Transport EU-Western Balkan Network for Training, Support and Promotion of Cooperation in FP7 research activities
APPLIED RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS FUND
Alexander Zhendov Street 5
€ 96 043
Zoya Damianova (Ms.)
Sort by EU Contribution
Ss. CYRIL AND METHODIUS UNIVERSITY IN SKOPJE
€ 48 150
HIGHER SCHOOL OF TRANSPORT - TODOR KABLESHKOV
€ 39 162
Automotive center – Centar za vozila, Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
€ 37 985
UNIVERSITETI POLITEKNIK I TIRANES
€ 40 125
MINISTERIE VAN ECONOMISCHE ZAKEN EN KLIMAAT
€ 54 570
IDRYMA TECHNOLOGIAS KAI EREVNAS
€ 63 986
INTEGRATED RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (IRM) COMPANY LIMITED
€ 52 751
FAKULTET ZA MASINSTVO I GRADJEVINARSTVO U KRALJEVO UNIVERZITETA U KRAGUJEVCU
€ 50 076
Grant agreement ID: 218699
1 January 2009
31 December 2010
€ 495 328
€ 482 848
APPLIED RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS FUND
Final Report Summary - TRANSBONUS (Transport EU-western Balkan network for training, support and promotion of cooperation in FP7 research activities)
TRANSBONUS was a project supported by the European Commission (EC) under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7) for Research and Technological Development (RTD). This two-year project started on 1 January 2009 and ended on 31 December 2010.
The overall objective of the project was to improve and promote closer scientific and technological (S&T) cooperation opportunities between Europe and the western Balkan countries (WBCs) in the area of surface transport. The project established an EU and Balkan transport network of researchers and universities among these countries in order to improve and enlarge the research capacity of western Balkan centres of competence in transport in terms of upgrading their research programmes and scientific and technical human resources.
The project fulfilled the following specific goals:
1. identify the existing capacities and specific needs of surface transport researchers in the WBCs in terms of the FP7 funding opportunities
2. provide training and support in FP7 knowledge and best practices and enhance the readiness of Balkan transport research community to participate in the European research and technological development (RTD) programmes, such as the FP7
3. set up a matching tool, the so called 'Project lab', supporting the creation and preparation of efficient and innovative project proposals
4. implement expert study visits between the WBC partners and EU partners in order to expand the scientific relationships and networking between the two regions
5. stimulate various partnering schemes and national collaboration between researchers and industry in the surface transport sector in the Balkan region.
TRANSBONUS was carried out by nine partners, of which four from the WBCs and five from EU member states as follows:
1. Applied Research and Communications (ARC) Fund, Bulgaria, coordinator
2. Higher school of Transport 'Todor Kableshkov', Bulgaria
3. Polytechnic University of Tirana, Mechanical Engineering Faculty, Albania
4. Automotive Centre - Centar za vozila, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
5. Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia
6. University of Kragujevac, Mechanical Engineering Faculty, Kraljevo, Serbia
7. NL Agency (SenterNovem), the Netherlands
8. Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (HELP-Forward), Greece
9. Integrated Resources Management Company (IRMCo), Malta.
The tangible project results included:
1. mapping of research capacities and funding opportunities in WBC transport research
2. FP7 handbook, titled 'The guide for transport researchers'
3. more than 200 researchers informed and stimulated towards FP7
4. eleven national IGEs
5. sixty-three new project proposal ideas
6. seven proposals submitted in the 2009 and 2010 calls for proposals as part of the transport programme of the FP7 cooperation specific programme
6. five events in the Balkan countries linking transport researchers and industry
7. twenty-six public relations (PR) research profiles published and uploaded on 'http://www.transbonus.net'
8. workshop for project proposals development.
Project context and objectives:
The three surface transport modes - road, rail and water-borne - were critical to driving Europe's employment, prosperity and global exports. Aside from stimulating innovation and knowledge, technological advances in transport would have a positive impact on Europe's economic and social integration. The transport modes also raise major challenges for environment, society and research mainly due to an inexorable rise in transport demand. The EU has targeted five objectives in surface transport research to meet these challenges, namely to:
1. Improve the competitiveness of surface transport manufacturers, operators and infrastructure managers
2. Improve the safety and security of transport operations and services
3. Reduce the environmental impact of transport, including emissions and noise
4. Increase the mobility of people and goods via a better balance between all three surface transport modes.
For the industry to grow and gain a share of the international markets it needs sustainable investments in innovative products (development) and skilled research personnel with good knowledge of the latest developments in EU research policies and programmes. One of the opportunities to gain competitiveness was to take advantage of participation in European RTD and innovation instruments to pursue excellence through research, innovation, technology transfer and collaboration with experienced EU partners.
