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Research and Innovation in the service of Economy and Society EU Neighbourhood and the Black Sea region

Final Report Summary - RINES CONFERENCE (Research and Innovation in the service of Economy and Society EU Neighbourhood and the Black Sea region)

Executive Summary:
The EU is a key global player and among others its International Cooperation/INCO strategy including International Cooperation on Research and Technology has always a key role in the Framework programs. INCO has a numerous of achievements through the last couple of decades and, among others, in the areas of the European Neighbourhood and the Black Sea region. The relevant EU- INCO’s policies’ issues for the above target regions are of highly importance as both areas have influence to the EU and vice versa
The Hellenic Presidency of the EU realized the significance of the EU Neighbourhood policy and therefore included in its priorities and initiatives the Organization of the Conference entitled:
“Research and Innovation in the service of Economy and Society, EU Neighbourhood and the Black Sea region /RInES”.

The main impact of RInES is its contribution in building bridges between energy/marine research and industry, in highlighting the emerging opportunities for innovation, sustainable development and job creation in clean technology and maritime sectors and in reinforcing international cooperation with support of networking initiatives towards common policies and approaches.
The Conference offered support for the cultivation of networking between the key players of the Thematic areas on Energy and Maritime Research. Thus RInES has provided opportunities for formulation consortia and proposals which could be submitted within the frame of the relevant Calls for proposals under HORIZON2020.

The main aim of the Conference was to bring into the “spotlight of EU” the International Cooperation in the Thematic areas of Energy/zero emissions and the area of Marine and Maritime research and their main role in the INCO's policy's issues for the target regions towards 2020, by providing opportunities for both EU and target regions for mutual benefits. The impact of RInES is expected to be emerged in a midterm period as it always time is needed for the maturity of the INCO's policies' initiatives.
In addition, during the two parallel sessions organized (Clean Energy and Marine & Maritime research) there were several successful case studies presented addressing the feasibility of international cooperation in research and innovation. These examples were focused to improved competences and cooperation between producers and users in order to tackle societal challenges of common interest (Sahara Wind Project, Energy Corridor, Chorus Clean Energy Cluster, etc) with the overall aim to reinforce the Cooperation with European Neighborhood and Black Sea regions.
Apart from the policy level, the conference was aimed to ensure the active involvement of key industry players from the European Neighborhood and the Black Sea region in all event’s sessions and social activities. Therefore in the framework of the preparatory actions of WP4, Greek partners managed to map more than 1.500 industries and organisations from the sectors of energy and maritime in the above mentioned areas. Although a small percentage of them eventually participated in the conference, the result of this mapping process was very encouraging (see WP 4 report for more detailed description of the networking activities) while an important database with international and selected sectoral contact details has been left for the Greek research community to be used in the future.

The Thessaloniki declaration is expected to have significant impact on developing future international initiatives and cooperation between EU and European Neighborhood countries on both scientific and industry projects, paving the way towards smart and sustainable products to the benefit of society, environment and economy. The Thessaloniki declaration strongly encourages policy making towards exploiting the enormous potential of research and industry interaction.
The Conference had 261 attendances from 19 countries from EU and from other continents as USA, Africa, Asia. Last but not least, it should also be noted that the RInES conference had foreseen social activities and networking sessions resulted to a broad and important social capital that eventually was built among all conference participants. This social capital will play a very important catalytic role for all future synergetic activities among RInES participants.

Project Context and Objectives:
Project context
European Neighborhood Policy
The European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) is one of the International Cooperation/INCO instruments of the FP7, of the EU. ENP is a foreign relations instrument of the European Union which seeks to tie countries to the east and south of the European territory to the Union. In addition, the EU supports the regional development in South-East Europe with its Black Sea Synergy, by encouraging cooperation between the countries surrounding the Black Sea.
Below, is mentioned a short analysis of the RInES project thematic context (Clean energy & Maritime Research) it is easily concluded that RInES Conference is fully aligned within the EU foreign policy actions (policy context) and with the EU energy & maritime research strategy highlighting its importance.
Concerning the geographical context, the ENP and Black Sea region countries involved are Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine Authority, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Belarus, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, and the associated countries: Israel and Turkey (in total 19 countries).

Clean Energy
EU has set the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), aimed to transform energy production and use in the EU with the goal of achieving EU worldwide leadership in the production of energy technological solutions. The SET Plan presented by the Commission aims to help achieve European objectives and face up to the challenges of this sector as follows:
• in the short term by increasing research to reduce costs and improve performance of existing technologies, and by encouraging the commercial implementation of these technologies
• in the longer term by supporting development of a new generation of low carbon technologies

Maritime
The aim of the European Union's ambitious Marine Strategy Framework Directive is to protect more effectively the marine environment across Europe. The Marine Directive aims to achieve Good Environmental Status of the EU's marine waters by 2020 and to protect the resource base upon which marine-related economic and social activities depend.
Building on the lessons learnt and experience from the current macro-regional strategies (EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EU Strategy for the Danube Region), the Commission is proceeding to draw up an EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region. The strategy will utilises the existing resources, legislation and structures to foster cross-border partnerships and prioritise objectives around which local, regional and national actors can be mobilized to turn the priorities of the Europe 2020 Strategy into targeted actions. Blue Growth is the long term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. It is the integrated Maritime Policy’s contribution to achieving the goals of the Europe 202o strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.



Project objectives
Within the framework of the forthcoming “Horizon 2020”, the ‘Science diplomacy’ will use international cooperation/INCO in research and innovation as a “key” instrument of soft power and a mechanism for improving relations with key countries and regions.
Within the frame of H2020, one of the objectives of the EU INCO strategy is, among others, “Strengthening the Union’s excellence and attractiveness in research and innovation as well as its economic and industrial competitiveness – by facilitating access to new and emerging markets; and by agreeing on common practices for conducting research and exploiting the results”. The cultivation of the ground for the good international relations may, in turn, facilitate effective cooperation in research and innovation.
To this end, the EU focuses on the Union's international cooperation activities in research and innovation by using the dual approach of openness complemented by targeted international cooperation activities, developed on the basis of common interest and mutual benefit, optimal scale and scope, partnership and synergy.
Within the above mentioned framework, took place in Thessaloniki on 29-30 May 2014 a Conference namely RInES: “Research and Innovation in the service of Economy and Society, EU Neighbourhood and the Black Sea region” which organized under the auspices of the Greek Presidency of the EU Council (1st Januray-30th June 2014).

The overall objective of the proposed Conference was to highlight the important role of the International Cooperation/INCO for the EU itself by reinforcing the collaboration with European Neighbourhood/EN and Black Sea region (BS region), within the framework of the research and innovation exploiting its potential as an integral part of a comprehensive package of external action.
Among the main purpose of the event was to enhance the R&I cooperation between the South and East Neighbourhood building on the so far implemented Programs in both areas. It is worth mentioning that Greece could act as a facilitator having constantly supported all initiatives in both areas.

