05.03.2014 [News]

EAST-HORIZON and EECA-2-HORIZON – expanding ICT cooperation between the EU and its Eastern Neighbours

The joint Kick-off Meeting of two EU funded ICT projects took place in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 20-21 February 2014. Two Ukrainian teams, those of the National Information Centre for Ukraine-EU S&T Cooperation at SE 'Ukrtechinform' and NGO 'Agency of European Innovations' are the partners of the projects titled, correspondingly, 'EAST-HORIZON – Fostering Dialogue and Cooperation between the EU and EECA in the HORIZON 2020 perspective' and 'EECA-2-HORIZON – Bringing the EU-EECA Cooperation and Policy Dialogue in ICT in the HORIZON 2020 Era'.

impression from the Kick-off Meeting © Vadym Yashenkov

The representatives of 14 countries attended the joint starting event of the two projects.

These projects make a logical follow-up of the previous FP7 ICT projects which have been implemented since 2009 (currently one project is at the final phase), namely:  EXTEND, SCUBE-ICT, ISTOK-SOYUZ and PICTURE.

The projects are support actions in international cooperation targeting EECA countries. They will inspire ideas and influence policies to help so the dialogue between the EU and the EECA leading to the best possible benefits for both sides and in parallel will support the organisations from the two sides to prepare successful proposals for joint projects, the tangible result of a successful cooperation.

Also, EAST-HORIZON and EECA-2-HORIZON will focus the efforts of the projects’ partners on the following:

  • raising awareness of the scientific networking for participation in the STI programmes;
  • linking and bringing together in cooperation key actors from EU and EECA to create sustainable 'ICT Communities' in areas of high importance, promoting and reinforcing cooperation between European Technology Platforms (ETPs);
  • creating and developing the 'virtual cooperation space';
  • conducting dissemination in Europe about opportunities in EECA countries research programmes with special focus on possibilities to participate in those programmes;
  • matching EECA societal challenges priorities to Horizon 2020 concepts to introduce possible amendments to the work programmes of some Horizon 2020 thematics. 

The projects will focus on new elements to bring concrete ideas and arguments to the STI dialogue and, in the perspective, of a coherent STI cooperation policy, in particular in ICT.

It is planned that for the period of 30 months (the period of each project implementation) EAST-HORIZON and EECA-2-HORIZON will create a dense grid of relevant players on the two sides (ICT researchers, IT associations, companies, ETPs, knowledge networks and policy makers) in a balanced way so as to maximize research collaboration, in parallel promoting innovation. This will shape new or strengthen existing professional links between the EU and EECA, industry and academia/institutes. A communication and collaboration platform, an environment where all ICT research players meet and work together to raise ideas for joint research projects will be established.

The coordinators of both projects are representatives of Greece: PLANET S.A. (EAST-HORIZON) and Q-PLAN (EECA-2-HORIZON).

Source: Vadym Yashenkov, Centre for Scientific and Technical Information and Innovation Promotion of Ukraine