develop dissemination and exploitation plans. The percentage of partially developed plans though is considerable.

• Companies in the targeted countries in most cases reserve and utilise dedicated budget for implementing the activities of the dissemination and exploitation plans. The percentage of the total budget dedicated for these activities though is rather low to ensure sufficient level of effectiveness (1-5%).

• Of particular notion is the fact that the three most commonly used means are identical for both dissemination and exploitation of project results i.e. professional contacts, web and conferences Other more cost incurring channels are underrepresented. Thus the effectiveness in communication is limited to the existing network of contacts and potential outreach of the internet based activities and participants at conferences.

• Most of the companies in the targeted countries are interested in finding exploitation partners. These companies should be supported in the scope of PROCEED and related EEN activities in the efforts for further exploitation of RTD results.

• The second level check of the feedback obtained from the industry and relevant decision makers in the targeted countries revealed that there are numerous common and specific barriers for dissemination and exploitation of RTD results. The three most frequently highlighted barriers common for D&E are
• Limited planning in dissemination and exploitation process
• Difficulties in tailoring good budget which would include proper financial rates for dissemination and exploitation process
• Lack of funds and lack of knowledge and competences on dissemination and exploitation of RTD results.
(Further details on barriers and enablers for D&E of research results are available in PROCEED deliverable D2.1).

Based on the work described above, the project developed a list of detailed recommendations aimed at improving dissemination and exploitation of research and innovation project results in future EU programmes:

o Promotion of cooperation between projects or with adequate structures like technology platforms (bringing together different initiatives)
o More support structures like EEN, more organized ways or measures for networking in the field of research
o Avoiding insisting on use of innovative (e.g. viral marketing) dissemination tools
o Putting clear indicators and demands for exploitation (quantified and with exact time frame)
o More recognition to successful projects (awards or similar)
o Increased support to applied research
o One joint portal for simple presentation of all research results
o Verification of exploitation
o In case co-financing by the partners is required, not to refer to dissemination and exploitation activities
o Both research results and dissemination activities should be checked by partner countries which can be interested in results or can be affected by them.
o The quality check of the research results in collaboration with the partner representatives should be established as an obligatory demand of the research programmes.
o A national disseminator conducting the national dissemination of the research results should be planned in each international project. It is especially important in situations when project contractors do not envelope all partner countries. In this case extra expenses for dissemination in the rest of the partner countries must be provided in the research project. An extra result to such approach would be the enlarging circle of scientific institutions involved in international projects.
o In terms of legal requirements and dissemination and exploitation oriented schemes, it is recommended to conduct periodic assessment of their effectiveness in promoting development and implementation of new approaches and relevant modification.
o To strengthen external driving forces for dissemination and exploitation of RTD results, it is recommended to assess possibilities for applying simplification for control of legal compliance for companies developing and implementing dissemination and exploitation models and methods.
o Considering the fact that the main internal barrier for dissemination and exploitation of RTD results is lack of competence within the project partners
o (SMEs, R&D centres etc.) competence strengthening and technical support to them in development and implementation of new dissemination and exploitation practices should become a priority.
o It could be recommended to organize long-term training programmes for representatives of RTD projects, covering both theoretical training and practical development of dissemination and exploitation models. Such programmes could be focused on particular sectors of industry or mixed industry groups. Experience shows that such training programmes are most effective to strengthen competence in enterprises.
o Introduce to the main stakeholders of the RTD project (SMEs, governmental/ financial institutions etc.) dissemination and exploitation development methodologies and potential benefits. In such case it would be meaningful to organize a series of short-term training programmes.
o To promote and to ensure effective technical assistance for the main stakeholders of the RTD project (SMEs, governmental/ financial institutions etc.) in development and implementation of dissemination and exploitation procedures. In such case the establishment of specialized technical support system would be recommended. Such system could include free of charge advise related to dissemination and exploitation of RTD results. This provider of services could be not only specialized in technical support but also could serve as an informational centre to promote technical assistance services provided by other research and consulting organizations.
o More support is needed for promoting best practices, teaching how to commercialize RTD results and improve the level of competencies in specific EU countries – as opposed to merely running Europe-wide competitions for project funding, in which only the companies from the best developed nations have chance to win
o Providing more recognition to successful projects
o Increased support to applied research
o Simplifying application procedures
o To pay attention on environmental and development of new technologies.
o Financial incentives better information for calls
o Suitable financial support for this activities to be performed with more success
o Appropriate conditions for more efficient information exchange between partners
o No need for public research institutions to be a required member of consortiums.
o Possibility to open markets over to other markets China, USA...
o More stress on the industrialization. Make sure that people from the companies are those who manage the project. We cannot expect much in the case that public RTD institutions manage the projects and companies play a minor role because the motives and the goals are often too different.
o Focus on the real business and environmental problems. If funds are given for R&R you have to know, that we are not able to plan the projects in detail for the next 3 years, because the research activities and results cannot be always predicted.
o Working for and with target public (throughout the project)
o Piloting
o Test dissemination materials (ex: CD/DVD with project results that are useful
o Better conditions for companies to participate in the EU funding programmes. Mandatory involvement of the business sector into the projects through the support of policies makers and the line agencies. Exchange of good practices between countries.