More analytically, the specific objectives of the Conference RInES were:
1. “To reinforce the cooperation with European Neighbourhood and Black Sea region on bridging the gap between research and innovation focusing on improving competences and cooperation between producers and users of knowledge to tackle societal challenges of common interest”.
According to the above, the Conference aimed to reinforce the cooperation with the European Neighbourhood and Black Sea region by promoting transnational cooperation in the areas of the societal challenges through the organisation of a two-day Conference during the Greek Presidency of the EU.
RInES Conference focuses on fostering integration into – or alignment with – the European Research Area/ERA and enhanced participation into Horizon 2020 and the event closed with the presentation of the conclusions and future steps.
Especially for the Neighbourhood countries the event aimed to offer support to developing a 'Common Knowledge and Innovation Space', including the improvement of the research and innovation competences of these countries.
It is highly important to emphasise that during the RInES Conference it was the first time that the Neighbourhood countries and the Black Sea region worked together towards a common approach on research and innovation issues, not only on policy options but also on two sectors of high importance of the societal challenges of the HORIZON2020:
- Marine research and the maritime strategy in Neighbourhood countries and the BS region within the frame of sustainable management of ecosystems, marine bio-geo resources, fisheries and offshore renewable energy
- Sustainable energy, especially in the sectors of clean energy and transition to the decarbonised economy.
The Programme of the Conference allowed the development of sustainable strategies for best management in the future and based on presentation of the state-of-the-art of the thematic areas mentioned above in the two regions with a scope to stress current and future trends of the sustainable management of marine research and innovation and on sustainable/clean energy and decarbonised economy.
During the Conference presented the: policy issues, current and future trends, challenges and possible future initiatives, by the guest speakers coming from different disciplines, regions, countries and organisations, thus addressing the whole spectrum of the society (EC and Presidency representatives, scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders from the thematic areas in question).

2. “To support the “Science diplomacy’ so as to use international cooperation in research and innovation as an instrument of soft power and a mechanism for improving relations with key countries and regions”.
According to the Communication (COM(2012/497) of the European Commission and to the highlights of the HORIZON2020 regarding the International Cooperation, the establishment of fruitful international relations may, in turn, facilitate effective cooperation in research and innovation. To this end, RInES envisaged:
a. to enhance and focus the Union's international cooperation activities in research and innovation in the above mentioned target countries and
b. to reinforce the cooperation in the specific sectors of the Societal challenges, such as maritime research and Energy on the basis of common interest and mutual benefit in order to ensure synergies of scale.

3. “Ensure continuity in supporting EU external policy implementation with European Neighbourhood/EN countries and Black Sea countries in the environmental challenges and more specifically the transition to the decarbonised economy and sustainable energy, including clean technologies applications”
The successful implementation of an ambitious strategy and the delivery of sustainable results both depend on coordinated action and streamlined activities aimed at building a common innovation- and research-based culture.
The EU and the European Neighbourhood countries and Black Sea region have a long tradition in the cooperative culture in many scientific areas and among others in the areas of environment and more specifically maritime research, management of the water sources, etc, as well as in the field of energy.
With a view to maximizing the impact of international research and innovation activities, while avoiding a costly fragmentation of efforts, INCO policies focuses, among others, on important societal challenges such as maritime research, and on sustainable energy and decarbonised economy.
The Conference in question envisaged to enhancing the EU policies and, in addition, contributed to the improvement of the strategic planning in the two thematic areas, foster synergies at regional and pan-European level and contribute to a shared Marine Research Infrastructures (MRIs) Plan for a better and sustainable use of the existing MRIs.
Finally, aimed to increase the potential of education and human capacity building for the development of related activities in order to improve science development and reduce imbalances in the regions.
The RInES Conference closed by the announcement of the Joint Declaration, namely the “Thessaloniki declaration”, which mentioned, the further steps and the way forward for the EU INCO Policy and external R&I relations in the above-mentioned target countries. The “Thessaloniki declaration” based on the main conclusions stemming from the Conference RInES and capitalized the results and the relevant declaration of the Conference for “Enhancement of European International Cooperation and Eastern Partnership in R&D&I” which took place within the framework of the, previous, Lithuanian Presidency of the EU on 30th September and 1st October 2013.

Project Results:
Main results on awareness and Dissemination activities- results (within the frame of WP2 of RInES)

Within the frame of the Conference, took place dissemination and awareness activities, preparation and operation of the web site of the Conference as well as dissemination of press releases, articles and announcements for the Conference. Took place also activities for the dissemination of information regarding the main results of the Conference and especially the “Declaration of Thessaloniki” and the Proceedings of the Conference. In addition, the logo of RInES Conference, folders, posters, roll-ups, banners and leaflet /pamphlet were prepared and produced.

In the above mentioned context, the following results/material have been implemented:
Awareness and dissemination activities before the Conference:
- Preparation of at least three announcements for the Conference; announcement in the CORDIS web site; announcement in the official web site of the Hellenic Presidency of the EU Council;
- Announcements and dissemination of press releases/information for RInES Conference have been published to 13/thirteen additional web sites, relevant to the R & T activities;
- Information and invitations were distributed through mass target e-mails which were sent to the members of the following:
- the mailing lists of the organisers of the Conference: GSRT, CERTH and HCMR where key players in the target areas, EEN/European Enterprise Network and Black Sea countries were included;
- the mailing list of the members of SFIC;
- the mailing lists of the Greek NCPs Network for HORIZON2020: The mailing lists of the Greek NCPs include more than 5.500 people, members of the Academic and Research community as well as from the Private sector. The two main host organisations of the Greek NCPs, PRAXI-HELP Forward and EKT/NHRF, are members of the EEN/European Enterprise Network. This facilitated the dissemination of information in a wider national target groups.
- the mailing list of the INCO’s NCP/ INCONTACT Project. This task implemented by Mr. Epaminondas Christofilopoulos, member of the Organising Committee and Coordinator of the INCONTACT Project.
- Article, dedicated to the conference, in CERTH’s 9th E-newsletter which was distributed to approximately 6.000 contacts nationwide (http://www.certh.gr/dat/A189292E/file.pdf)

Awareness activities during the Conference:
Press Conference: The Committees of the Conference (SC and OC) planned a Press Conference during the Event in order to promote the event in National and International level. The Press Conference took place during the 1st day of the Conference and followed the opening session. Mr. C. Vasilakos, the Secretary General for R & T, Mrs. Maria-Cristina Russo Director of the Directorate C: International Cooperation, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, Mr A. Konstandopoulos, Chairman of the Board of directors of CERTH, Mr. V. Lykousis, Vice chairman of the Board of Directors of HCMR participated.

Live streaming of the Conference: The Organisers of RInES have undertaken a decision for the live streaming of the Conference. Actually, 186 live viewers (8.100 total views) attended the Conference. (http://www.livemedia.gr/rines14)

Awareness activities after the Conference:
The results/press releases, articles, announcements of the RInES Conference were published to all the available web sites.