The opening of the European Research Area (ERA) to third countries was a strategic objective of the European Union. As the Western Balkan Countries (WBCs, incl. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) have been offered the perspective of EU membership, their future integration into the ERA was seen as a key priority. The EC supports many initiatives which aim to stimulate the realisation of the full research potential in the Balkans by unlocking and developing the existing research potential and helping to successfully participate in research activities at EU level.
Actions were being implemented to support the opening of ERA to the WBCs. In the years since 2002 several ministerial level conferences on science and technology co-operation between representative of the European Commission and of Ministries from the WBCs have taken place. At the conference organised in Thessaloniki in June 2003, a Shared Vision document, as well as an 'EU-Balkan Countries Action plan in S&T' have been adopted. The shared vision document defines four main goals (Improvement of Infrastructures, improvement of Human Potential, institution Building and implementation of joint RTD activities). The action plan specifies the objectives and thematic priorities over a 3-year period. An ad hoc group has also been established after the Thessaloniki meeting. In November 2003, This group adopted a Work Programme that listed activities for the year 2004 and 2005. The last meeting of the ad hoc group, which took place in February 2005, further underlined the difficulties to integrate research organisations from the WBC in the Thematic Priorities of the FP6 and identified the development of human resources as one of the crucial areas of action. The group also recommended to fully utilise FP7 for the integration of the WBCs in ERA.
Several Specific Support and Coordination Actions have been undertaken so far to help co-operation with WBCs. Some of the most important actions include ERA WESTBALKAN that aims at creating and supporting a network of National Contact Points in the countries of the region, SEEREN that aims at the connection of the Research and Education Networks with the European high-speed electronic network GEANT, as well as SEE ERA-NET that aimed at creating synergy among bilateral S&T agreements of countries from the EU and from the WBCs.
Up to now, little has been done in the area of Transport research. The 'EU-Balkan Countries Action plan in S&T' identifies Human Potential as a key priority and given the importance of familiarisation with the ways of funding research activities in the WBC economies there was a need to stimulate cooperation in this area. This was the overall objective of the project TRANSBONUS.
The project focused on four countries of the Western Balkans region, namely: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and one convergence-region country to EU, such as Bulgaria (which was also from the Balkan region).
Finally, the project collaborated with a number of EU-funded projects as follows:
3. SEE IFA Network
Problems that were addressed
While the lack of communication between the research community and SMEs was the most notable challenge to be overcome by the Transport sector in the Balkans, there were a great number of other equally challenging conditions and needs that the sector has faced in the recent year. They were described in the following points (Ps):
1. P1: Despite difficulties and rapid political change in the region, skilled individuals and high potential organisations do exist in the WBCs. This was not clearly reflected in their participation in EU-FPs, which can be improved
2. P2: A growing shortage of qualified human resources which was most acute in higher education graduates in transport engineering. There was a need for sustainable capacity building and know-how transfer in all aspects of FP7, from the policies and content to the practicalities in WBCs
3. P3: The lack of financial resources was a major obstacle to more transport innovation, need for new ideas and for RTD proposals in Transport. Access to innovation finance especially for universities and research centres must be significantly improved
4. P4: A clear need exists for a strategy and capacity development effort at European level.
5. P5: Faster and more effective translation of scientific results/knowledge resources into innovative commercial products. There was a need to raise awareness in Europe of skilled potential partners from WBCs (e.g. the industry), to be involved in EU-FPs and relevant Technology platforms in the Transport sector.
It therefore has to be ensured that the high-caliber knowledge worker and well-qualified young professional would find in transport attractive working conditions and competitive remuneration packages they expect. Universities and other providers of higher education and advanced technological know-how need to prepaare their graduates with the right combination of scientific-technological excellence and industrial application capabilities.
A key component of the required implementation of these objectives was funding the initiatives. Various national and EU initiatives for educational development exist and the key schemes available to resource, amongst other objectives, the development of flexible learning material have been investigated. In order to attract graduates of high caliber into research in transport, incentives such as trainings in FP7 participation were required and TRANSBONUS explored ways for these to be resourced.
