Cooperation in S&T between the EU and non-EU countries is important to the EU for both socioeconomic and political reasons. This cooperation is generally coordinated through International Cooperation Networks (INCO-NETs), regional research offices and National Contact Points (NCPs). The EU-funded 'International Cooperation Network for Central Asian and South Caucasus countries' (INET CA/SC) project is one such INCO-NET. The project was established to support various research activities in Central Asian and South Caucasus countries. INET CA/SC organised two conferences, one on S&T policy and one on S&T approaches to social challenges in the region. The project was also involved in the VI Astana Economic Forum in Kazakhstan, a high-profile event that brought together politicians, industry and researchers from 132 countries. Several research agreements between the EU and local scientists were established at the Forum. The project also focused on providing support for S&T in the area. This was achieved through training workshops for NCPs, establishing a grant scheme for local researchers, and setting up databases of researchers and institutions in the area. Through the activities of INET CA/SC, researchers in Central Asia and South Caucasus countries now have better knowledge of EU funding programmes and improved access to such funding. In the long term, this will lead to better research outputs from these countries.
Science and technology, National Contact Points, EU funding, research support, cooperation network