Awareness activities/promotion of the Conference in the Social Media: twitter, Facebook
Several announcements uploaded to the Social Media before, during and after the conference

Material which produced for RInES:
Corporate identity: the following promotional material were prepared and produced:
- The logo of the event, which was chosen from 10 proposed by the designer logos
- 40 posters (size:50cm x70cm)
- 350 agenda/leaflets (size: 28cm x 62cm)
- 4 roll –ups (size: 80cm x200cm, and 150cm x 200cm)
- 1 banner (size: 260cm x 280cm) which had been placed in the main entrance of the TCH/ Thessaloniki Concert Hall
- 350 folders (size: 22,5cmx31cm)
- 350 notepads with the logo of the Conference:
- 50 invitations for the “reception dinner” which took place on 28th May 2014
- 370 badges
- 400 pencils
For the above mentioned promotional material see Annex 2/WP2, Deliverable 2.2
- 200 proceedings/books of the Conference (see Annex 2/WP2, Deliverable 2.4)

The web site of the Conference: The web site of the event, www.rines.gr was created in January 2014, during the 2nd month of the project. The web site consists of 103 web pages, including photos, Conference’s presentations, video, etc. It had been updated monthly and since March 2014 on a weekly base. After the Conference, the presentations, photos and the declaration of Thessaloniki were also uploaded.
The web site will remain “alive” for at least one year, until the end of May 2015.
The main menu of the web site consists of seven/7 main sections and few of them have subsections. The tree structure of the menu is as follows:
Home
Conference
Programme
Speakers Profile
Presentation
Committees
Key Documents
International R & I Cooperation
Marine and Maritime Research
Clean Energy: Towards a Low/zero Carbon Energy Future
Practical Info
Hotels (Important Note: Special rates were negotiated and achieved for the participants of the conference)

Venue
Info for Thessaloniki
Contacts
Media /Press
Sign-in: This is a restricted area for the members of the RInES Consortium/organisers in which key documents of the RInES such as the Technical Annex, the minutes of the meetings of SC and OC, the administrative procedure, the budget, etc are included. The members of the RInES Consortium have password-driven access to this area.
Language of the web site: English
For more information: see also Annex 2/WP2, Deliverable D2.1


Main results of the Conference – report within the frame of the WP3of RInES
In the main results of the Conference included the following:
The Agenda of the Conference, which is included the participation of 35 guest speakers from the EU, N. Africa, USA and the officials of the EC; the main results of the parallel sessions (please refer below) which took place on the 2nd day of the Conference/on 30th May 2014; the dissemination of information according to the posters’ session which took place within the frame of the Parallel sessions; the Declaration of Thessaloniki (please refer below).

The first day of the RInES Conference, 29th May 2014: the Agenda of the 1st day of the event consisted of the three sessions and closed with a round table discussion. In addition during the 1st day of RinES the Press-Conference took place.

The Opening session/Welcome Addresses: This session was dedicated to the high level speakers who highlighted the spirit of the Conference and its importance within the frame of European initiatives for the International Cooperation in R&I in the target countries/areas. Speeches were given by the Secretary General for R&T, Mr. C. Vasilakos, the Minister of Macedonia and Thrace, Mr. T, Karaoglou, the Director of the Directorate C: International Cooperation of DG Research and Innovation/European Commission, Mrs. C. Rousso, and the Deputy Governor on International Extroversion, Innovation and New Technologies of Central Macedonia, Mrs. J. Makrantonaki. For the Welcoming/Opening Session the Patriarch and the Vice President of Greek Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs were also invited, but unfortunately Patriarch was in Jerusalem in an official visit and the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs participated and chaired the Council and it was not possible to travel from Brussels to Thessaloniki on 29th May. Mr. R.J. Smits had confirmed his participation, but due to unexpected difficulties cancelled his participation 3 days before the event. Mrs. C. Rousso represented the European Commission and delivered the relevant speech, for this session.

The Press Conference was held after the opening session of RinES and was focused/highlighted the importance of the International Cooperation between EU and target countries/ENP and BS in the thematic areas of the RinES Conference and the expected European added value. Mr. C. Vasilakos, the Secretary General for R&T, Mrs. Maria-Cristina Russo Director of the Directorate C: International Cooperation, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission, Mr. A. Konstandopoulos, Chairman of the Board of directors of CERTH, Mr. V. Lykousis, Vice chairman of the Board of Directors of HCMR participated in the panel.

The first/1st Plenary session was moderated by the Journalist Mrs. Jacki Devis and rapporteur was Mrs. Vassiliki Pletsa. The session was dedicated to the Research and Innovation in the ENP and Black Sea region and speeches delivered by the speakers from EU, BSEC and USA. The global challenges regarding INCO in relevance to the thematic areas of Marine research and Energy were presented by Mr. J.Glenn/USA. Mr. J. Sifakis delivered a speech for the Innovation challenges within the framework of INCO between EU and ENP and Black Sea region. The perspectives and requirements for INCO were presented by Mr. C. Patermann, formal Director of the EC, while the INCO strategy in the EU framework Progarmmes, with emphasis in ENP and BS region, was analysed by Mrs. E. Lipiatou, Head of unit for ENP, Africa and Golf Region of the Directorate for R+I, EC. The development of the regional research infrastructures as an important component towards to the improvement of the Innovation ecosystem was presented by Mr. Jacek Gierlinski, former Vice-President of ESFRI/European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. The cooperation among the MS of the BSEC/Black Sea Economic Cooperation was presented by the Ambassador B. Dordevic, BSEC PERMIS. Mr. A. Riccaboni gave a speech, regarding the vision on R&I in the Mediterranean area. This last speech of the session was considered as a “bridge” between the two Presidencies the current Hellenic Presidency and the forthcoming Italian Presidency of the EU Council.
The second/2nd Plenary session was moderated by Mr. N. Panin and rapporteur was Mr. G. Bonas. This session focused on the case studies and success stories in the ENP and BS region. Three speeches were focused on clusters. The French maritime cluster for the Mediterranean presented by Mr. P. Baraona, the R2I cluster targeting to the East and South ENP presented by Mr. A. Soraci and the CHORUS clean Energy cluster presented by Mr. A. Konstantopoulos. Mrs. S. Zebakh, Morocco, gave a speech on the conditions and the financial support which had been provided by the EU/EC, through the Framework Programmes in the mid of the previous decade, in order for the NCPs Network for FPs across the countries of North Africa and Middle east to be created. It was a success story which supports the initiatives of the International Cooperation on R&I between EU and ENP and targeting to reinforce the spirit of cooperation between researchers from the above target areas and the EU with mutual benefits.

The round table discussion was moderated by Mrs. Jacki Davis and speakers from the 1st and 2nd plenary sessions participated. The discussion focused on the perspectives, challenges and possibilities of the development of a valuable innovative ecosystem in the ENP and Black Sea region with the close collaboration of the EU, according to the INCO strategy in Horizon2020. The financial opportunities, the role of investments and the policy of International Cooperation were also discussed.
The presentations of the 1st and 2nd plenary sessions as well as the conclusions of the sessions and round table discussions are included in the Proceedings of the Conference (see Deliverable D2.4).
The 1st day ended with a Social Event organised by the OC/ Organising Committee and started at 18.00 o’clock. It was a social event which included cocktail reception and traditional dances and songs of the N. Greece of the region of the Black Sea. The event ended around 20.30.

It is importnatto be mentioned that in the evening of 28th May 2014 (the day before the Opening day of the Conference), took place a reception dinner in the MACEDONIA Palace Hotel in which the majority of the guests speakers, moderators of the sessions and the rapporteurs stayed. The dinner offered the possibility for smooth and warm discussions between the speakers, the high level representatives of the EC, the rapporteurs and the moderators. Representatives of the local Authorities were also invited. 52 people participated in the dinner

The second day of the RInES Conference: 30th May 2014
At the beginning of the day an introductory session took place with the speech of Mr. I. Tsoukalas/MEP-Member of the European Parliament. The speech focused on the International Cooperation in the thematic areas of the clean energy and marine and maritime research and their importance for the cultivation of close collaboration between EU and ENP and Black Sea region.
Following, the audience was divided in two main groups relevant to the two Parallel Sessions, as follow:

Parallel session on Clean Energy: Towards a Low/Zero Carbon Energy Future
This parallel session hosted two modules, that both of them took place in Amphitheatre “Aimilios Riadis”/Ground floor. The first one hosted four speeches and it was moderated by Mr. I. Gokalp and rapporteur was Mr. Emmanuel Kakaras, while the second one (Panel Discussion: Gaps, Needs & Opportunities for Research & Innovation in the Regions) hosted five speeches, it was moderated by Mr. Athanasios Konstandopoulos and rapporteur was Mr. Claude Ayache.