The overall objective of the project was to improve and promote closer Scientific and Technological (S&T) cooperation opportunities between Europe (old MSs - Greece, The Netherlands, Malta and EU's convergence region - Bulgaria) and the Western Balkan Countries (WBCs: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia). It further sought to establish an EU Balkan Transport network of researchers, universities and experts among these countries in order to improve and enlarge the research capacity of Western Balkan centres of competence in terms of research programmes and human resources through trans-national placements of research staff and knowledge, described in the following objectives (Os):
1. O1: Identifying the existing capacities and specific researcher needs in the Western Balkan countries in terms of RTD (incl. FP7) funding opportunities;
2. O2: Training and support in FP7 knowledge and best practices for academic personnel, Ph.D. students and post-doctoral researchers. Enhance the readiness of Balkan transport research community to prepare cooperative activities and joint RTD proposals in European RTD programmes (FP7)
3. O3: Setting up a matching tool - 'Project Lab', supporting the creation and preparation of efficient and innovative project proposals. Stimulate partnering schemes and facilitate knowledge transfer at National and European level;
4. O4: Implementing expert study visits between the WBC partners and EU partners in order to expand the scientific relationships and networking between the two regions;
5. O5: Stimulate partnering schemes and national collaboration between researchers and industry in transport sector in the Balkan region.
These goals demanded a coordinated approach among all research and transport stakeholders, which has been achieved via the new technology platforms for each transport mode. ERRAC - the European Rail Research Advisory Council - has guided EU and national rail research planning since December 2002. ERTRAC, the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council, delivered its strategic agenda in January 2005, while the WATERBORNE technology platform was inaugurated in October 2004. The White Paper on Transport 'European Transport Policy for 2010: Time to decide' and its Mid-term review set out clearly those objectives to be addressed at a pan-European level. Research priorities outlined in this wok programme were based on these transport policy objectives as well as on support to industry competitiveness.
During the first project year ARC Fund designed a methodology for mapping the research potential of the WBC in the surface transport domain, which was implemented in the participating Western Balkan Countries (WBCs), plus Bulgaria. All target beneficiary groups (universities, researchers, research companies, research NGOs, government bodies in the surface transport domain) were approached in order to record their research profiles and technology expertise as a basis for the following activities under the project. A total of 191 collaboration profiles and 91 profiles of exploitable research results and technologies have been collected during the mapping.
Parallel to that, the consortium partners from Bulgaria, Greece and Malta mapped (additional to FP7) funding opportunities (available locally or on a bi-lateral basis) for international research projects with WBC partners, in order to better understand the environment in which researchers in the WBCs operated.
In methodological terms the EU partners from Greece and the Netherlands developed a guide on FP7 for transport researchers in English, which was then translated in the national languages of the participating WBCs and Bulgaria, while the partner from Malta developed the concept of the 'Ideas Generation Events' and elaborated the guide on how to organise such events.
In regard to capacity building activities for the WBC partners three-day training on FP7 plus practical coaching for the WBC partners was organised. The training was organised in Malta, and encompassed:
1. Training on FP7 with a focus on transport
2. Training on consortium building and proposal development
3. Training on proposal budgeting
4. Training on negotiations and IPR issues
5. Training on how to organise 'Idea Generation Events'.
In addition to the training the following activities were carried out: participation in an information day in Thessaloniki, Greece, publishing a guide on FP7 for transport researchers, in English and in the national languages of the WBC partners and in Bulgarian, and study visits for forming research consortia.
The innovative feature of the project was the internal call for pre-proposals, which was first launched in August 2009 with the aim to gather new research ideas, evaluate them and assist the proposers to submit projects to the Transport theme of FP7 (Cooperation). 30 new research ideas were submitted in the first call in 2009 (against the target of 50 research ideas as per the Work Program).
The promotional activities during the first project year encompassed articles on the project, the project public web-site, and information on the project on the partners, institutional web-sites, publication of articles and presentation at various events. A promotional leaflet was published, available in English and the national languages of the partners.
During the second project year a second round of Ideas Generation Events (IGEs) were organised in the participating WBCs and Bulgaria in March and April 2010. The purpose of these IGEs was to stimulate and collect innovative RTD ideas in the field of surface transport, to strengthen the research capacity of transport experts in the Western Balkans area through training on FP7 and to create favourable conditions for networking among the participants.
After the IGEs, ARC Fund prepared the second internal call for proposals, which was launched in the spring of 2010. By the end of May, a total of 33 pre-proposals have been submitted by different organisations in the participating WBCs and Bulgaria. (The three research ideas from Bulgaria were not evaluated, since by the time they were already meant to be submitted as full proposals to FP7 call in transport). They have been evaluated according to the FP7 criteria. After evaluating the pre-proposals, in order to maximise the opportunities provided by the TRANSBONUS project itself, the project partners decided to organise a workshop for project proposals development in order to make the TRANSBONUS project more beneficial for its target group. This activity was an additional one, not originally planned in the work programme. The workshop was organised in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the period from 7 to 9 July 2010. The four pre-proposals which received the highest scores during the evaluation were developed further during the workshop with the idea that they would mature in full FP7 applications.
