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Regional network for support of scientific and technological co-operation between European union and Russian regions

Final Report Summary - REGIONERA (Regional network for support of scientific and technological co-operation between European union and Russian regions)

The project REGIONERA intended to extend the number of potential Russian participants through creating better conditions for regional scientists' involvement in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and other research schemes on all the thematic priorities, focusing on food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology.

Its particular aims were to raise awareness of Russian institutions of ERA, FP7 and other European research and technological development (RTD) programmes and to create infrastructure for information and consultancy support of science and technology (S&T) cooperation between Russia and the European Union (EU), to open up scientific potential and achievements of Russian regional research teams to European partners and to train professional consulting managers for international cooperation and in order to build skills of FP7 proposal writing.

The goals have been achieved through implementation of five work packages:
- WP1. Studying European expertise of support of S&T cooperation and experience of participation in EU framework programmes and INTAS of Russian regions
- WP2. Creating and developing regional infrastructure for information and consultancy provision of S&T cooperation
- WP3. Training and supervising of regional consulting managers in the field of international S/T cooperation
- WP4. Information and consulting services provision, dissemination of RIP expertise
- WP5. Project management and coordination

The main outcomes of the project were the following:
1. Catalogue of Russian regional participants on S&T cooperation with the EU. The total number of profiles in the catalogue under all FP7 themes is 298 from 37 organisations from 6 Central Black Soil regions (Voronezh, Belgorod, Tambov, Lipetsk, Orel, Kursk), 11 other Russian regions, 15 profiles are from NIS countries (Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Tadzhikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia). More information in database 'Russian potential partners for joint participation in FP7 and other European programmes' found at: http://www.ric.vsu.ru/en/partner_search_form.
2. Information system. The main purpose of the information system is to provide information support for Russia-EU scientific and technological cooperation. The information system itself is the internet portal containing news information, text sections, internet-forum and the database of potential partners for joint participation in FP7 and other European programmes.
3. Guidelines on FP7 for Russian participants. The regional information point for S&T cooperation with the EU (Voronezh State University, Russia) published a guide for Russian participants in the FP7 in the Russian language.
4. Newsletter. The CBS has been monthly making up and disseminating a newsletter (calls for proposals, grants, conferences) in Russian language with the aim to raise awareness of regional universities and scientific organisations of opportunities for participation in calls for proposals of European and Russian organisations, foundations and programmes as well as to inform about the CBS RIP activities, and during the REGIONERA implementation - about the scope and results of the project.
5. Network of regional information points and local multipliers. there was created a network of regional multipliers (30 people) acting as intermediaries disseminating information on FP7 and other European programmes to specific target groups predominantly occupied in higher education institutions. The Central Black Soil Regional Information Point for S&T cooperation (the CBS RIP) provided advising service of Russian research community on the issues of Russia-EU scientific and technological cooperation. In particular, it focused on participation in FP7 issues, partner search, consortium building and proposal writing.
6. Model of support network for scientific and technological cooperation with the EU (in federal, regional and local levels). The goal was to develop model of support network for scientific and technological cooperation with the EU (in federal, regional and local levels) experience of a range of European countries was assessed.

It is regarded essential to take the following actions on the federal level:
1. To extend functions of a national coordinator or to establish a unit within the Ministry of Education and Science undertaking functions relevant to tasks of the EU Bureau of German Ministry of Education and Science and FFG in Austria.
2. To extend National Contact Points (NCPs) network. At present there are 12 NCPs in Russia, all of them are located in Moscow. European experience demonstrates that only one NCP is not enough to cover themes of the most priority such as nanotechnology or environment, so it's important to establish a network of NCPs for particular activities.
3. To involve Russian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) into FP7 more proactively, taking into consideration German expertise. A specific unit for work with SME should be designated within each NCP. It's obvious, that existing Russian SME NCP is not able to cover all the regions and themes.
4. To develop recommendations on compatibility of Russian and European national strategies of participation in FP7.
5. To exchange information among Russian and European NCPs and RIPs more proactively to fully open up Russian research potential to European scientific community.
6. To create joint databases of partner offer profiles for all FP7 Themes.
7. To arrange collaborative information and training events inviting experts from the relevant countries.
8. To arrange regular meetings of representatives of Russian and European NCPs (RIPs) to discuss prospective ways of cooperation and expertise exchange.

On the regional level it is regarded essential to establish a network of 15 – 20 regional points covering the whole Russian territory, acting for all FP7 Themes, and closely communicating with NCPs. RIPs are necessary bridges uniting Russian regional universities and research institutions and NCPs.

It can be expected that the project contributed to further integration of Russian regional research community into the European Research Area (ERA) and FP7 and provided European scientists and business with access to Russian regional scientific potential that will extend S&T cooperation between Russian regions and EU, foster regional research integration into ERA and reinforce influence of this co-operation on science, economy and social sphere of Russian regions.

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