The following issues were highlighted in the 1st module:
It is important to have the targets towards carbon reduction in the energy market highlighting the priorities in energy savings, reduction of the carbon intensity of the energy industry and last but not least integration. And the integration was more or less the common denominator of the four presentations of the module, each one covering a completely different discipline.
Concerning solar thermal energy area (Dr. Crespo from EU Solaris) the highlights concern the road mark of this Spanish initiative, the benefits that Spanish industry is already harvest from the promotional solar thermal and the very ambitious target for 2050 to get rid of fossil even for back up purposes.
Regarding the transport sector there was an interesting presentation for the technology platform Waterborne, which is a maritime transport technology platform, focused on the necessity on energy efficiency from the fleet management. Moreover there was an interesting approach of a platform proposal for a public private partnership under the name vessels of the future. Last but not least there were some indications that in the future development of regulations it is expected that Mediterranean will become an emission control area that signifies a set of technology challenges towards the reduction of environmental pollution.
There was another presentation for a leading technology provider of the automotive industry highlighting the energy transformation on the automotive sector focusing once more on both fleer and engine efficiency, on the use hybridization technologies. On top of everything we had the opportunity to see how innovation is turning into an entrepreneurial praxis from a very skillful competent and technology leader European company.
The final presentation moved the discussion from carbon to conventional pollutants like NOx and other particulate that matter highlighting the health impact. The contribution that technological progress has offered towards the reduction of emissions from diesel engines and their impact on the air quality and the associated health risks. Last but not least there was interesting conclusions about the non-regulated pollutants that have a considerable health impact of equal or more importance than the regulated ones that come from an exhaust of an engine.

The following issues were highlighted during the 2nd module:
Understanding Innovation Issues
Innovation in clean energies has to do with a holistic techno-socio-economic approach. There is a rigidity of existing solutions and it needs time to develop new systems (~200 years for turbine engines still under progress!) Substitution of existing fuels and systems may prove especially for mobility purposes.
There is a need to hold the innovation chain from basic research to market challenges. Concerning the Research Infrastructures there is a dual link with basic research on the one end, and industry on the other hand (R&I ecosystems). Remaining aware of progress and analysing evolutions in the right way, sometimes ‘Debunking Myths’
Framework conditions are essential
Technology is available but costly and needs demonstration: who will finance and who is going to undertake the inherent risk? Innovation risk sharing involves R&D, demonstration, deployment. Contradiction of the feed-in tariffs is linked to complexity of electricity price formation. Respective regulations should balance between support to clean energies and global economic impact.
Understanding Integration Issues
- Integration is central and develops along many lines: due to space limitation, Power processes, Impact on economy, society
- Regional / Global approach: Systems incorporating energy production and strategic end uses (Sahara Wind project, the ‘Energy Corridor’ concept: vector for connecting and opening regions, Inclusive society: Technological projects + people projects, hardware + brainware, transfer of regional development models
- Storage: electrical, heat, chemical or... food
- Transdisciplinary approaches (Project based, embedded in a complex integration structure with high level integrating management (WATERBORNE PLATFORM), Sustainable, clean energies, transport issues, public awareness and appropriation, Techno-economy, financial, health
Understanding Impact Factors
- Positive Factors (Economic and social aspects)
- Reasons for a brilliant STE future: In Industrial countries STE can play a role when phasing out conventional plants, while in Developing countries: STE can be the best choice
- Sahara Wind project as a means to answer industrial needs, regional population development needs while providing an additional source for transborder electricity trade
- Negative impact can be mitigated
- Example of environmental impact from air pollutants, Research based regulations succeeded in reducing main health pollutant impact, Research provides specific indicators for identifying threat sources and mitigate them
Proceeding further
- The holistic integrating approach to clean/ sustainable energies should be comforted and consolidated (Flagship initiative as a model)
- Propose a networking model of relevant EU bodies actors as well as actors from NP areas (An initiative from our Greek host would be interesting)

Parallel Session on Marine and Maritime Research
It took place in the “Moris Saltiel”Hall/5th floor of TCH, and was structured in two modules. The first one ‘Marine and Maritime Research’ included a number of key presentations (The list of speakers is presented in Annex 3) and was moderated by Mr. J.L. Valdes (UNESCO). The rapporteur was Mr. N. Streftaris (HCMR). The second module consisted of a round table discussion with key stakeholders (The list of stakeholders is presented in Annex 3) and was moderated by Ms E. Koulouvaris (EIR Global).
The first session highlighted recent scientific achievements and their support of key policies of the European Neighbour and the Black Sea Region and in particular of the sectors and components of the Horizon 2020 and the Blue Growth. General topics such as the connections of science and technology to maritime activities and the advancement of the Blue growth in the area were presented and debated and specific presentations on Fisheries, Marine `Spatial Planning, Biotechnology, Marine knowledge (operational systems) provided insights on the progress of these sectors and their connection to policy, industry and society.
In the presentations became evident that Research, industry and policy can support maritime activities through combined and integrated efforts: researchers need to be salient & credible, industry must be more sustainable, and policy makers should be more responsible, thinking long term rather than not short term. Policy has set the Blue Growth as the long-term strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. Its success depends on innovation (betters skills, marine and maritime research for innovation, marine knowledge and data), maritime governance and access to finance.
Science has been shifting gradually to meet the needs of policy makers, society and industry. Marine Research Infrastructures/Observing Systems in Europe can become key elements in Blue Growth initiatives as they can create critical mass, promote multi-disciplinary approach, foster integration capabilities of science/technology/society and can go even one step further and “turn data into jobs”. Science support to management has started to produce results; Fisheries management despite any shortcomings has shown results of stocks recovery, and marine spatial planning has been launched to promote sustainable growth and sustainable use of resources.
Science has approached industry; marine biotechnology has already applications in products for human health, genetic engineering, molecular and cell biology, agriculture and aquaculture, food industry, cosmetics, environment, biotechnologies, bioremediation and biofuel.

The second session, the Round table discussion with stakeholders resulted in a lively discussion among the stakeholders and has lead to ‘Visionary Road Map for Research & Innovation to 2030 for the Mediterranean & Black Seas’. In this roadmap the views of key decision makers, Regional sea Conventions NGOs, International organisations, and economists were amalgamated presenting the needs of the area and proposing a way forward.