In addition to the internal open call and the workshop for project proposals development, several study visits, during which transport researchers from WBCs visited the more experienced EU partner countries and created new contacts, have been organised in 2010 as well. The first one was in the Netherlands in September. Also, representatives of the Higher School of Transport (VTU) in Bulgaria visited the facilities of another project partner, the University of Skopje in FYR of Macedonia as well as the Aristotle University in Greece in October 2010. The last expert study visit was in Bulgaria in December 2010. It was organised along with the final event of the project.
Furthermore, national research promotional meetings have been organised in Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR of Macedonia and Serbia. The goal of these meetings was to present specific research ideas to the local industry in order to strengthen the connection between research and industry at national level, as well as to encourage local funding of joint industry-research actions.
Another activity that has been executed during the second reported period has been the preparation of PR research profiles of organisations, operating in the field of transport, from the participating WBCs plus Bulgaria. The initially planned number of PR profiles was 25, but one additional profile has been made and as a result 26 profiles have been prepared and uploaded on the project web-site. The PR profiles have also been disseminated through the EEN and ETNA networks.
In 2010, the dissemination and awareness-raising activities included the publication of articles in newspapers in the partner countries, presentation of TRANSBONUS during events like the info day of the ETNA network in August in Bulgaria and the First Innovation Dialogue Forum (first IDF), organised in November 2010 as an activity of the WBC-INCO.NET project in Montenegro, update of the project web-site, information regarding TRANSBONUS on the partners' web-sites, as well as dissemination of the project leaflet during different events.
The TRANSBONUS project achieved the following results:
1. Methodology for mapping of potential FP7 participants, transport researchers and the existing funding opportunities for international cooperation in the Balkan region.
2. 'Roadmap to excellence in transport' - report
3. FP7 handbook 'The Guide for Transport Researchers.'
4. Realised 232 expert study visits for exchange of experience and know-how
5. Organisation of 11 'Idea Generation Events.'
6. Generation of 63 new project proposals ideas.
7. Organisation of 2 internal open calls for proposals.
8. Organisation of 5 events in the Balkan countries linking transport researchers and industry
9. Publishing of 26 PR research profiles.
10. Preparation of a methodology for a workshop for project proposals development.
11. Organisation of a workshop for project proposals development.
12. Submission of 7 projects by the consortium partners under the 2009 and 2010 FP7 Transport calls for proposals.
13. More than 200 transport researchers from Bulgaria and the WBCs informed and stimulated towards FP7.
The TRANSBONUS project not only covered its planned objectives, but succeeded in over-performing in comparison to the indicators, presented in the work programme, and even executed some additional to the original work programme activities. To start with, 10 'Idea Generation Events' had to be organised in accordance to the planned activities, but eventually their number increased to 11, because VTU made one additional event. VTU was also the reason for the increased number of the PR profiles which have been produced - instead of making 5 profiles like all other West Balkan partners Albania, FYR of Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, VTU made 6 and as a result of that, the total number of the profiles became 26, not 25 as planned.
Furthermore, it was worth pointing out that as a result of all activities of TRANSBONUS, 7 projects were submitted under the FP7 Transport calls in 2009 and 2010 by the TRANSBONUS consortium partners, which has not been targeted in the work programme of the project, but was a very positive outcome, proving the good concept and excellent implementation of TRANSBONUS, which produced more results than planned within the same project budget.
Innovative methodological elements
TRANSBONUS achieved excellent results, but what needs to be pointed out was its interesting methodology due to which these results have been attained. The two most interesting elements of the methodology that have to be highlighted were the launch of an internal open call for pre-proposals as well as the organisation of a workshop for project proposals development.
The internal Open Calls for Pre-proposals resembled the real FP7 calls, but on a smaller and simplified scale (mini call). These internal calls have been launched twice during the project duration - in August 2009 and in May 2010, but it should be noted that the second call has not been envisaged in the original work programme i.e. it was another additional project activity.
The coordinator ARC Fund developed the documents for the internal TRANSBONUS calls for pre-proposals - Guidelines, Application form and Guide for evaluators. The documents were published on the website of the project, which was also known as the 'Project Lab,' where transport researchers could find information about crucial transport events and partnering schemes. The first Open Call for Pre-proposals opened on August 7, 2009 and closed on October 15, 2009. The second Open Call for Pre-proposals opened on May 1, 2010 and closed on May 31, 2010. The selected time periods of both calls were designed to match the EC calls for proposals, in particular the FP7 calls under Transport (Cooperation) and Capacities.
