News archive - SEE-ERA.NET Spotlights

SEE-ERA.NET summarises its latest news for the INCO-NET journal. Items discussed are
- a presentation of the SEE-ERA.NET White Paper at DG Research
- new developments based on the SEE-ERA.NET White Paper
- Herman Potocnik-Noordung Award
- Management training forscience administrators from the WBCs
and some project internals.

DG Research: Presentation of SEE-ERA.NET’s White Paper, February 28, 2008

The research co-operation with the Western Balkan countries constitutes a priority for the European Research Area, and the SEE-ERA.NET. The White Paper on overlaps, gaps and opportunities provides concrete recommendations on how to implement changes and actions to strengthen this co-operation. To inform the European Commission about the results of the paper, a meeting was organised under the patronage of Allessandro Damiani from DG Research in Brussels on February 28, 2008 with participants from several other DGs. The presentations were followed by an open discussion on how to contribute to the overall objective of facilitating the integration of the Western Balkan countries through research co-operation.

As a result of this meeting, future actions along three lines were proposed:

  • A high level of participation of the Western Balkan countries in the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) shall be assured.
  • The further overall integration of the Western Balkan countries into the European Research Area and the use of all instruments for that purpose shall be encouraged.
  • Integrated research policies to strengthen research capacity at national level shall be designed.

New developments based on the SEE-ERA.NET White Paper

One of the major recommendations of the SEE-ERA.NET White Paper is to develop RTD activities in 4 areas:
■ to launch further region-wide joint calls for proposals,
■ to tackle “innovation” in the context of the Western Balkan countries,
■ to enhance “mobility”,
■ and to continue with the implementation of tailor made accompanying measures.
First, they submitted a SEE-ERA.NET PLUS project proposal, which will allow the consortium to launch a joint call for research projects with a top-up funding of the European Commission of one third of the whole project-funding budget.
First an SEE-ERA.NET PLUS project proposal, which will allow the consortium to issue a joint call for research projects with the addition of a top-up funding of the European Commission of one third of the whole project-funding budget.
In this way a budget of e.g. 2 million euro will be boosted up to 3 million euro, thus providing a substantially bigger sum of funding for researchers in the EU and South Eastern Europe (SEE).
The second project proposal submitted is the SEE-ERA.NET on Innovation, which will allow the consortium to develop a consistent innovation approach for the region with the ultimate goal to upgrade the innovation potential in the region. This will also allow the region to prepare for initiatives, such as ERA-SME, the ERA-NET for Innovation and Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in Europe.
The mobility issue will be further dealt with in the “mother” project SEE-ERA.NET by the work package leaders from Romania.

Herman Potocnik-Noordung Award

Applications to receive the SEE-ERA.NET “Herman Potocnik Noordung Award for donations within the framework of RTD collaboration with Western Balkan Countries” can still be handed in. Closing date for applications is April 30, 2008. The award will be given for donations either in the form of (second hand) scientific equipment or financial means to purchase or develop the needed infrastructure in Western Balkan countries with a value expected to be above 20.000 euro. The donations and the donors will then be presented in the frame of a special EU presidency event in Ljubljana, Slovenia. A special award will be given to outstanding projects selected by an international committee.
More information and the application form you can find at

Management training forscience administrators from the WBCs

A training workshop was successfully held in Bonn, Germany, on December 3-7, 2007, as an accompanying measure of SEE-ERA.NET’s Pilot Joint Call by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany (BMBF) and its International Bureau.Aim of this measure was to support the further development and differentiation of the national Science and Technology (S&T) system and S&T policy in the Western Balkan countries by benefiting from the German experiences and knowledge. Science administrators from the respective ministries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the FYR of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia participated in the management training in Bonn, Germany. The participants of the management training were introduced to the national S&T system and S&T policy of the Federal Republic of Germany including relevant aspects of European and international co-operation. Furthermore, they got an overview on the responsibilities of the institutions. The workshop deepened their knowledge on the instruments and the administrative procedures for the implementation of the respective national and bilateral S&T funding programmes and the promotion of the participation in the European Framework Programme. The participants used the opportunity to get an insight into the practical work in important areas of science administration and finally entered into an exchange of experiences.

Project Internals

The previous SEE-ERA.NET coordinator Peter Mayr will move to Brussels and work in DG RTD in the INCO department. Evelina Santa will take over his responsibilities from May 1, 2008. As Florian Gruber will now mainly be dealing with the Southeast Asian INCO-NET (SEA-EU-NET) as work package leader for "Analysis, Monitoring, and Review", the SEE-ERA.NET work package 7 lead ("Dissemination and Communication") has been handed over to Jana Machacová, one of the authors of the publication "Innovation Infrastructures in the Western Balkan Countries". More information on the new team and further developments of the project will be covered in more detail in the coming issue.

Ralf Hanatschek
Florian Gruber
Jana Machačová

Entry created by Elke Dall on May 1, 2008
Modified on May 4, 2008