Visionary Road Map for Research & Innovation to 2030 for the Mediterranean & Black Seas’.
• Clearly identify the economic, social and environmental challenges with prioritization and clear objectives
• Set a framework for scientific research under which projects should work in a structured and coordinated manner
• Establish a structured approach for development and implementation based on multi-stakeholder, multidisciplinary, and integrated cross-sectoral engagement with open data sharing for wider use
• Set out clear roles and responsibilities for stakeholders and countries
• Build Consensus & trust as the glue that will hold it together

The outcomes of the session, presented by the moderator (N. Streftaris) during the plenary session (Amphitheatre A. Riadis. Moderator Mr. A. Mitsos) are included in the Proceedings of the Conference (please refer to the Deliverable D2.4 of RInES)

The posters Session: (total 18 posters) - Highlights issues and results
At the early stages of preparations, both scientific and organizing committees pointed out that it would be strongly desirable for the conference to support an ideal networking environment for the fruitful exchange of ideas amongst the participating research and industry stakeholders within the frame of EU’s approach in research and innovation for the sustainability and economic growth of the targeted regions. Should some of the above mentioned ideas and contacts foresaw a perspective for collaboration schemes within EU’s research and innovation programs, would also be warmly welcomed.
Throughout the two days conference, the participants, as it is very common to happen in conferences, were expected to interact during the coffee and lunch breaks. Considering the informal way of this kind of activity where the coincidence factor is high, both committees were interested in putting the networking interactions in to a more formal and productive frame. Therefore, in order to enhance and accelerate this process, the committees decided to encompass the poster presentation activity as a parallel part of the program during the whole duration of the conference, where the participants could have the opportunity to communicate their ideas through their scientific or commercial work as they would visually be presented on a poster. In addition, taking into consideration the side of the participants that would like to optimize their presence in the conference, the organizing committee addressed a poster session activity held on the second day as a part of the regular program with one hour’s duration where all the conference participants would gather themselves in front of the raised posters maximizing the exchange of ideas and knowledge exploitation.
The organizing committee suggested the venue’s main foyer as the ideal site for this activity since it was scheduled to host the outmost of the conference’s socializing activities. The available area for this purpose at the main foyer could room up to 10 double sided poster frames.
Invitations for poster collection were included as a part of the general invitation letter and were sent to a number of recipients with a profile related to the scope of this activity. These included research centres, academia, industry & enterprises, consultant firms along with public and private entities with locations and activities or strong interests at the targeted regions, and preferably with a key interest to the sectors of clean energy, marine & maritime with strong intent to participate in EU funded research and innovation projects.
The highest percentage of the received applications met the above mentioned pre-requisites. Due to the limited number of poster frames the applicants in most of the cases were restricted in placing only one poster per entity.
During the two days conference the poster area became a hot spot for the participants’ gathering, studying the posters, exchanging experiences and ideas, and in some cases setting up the perspectives of near-future collaboration. The highlight of this networking activity took place as was scheduled during the second day of the conference at the poster session where all the participants gathered at the main foyer and for almost 60 minutes they communicated their expertise, research projects, business strategies, EU’s policies, in a continuous interchangeable pattern of teams of participants in dialogue.

Posters for Energy/Towards a low/zero carbon energy future
• The European Research Infrastructure for Concentrated Solar Power, EU Solaris
• Occupancy modeling and simulation engine for improved energy efficiency analysis in buildings, DRAXIS
• Wind Power, Sahara Wind
• Chorus Clean Energy Cluster, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas
• Green Energy and Green Mobility activities, Hellenic Institute of Transport/CERTH
• Natural Gas Supply and International projects, Depa
• Aerosol and Particle Technology Laboratory, Chemical Process and Energy Resources Institute/CERTH
• Adhesive Resins, Chimar Hellas SA
• THERMI Business Incubator
• MAT-PLANT Mobile, Autonomous, Treatment plant for organic Wastes, Spanos Technologies
• Estia Consulting & Engineering SA
• Leading Technologies, COMPUCON S.A.

Posters for Marine and Maritime Research
• Fisheries and aquaculture Oriented Research Capacity in Egypt – FORCE, National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Egypt
• Biotechnological Approaches for Mitigating Marine Litter, University of Bologna
• Marine & Fresh water research Environmental applications Recirculating aquaculture systems, Nearhus G.P. Company
• Department of Maritime Studies M.Sc. in Maritime Studies, University of Piraeus
• Organic priority substances and microbial processes in marine coastal sediments, CNR

Poster for both topics
• Common Model and Guidelines for Management Action Plan for ecologically sustainable development of SEE sea ports of TEN-T, ten eco port

The Conference closed with the announcement/presentation of the “Declaration of Thessaloniki” by the Secretary General for R&T and the final/last Plenary Session which was moderated by Mr. A. Mitsos, formal Director General for Research of the EC. During this session all rapporteurs gave speech/presented a summary and conclusions of the session they were in charge.
The Declaration of Thessaloniki: It was one of the most important results of the Conference and it is envisage that it will be a useful “policy document” for the further steps in the INCO/ENP initiatives regarding the two important domains of Marine & maritime research and Energy.

For the Declaration of Thessaloiniki please refer to the attachments of this Report


Main results on involvement of Industry/Mapping exercise (within the frame of WP4 of RInES)

Within the frame of WP4 of RInES took place, by CERTH, HCMR supported by GSRT, a very important mapping exercise, which aimed to ensure the involvement of key industry players from the European Neighborhood and the Black Sea region in several event’s activities. In addition the mapping exercise aimed to offer the opportunity to the industry participants to actively participate in the Presidency event’s common session on capacity building, collaboration with the industry and involvement in HORIZON 2020.
It should also be noted that the targeted industries should meet two main criteria as follows:
• The industries should be active in the Sustainable Energy and Clean technologies as well as in the Marine and Maritime sectors including the respective subsectors
• The industries mainly should come from the countries involved (European Neighborhood and Black Sea Region) and Greece which hosted the conference
The resources used from GSRT, CERTH and HCMR to support the industry mapping were:
1. Past partners of CERTH and HCMR (industries) from R&D E.U funded projects
2. Suggested partners (industries) from the Greek Enterprise European Network (EEN) services and databases
3. Industries found on Electronic Business Directories through desktop research as well as from the Offices of Economic and Commerce Affairs of the Greek Embassies in all related countries (mainly CERTH)
4. Local consultants active in the above mentioned sectors and in innovation services (mainly HCMR)
Mapping of Clean Energy & Environmental Technologies sectors
The results of this industry mapping process in Greece are depicted in brief in the following table (for all companies’ details, please see Deliverable 4.1 Report of all Industry Involvement WP4 actions)
471 Greek industries mapped
Sectors (according to ICAP business directory) No of companies
Energy-Water 48
Technical-Constructions 3
Oil industry 15
Rubber & Plastics Industries 177
Electrical Appliances 8
Metal Products 21
Chemical/Gases 138
Other products & services 61
Total 471

The respective countries from the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and the Black Sea region are Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine Authority, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Russia, Belarus, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine as well as the associated countries: Israel and Turkey. However, while tried to communicate with the respective Offices of Economic and Commercial Affairs (OECA) from all these countries, eventually only 8 out of the 16 responded positively by sending local industries details. The results of the above mentioned mapping process are presented in the following table, where the number of mapped companies is given by country.


830 Foreign industries mapped
Country No of companies mapped
Armenia 15
Georgia 3
Israel 127
Turkey 270
Lebanon 248
Morocco 114
Tunisia 22
Ukraine 31
Total 830

Armenia
The Armenian OECA provided CERTH with a report including details about the local economic situation, the industrial sectors that show strong dynamics in Armenia, the local business climate and the required steps on how to create a company in Armenia. In addition, several details describing the institutional framework among Greece-Armenia (sectoral agreements among the two countries, etc) as well as other conclusions from the ‘’Doing business in Armenia 2014 report’’ were also sent as a supplementary information. Concerning the mapping of the 15 companies active in several energy related sectors the following table includes the main findings.
Armenia No of companies
Power Engineering Production Supply Companies 1
Solar Heating Systems Manufacturers 2
Renewable Energy 1
Research Institutes 2
Armenian Engineering Companies 5
Armenian Associations 4
Total 15
Several links from Armenian government organisations, Construction Industries Federation, ICT Companies Federation, Association of Industrial & Commerce Chambers, Exhibitions, etc. follow: www.gov.gr www.ada.am www.armeniainfo.am www.armcci.am.

