Final Report Summary - PERA (Palestine for European Research Area)
“Palestine for European Research Area” (PERA), is an EU- FP7 funded project aiming mainly at integrating Palestine into the European Research Area. This ultimate objective is addressed by strengthening the capacities of Palestine Technical University-Kadoorie (PTUK) and particularly its Applied Sciences and Engineering Research Centres. PERA brought together a fine mix of expertise by building a project consortium that was composed, in addition to PTUK, of Polytechnic of Torino, CTM Tecnologic Centre, and Europe for Business (EFB).
PERA activities that have been undertaken during the 30 months duration of this project were designed to fulfill the aforementioned goal through the project detailed objectives:
• Better Coordination Between Policy, Research and Business in Palestine
• Enabling Better Participation in Framework Programmes
• Setting Up Palestine’s Environmental NCP
• Enhancement of EU-PS S&T Partnerships in Energy and Water Research
• Capacity Building for Solving Specific Energy and Water Issues
• PTUK’s Strengthening and Cooperation Capacities Reinforcement
• Energy and Water Research Results Dissemination
PERA activities resulted in:
• Analysis of all national policies and programmes concerning energy and water in Palestine in order to fine-tune PTUK research activities so that the research can address national problems in these two important sectors, along with better capacity to coordinate with all stakeholders.
• Define the research priorities at PTUK in renewable energy and water fields.
• Building capacities at PTUK in water and energy by training staff at European partners’ institutions, to familiarise researchers with the latest technologies in the field.
• Building capacities of PTUK Staff on issues concerning EU Framework Programmes in order to become familiar with the procedures and opportunities for co-operation in the Environment, Water and Energy research and related EU programmes.
• Transfer of knowledge to PTUK to help the university to become the FP7 Environmental National Contact Point (NCP) in Palestine.
• Design of a strategy plan for PTUK research centre, to ensure research effectiveness, development and sustainability.
• A good participation of PTUK staff in networking activities and events was achieved which resulted in increased opportunities for PTUK to form new research partnerships in EU and the Mediterranean.
• PERA results and outcomes were disseminated throughout the project duration nationally, regionally and at EU level by means of presentations at various events and the project website (www.pera-project.eu).
The fact that the most two important problems that face the Palestinian society are the problems of water scarcity and the absence of traditional energy resources implies that the outcomes of PERA are empowering Palestinian researchers to address those cute problems in cooperation with their EU counterparts. This outcome is going to have a significant impact on the Palestinian society especially in introducing new technologies in water treatment, water use and better utilisation of renewable energies and especially the solar energy.
PERA consortium is pleased with the project implementation that successfully completed all its activities and deliverables to the contractual requirements and confident about the positive socio-economical impact of its outcomes to the Palestinian people.
Project Context and Objectives:
Description of PERA Project
In Palestine, the most two important problems that face the Palestinian society are the problems of water scarcity and absence of traditional energy resources. As a result PTUK decided to place a particular emphasis on research in those two areas. Through its research centre TARC, PTUK considered integrating Palestine in European Research Area as a valuable effort that is bound to have a significant and positive impact on its research programmes and the Palestinian efforts to tackle their problems in water and energy sectors.
The PERA project aimed at strengthening the capacities of the Palestine Technical University – Kadoorie (PTUK)’s Applied Sciences and Engineering Research Centres while promoting PTUK as an international centre of excellence for energy and water use and treatments not only in the Palestinian area, but also for neighbouring countries and the Mediterranean area. The project foreseen implementation of frameworks to reinforce the cooperation capacities and research activities in Palestine’s energy and water sector by defining research priorities to respond to country’s socioeconomic needs, facilitating participation in European energy and water research initiatives and inclusion in Euro-Mediterranean Research and Innovation Area.
REAR Project Partners:
Palestine Technical University-Kadoorie (PTUK), Palestine, is the project coordinator.
PTUK employs its expertise to develop water and energy research priorities for Palestine, create water and energy scientific standard, vision and analysis of supporting and hindering factors for Palestine-EU scientific collaboration in water and energy sectors. With its fine Technical Applied Research Centre (TARC), PTUK is one of the main research players in Palestine in water and renewable energy.
Politecnico di Torino (POLITO), Italy, a project partner mainly in energy research.
