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Euro-Algerian Research Networking

Final Report Summary - EARN (Euro-Algerian Research Networking)

Executive Summary:
EARN was a project aiming at the improvement of Science and Technology cooperation between Europe and Algeria.
Nine partners coming from Algeria, France, Belgium and Germany cooperated and contributed to the work in six Work packages. The work comprised the distribution of knowledge and competences, transfer of good practice, networking
The work started with a report on the Algerian S&T system as well as an inventory of funding schemes (“knowledge base”). In order to increase the Algerian participation in FP7 a set of recommendation, based on a SWOT about the Algerian participation in FP7, has been formulated.
Based on these results a Meta search tool has been integrated to the project web page (www.earn.dz). A report on the Algerian S&T system as well as an inventory of funding schemes has been elaborated.
In order to improve the Algerian NCP (National Contact Point) system a concept paper has been developed. The paper nominated 18 NCPs and its persons in charge. Eight training sessions have been organise for the NCP staff including the opportunity to network.
The training of the Algerian research community and enterprises also played an important role in EARN and intended to enhance the Algerian participation in European research projects. Nine training session have been conducted.
Another task of EARN has been the transfer of good practice in the field of innovation and technology transfer. In this context the project invited stakeholders in Europe and Algeria to discuss innovation support schemes (clusters, incubators etc.) in Algeria and Europe. The results of this discussion flew into a technology transfer training for Algerian actors. Furthermore a delegation of nine Algerian experts to France of Germany has been organised. This travel intended to establish working and learning contacts between Europe and Algeria.
EARN also addressed the facilitation of policy dialogue between Algeria and Europe and the identification of scientific issues of mutual interest. In this context three policy workshops have been organised. It was focussing on the issue of technology transfer and innovation and it brought European technology transfer schemes and experts to Algeria. The intention was to identify opportunities to implement similar policies in the country. The workshops led to a proposal for the implementation of a Pilot Programme in the field of technology transfer for Algeria. The pilot programme has not yet been launched; however, it is still on the policy agenda.
EARN was successfully implemented. An NCP-system was installed and trained, the research scene is aware about the opportunities for joint projects with European partners and the issue of technology transfer is widely discussed both at political and at academic level. Still, major challenges are ahead. The NCP system needs to be professionalised and the information about HORIZON 2020 needs to be spread.

Project Context and Objectives:
EARN aimed at the improvement of Science and Technology cooperation between Europe and Algeria. Important project activities were to provide Algerian key actors (researchers, enterprises, policy makers and intermediates) with relevant information about funding opportunities at European level as well as providing access to European partners and identifying thematic priorities which are of mutual interest.
More specifically the objectives were:
• Provide information about funding programmes, designed to promote cooperation projects between Algerian and European researchers.
• Provide supporting schemes for identifying suitable partners in Algeria and the EU.
• Implement a network of contact points for the framework programme for the different thematic areas and provide an intensive training for the people advising later on the Algerian researchers.
• Promote innovation support schemes and build a bridge between science, innovation and the industrial sector
• Organise workshops to identify priorities for collaboration and mutual interest areas.
The Association Agreement between Algeria and the EU exists since 2002. It entered into force 1 September 2005. The Association Agreement has been concluded for an unlimited duration and intends to help strengthening the existing relationships between the European Union and Algeria by establishing relations based on reciprocity and partnership. A roadmap for implementation of the Association Agreement with Algeria was agreed by the Association committee in September 2008. The EU follows the strategy to enhance the objectives of the Association Agreement and the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) in order to establish an area of peace, stability and shared prosperity.
The strategy paper 2007 – 2013 Algeria stresses the need to develop higher education and scientific research, which are essential to the building of a knowledge society, to promote joint research projects and increase participation of researchers and universities in European research and innovation programmes and projects under the 7th Framework Programme. The purpose of the Association Agreement is amongst others to reinforce the cooperation between Europe and Algeria in the field of Science and Technology mainly through the participation in the Framework Programmes.
Accompanying the efforts of Algeria, the idea of EARN was to create a more active relationship between Algerian and European partner regarding scientific and technological cooperation. The consortium consists of partners from Algeria, Germany, France and Belgium, who all had an interest in supporting Algeria in integrating into the Euro-Mediterranean area. The objectives of the project intended to support Algeria’s integration amongst others by the elaboration of a database for Algerian and European Researchers on funding opportunities to build up the S&T cooperation. The identification of existing bilateral S&T links between Algeria and European Member States should render the S&T system in Algeria more transparent to their European neighbours. Furthermore the project sought to increase the know-how of Algerian researchers about European funding opportunities by setting up a network of National Contact Point (NCPs) in Algeria. To prepare the persons working as NCPs professionally for their tasks, an initial training workshop will be hosted. In addition to that an internet platform was installed to publish and disseminate the identified information and to facilitate mutual exchange on S&T policy and funding opportunities for EU-Algerian cooperation. The platform was furthermore to support the partner search for interested researchers.
Another important issue was the S&T policy dialogue between Algeria and Europe in order to coordinate better cooperation and to initiate joint projects. The policy dialogue was facilitated by policy workshops, where experts and policy makers were able to discuss topics of common interest.
In addition to that the Algerian DGRSDT work in implementing the S&T Agreement continued during the project lifetime.