Georgia
The OECA office from Georgia provided few but important companies’ details belonging to the energy sector. These companies are Energo-Pro, Georgian Oil & Gas Corporation and the GSE Georgian State Electrosystem (more information on Annex J). Moreover, the Georgian OECA provided CERTH with the most important web sites including further information for the situation in energy and environment related sectors in Georgia as follows:
http://www.energy.gov.ge/index.php?lang=eng
http://www.telasi.ge/en/about
http://www.energo-pro.ge/
http://www.gogc.ge/en
http://www.giogie.com/Home.aspx
http://gedf.com.ge/en/
http://www.energyonline.ge/energyonline/
http://www.mrdi.gov.ge/en/news/page/529c2ffa0cf276b73b39d778

Israel
The feedback from the Office of Economic & Commercial Affairs in Israel was very positive since they prepared information material of 109 companies, active in the sectors of Clean Energy & Environmental Technologies (all sectors are presented in the table below). Moreover, the Israel OECA provided CERTH with a list of all 18 technology Incubators in Israel as well as with a ‘’Business Guide for Israel’’, the local tax system, products classification as well as about motives for investors in Israel. The main findings of the mapping process in Israel for all energy & environment related sectors is depicted in the following table.
Israel No of companies
Photovoltaic Companies 3
Oil Companies 10
Solar Energy Equipment Producers 5
Solid Waste Treatment Plant Engineering Consultants 2
Waste Water Management Services 4
Water Heating systems Solar Powered Producers 4
Chemical Companies 74
Desalination Companies 7
Technology Incubators of Israel 18
Total 127

Turkey
Concerning Turkey, the OECA’s response from Istanbul was very helpful and effective since they provided CERTH with an extensive list of 270 companies & public organisations (municipality companies, development agencies, etc) from the sectors of interest. The following table includes the main findings of the mapping in Turkey per sector.
Turkey No of companies
Renewable Energy Companies 69
Energy Sector Firms 51
Photovoltaic System Companies 60
Wind Energy Companies 86
Energy Efficiency-Waste Management 4
Total 270
Lebanon
The Office of Economic and Commercial Affairs in Lebanon responded positively by sending information of more than 240 companies involved directly or indirectly to the Clean energy & environmental technologies sectors. The number of companies per sectors is analysed in the table below. In addition to the above information, the OECA from Lebanon sent several crucial information concerning the political status as well as the basic financial figures of the country as well as information about the renewable energy sectors (National Bioenergy Strategy for Lebanon, National Energy Efficiency Action Plan, Green Buildings Policy documents as well as several useful information about the Business Incubators’ Policy in Lebanon).
Lebanon No of companies
Consulting Firms (eligible to conduct environmental studies) 30
Air Pollution consultants 9
Environmental Consultants 86
Solid Waste Management 18
Water and Sewage treatment equipment 65
Water recycling consultants 9
Water treatment and purification, plant design 31
Total 248
Morocco
The OECA office from Morocco provided CERTH with several reports about the most important renewable energy sectors in the country. More specifically, a short report containing information about the current Wind Energy Political Framework as the Wind Energy market segmentation and the future plans about the wind parks. In addition, several documents providing information about solar-thermal energy plants, photovoltaic market as well as about the national program of future tender and contractors in the energy and environmental technologies sectors were also sent. Morocco OECA submitted the following list of 114 companies (see the table below.
Morocco No of companies
Biomass 20
Water Management 39
Solar Energy and other related companies 32
Boilers 23
Total 114

Tunisia
The Tunisian OECA office responded to CERTH request by sending several useful information and links concerning Clean Energy and Environmental Technologies sectors. Among others, links on how to start up a business in Tunisia as well as on business evaluation web sites were also sent along with several government plans and state initiatives to reduce the energy cost in energy-intensive Tunisian companies (program PCAM at www.pcam.gov.tn). Moreover Tunisian OECA provided CERTH with 22 companies details taken from the Financial Guide of Tunisia 2014, the directory of the Exhibition ‘’Envirotec & Energie 2014’’ that took place on 28-30 of May 2014, companies that participated to the exhibition for Renewable Energy Sources ‘’Energie Renouvelables’’ that took place in December of 2012 as well as companies advertised in the Business Directories of Building Materials (Batimaghreb 2013 version).
Tunisia No of companies
Energy-Environment and other related sectors 22
Total 22

Ukraine
The respective OECA from Ukraine, Odessa informed CERTH about some key findings related the situation of the energy sector in Ukraine. Concerning the main findings of the mapping process from Ukraine, the 31 companies presented by sector are included in the following table.
Ukraine No of companies
Biofuel Production 6
Solar Energy Production 8
Wind Energy Production 4
Oil Refinery 2
Waste Management Recycling 11
Total 31

Mapping of Marine & Maritime sectors
HCMR contacted KiNNO Consultants Ltd. that focuses on Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and acts as an intermediary between researchers, engineers, businesses and investors to accelerate the deployment of innovations to the market. KiNNO has established strategic partnerships at European and International levels with Research & Technology Organisations (RTOs), entrepreneurs and SMEs as well as public sector in the 3-Helix model. They indicated a list of 121 target companies related to MARINE & MARITIME RESEARCH (for more information see annexes for WP4).
Meanwhile 4 more technical companies that HCMR cooperates since its establishment were also invited.One month prior to the RiNES conference a member of the Organising Committee from HCMR visited the Global Oceans Action Summit for Food and Blue Growth, held on 22-25 April 2014 in Hague, Netherlands. The purpose of the visit was to disseminate RiNES Conference material to the Summit and to engage with the industry community participants. Informative leaflets about the Conference were distributed to the Summit attendants and brief discussions were held with the industry representatives that exhibited their companies’ profiles and activities. After the end of the Summit, communication letters and invitations were additionally sent to participant industries that were involved in activities relevant to marine and maritime sectors. There was no further response/feedback from the companies.