POLITO, with more than 150 years of academic and research excellence, is one of the finest universities in Europe. POLITO’s extensive water and energy research capacities and strong links to water and energy research sector stakeholders within the EU, was a valuable contributor to PERA. POLITO also have a great capacity to serve as a gateway for network facilitation and internationalization of Palestinian water and energy research centres.
Europe for Business (EFB), UK, a project partner mainly in research and innovation training.
Europe for Business (EFB) is a high-growth knowledge intensive company, with a focus on supporting Industrial and Research organisations in defining and implementing their innovation and research strategies to solve societal problems around the globe. EFB delivers specifically focused Innovation Management strategies and advanced methodologies, providing support services to private and public organisations in Product and Process Innovation, Technology Transfer, IT solutions and support for research and development projects. EFB with its considerable competencies in training, networking and innovation was a valuable asset to PERA.
Fundació CTM Centre Tecnològic (CTM), Spain, project partner mainly in water research.
CTM, an outstanding Catalonian research centre, works in specialised activities sectors such as Materials Technology, Environmental Technology, Energy and Support to Innovation Analysis and Review in Environmental Technologies. CTM, with its research and institutional network, its extensive water and energy research capacities and strong links to water and energy research sector stakeholders within the EU, presented a valuable asset to PERA.
From the onset of PERA, this project addressed the issues of water and renewable researches at PTUK through stating the following objectives:
Objective 1: Better Coordination between Policy, Research and Business in Palestine
This objective aims at supporting policy makers and other relevant bodies by providing basis for decision making with regard to a future research action plan for Palestinian Administered Areas. It is also tackling solutions to decrease lack of partnerships between R&D centres and SMEs and capitalization of energy and water research results by fostering a better coordination between the research sector and the business sector while establishing PTUK as main reference point for collaboration. This vision will be incorporated into strategy action plan for the PTUK to develop an excellence and reference centre for energy and water management not only in Palestinian Area, but also for neighbouring countries and in general for the Mediterranean area. The PTUK shall achieve status for enabling connection between research and business sectors to reinforce competitiveness and promote sustainable growth.
Objective 2: Enabling Better Participation in Framework Programmes
This objective is aiming at improvement of Palestinian researchers’ participation in EU programmes and similar initiatives. Deep understanding of issues concerning EU Framework Programmes is necessary in order to become familiar with the procedures and opportunities for co-operation in the Environment, Water and Energy Research and other related EU programmes. Extensive mentoring and coaching will enable Palestinian researcher to successfully form future project consortiums and provide skills in the organisation and management of international cooperation research projects.
Objective 3: Setting Up Palestine’s Environmental NCP
At the moment there is no established FP7 Contact Point in Palestine for Environment topics. Therefore, this objective is aiming at setting up future Environment NCP in PTUK, where Environment NCP would act as the main point of access for institutions and individuals, who have an interest in collaborative research activities and are looking for information and advice on FP7. In order to properly establish Palestine’s Environment NCP and assure improved Palestinian researchers participation in the FP7, several training sessions will be organized for:
- Setting up a FP7 Environmental Contact Point;
- Training on performance of specific tasks for an FP7 Contact Point.
Objective 4: Enhancement of EU-PS S&T Partnerships in Energy and Water Research
The objective is addressing enhancement of European-Palestinian S&T partnership towards bilateral S&T agreements within the EU for energy and water research. It is aiming to support Palestinian scientific development through establishing strategic partnerships with European countries in energy/water research and engagement of cooperation between Palestinian and European scientists. The objective is being achieved by dual approach:
On one hand, organizing regional workshops and knowledge sharing events to train researchers in order to become familiar with the procedures and opportunities for cooperation in the FP7 Environment, Energy, Water topics and related programmes;
On another hand, particular attention is given to facilitation of contacts with partners and fostering connections with other relevant European initiatives to provide better access to water research.
Objective 5: Capacity Building for Solving Specific Energy and Water Issues
This objective is aiming specifically at PTUK’s capacity improvement to address specific Palestine’s and the global problems in energy and water sectors. Particularly, the PTUK will be strengthened to carry out activities in the fields of wastewater treatment and reuse technologies, as well energy use and production, mainly applied in both urban and peri-urban areas, the industrial and agricultural sectors, in accordance with the country characteristics and with the national and international standards. Targeted set of activities will enable:
• Capacity building in conducting energy research by means of installing experimental energy and water production systems;
• Adequate staff training; and
• Study visits of researchers in energy and water fields from Palestine to European Centres and vice versa.