Project Results:
Dissemination in EARN project has been rich and diversified since both classical and modern communication tools have been exploited. Globally we may mention the following means:
 Info Days and meetings
 Web Portal
 Project Flyer
 Newsletters
 Census
 Press Articles & Media Information
 Internet & Electronic mailing
 Workshops
 Trainings
 Diffusion to academic and industrial networks
Future actions should lean on the experience gained with all the project’s activities but also consider the scheduled strategic tasks in Europe and Algeria. In this regard, one has to consider that the period 2014-2020 in both regions will see the launch of frameworks research and innovation programs. Horizon 2020 in Europe and the 3rd five years RD & I program will take place. In addition, many joint research activities will also be undertaken thanks to the implementation of the ST & I Euro-Algerian agreement roadmap. But overall and whatever approach we may follow it is of prime importance to maintain more increasing networking of research activities between Algeria and Europe.
At a national level a major step forward needs to be done, i.e. the creation of a permanent structure for European projects within the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. While at a European level, more regional Joint Programs Initiatives should be planned targeting common issues and topics such as: clean energies and environmental aspects, water and agriculture, ICT’s and social development, etc.
This is why the here report dissemination plan will try to cope with such hot issues in order to simply increase the Algerian-European Scientific exchange. The plan will be based on three main elements:
 The Networks
 The Web Portal & Interactive Platform
 Dissemination activities
The networks:
Networks of skills are an efficient way of diffusing information and sharing experiences. For the Algerian case one can mention the following grids that can play an active role in disseminating useful information but also implementing more EU projects.
National Contact Points:
The National Contact Points (NCP’s) have been given a special attention in EARN because of their leading role in multiplying common Algerian European research activities. A full roadmap as well as a vision has been proposed within WP2. It is expected that the proposed organization scheme as well as the support of the Ministry and research institutions will empower an active role of NCP’s.
Networks of excellence:
The existence of a well organized scientific and technological basement composed of a wide variety of institutions (Universities – Laboratories- R&D Centers – SME’s) can be another important asset that can be exploited judiciously for enhancing/widening/creating networks. Dissemination and communication activities undertaken in WP3 have already given fruits. Today not only the number of EU projects in Algeria has increased but researcher’s awareness as well. It expected that such new organization scheme will bring an uptaking dynamics in campuses and laboratories. The most important remains of course to trigger a stimulating partnership between academia and industry.
Valorisation Services:
The valorisation services are widespread in all academic institutions but also in some leading companies. They can be considered as bee hives, i.e. the first active cells able to draw an increasing number of activities related to EU projects. This is why most of information activities disseminated within WP2 and WP3 of EARN was mainly orientated towards them. They can be considered as the basic layer of the proposed dissemination strategy.
The web portal & interactive platform:
There is no doubt that EARN’s web portal has opened the project to many collaborative perspectives either with Europe or with Maghreb countries. Today the ICT tool play a non negligible role in diffusing information, creating networks, getting feedback from the society, etc. It is though of prime importance to go further beyond with more useful features. It concerns:
A new web portal fully dedicated to EU projects organized in a manner to assist any researcher, entrepreneur, etc in submitting a proposal, finding data, identifying projects and teams etc. In addition an interactive platform will be incrusted within the website in order to ease the exchange and submission process from any university or SME IP address.
In addition, we expect also to develop a faster and useful Meta Search Tool that can help guiding the users to find out efficiently any Algerian or European calls, experts, etc.
Dissemination activities:
Brokerage events:
With the increasing future research activities a large number of brokerage events can be planned where experts, professionals can meet and exchange and discuss all initiatives related to projects. A National Innovation Forum as an annual or bi annual event can be considered as a driving force for business contacts and innovative projects. An important collaboration effort is needed between multi sector profiles in order impose it as an unavoidable yearly brokerage event. Besides that, many other brokerage events can play a good role in bringing specialized people or high level experts for project creation or launching new initiatives, such as: university forums, workshops, etc.
Trainings:
Training people will always be an unavoidable manner of transmitting information but also ‘know how’ and ‘what to do’. This comes from the simple fact that human skills and knowledge needs perpetual enhancements in such changing societies.
Conclusiones:
The proposed dissemination can be considered as a way of extending the project’s philosophy based on networking at different levels. To this end all the tools, whether classical or modern should be in our view efficiently exploited. EARN’s project has now set the basis for a fruitful ST & I cooperation. The setup of the ‘comité mixte’ as mentioned in the ST agreement between Algeria and Europe will certain empower a larger number of activities. Moreover, the launch of Horizon 2020 and the 3rd Algerian Framework program will probably boost all research activities inducing at the end more dissemination activities.