Both CERTH & HCMR communicated the RiNES conference to all the above mentioned and mapped industries from all the respective countries by disseminating both the two announcements of the conference. The overall effect of all actions described in WP4 Industry Involvement can be summarized in the following conclusions:

The industries mapping process (review of the Greek Business directories, request of industries’ details from all the respective countries, etc) can be considered as successful in terms of number of companies mapped as well as sectors where these companies belong to.
All Greek partners (GSRT, CERTH and HCMR) have in their disposal an important and very targeted (selected according to sectors) database for future communication and promotional activities. Concerning the foreign industries’ presence in the conference, this is considered limited because of several factors and mainly due to the limited funding of industries travel in Greece to participate in the conference (this wasn’t planned in the INCO proposal). However, the following networking activities can be considered as important to be reported for both Greek research centers to justify the impact of industry community’s involvement in the RiNES conference:

CERTH
- In the framework of the RiNES conference, CERTH/CPERI/Aerosol Particle Technology Laboratory (APTL) had brief discussions with the National Contact Person of the H2020 calls related to the "Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials" (Mr. Epaminondas Christophilopoulos), about the upcoming calls for proposals in the field of Air Quality of European Cities.
- In the framework of the RiNES conference, CERTH/CPERI/Aerosol Particle Technology Laboratory (APTL) had preparatory discussions with French researcher (invited speaker) about project building in the field of Air Quality (for upcoming H2020 call).
- Development of close collaboration with the director of a prestigious CNRS’ laboratory on possible co-operation. The discussions culminated in the submission of a common proposal in the frame of H2020.
- Initiated discussions with KIC InnoEnergy representatives on possible collaboration. (Greece is one of the few European countries not affiliated with KIC InnoEnergy)
- Initiated discussion with representative from Sahara Wind, Mr.Khalid Benhamou for possible collaborations in the areas of renewable energy.
- CERTH staff from the Extroversion and Networking unit, during the RiNES conference had the opportunity to meet up with several representatives of R&D organisations mainly from E.U member states to develop stronger contacts, exchange business cards and discuss in brief future collaborations. One particular example was with a representative of Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Mrs ArantxaGiner.
HCMR
- In the framework of the RiNES conference, HCMR had brief discussions with Dr. Patrick BARAONA, Managing Director, PôleMer PACA/Sea Innovation and Business Cluster in France for future project within H2020, especially for the whole Mediterranean region. In addition, discussions were held with the National Contact Person of the H2020 calls related to the "Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials" (Mr. Epaminondas Christophilopoulos), to align the strategy on future calls for proposals in the field of marine and maritime actions.
- It was indeed very unfortunate that marine and maritime industries did not respond to the letter that HCMR has sent to related industries. It was also very sad not to have, as originally planned, the EUROGOOS Chair and the owner of the “Costa Navarino” resort in the panel discussion.

It should also be noted that, during the two days conference the poster area became a hot spot for the participants’ gathering, studying the posters, exchanging experiences and ideas, and in some cases setting up the perspectives of the near-future collaboration. The highlight of this networking activity took place as was scheduled during the second day of the conference at the poster session where all the participants gathered at the main foyer and for almost 60 minutes they communicated their expertise, research projects and business strategies.

Communication actions with the industry in all involved countries (common results within the frame of WP4 and WP2):
Both CERTH & HCMR communicated the RiNES conference to all the above mentioned and mapped industries from all the respective countries by disseminating both the two announcements of the conference. Apart from the broad publicity of the event in the private sector and mainly in the areas of European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), the Black Sea region, Greece and some E.U member states (past partners of CERTH and HCMR) organisers aimed to an enriched and active audience from the industry community to both conference’s parallel sessions (Sustainable Energy and Clean Technologies & Marine and Maritime research). More particularly, HCMR finally sent out 125 invitations from the lists as mentioned before (see Annex K). Unfortunately there was limited response from the industry and this needs further investigation. In the case of CERTH more than 500 Greek companies (471 mapped) and more than 900 (830 mapped) foreign industries from the respective countries were informed for the conference. However, only 2 representatives from Morocco and one from Turkey actively participated in the event.
Good Practices based on the Management issues – within the framework of the WP1 of RInES
The Conference-project organized by the GSRT/General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the following Research Centres: HCMR/Hellenic Centre of Marine Research and CERTH/Centre of Research and Technology Hellas, which both are supervised by GSRT. The management structure and the implementation of the managerial tasks would be used as Good Practices for future similar events. The Management structure based on the two Management bodies as follows: A Scientific Committee/SC and an Organizing Committee/OC. Within the frame of the Conference took place seven Meetings of the OC and/or in conjunction with SC.
The Scientific Committee consisted of eight members and chaired by the Secretary General for Research and Technology. In the members of SC included the Chairman of Board of CERTH, the Chairman of Board of HCMR and the Head of unit C3/DG R+I of the European Commission.
The Organising Committee consisted of fifteen/15 members as follow: four members from the GSRT, four members from HCMR, five member from CERTH, the Project Officer of RInES/EC, and the NCP for INCO, who is the coordinator of the “INCONTACT” Project as well (the project which dedicated to the INCO’s NCPs).
The core team of the Organising Committee collaborated on daily base for the organisation, implementation and follow up activities. The most important element it was that the daily collaboration of the OC’s members based on a virtual platform which operated internally (between the members of the OC of the three organisers and the INCO-NCP) in order to ensure a smooth collaboration on several issues regarding the preparation, implementation and follow up activities of RInES (such as the update of the web site; the preparation of invitations; the reservations for the hotels’ for guest speakers; the preparation of catering; the travelling schedules of the guest speakers, etc. the preparation of proceedings, reports, etc).

Potential Impact:
Taken into account the difficulties in geopolitical level and the problems which are on-going in Eastern European Borders of EU and in the Black sea region, we would summarize that the Conference achieved its main aim and objectives for the further cultivation of the INCO spirit across the target areas/region.

The conference highlighted the important role of the International Cooperation/INCO, in the context of research and innovation between the European Union and the countries of the European Neighbourhood countries and the Black Sea. It is highly important to emphasise that during the RInES Conference it was the first time that the Neighbourhood countries/ENP and the Black Sea region worked together towards a common approach on research and innovation issues, not only on policy options but also on two sectors of high importance of the societal challenges of the HORIZON2020:
a/ Marine research and the maritime strategy in Neighbourhood countries and the BS region within the frame of sustainable management of ecosystems, marine bio-geo resources, fisheries and offshore renewable energy ,
b/ Sustainable energy, especially in the sectors of clean energy and transition to the decarbonised economy.

The Conference aimed to reinforce the cooperation with European Neighbourhood and Black Sea region on bridging the gap between research and innovation, focusing on improving competences and cooperation between producers and users of knowledge to tackle societal challenges of common interest. Within this framework the Conference had a direct impact on:
a) Strengthening the collaboration of the EU Science, Technology & Innovation (STI) and economic competitiveness, notably through improved access to knowledge, expertise and markets in the European Neighbourhood and Black Sea region;
b) Tackling more efficiently and effectively major societal challenges, and
c) Supporting EU external policies objectives, by helping less developed regions and countries strengthen and make better use of their STI competences for their socioeconomic development.