Objective 6: PTUK’s Strengthening and Cooperation Capacities Reinforcement
Objective 6 is aiming at increasing PTUK’s regional coverage and improving its response to Palestine’s socioeconomic needs while developing the PTUK strategy action plan of the research centre. It will enable building up a strategy for PTUK in order to advance it into a world class entity for energy and water research. The strengthening effects include:
• Enlarging scope of research activities and capacity building of researchers;
• Creation of strategy action plan, based on international standards;
• Enabling quality control system;
• Enabling independent auditing to evaluate PTUK’s performance;
• Increasing knowledge on the EU Framework Programmes, specific thematic priorities, requirements and procedures.
Objective 7: Energy and Water Research Results Dissemination
This objective is aiming at better dissemination of Palestine’s energy- and water-related research results to all stakeholders, needed for their uptake, implementation and increase access to research results and new technologies. It will be achieved through:
• Development of dissemination infrastructure and materials, which stands on three pillars: digital media (website, electronic presentation materials), print media (dissemination materials in print) and public relations (communication with publics and mass media);
• Development of Showcase Brochures to present Palestine’s achievements in Water Research and most potential research actors;
• Networking and establishment of links with other initiatives, projects, networks and centres;
• Organizing final conference to represent project results, and, in particular, Energy and Water Research and Innovation priorities for Palestine. Particular attention will be paid to created synergies with other similar initiatives in Mediterranean region, such IJERA project in Jordan and CB WR MED. The conference will also include scientific content on latest developments in water research sector as well a cultural programme.
Objective 7 responds to one of the aforementioned obstacles for international S&T cooperation – lack of knowledge in Europe on the S&T situation in third countries, in PERA’s case, lack of knowledge about energy/water research development in Palestinian Areas. Actual information about the R&D is necessary to establish solid basis for successful cooperation between Palestine and European Union countries.
PERA envisaged achieving these objectives through a range of activities that were structured into 6 work packages:
PW1 - Project Management:
This work package was dedicated to the smooth running of project activities from a formal, administrative and financial point of view and ensuring quality of the final results.
WP2 – Analysis, Review in Environmental Technologies:
WP2 aimed at analysing the current situation in terms of Palestinian national policies and programmes, funding needs and offers, current cooperation patterns and relevant actors in energy and water research and technologies.
WP3 - Training and Partnership
WP3 is dedicated to effectively plan, organise and execute regional workshops and knowledge sharing events in order to intensively train the Staff of the PTUK on issues concerning EU Framework Programmes in order to become familiar with the procedures and opportunities for co-operation in the Environment, Water and Energy Research and related EU programmes.
WP4 - Capacity Building:
The objective of WP4 was to perform an assessment of the installation of an innovative chemical and biological laboratory. Such laboratory will be able to carry out researches on energy production through the study and development of advanced electrochemical reactions and devices, as well as analyses for wastewater characterization, through the detection of the main pollutants in wastewater and its microbiological content.
These objectives have been achieved taking into account the situation of the research requirements in Palestinian Territories. And in particular taking into consideration the actions that can have the most effect on the water protection and energy saving. In particular the technological situation of the water and energy uses in the Palestinian area has been analysed. Quality training visits to EU partner institutions and other research and industrial facilities that specialize in water and renewable energy formed an important element of this work package.
WP5 - Developing PTUK strategy:
The objective of this WP has been dedicated to the development of the PTUK Strategy for internationalisation of the university research centre. WP5 aimed at building up a strategy for PTUK in order to advance it into a world class entity for energy and water research, within the available external and own resources of PTUK.
WP6 - Network Facilitation and Dissemination
WP6 was aiming at development of dissemination infrastructure and project portal, facilitating internal team zone, sections for energy and water research, FP7 promotion and water research actor’s database, and particular networking activities to connect with EU and energy-water initiatives and disseminate information on water and energy research in Palestinian Territories.