Thirty pre-proposals have been submitted during the first round and 33 pre-proposals have been submitted under the second internal call. The total number was 63, which was 13 more than the initially planned 50. Participants in the internal open call expressed the opinion that This activity was a good exercise for them and it was further reinforced by the workshop for project proposals development, organised in Sarajevo in the period 7-9 July 2010. This activity was an additional one, not initially planned in the work programme of the project, but it was executed in order to make TRANSBONUS more beneficial to its target group. The TRANSBONUS partners have decided that in addition to the internal open calls, during which applicants had presented their proposal ideas, TRANSBONUS should go one step further and organise a workshop, during which the rules of FP7 would be presented in more details and applicants would have the opportunity to develop their pre-proposal ideas into real FP7 project proposals. Hence, the aim of the workshop in Sarajevo was to bring together potential applicants, assist them in developing their ideas further, and in structuring the best pre-project proposals from the internal call into project proposals that would be submitted under the calls of FP7. The Coordinator ARC Fund prepared a methodological document, which presented the purpose of the event, the expectations of participants prior to their arrival as well as the format and the programme of the workshop.
The workshop focused on further developing 4 of the selected pre-proposals from the second internal call of TRANSBONUS into quality project proposals that would be submitted under the transport call of FP7, which would open in July 2010. The concrete objectives of the workshop were:
1. Introduction to FP 7 in general and the Transport Programme in more details
2. Acquisition of knowledge and skills in order to develop successful project proposals under the transport calls of FP7
3. Consultations to participants by four facilitators from the experienced in project development and implementation partner organisations of TRANSBONUS
4. Networking among the participants in the workshop in order to exchange contacts, experience and know-how and form consortia for project submission under FP7.
Forty six researchers and experts from different countries took part in the workshop for project proposals development in Sarajevo. The main goal of this workshop was attained by bringing researchers and experts from WBC on one table in order to work on common proposal ideas. Up to This event, the researchers and experts had worked only on the ideas generation and preparing pre-proposals. During the workshop they were able to participate in the development of project proposals, following all FP7 rules. Facilitators with long experience in working with the framework programmes guided them. Having in mind the main problems related to the drafting of a good proposal, this event helped participants in the following:
1. To establish connections and continue collaborations
2. To exchange opinions and ideas directly through discussions
3. To get acquainted with the FP7 rules in details
4. To acquire hands on experience in developing project proposals
5. To create consortia.
All attendees said they were very satisfied with the opportunity to come to the workshop, because it gave them insight into how to write successful project proposals not only on theory, but practically as well. The TRANSBONUS workshop for project proposals development was evaluated by all participants as the most useful workshop organised under the TRANSBONUS project activities.
In July 2010 in Sarajevo, parallel to the workshop on project proposals development, four academic institutions from South East Europe formally signed an Agreement on Cluster for Science and Research in Transport. The main objective of the cluster was to enhance the research collaboration and develop joint research projects for improving the transport system in the SEE area. It was envisaged that the cluster would expand including other members: universities and research institutes, SMEs, public administrations and NGOs from SEE and other European countries. The founding members of the cluster were:
1. Todor Kableshkov Higher School of Transport (Sofia, Bulgaria)
2. Faculty of Traffic and Communications with the University of Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
3. Faculty of Civil Engineering with the University of Maribor (Slovenia)
4. Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences with the University of Zagreb (Croatia)
The formation of the cluster was inspired by the TRANSBONUS project and This fact proves the tangible impact of the project. There were also other impact factors, related to the implementation of TRANSBONUS as follows:
1. Stimulating international cooperation
2. Realising ERA objectives
3. Contributing to the EU agenda for the Western Balkan Countries (WBC)
4. Contribution to the societal needs of the Western Balkan Countries
Stimulation of international cooperation and networking
One of the targets of the project was the networking and training of transport research community and other stakeholders in the WBC for Sustainable Surface Transport of FP7. This falls clearly under one of the priorities of the Cooperation work programme, more specifically under the 'stimulating international cooperation' for CSA. The consortium included 4 partners covering WBC, two partners from convergence region in a Member State - Bulgaria and 3 partners from EU-15 MS. In additional to that, the project included a mapping exercise in the WBC in order to record the existing research capacity in the Surface transport sector and identify any locally available funding opportunities that can help international cooperation projects, respectively. This, followed by a strong interaction with the local research communities through training, awareness-raising and networking activities contributed towards the promotion of the EU-Western Balkan bi-regional dialogue on issues in the area of Surface Transport.
More than 200 transport researchers have been stimulated towards FP7 throughout the project.