The Conference supported the stimulation and enhancement of the STI cooperation in the emergency Societal fields of the Marine sustainable Research and Maritime Activities and the sustainable energy/clean technologies towards a decarbonised economy. More specifically the results/impact could be listed as follow:
- For the EU and the ENP and Black Sea Region:
The “Declaration of Thessaloniki” was announced:
As the Declaration of Thessaloniki accompanied by a road map, is expected to have a medium and long term impact and mutual benefits for the EU and the target regions. This it is expected to be done as the Declaration and the Road Map consist a common reference base for all stakeholders, scientists and key players from both EU and target regions, for undertaking initiatives and implementing actions towards 2020.
- For the European Commission:
The EC would capitalize the “Declaration of Thessaloniki” in its future INCO’s policy towards Europe2020. Furthermore the results, including partial results of the parallel sessions of the Event, would be capitalized by the endorsement of the conclusions, or at least part of them, in the future Work Programmes and policy initiatives which are expected to be undertaken by EC within the framework of INCO in the HORIZON2020. Moreover the event will ensure the continuity of INCO policies regarding the Event’s thematic areas in the above mentioned countries.
Due to the emerged new geopolitical aspects for the International Cooperation in the target areas, the thematic areas of the Conference will be highlighted as current and future trends in the INCO’s political agenda of both EU and the target countries.
- For the Key players and Stakeholders of the EU and the target Countries/Areas, within the framework of the INCO Programme:
The project’s Event offered the opportunity for informal/unofficial face to face discussions and/or bilateral meetings, during the breaks and social events, between the key players of the EU and target regions. Thus the possibilities were explored, between partners, for further collaboration on common projects within the framework of Horizon2020, promoting the HORIZON2020 to the target countries.
- For the Industrial and private sector:
The Conference and its sessions for the industrial involvement facilitated the “policy dialogue” among the key players/participants of EU and target countries. Investments are expected to be stimulated for boosting innovative approaches. The promotion of the available research and technological solutions from one hand and resource efficiency needs and future demands from the other hand were also emerged.
- For the Key players and Stakeholders of the European Neighbourhood and Black Sea Region and the Conference’s multilevel beneficiaries:
Within the framework of the Conference they had the opportunity for face to face discussions and contacts which resulted to increase their understanding on common R&D and innovation needs with impacts on local/national and international level; identify future opportunities and resulting in priority-setting of S&T cooperation policies that will support socio-economic growth in their countries; promote expertise competence; tackle major societal challenges of common interest; increase public awareness on the selected research areas. In addition, the very early identification (even from the proposal stage) and the early involvement of experts and authorities’ representatives from the territories concerned (EU, target countries, Greece) will further ensure alignment with the INCO programme in Horizon2020.

Additional issues on impact: organization of International Workshop and Exhibition for Russian Res. Infrastructures: In addition it is important to be mentioned that the Conference, and especially the presentation of 1st session for Regional Research Infrastructures, had influence in the organization of the International Workshop for the Russian Large scale Research Infrastructures and cooperation with the EU, which organized in Athens by GSRT and NCP of RIs of Russia in October 2014.
The impact of the marine and maritime’s research session:
Marine Research and Maritime Strategy within the frame of Blue Growth
The Marine and Maritime Session has achieved its main aim and objectives for the further cultivation of the INCO spirit across the target areas/regions and through detailed discussions developed multidisciplinary and multitask challenges to achieve better information and knowledge that can be used in policy making. In addition educational programs have been discussed aiming to create the necessary highly skilled scientific workforce. Based on that, it generated ideas for future calls one of which was the submission of a proposal, named “Cerulean”, under the BG11 call of the 2014 in H2020. The project aimed at improving the uptake of scientific and technological knowledge by policy maker and stakeholders especially to create examples of good practices for illustrating the effective uses of scientific data and technological products, to be disseminated by ad hoc technological and communication channels. Unfortunately the project has not been selected after the evaluation by the European Commission.
It also supported existing and future marine research infrastructures, which are indispensable for sustaining both marine research and maritime activities such as sustainable and integrated marine observations. The session also promoted innovative ecosystem monitoring, with technologically advanced methods, to bolster good environmental status and supported policy making, especially with regard the Marine Strategy Framework Directive in the whole Mediterranean Basin and the Black Sea.
The aim of the panel discussion and the presentations helped not only to build bridges between marine research and policy makers but to provide the basis for addressing societal challenges as a key issue of arriving to good environmental status. Marine spatial planning was proposed as a powerful tool for sustainable economic growth and job creation.
Finally it helped the dissemination of environmental information and gave examples of collaboration between the different governing bodies in the two seas, the European projects and the engagement of the general public, in order to advance a knowledge-based society in the region.

The major benefit / impact of the Conference, which closed with the "Declaration of Thessaloniki", is that it was a “starting point” for further actions in these areas of research and innovation and promoted a “culture/spirit” of synergies and understanding between different countries and the European Union in matters of research involving the two major challenges for these countries, as for the EU: Marine and maritime research and Energy research.
The impact of the event was positive for the Greek Presidency, the organizers and the target countries of the European Neighbourhood and Black Sea Region.
The impact of the Energy’ session
The impact of Parallel session on Clean Energy: Towards a Low/Zero Carbon Energy Future
In general terms the organization of the parallel session on Clean Energy has had positive impacts with several dimensions. According the declared aims of the RiNES INCO proposal, the parallel session on Clean Energy impact has been:

To reinforce the Cooperation with European Neighborhood and Black Sea regions on bringing the gap between research and innovation focusing on improving competences and cooperation between producers and users to tackle societal challenges of common interest. The parallel session on Clean Energy managed to put into the conference’s agenda several societal challenges and hot topics like policies for carbon reduction, energy efficiency in transport sector as well the hot problem of emission control and air quality that has important health effects for E.U citizens.

To support the ‘’Science Diplomacy’’ so as to use international cooperation in research and innovation as an instrument of soft power and a mechanism for improving relations with key countries and regions. During the RiNes Conference it was the first time that the Neighborhood and Black Sea countries along with other E.U members states officials and worked together towards a common approach on research and innovation issues on a societal challenge (Clean Energy and transition to the decarbonized economy) of high importance. More particularly, several speeches of this parallel session addressed the need of further development of such soft power tools supporting science diplomacy. An example of such presentation was the CHORUS Clean Energy Cluster where among others a combination of biomimemtic model and energy geopolitics for clean energy production was presented to all session’s participants (transfer of CO2 from the north E.U countries to the South counterparts where with the help of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) the CO2 can be recycled)

To ensure continuity in supporting E.U external policy implementation with European Neighborhood/EN and Black Sea countries in the environmental challenges and more specifically the transition to the decarbonized economy, including clean technologies and applications. More specifically RiNES participants had the opportunity to learn about two important large scale research and innovation cooperative initiatives the Sahara Wind Project from Morroco and the Chorus Clean Energy Cluster from Greece. Both case demonstrated the important role the local potential of energy production has in large scale Clean Energy projects as well as the importance close cooperation of the involved parties (government, research and industry community).

Concerning other dimensions of the impact of the parallel session on Clean Energy, it should also be noted that during the RiNES social events as well as during the coffee and lunch breaks CERTH representatives had the opportunity to meet up and discuss with research and industry counterparts several synergies for future proposals among Greece, ENP and Black Sea countries (for more detailed information please see WP4 full report of activities).

Comments regarding the delay of the emergency of the impact:
In addition we should take into account that the impact of the Conference, as the other similar major events for the International Cooperation, has always been a time “lag” until the emergency of its benefits. This is due to the fact that International Cooperation should be cultivated and grow in a geopolitical environment in which there is the influence of several other major “key players” except the EU. Thus each initiative introduced within the frame of “INCO”, depends on a number of parameters such as the geopolitical conditions, economic stability and growth in target countries. However, the International Cooperation always contribute as a “low policy tool” to create an enabling/fruitful environment for the emergence of excellence and strengthening innovation, having achievements under geopolitical conditions in which the “high policy” might not be demonstrated successes. International cooperation is always one of the most important "tools" for the promotion of the European policies on R&I to the ENP. As already mentioned the major events like RInES require a mid-term period in order for its impact and valuable results to be emerged and made visible since this depends of the circumstances which have influenced the maturation of the INCO initiatives.
In addition RInES would have been more visible short term impact and influence if they could have participated in this Conference, key players, scientists and stakeholders of the target regions. Unfortunately it was not possible to be covered by RInES the ticket’s and accommodation cost of the above mentioned attendees (at least for 4-5 persons per country from N. Africa, Middle East and Back Sea) and this was an obstacle to their participation.

List of Websites:
http://www.rines.gr