PERA Project Main Results
PERA results and outcomes can be best described in the following categories:
• National Policies in Water and Energy in Palestine:
PERA project conducted a full analysis of national policies in water and energy sectors. This analysis concluded that the major problems that face the water and energy sectors in Palestine have been identified as:
(i) Impacts and limitations created by the Israeli occupation,
(ii) Limited traditional natural resources in water and energy, and
(iii) Deterioration of the present resources.
These problems in the water sector have led to more stress on the water consumption by the Palestinians, and to a lot of consequences on many developmental sectors, mainly agriculture, as well as health of people living in the Palestinian Territories (PT). Regarding the energy sector, the limited resources and the absence of suitable and affordable energy sources, besides the lack of national generators, have made the development of the sector very limited. This has led to the emergence of many related problems, including, the dependency of the energy export from neighbourhood, especially the Israelis, the high tariff of electricity consumed by the Palestinians and, thus, weakness in the industrial and commercial development in the PT.
The main water sector actor in the PT is the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA). The PWA has implemented many programs and activities that are related to the national water policy and mostly harmonizing the EU policy in the MENA region, as the PWA is playing an important role in formulating this policy in the PT. Many related water projects were implemented in the last 15 years, including development of water resources, formation of protection zones, and finding new alternative water resources, through direct funds from the EU and USAID. These projects have satisfied, to a limited extent, the objectives of the Palestinian national policy.
Regarding the energy sector in the PT, the main actor in the sector that puts and formulates the energy national policy, is the Palestinian Energy Authority (PEA), whereas, the main key players that have their own orientations are the electricity distributors, who have their own commercial agendas. The Israeli occupation of the PT and the inability of the Palestinians to control their fuel and energy local resources, which have led to a consequent absence of national generators, have enforced the PEA to issue the “Letter of Energy Sector Policy”. The main objectives of this Letter are to ensure reliable electricity supply, and to do so at a price that is affordable and that permits efficient long-term development of the energy sector and the Palestinian economy. The Letter of Energy Policy is not connected to a scheduled action plan. Furthermore, many aspects in the policy that are related to the term “how to” are still unclear.
All of the above-mentioned obstacles have made the national policies and related actions and action plans deviate, to a certain extent, from the same EU policies in the MENA countries.
- Certain PERA deliverables contained research on the Palestinian legal framework for water and energy sectors. This analysis along with the legal elements related to water and energy sectors included recommendations to better coordination between research and policy in PT.
- The national policies’ analysis which was carried out at early stage in the project, allowed a successful planning of almost all the rest of project activities. On top of this, the mere contacts that were performed during this analysis had resulted in better relationship between PTUK and other stakeholder in Palestine. Also the stakeholders have better exposure to the Framework Program.
- The dialogue between PTUK and policy makers in PT, as a result of PERA activities, is giving PTUK better influence on the decision making process that is bound to result in better and informed policy decisions.
• Water and Energy Research Capacities at PTUK:
Capacity building in conducting energy research by means of training on installing experimental energy production systems was delivered by POLITO. The training included a PTUK researchers visit to POLITO’s energy laboratories and analysis of PTUK energy laboratories (existing and planned). The training resulted in technical recommendations for PTUK setup and design of energy laboratories.
Another scientific training visit of PTUK researchers to POLITO was performed in order to strengthen PTUK knowledge of the latest EU technologies in renewable energies in general and solar energy in particular. This activity included further visits to other EU energy institutions. These visits covered Ferrero Photovoltaic Energy Production Plant, Environmental Park and POLITO Business Incubator.
Capacity building in conducting water research by means of training on installing experimental water treatment systems was delivered by CTM. The training included a PTUK researchers visit to CTM’s water laboratories, combined with hands-on experience on using research facilities and laboratories in CTM. The training resulted in technical recommendations for PTUK setup and design of water laboratories.
A scientific training visit by PTUK researchers to CTM was conducted as a part of PERA activities, in order to enhance the water research capacities at PTUK. The visit covered several topics related to water cycle, from innovative technologies for water treatment such as membranes and constructed wetlands, to management and information tools for monitoring and analyse the risk of polluted water for human health. Invited researchers from different universities and institutes of Catalonia, have participated in the training.
- Recommendations and advice on PTUK energy and water labs and facilities were given by PREA partners in order to ensure better research facilities at PTUK.