Realising ERA objectives
It has been reported that between 2002 and 2005 there have been about 120 participations of organisations from the WBC in 51 FP6 projects. While the figure was encouraging it was important to stress that it includes projects under all Priorities (and specific horizontal issue projects) and, therefore, can be improved. The Commission plans towards a stronger participation of WBC partners in FP7 and the TRANSBONUS project acted on that front, too: One of the results of the project was increased participation of partners from the WBC in FP7 projects, achieved via ideas generation events, internal open calls for pre-proposals and the workshop for project proposals development - at the WBC level - and promotion of WBC organisations at a European level. As a result of these activities, a total of 7 projects have been submitted under the 2009 and 2010 FP7 calls in the area of transport.
Increased participation of WBC partners in FP projects would help the EU and the WBC to have mutual access to complementary research skills, or cooperate on application of research results to the industry of the region, which in turn would elevate the quality and impact of the research funded at European level. Thus, the project also contributed to some extent to the realisation of the ERA objectives.
Contributing to the EU Agenda for the WBC
The TRANSBONUS project contributed to the support of the S&T cooperation side of the Stabilisation and Association Process, which was the cornerstone of the EU policy for the WBC region. The first formal consultation with representatives from the Ministries of Science and Technology of all WBC took place in October 2001. Then, improvement of Infrastructures, improvement of Human Potential, institution building and implementation of joint RTD activities were amongst the key goals where cooperation should focus on. Following meetings, including the meeting in Thessaloniki in June 2003, have affirmed those priorities and stressed that cooperative research could contribute to the economic development and integration of the region. Development and improvement of research potential and implementation of joint RTD activities in Member States and Candidate Countries, i.e. exactly what this proposal achieved, had been identified as a powerful support tool for the local research communities in the WBC. The partners of the TRANSBONUS project were willing to endorse relevant future strategic/ political developments in the region (e.g. in the fields of research, innovation or education), where appropriate and in accordance with the general objectives described herein.
Contribution to the societal needs of the WBCs
The Surface transport sector plays a major role in Western Balkan economies, both in terms of GDP share and employment. Research on these sectors could, in the long term, lead to stability, prosperity and a higher pace of integration. The project directly contributed to that by stimulating participation of local research and industrial actors in the European research programme in the Transport sector.
Awareness-raising and dissemination activities
During the implementation of TRANSBONUS the Coordinator and the project partners cooperated with the following Framework program projects:
1. STAR-NET (FP7 project) - The STAR-NET project was financed from the European Commission in the same call as TRANSBONUS project, but the target group were transport SMEs. ARC Fund was also partner in this project and both projects collaborated at the training workshop on 24 June 2009 in Sofia with presentation of the TRANSBONUS project activities, as well as for the final workshop held in December 2010 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
2. FP7 project - The coordinator of TRANSBONUS project established a connection for collaboration with WBC-INCO.NET project in order to publish an article for TRANSBONUS project activities in the newsletter of WBC-INCO.NET project. Also the coordinator of TRANSBONUS project advised the project partners to include their Collaboration Profiles in the WBC-INCO.NET database in order to find project partners in the Western Balkan region.
3. ETNA (European Transport NCP Alliance, FP7 project) - SenterNovem and Help-Forward participate in This project. The TRANSBONUS project was promoted through ETNA in order to build partnerships with WBC partners for new FP7 proposals in the surface transport area.
4. SEE IFA Network (South-East European Co-operation of Innovation & Finance Agencies) - The FYROM partner collaborated with the team of the SEE IFA Network in order to raise awareness and disseminate the TRANSBONUS results during the activities of the SEE IFA Network.
TRANSBONUS was presented during the info day of the ETNA network, organised in August 2010 in Sofia. The project was also presented during the First Innovation Dialogue Forum (1st IDF), organised on 8 - 9 November 2010 in Becici, Montenegro as an activity of the WBC-INCO.NET project.
Other awareness-raising and dissemination activities:
1. ARC Fund (Coordinator) - Bulgaria. In order to disseminate information for the TRANSBONUS activities ARC Fund published information in English and Bulgarian on the institutional website www.arcfund.net. The project was presented also at the training for transport SMEs in Sofia on 24 June 2009. ARC Fund also disseminated the TRANSBONUS leaflet at the info day of ETNA network as well as the 1st IDF in Montenegro.
