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MED-SPRING Report Summary

Project ID: 311780
Funded under: FP7-INCO
Country: Italy

Periodic Report Summary 2 - MED-SPRING (Mediterranean Science, Policy, Research & Innovation Gateway)

Project Context and Objectives:
The Mediterranean Science, Policy, Research & Innovation Gateway MedSpring is focused on three societal challenges (Energy, High Quality Affordable Food, and Scarcity of resources) and aims at tackling policy objectives by creating a dialogue and coordination platform of governmental institutions, research organisations, associations and civil society. It also addresses capacity building and analysis of societal challenges to increase respectively research capacity and shared knowledge and cooperation on common areas of interest. It will support synergies and networking to strengthen joint activities and joint cooperation in EU programmes, and monitoring regional RTD cooperation and policies. Financed by the 7FP of the EC, involving 28 partners from 18 Countries all around the Mediterranean, MedSpring gathers expert voices including leading scientific communities as well as policy makers and stakeholders, bridging policy and research. The objectives of the Project are: enhancing EU-MPCs co-ownership in research cooperation; creating synergies in order to reduce fragmentation of research actions; involving the civil society in the institutional dialogue on research and innovation; developing cooperation instruments to tackle societal challenges with a view to sustainability; supporting research and innovation capacity building through comprehensive training and contributing build an Euro-Mediterranean shared knowledge space in order to develop common EU-MPCs planning capacity and a sustainable regional RDT policy and cooperation. The project is based on a frame of interconnected WPs, each of them including tasks aiming at: i) Reinforcing EU-MPC bi-regional cooperation, involving the whole research to innovation chain, and increasing participation of MPC in the Research FP (WP2, WP5, WP7); ii) Reduce fragmentation of effort and more targeted use of available resources (WP6,WP2); iii) EU-MPC policy dialogue (WP9, WP6, WP2, WP8). IV) Implementation of joint strategic actions and agendas for research and innovation (WP6); V) Improved coherence of framework conditions for innovation (WP5).
By mean of coordinated WPs tasks, the project performs the following actions:
• Bringing together researchers, stakeholders, civil society and private sector to enhance effective cooperation and innovation.
• Supporting European Commission, Mediterranean countries and Member States to develop a research and innovation agenda accounting for the real needs and demand in the region.
• Capacity building and training to enhance research system capacity and adsorption, innovation, research cooperation and networking, participation in the European Research Framework Programme and other relevant programmes.
• Promoting synergies among EU Member States, Associated Countries and MPCs based on joint programming.
• Supporting and contributing to the Euro-Mediterranean policy dialogue, particularly the Group of Senior Officers (GSO) former MoCo (Monitoring Committee for the Euro-Mediterranean Science & Technology Cooperation in RTD).

Project Results:
The general management of project, coordination of partners, project activities, external institutional relations have been started and continuously implemented (WP1). In the frame of WP2, 3 Euro Mediterranean Expert Group (EMEG) meeting have been organized (Lisbon, 20-21 Jun. 2013; Tunis, 22-23 Sept 2014; Malta, 30 Sept-01 Oct. 2015), each of them leading to a position paper respectively on: priority topics for which research valorization; policy recommendations for R&I cooperation in the Euro-Mediterranean region; Water-Food-Energy Nexus in the Mediterranean should be pursued. As for WP3, the project dissemination plan has been continuously implemented: the project website has been developed and is fully operative. The project brochure, thematic pamphlets, quarterly e-Newsletters have been created and are available online. They have also been circulated among a wide list of contacts. The Euro-Mediterranean AGORA ( (WP4) was successfully launched. Through the Agora platform, WP4 conducted two open consultations in support of EMEG’s activities (WP2); a Fast Track Brokerage event on specific call topics within the training activities foreseen in the project (WP7) was also organized. WP4 has also enriched the open dialogue through the organization and implementation of two “scientific coffees” aimed at increasing the awareness of science and innovation in the civil society. A significant number of connections has been established through the Project's social media channels. All the most important project events were streamed on-line on a dedicated channel ( Under WP5, 2 regional brokerage events have been organized (Cairo, 12-13 Feb. 2014 and Berlin, 25-26 February 2015). The organization of the 3rd event is in progress. These events gathered more than 100 people. Among them both idea-carriers and interested investors, were able to concertize their ideas by attracting financial as well as technical and networking support. Within WP6 a mapping of the S&T programming mechanisms in MPCs was undertaken. Also, potential integration of MPCs in JPI initiatives has been explored and discussed in a specific event (Bari, 15 July 2014). Three national events to raise awareness on the possibilities offered by H2020 and other EU instruments have been organized (Jordan, Algeria, Morocco). MedSpring also supported the phase of preparation of a Euro-Mediterranean joint programming under an Article 185. Under WP7, following an analysis on training needs 5 training sessions have been organized both on H2020 and innovation (Beirut, July 2013; Amman, Dec 2013; Marrakech, June 2014; Cairo, October 2015; Naples, November 2015) with a total of more than 150 MPCs trainees. Synergies have been established with training activities of other projects (e.g. INCONTACT2020, MERID, MEDMOBIL). Under WP8, following an on-line Survey for Euro-Med Observatories, about 50 Euro-Mediterranean thematic observatories were identified and included into the related Catalogue. Two Networking Meetings of Euro-Mediterranean Observatories were organized (Paris, 19 Dec. 2013; Beirut, 28 May 2015). One meeting on common indicators on water monitoring has been organized (Marseille, 4th November 2015) and a recommendation report has been prepared. In the frame of WP9 activities, the analysis of S&T Bilateral Cooperation Agreements led to the identification of indicators for assessing progress in bilateral cooperation. A stocktaking exercise was carried on to identify and analyse the STI cooperation agreements and projects between Regions of CRPM Inter-Mediterranean Commission and MPCs and results were presented during the Inter-Mediterranean General Assembly of CRPM (Venice, IT, 27 June 2014). A website to support GSO activities has been created and launched and a policy paper and a white paper for Euro-Mediterranean STI Cooperation have been drafted.

Potential Impact:
The expected results are the following:
• Enhanced EU-MPCs co-ownership in research cooperation.
• Shared Euro-Mediterranean knowledge on selected societal challenges.
• Strengthened cooperation on R&I (networking, capacity building and brokerage).
• Enhanced synergies on joint programming and integration.
• Improved policy making and policy dialogue.
The major impact expected by the INCO Work Programme is the reinforcement of bi-regional cooperation through the focusing on 3 selected societal challenges (Energy, High Quality Affordable Food, Scarcity of resources). This should lead to other impacts such as the reduction of fragmentation of efforts, the creation of synergies and a more targeted use of available resources, the support to the policy dialogue and implementation of joint initiatives / agendas for research and innovation.

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