- PTUK researchers are better informed about the latest EU technologies in water and renewable energy sectors and best practices in EU research institutions and industries.
- Future joint research ideas in water and energy between Palestinian and EU institutions are much clearer as a result of building capacity activities.
• Water and Energy Cooperation Capacities at PTUK:
By effectively planning, organising and executing workshops and knowledge sharing events, throughout the project duration, PERA resulted in enhancing PTUK’s ability in networking with other EU research institutions and increasing its capacity to apply and attract research funds from EU.
Three training workshops were carried out in Tulkarm, PTUK campus, Palestine on October 24th, 2012; December 6th 2012, May 28th 2013.
The target of the workshops was to provide PTUK with information on the funding opportunities provided by the Framework Programme, to transfer knowledge on the specific thematic priorities that are useful for the PTUK researchers and that can provide any information about other EU programs which could be interesting for PTUK researchers to increase their interconnection and cooperation with other EU institutions.
The three workshops presented information on:
o General presentation of FP7 as well as of the Environment Programme
o Guidelines on where to look for funding opportunities
o Guidelines on how to form a successful consortium
o Guidelines on how to prepare a proposal
o Information on contracting rules and project management
o Methods of work and communication in an European RTD project
Two of the training workshops were coupled with one-to-one coaching sessions in order to stimulate researchers in taking advantage of the experts’ advice about their individual research plans in order to stimulate PTUK’s researchers’ work.
The outcomes of these workshops were thoroughly evaluated and a high degree of the attendees’ satisfaction was reported.
A “Funding Toolkit”, which was developed for PTUK, describes the connection between the research priorities on energy and water sectors and the available funding programs for the Palestinian Territories.
By utilising the findings of earlier deliverables in PERA, which relate to the analysis of national policies and research priorities of PTUK in water and energy, this toolkit managed to facilitate addressing the right sources of funding to match the research needs of PTUK.
An important element of the funding toolkit is the “Cooperation-Opportunity Matrix” which presents the connection between identified needs within energy and water research sectors in Palestine and the main funding opportunities currently accessible for Palestinian researchers.
The funding matrix documents the relation between critical existing needs of the energy and water system in PT and the currently available funding programs, summarizing it in a chart of supply and demand. Special attention is paid to Bilateral S&T programmes and National unilateral S&T and Innovation cooperation programmes.
- Strengthen PTUK’s capacity in terms the basic skills of building research projects.
- Better capacities at PTUK in terms of research and project management.
- Better acquaintance of PTUK staff of the methods of work and communication in European RTD projects.
- Identifying the best synergies between PTUK energy and water research needs and the national, regional and European funding opportunities and instruments.
- Identifying innovation support schemes that can improve research results in terms of better cooperation between business actors and academic world.
• Increased Sustainability of PTUK Research In Water And Energy:
One the important activities of PERA was to define research priorities for PTUK research centre.
The definition of energy research priorities for Palestine Technical University – Kadoorie (PTUK) was performed according to the methodology presented in Figure 3.
The analysis of the energy sector in Palestine and the outcome of the questionnaire as received from various stakeholders in the sector, lead to an extremely degraded situation where the actual situation is based mostly on energy buying from neighbours, where the development self-production energy plants is severely hampered by the restrictions due to the political situation and where the only alternative which seems feasible in the near future is connected to the use of solar energy. Solar energy is, in principle, available without restrictions, is reasonably available in the area due to a large amount of solar exposition and can be exploited with reduced efforts.
A similar approach of defining water research priorities using a suitable methodology was developed and established (Figure 4). This methodology consisted of two main parts:
1. Identify EU and Palestinian Territories (PT) common water interests.
2. Identify the water research priorities in Palestinian Territories.
Again, from the analysis of water sector, questionnaire responses from the stakeholders and the literature, water priorities were identified in PT related to wastewater management, freshwater pollution, drinking water conditioning, and development of new alternative water resources. According to the literature, several advanced research topics were proposed to tackle the mentioned water priorities and several EU programs and initiatives which could assist with obtaining funding in PT were identified.
After defining research priorities in energy and water for PTUK, another equally important activity of PERA was to design a strategy plan for PTUK research centre.
The proposed strategic plan was based on emphasizing the economic aspect, allowing an easier implementation of the strategy and identifying the critical problems of PTUK’s research centre with the scope to implement actions to reinforce the strength points and to remove the weaknesses.