2. VTU - Bulgaria. VTU regularly published information on the progress and activities of TRANSBONUS in the news section of its website www.vtu.bg. In 2009, a short presentation of the project was made and was uploaded on the website of the VTU (www.vtu.bg) both in Bulgarian and English; it was linked to the TRANSBONUS website (www.transbonus.net) as well. In addition to that it published articles about the project in issues 52, 53 and 54 of the academic newspaper Expresso, at 'http://www.vtu.bg/bg/ekspresoo/2010/br52_web.pdf' (issue 52), 'http://www.vtu.bg/bg/ekspresoo/2010/Broi_53_sait-1.pdf' (issue 53) and 'http://www.vtu.bg/bg/ekspresoo/2010/Broi_54_sait_1.pdf' (issue 54). VTU provided information regarding the project for one article on transport science published in the Railway Transport magazine, issue 6/2009 and for two articles in issues 43/2010 and 44/2010 of the specialised in the area of transport and logistics newspaper Railwayman, namely an article about the end of the project, called TRANSBONUS finishes more than successfully: 'http://www.iaja.government.bg/IAJI/wwwFWRAEA.nsf/f8c6e36331ccea9d0025728b005cd1fd/7c8c39e7356603d2c2257777002d4d23/$FILE/43inter_10.pdf' (issue 43), and an article about the expert study visit in Vagonoremonten zavod - 99 AD in Septemvri, called VRZ - 99 combines traditions with quality: 'http://www.iaja.government.bg/IAJI/wwwFWRAEA.nsf/f8c6e36331ccea9d0025728b005cd1fd/7c8c39e7356603d2c2257777002d4d23/$FILE/44_10.pdf' (issue 44). VTU disseminated the Applied research for transport leaflet, which contains the logo of the TRANSBONUS project, the flag of the EU and the logo of FP7 at all events its representatives participate in (seminars, conferences, meetings etc.).
3. Polytechnic University of Tirana-Albania. The project website in Albanian was developed in September 2009 (www.transbonusalbania.com). The website has been updated every month. A TRANSBONUS leaflet with a concise summary of the objectives of the project, partners and key activities was produced in October 2009 and was distributed to 30 Albanian institutions. In November 2009, a TRANSBONUS report was prepared and sent to the Research Directorate of the Ministry of Science and Education. Furthermore, the achievements of TRANSBONUS were presented during the FP7 info day in Albania on 24th September 2010. An article, entitled 'The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering participates in FP7 research project' was published in November 2010 in the Albanian daily newspaper 'The Telegraph.' The article presented the objectives and achievements of TRANSBONUS.
4. AMC, Bosnia and Herzegovina. AMC created a special section on its website at 'http://www.automotivecenter.ba/index4.html' where all TRANSBONUS information has been presented and updated regularly. Currently, it was only in Bosnian, but plans to translate it into English have been made as well. Also, a bilingual English-Bosnian project leaflet has been prepared and it has been distributed to ministries, research and educational institutions, industry and SMEs. The electronic version of the leaflet has been uploaded on AMC?s web site (http://www.automotivecenter.ba).
5. University of Kragujevac, Mechanical Engineering Faculty - Kraljevo, Serbia. In order to disseminate information for TRANSBONUS project MFK presented the project objectives at the university website in English and Serbian (www.mfkv.kg.ac.rs/TRANSBONUS). The project was also promoted during two meetings at the Serbian Ministry of Science and Technology Development and at the conference 'International Convention of Quality - YUQS - 2009' which was held in Belgrade from 1st to 4th June 2009. Moreover, the TRANSBONUS leaflet has been disseminated to the participants in the 2nd IGE in Serbia on April 15, 2010 as well as to the people who participated in the national research promotional meeting in December 2010 in Kraljevo. The objectives, activities and achievements of the project have been presented during these events, too. Furthermore, TRANSBONUS has been promoted during the first conference about quality in university education, called 'Strengthening the Quality Assurance System within Western Balkans HEWas in support of National and Regional Planning' and during the FP7 Info day, held on November 17th 2010 at the University of Kragujevac.
6. Ss Cyril and Methodius University, FYR of Macedonia. The University regularly used its institutional website at 'http://www.mf.edu.mk' in order to inform researchers about the activities of the project. The project was promoted at the Ministry of Science of FYR of Macedonia and at the FP7 National Contact Points for the Republic of Macedonia as well. Also, the project leaflet, which had been translated into Macedonian, has been distributed to various transport target groups during conferences, workshops and general project events. Furthermore, the TRANSBONUS project has been presented during various events like the 'Commercialisation of research and development,' held on 12th of May 2010 in Skopje, the annual Open Day of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering on 14 May 2010 in Skopje as well as Train-the-Trainer seminar in June 2010 which was an activity of the project: South-East European Co-operation of Innovation & Finance Agencies (SEE IFA Network - www.see-ifa.eu).
7. Integrated Resources management Company Ltd., Malta. IRMCo used its web-site as a source of dissemination of information about TRANSBONUS. The News section of the web-site www.environmentalmalta.com has been regularly updated with sign-postings to the TRANSBONUS project website.
8. Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece. The TRANSBONUS website and events were promoted by personal emails to the PRAXI Help-Forward contact list of transport - related researchers and companies. Information regarding the project has been also included in the electronic newsletter and web-site of the project partner organization in Greece.