Brokering of research results

Under WP3 the project aimed to create a structured communication network acting at different levels and with different tools in order to:

- promote directly the contents of the data base among research centres, policy makers and enterprises at regional national and EU level
- to create a direct contact between researchers with industry and policy makers
- to stimulate and organise the demand for research
- to find, organise and valorise the research offer
- to stimulate and organise the demand for technology transfer
- to increase the knowledge on intellectual property rights
- to involve public and private financing actors that can support the development of agreements and industrial projects (banks, policy makers, etc.)
- to increase the knowledge on intellectual property issues

the following results were achieved:

• Proceed Research Social Network was set up and started. The RSN website (www.proceed-rsn.eu) is an online platform serving as communication channel of communication with Research Centres, Universities, Industry and Policy makers at EU, National and regional level.
• A LinkedIn Group was created: the group has currently 297 members and over 130 discussions going on.
• 33 national workshops were organized in 9 CEE countries and in Italy, Denmark and Greece with an aim to create opportunities for exchanging research ideas, identifying unsolved industry and research issues, communicating with the environmental professionals from across the country, increasing the number of research institutions from Central Europe capable of participating in collaborative research projects and providing information on Proceed project results and future activities. Moreover, the aim of the workshops organized in the EU-15 countries (Italy, Denmark and Greece) was to find research institutions in these countries interested in starting S&T cooperation with partners in CEE countries.. . Participants were mostly researchers, policy makers, potential investors and representatives of enterprises interested in investing in research. The number of participants at each workshop is presented in the Table 1. Total number of participants at 26 national workshops was 743, thus having in average of 28.58 participants per event.

Potential Impact:
The PROCEED project aimed to achieve the following:

1. Added value of the European approach: - The whole concept of the PROCEED project is based on a European-based approach which is necessary to trigger an effective involvement of Central and Eastern European countries (but not only!) in S&T collaboration at EU level and increase the uptake of environmental research results. The project partnership covers 9 Central European countries- 6 new Member States and 3 Associated countries- and 3 EU-15 Member states. The EEN served as the main communication channel and extended network of contacts and partners among local, regional, National and EU policy makers, industry and its associations and public and private research centres.

2. Cooperation and uptake of other national and international research activities: The PROCEED approach was proactive and collaborative towards all previous research activities. synergies with projects implemented under topic ENV.2010.5.1.0-1 (Dissemination and uptake of FP environmental research results with tangible impact on economic growth and social welfare) were sought and close cooperation throughout the project lifetime was achieved with FP7 ENVIMPACT project.. Additional synergies were exploited with FP7 ENV-NCP-TOGETHER project. These cooperative activities allowed PROCEED to increase the impact beyond the scope of the project partners and immediate stakeholders.

3. Increased collaboration on, access to, and use of environmental research results in an enlarged Europe: Results of the project involved both target stakeholders and key actors. Their inputs allowed the project to develop a number of useful tools aimed at increased access to, and use of environmental research results in EU new Member States. These include the database of Best Available Environmental Research Results and Practices in Central and Eastern European Countries ( see http://www.proceed-project.eu/databases/results.cfm) and the SWOT analysis of present communication of research results/practices. Furthermore, the project fulfilled this goal through stimulating involvement of researchers and companies from the target region in new FP7 ENV research proposals, involvement in TT agreements, and improved knowledge of Intellectual property rights.

4. Improved dissemination and use of tailor-made tools for communication and dissemination activities for the environment: Together with ENVIMPACT project, PROCEED developed an online database of Best Available Environmental Research Results and Practices in Central and Eastern European Countries mentioned above, as well as detailed analysis and recommendations regarding the communication and dissemination of research results. Additionally, PROCEED developed Proceed Researchers Social network and initiated a LinkedIn group, prepared a Project Leaflet, and sent out newsflashes. EEN communication channels were particularly useful in disseminating project results. Moreover, key actors and target groups identified by the project were involved in various project events, such as National workshops, International workshops, Brokerage events.
In order to maximize the effort and the funds from the FP7, the PROCEED dissemination activities were integrated with the ENVIMPACT project since the two projects had common thematic scope. and common objectives to improve the current communication of environmental research results deriving from Central-Eastern European (CEE) countries, to enhance the uptake of research results and foster the participation of CEEC in EU-funded research projects through S&T cooperation with other European partners. (PROCEED and ENVIMPACT projects have been funded under the same topic FP7 –ENV – 2010-5.1.0-2 “Dissemination and exploitation of research results to enhance impacts of environment research activities in an enlarged Europe”). To assure the greatest impact of the two projects, a common dissemination plan was developed. A constant link between coordinators and work package leaders responsible for promotion and dissemination communication ensured update on project development, implementation of communication tools and a strong cooperation on promotional and dissemination activities.

List of Websites:
http://www.http://proceed-project.eu/
Contact details of project coordinators:
eng Simona Haprian
Arad Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture
310017 Arad, adresa Closca ,5
ROMANIA
Tel: +40730188293
E-mail: simona.haprian@ccia-arad.ro