The strategic plan combines the current and future research directions of the Technical and Applied Research Centre in very clear and articulated way. The plan prescribes a research focus on technical and applied research in the fields of agriculture, biotechnology, soil and irrigation, the environment (air, water and soil pollution, toxicology, as well as solid and fluid waste management), water resources management, wastewater treatment and reuse, renewable energy (solar, wind, bio-fuels, etc.), Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing and their applications, climate change, and other areas as well, using and applying the most recent technologies.
It underlines the infrastructure and community needs and the strategic direction towards future research.
The plan also specifies in detail the infra-structure required to better perform future research at PTUK. Lists of the equipment needed for each laboratory are put forward along with a clear time-plan for establishing them.
- Research priorities in water and energy are clearer at PTUK, helping to fine-tune research outcomes to tackle the local problems in these sectors.
- PTUK research centre has a better strategic view about its future direction.
- PTKU research centre is well equipped to develop its research and structure with a clear action plan.
- Due to the overall effects of defining research priorities and formulating a strategic plan, the sustainability of the research centre is more guaranteed than ever.
• PTUK as an Environmental NCP in Palestine:
As part of PERA project, establishing a national contact point at PTUK was one the desirable outcomes. In order to run this NCP, training was performed by EFB to PTUK coordinator, along with presentations from both POLITO and CTM.
PTUK has coordinated this step with FP7 NCP in Palestine at Ministry of Higher Education.
PTUK also approached the Palestinian Environment Authority (PEA) about establishing this NCP, and succeeded to gain PEA approval and endorsement for this step.
PTUK management has been fully supporting the establishment of this NCP, and as a result the FP7 environmental national contact point was announced on PTUK website (http://ptuk.edu.ps/eindex.php) by displaying a flashing button on its main page and main menu bar. This link will lead the browsing person to a dedicated section to this NCP (http://ptuk.edu.ps/earticlepage.php?artid=782). In this section the basic information about NCP is displayed and a special email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to contact the NCP is displayed and it is functional. A snap shot of the NCP at PTUK website is shown below in Figure 5:
- Raising PTUK profile in Palestine as a leader in EU-Palestinian cooperation.
- PTUK is leading other Palestinian institutions in the endeavour to forge stronger relations with the EU in the environmental issues, as both EU and Palestine share many common ambitions and problems in this area and Palestine is in need of EU technologies and innovations.
• Better Integration of PTUK in European Research Area:
The overall activities of PERA, which included building capacities in research, cooperation, research management and the networking activities associated with PERA, PTUK has come out of this project in better position in:
o An increased capacity at PTUK to participate in the framework program which resulted in PTUK being able to apply for 3 FP7 project proposals, one of them was successful. The successful project is entitled “FOSTERING PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF BEST AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGIES FOR WATER TREATMENT & MANAGEMENT IN THE MEDITERRANEAN”.
o A formal cooperation agreement was signed between PTUK and POLITO to enforce the cooperation between the two institutions beyond PERA project. Such agreement is manifesting itself by a new research proposal being considered by PERA partners to tackle the problem of water desalination in Palestine.
PERA Impact and Dissemination:
The PERA project has resulted in significant impact in three main areas:
1. Enhancing capacities at PTUK in the followings fields:
• Better quality of research in water and renewable energy technologies:
The specific and well designed training at EU partners’ institutions and industrial facilities that was received by PTUK researchers resulted in quality transfer of knowledge about the state of the art technologies being employed in EU in water and energy sectors.
• Better research cooperation capacities with EU institutions:
Scientists and researchers at PTUK, in large, are better equipped with new skills to achieve more cooperation with various EU institutions like universities, research centres and relevant industries. The cooperation training that they received throughout the duration PERA, enhanced their:
- Knowledge of various elements of the European Research Area
- Networking capacities
- Knowledge of research funding sources, whether EU, international or regional.