9. NL Agency (SenterNovem Eg - Liaison), the Netherlands. NL Agency disseminated the achievements of the TRANSBONUS project by providing articles to the newsletter of the network of National Contact Points (ETNA).
Exploitation of results
All partners involved in this project have complementing competences in fields directly relevant to training, information dissemination and stimulation of the participation of researchers and industrial partners in FP projects. All partners brought their respective expertise, worked together as a team in the consortium and effectively applied the 'knowledge' produced to local target audiences across the WBC. They all used various means to disseminate the results of the project. One of the most effective ways was to present the project results during different events, related to the surface transport field like conferences, seminars, round tables etc.
The result of the work carried out was available at the TRANSBONUS website. All publicly available materials have been uploaded: the FP7 handbooks, the map document 'Roadmap to excellence,' the PR profiles, the collaboration profiles from each WBC, since the actual objective of this joint effort was to assist WBCs' researchers in FP7 participation.
The TRANSBONUS methodology proved to be successful, although improvements to it would make it more beneficial to potential project applicants. Not only all objectives were covered, but additional activities that have not been part of the work programme have been executed within the framework of the same budget.
The most important goal of TRANSBONUS - to establish an EU-Balkan Transport network of researchers and universities among these countries in order to improve and enlarge the research capacity of Western Balkan centres of competence in transport in terms of upgrading their research programs, and scientific and technical human resources - was covered. The cooperation between Europe and the Western Balkan Countries in the area of surface transport was improved and a strong network among more than 200 researchers was created. There was still a lot of work ahead in This regard, but it was important to note that the first steps have already been made and a strong ground for further development was built. However, the methodology of the project has room for improvements. During the last consortium meeting in December 2010 the partners discussed the following points of the TRANSBONUS methodology which can be strengthened in the future:
1. More workshops with diversified participation on proposal development with hands-on support by moderators
2. More national workshops for capacity building on FP7, not only information days
3. More researchers from different fields of surface transport should be encompassed in future projects like TRANSBONUS.
4. Since surface transport touches on our everyday life, more diversified expertise from various scientific domains should be brought in the project proposals - like for instance energy, socio-economic aspects, etc.
5. European manufacturers should be better informed about this type of projects
6. WBC researchers need hands-on support for setting up real consortia and for getting involved as consortium members. Further support would be needed during the negotiation and implementation stages of the projects.
7. More active involvement of the transport NCPs in WBC.
Some of the methods have been improved during the implementation of the project and others still need to be polished, but overall the approach used was a successful one and for that reason the TRANSBONUS methodology has been applied in another project that was submitted under the FP7 Transport call for proposals that closed on 2 December 2010. The title of the project was Air Transport small and medium-sized enterprises network for collaboration, training and enhancement of the participation of SMEs in FP activities (AirTrans), submitted under the following call: Transport (Including Aeronautics) AAT.2011.7-11 - Stimulating the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and other small organisations for improved integration of the ERA.
List of websites:
Applied Research and Communications Fund, Bulgaria
Ms Zoya Damianova
5, Alexander Zhendov Str., 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
Bulgaria, Higher school of Transport 'Todor Kableshkov' Website: www.vtu.bg Contact person: Mrs. Anna Dzhaleva (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Albania Polytechnic University of Tirana, Mechanical Engineering Faculty Website: www.upt.al Contact person: Mr. Andonaq Londo (email@example.com)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Automotive center - Centar za vozila, Sarajevo Website: www.automotivecenter.ba Contact person: Mr. Boran Pikula (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Ss. Cyril and Methodius University - Skopje Website: www.ukim.edu.mk Contact person: Mr. Milan Kosevski (email@example.com)
Serbia University of Kragujevac, Mechanical Engineering Faculty - Kraljevo Website: www.mfkv.kg.ac.yu Contact person: Mr. Novak Nedic (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Netherlands SenterNovem Website: www.senternovem.nl Contact person: Mr. Erik van de Burgwal (email@example.com)
Greece Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (HELP-FORWARD) Website: www.help-forward.gr Contact person: Mrs. Katerina Tzitzinou (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Malta Integrated Resources Management (IRM) Company Website: www.environmentalmalta.com Contact person: Ms. Josianne Vella (email@example.com)
Grant agreement ID: 218699
1 January 2009
31 December 2010
€ 495 328
€ 482 848
APPLIED RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS FUND
Deliverables not available
Publications not available
Grant agreement ID: 218699
1 January 2009
31 December 2010
€ 495 328
€ 482 848
APPLIED RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS FUND
Grant agreement ID: 218699
1 January 2009
31 December 2010
€ 495 328
€ 482 848
APPLIED RESEARCH AND COMMUNICATIONS FUND