Potential Impact:
EARN is a BILAT project and thus, the impact of this measure was intended to be at two levels:
1. an increase of R&D cooperations between Algeria and the Union, and
2. an improvement of mutual understanding of the research systems in Europe and in Algeria.
Within EARN, these general impact expectations were broken down to six concrete issues. The expexted impact and its referring results are enlisted below:
Expected Impact:
Awareness raising and dissemination of information about EU-funded projects in Algeria
Results:
 It is clear that through EARN information about EU-funding opportunities and EU-supported projects was widely spread in Algeria.
 In total eight information events dedicated to the research scene were implemented within the implementation phase of EARN. All events displayed success stories from Algerian participation as well as funding opportunities.
Expected Impact:
Awareness raising and dissemination of information regarding the Algerian research system and research potential in Europe
Results:
 Here the focus of the project was more on the Algerian research system. It turned out through the interviews in WP 1 that European researchers are not aware of the Algerian research system.
 An analysis of Algeria’s research and innovation system was elaborated and published. Also, a flyer (which was not foreseen in the DoW) was produced, highlighting the main elements of the system.
Expected Impact:
Strengthening the Algerian support structures for EU-funded R&D projects (especially NCPs)
Results:
 Without over-estimating the impact of the project it can be said that an NCP-system in Algeria would not be existing without EARN.
 This does not mean that the current system is already the most suitable one. However, the project team and the Research Ministry elaborated recommendation for a further development of the system.
Expected Impact:
Enhancing professional networks between Algerian and European research communities
Results:
 With regard to this impact, it need to be said, that we are far away from having sustainable network structures between Algerian and European research communities. However, stakeholders and policy makers seem to be rather well linked to their European counterparts.
Expected Impact:
Collating and analysing existing cooperation structures, programmes and networks in order to disclose future potentials for new and efficient S&T cooperation policies
Results:
 With EARN the knowledge about regional networks and clusters as well as about technology transfer structures in France and Germany was collected and disseminated in Algeria (WP 4).
 Within the policy workshops of WP 5 recommendations for new kinds of technology transfer schemes could be developed.
 Impact is not yet measurable.
Expected Impact:
Ensuring that research results translate into an increased competitiveness of Algerian industries by analyses and policy learning
Results:
 EARN as one of the first BILATs took on board the issue of technology transfer. The aim was to support the transfer between the research sector and industry in order to promote competitiveness of the Algerian industry.
 Two WPs were concentrating on this topic (WP 4 & WP 5). Three policy workshops were conducted thus assuring a successful policy learning. In addition nine Algerian technology transfer experts were brought to France and Germany in order to learn from transfer experiences in these countries.


List of Websites:
The address of the project public website is: www.earn.dz. The project partner in charge of establishing, maintaining and keeping up to date the data was: CERIST (Centre de Recherche Sur L Information Scientifique et Technique), Algeria, Mr. Hacène Belbachir, badache@mail.cerist.dz.
The statistics of the website record the following number of visitors:
2011: 779 visitors
2012: 2005 visitors
2013: 1624 visitors

List of project partners (beneficiaries):

Project coordination:
1. ZENIT-Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer in North Rhine Westphalia (Germany)
Contact: Michael Guth, mg@zenit.de
Project co-coordination:
2. DGRSDT-Ministère de l’Enseignement Superieur et de la Recherche Scientifique (Algeria)
Contact: Professor Sifeddine Labed, labed_s@yahoo.fr

Partners:
3. CNRS-Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique, France
Contact: Caroline Schuster, caroline.schuster@cnrs-dir.fr
4. ACTIA-Association de Coordination Technique Pour L’Industrie Agroalimentaire, France
Contact: Christoph Cotillon, c.cotillon@actia-asso.eu
5. AUF-Agence Universitaire De La Francophie, Belgium
Contact: Erol Kulahci, erol.kulahci@auf.org
6. ID Consult- Innovation & Devolopment Consulting, Belgium
Contact: Anna Balzarini, a.balzarini@idconsulting.be
7. CDER-Centre De Developpement Des Energies Renouvelables, Algeria
Contact: Maiouf Belhamel, belhamel@cder.dz
8. CERIST-Centre De Recherche Sur L’Information Scientifique et Technique, Algeria
Contact: Professor Badache Nadjib, badache@mail.cerist.dz
9. CREAD-Centre De Recherche En Economie Appliquée Pour le Développement, Algeria
Contact: Mohamed Yacine Ferfera, belarbiyacine@yahoo.fr