- Skills of formulating research project ideas
- Capacities in consortia formation
- Research management skills
- Research team formation
2. Enhancing PTUK research sustainability in water and energy:
PERA offered PTUK certain deliverables that are clearly contributing to increase the long-term research future of its research centre:
- PERA identified research priorities at PTUK in renewable energy and water fields. Hence the ability to concentrate the research resources and efforts to the most significant areas and topics of research
- Design of a strategy plan for PTUK research centre, to ensure research effectiveness, development and sustainability. This plan has the important elements:
o A proposed structure of the research centre
o Identifying the risks and opportunities that face research at PTUK
o Detailed need assessment of the future infra-structure for PTUK research centre
- The long-term agreement between PTUK and POLITO, which resulted from the project, represents a good opportunity for PTUK research support from a distinguished European university.
3. Socio-economical impact on the Palestinian people:
The activities and outcomes of PERA have the future potential to achieve:
- Better ability to deploy suitable EU water and renewable energy technologies in Palestine.
- Skills for better coordination between stakeholders (Research, Industry, Policy makers) in water and energy fields.
- Better future coordination between EU and the Palestinian Authority in water and energy policies.
- Better opportunity to reform the legal framework in Palestine that govern the water and energy sectors.
All the aforementioned skills and potentials have a clear future impact on the Palestinian people quality of life, by building the tools needed to enjoy better and more sustainable supplies of water which can alleviate some the chronic problems in water sector they face at the moment. Having the capacities to develop sustainable energy resources is another important benefit that can deal directly with the Palestinian absence of any real traditional energy sources.
To ensure the widest possible impact of the project, PERA consortium paid attention to disseminate PERA activities and results throughout the project duration. The main dissemination activities were carried out:
At EU level:
From the very beginning of the project PERA partners started dissemination of PERA and its objectives and outcomes:
- POLITO, made a presentation about PERA at ECRAAL Conference (January 2011), Belgium. ECRAAL conference offered an opportunity to present PERA to a wide audience from several continents
- PTUK, delivered a presentation about PERA and its work on the renewable energy in the “Int. Conference on Mediterranean Countries and EU opportunities” (October 2012), Jordan. The conference offered a wide audience from MPC and EU countries.
At MPC level:
PERA participated in several events in the region to achieve a good exposure of the project and ensure the widest possible dissemination of its outcomes and impacts. PERA presentations were delivered at the following main venues:
- “Environment Workshop for EU-JordanNet” (July 2011), Jordan.
- “Integrated Environment and Coastal Ecosystem Management” (Jan 2012), Lebanon.
- “IJERA Final Project Conference” (Dec 2012), Jordan.
At Palestinian level:
PERA was particularly presented at the national level in Palestine. PTUK aims to continue disseminating its results beyond the end of the project at any suitable platform.
- “PERA Training Workshops” (Oct, Dec 2012 & May 2013), Palestine.
Although the three training workshops were designed for the research community at PTUK, nevertheless representatives from state and independent research centres were invited to them. This measure was taken to ensure reaching wider scientists’ audience.
- “EU – Palestinian Cooperation in Research and Innovation” (May 2013), Palestine.
PERA was presented in this event which gathered representatives from almost all the Palestinian scientific community from universities and research centres.
- “PERA Final Conference” (Sep 2013), Palestine.
PERA final conference was a great opportunity to address a selective and representative audience from Palestine. To ensure the most effective dissemination, attendees were restricted to invitations only. This allowed the presence of almost all stakeholders in Palestine that were addressed with the final results of PERA. They included representatives from government ministries and authorities, main industry players in energy sector, universities, state research centres and independent (NGO’s) research organisations (Figure 8).
Media & other dissemination:
All PERA events were advertised on PERA website. A particular attention was given to give press releases to:
- Printed popular media, like Alquds newspaper, the widest distributing Palestinian printed paper.
- On-line news agencies, like maannews.net the most popular news on-line outlet in both Palestine and the Palestinian communities in the world.
- Local TV stations in Palestine
- A promotional video about PERA was produced to be used in main PERA events.
- PERA quality flyers were designed and printed for main events. The following is one example (Figure 8)
List of Websites:
A project website was setup early during the project implementation (www.pera-project.eu). The website contains public information about the project, including partners, objectives and work packages. Deliverables, within the public domain, are also presented on the website. The website is updated with events held as part of PERA activities. PERA website is going to be maintained for extra 2 years beyond the end of PERA project, after which a decision will be made to consider the usefulness of its existence. The following figure (Figure 9) illustrates a snapshot of the home page of the project website.