Belarus joins EU IncoNetEaP project
September 25, 2013
Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have embarked on the implementation of the EU project “STI International Cooperation Network for Eastern Partnership Countries” (IncoNetEaP), BelTA learnt from the State Committee for Science and Technology (SCST) of Belarus.
The three-year project is funded by the European Commission as part of the 7th EU framework program for research and development. The project is estimated at €3 million, including Belarus’ contribution at the amount of €208,000.
According to the SCST, IncoNetEaP is based on the experience of the previous projects implemented in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. For instance, IncoNetEECA project was implemented in 2008-2012 with the participation of the Belarusian Institute of System Analysis and Information Support for Scientific and Technical Sphere under the State Committee for Science and Technology.
With this, the new project differs from the previous ones in some ways. “First of all, it has become vital for the European Commission as a customer to use different approaches to cooperation with the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which means different projects for these two groups of countries for the next three years,” specialists said. Secondly, IncoNetEaP provides for thematic priorities, i.e. energy, climate change and population health. “They are directly related to social issues in the focus of the new EU framework program for research and innovation Horizon 2020 (designed for 2014-2020) and determined as of interest for both the regions,” the committee said. Thirdly, this is a big block for organization of cooperation in the innovation sector. It includes among other things assistance to Belarus and other EaP member states in their integration to the European technological platforms. It also pertains to a set of events for stakeholders to join the European Enterprise Network (Belarus is not its member yet) and hoding seminars, trainings in innovation activities. “One of such conferences will take place in Minsk in 2015. It will focus scientific and innovation cooperation with the European Union in the energy sector,” specialists stressed.
In the whole, IncoNetEaP project corresponds to the EU new strategy in international cooperation adopted in autumn 2012. “It is aimed at the cooperation between the European Union and its non member states on the principle of “two-way roads”, i.e. mutual benefits from cooperation,” the committee said.
According to specialists, the implementation of the project was discussed in Athens not long ago at the meeting between representatives of 19 partner organizations from the EU (Austria, Germany, France, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Poland, Portugal) and associated countries (Turkey and Moldova), participating states in the Eastern Partnership and the International center for Black Sea Studies. Belarus was presented at the meeting by members of the Belarusian Institute of System Analysis and Information Support for Scientific and Technical Sphere.