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Strengthening Research and Innovation Links towards Ukraine

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - RI-LINKS2UA (Strengthening Research and Innovation Links towards Ukraine)

Reporting period: 2017-08-15 to 2019-02-14

RI-LINKS2UA “Strengthening Research and Innovation Links towards Ukraine” was an EU-funded international collaboration project targeting the Ukrainian research and innovation sector. It was funded under the Horizon 2020 programme and ran from 15.02.2016 to 14.02.2019

The overall aim of the project was to further support and enhance the integration of Ukraine to the European Research Area. In other words, the project aimed to support Ukraine in its integration into an EU-wide area of harmonised research and innovation instruments, which is characterised by standardised collaboration and exchange procedures and a joint work towards a more innovation-driven EU industry/economy based on excellent science and research.

The following three core objectives were achieved by a consortium of 12 renowned organisations with professional backgrounds in STI policy and policy analysis from EU Member States (MS) and Accession Countries (AC) (including Ukraine):

1. Supported and stimulated the policy dialogue on R&I between EU and Ukraine. It enabled the better integration of Ukraine into ERA by the identification of remaining obstacles, drivers, and opportunities through analytical evidence and R&I policy advice
2. Contributed to the improvement of supportive framework conditions in the field of R&I through a targeted portfolio of activities and systematically enhanced and stimulated the EU-Ukraine STI cooperation
3. Further encouraged and facilitated the cooperation between research actors from EU MS and Ukraine through a set of supportive R&I measures and by promoting EU-Ukrainian participation in joint projects in Horizon 2020 and other EU funded programmes
WP1 - International Knowledge exchange to support the integration of Ukraine into ERA

• Assessment and analytical evidence of UA participation in H2020 programme (in total, 6 comprehensive analytical reports (on 6 months bases) about the current participation of the Ukrainian R&I institutions in Horizon 2020 were produced)
• Assessment of current bilateral support actions between EU MS and Ukraine in the field of STI
• Database (online) and report on all projects funded under H2020 with UA participation
• Input paper on new materials as possible PPP initiative for Ukraine
• Input paper on Research and Development (R&D) partnerships of the European Union in Ukraine
• Support document showing evidence of Ukrainian strengths in H2020 published
• Monitoring concept for assessing the implementation of PSF recommendations for Ukraine
• Progress report on policy support activities including a collection of assessment reports about Ukrainian participation in H2020 and short reports about support actions from EU MS to Ukraine published
• Two stakeholder fora organised in Kyiv to further support the policy dialogue
• Final Monitoring report on the implementation of the Policy mix peer review recommendations published

WP2 – Widening, promoting and encouraging Ukrainian participation in Horizon 2020

• To further distribute knowledge about Horizon 2020 and its specific thematic areas, 26 Horizon 2020 promotion events including info days, trainings and webinars and a H2020 Summer School for young researchers were organised (initially only 5 info days and 10 webinars were planned in the project)
• Organisation of four proposal writing trainings for UA stakeholders
• Organisation of one SME instrument training for UA SMEs
• Exchange of good practices between the EU MS and MESU concerning the nomination and performance of the Horizon 2020 Programme Committee Members
• Establishment and launch of a project preparatory support mechanism (project preparatory grants for Ukrainian stakeholders. Launch of three public calls, resulting in 17 full applications and six funded applicants
• Preparation of the organisation of the RI-LINKS2UA summer school on H2020 for 28 young UA researchers in Odessa

WP3 – Governance of Ukrainian participation in Horizon 2020

• Setting up of a methodological framework for the Ukrainian monitoring system for H2020
• Guiding documents for the implementation of training visits of UA NCPs in EU MS were set up
• Supporting the NCPs network in Ukraine by organising in-house in EU MS and exchanges

WP4 – Innovation support

• Report on the innovation support measures currently in place in Ukraine published
• Organisation of a cluster management training together with Black Sea Horizon project
• Policy brief on how to accelerate the process of bringing knowledge to the market including promising practices from EU and Ukraine and recommendations published
• Organisation of two SME Instrument info days and one training dedicated to SMEs in Horizon 2020

WP5 – Dissemination, Exploitation and Quality assurance

• Dissemination and communication plan for steering all project communication/dissemination activities published
• Web portal as the main information hub for EU-UA STI cooperation launched
• Quality Assurance and Exploitation Strategy document published
• Social media channels to promote the project activities established & maintained
• Eight project eJournals published & disseminated by all partners (and in cooperation with MESU and EU Delegation in Ukraine)

WP6 - Projects Management and Coordination

• Six Project Management Board Meetings organised
• Communication channels between project partners and the project coordinator and external stakeholders, such as the project advisory board, the project officer and various other strategic cooperation partners established
• Cooperation with partners beyond the project consortium, such as the EU Support
• Long-term usage of the national monitoring system of the Ukrainian participation in Horizon 2020 developed under RI-LINKS2UA providing publicly available up-to date data and analytical reports
• Uptake and implementation of the recommendations and results of the RI-LINKS2UA analytical reports by relevant policy makers in the EC and Ukraine during the JSTCC meeting
• Uptake and institutionalisation of the RI-LINKS2UA pilot project preparation support scheme for Ukrainian research institutions (including research orientated SMEs) by Ukrainian authorities, especially the newly established national research fund
• Re-organised and service-orientated Ukrainian H2020 NCP system coordinated by MESU
• Targeted support to selected Ukrainian clusters
• Fostered partnerships between research and innovation actors from the EU Member States and Ukraine through supportive activities e.g. Info days, webinars and trainings. The RI-LINKS2UA Project Consortium has organised 28 dedicated promotional events (Info days, trainings, webinars) and a Summer School for young researchers. Furthermore the project has developed also a project preparatory mobility scheme
• Increased participation of research oriented SMEs in joint projects between Ukraine and EU, e.g. through support measures to internationalisation of Ukrainian clusters. The project cooperated with the EU Delegation in Ukraine as well as with EBRD and organised 3 dedicated events in SME Instrument, other H2020 actions as well as COSME Programme. The analysis of the H2020 participation shows that the majority of applicants in H2020 (39%) from Ukraine are from private sector (Ecorda Data: December 2018).
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