The E-URAL Final Conference, held on 21st of October 2011 at Hotel Chambord in Brussels (Belgium), was aimed at presenting the results achieved by the project since its start in August 2009 and at discussing the opportunities for future EU-Russia cooperation in environmental research. More than 40 participants from EU and Russia took part in the event, such as researchers, experts and stakeholders involved in EU-Russia scientific cooperation (including National Contact Points), all E-URAL partners and the members of E-URAL Scientific Advisory Board.
Participants were joined also by members of the European Commission – DG Environment. Welcome speeches by Manuela Soares (Director of Environment Directorate, DG Research and Innovation) and Antonio Marcomini (E-URAL Coordinator) opened the event. Then, E-URAL partners illustrated main activities and achievements of the project realized in the last two years, aimed at enhancing the participation of Russian research institutes and universities to the 7th Framework Programme - Theme Environment. In particular, the attention was drawn to the extended surveys on Russian research needs, the development of the Russian ENV Expertise Database, four thematic workshops for exploring EU-Russia collaboration opportunities and topics, ad-hoc training sessions on FP7 rules and mechanisms and brokerage events.
Three examples of recent collaborations triggered by E-URAL project were presented by the Russian protagonists themselves, who highlighted challenges and achievements in their experiences. The last session was dedicated to the round-table entitled “Future perspectives on EU-Russia collaboration in Environmental Research”. Thanks to the contributions of the invited speakers and through a very active and fruitful debate with the public, it was possible to identify weaknesses currently hampering the collaboration process but, above all, to highlight the main potentialities and instruments for improving this process in the near future.
One of E-URAL project’s main objectives was to identify the research needs in Russia in the field of FP7 Environment theme, to map the niches of excellence existing in Russia in the field of environment and to identify the environmental research topics of interest, in order to support roadmapping activities in the context of FP7 priorities development. The results will eventually contribute to assist the establishment of sustainable partnerships between EU and Russian institutions.
A relevant survey showed that the whole range of environmental research is currently being implemented in Russia. From the analysis of collected questionnaires, it also emerges that the majority of research activities on environmental themes of Russian research institutes and university research groups focuses on the areas 6.1 «Climate Change, pollution and risks» and 6.3 «Environmental technologies».
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR PARTNERS IN RUSSIA
ACTIVE IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL SECTOR?
The Russian ENV Expertise Database is a useful platform where people canidentify potential partners in Russia and collaborate on FP7 and other research opportunities.
The Database presents 268 profiles from 120 Russian institutions andresearch organizations. Territorial coverage of the Database includes all Russian Federal Districts (Northwestern Federal District, Central Federal District, Southern Federal District, Siberian Federal District, North Caucasian Federal District, Urals Federal District, Far Eastern Federal District and Volga Federal District) and 38 regions.
In the framework of E-URAL project 4 two-day Training Sessions were organized in Russia. The main objective of the training was to provide researchers and multipliers in Russia with a basic knowledge on the opportunities for Russian researchers to participate in the “Environment (including climate change)” theme of the 7th Framework Programme.
The following trainings were organised:
Sochi, 20-21 January 2010;
Voronezh, 1-2 July 2010;
Barnaul, 24-25 November 2010;
Archangelsk, 23-24 May 2011
81 people, scientists from 4 regions of Russia, were trained on the Seventh Framework Programme and on the preparation of applications for joint projects. Some of them participated in the formulation and submission of applications to the European Commission, together with European scientists.
Thematic workshops and topics of common interest
for EU-Russia collaboration
Four thematic workshops were organized in different Russian regions in the framework of E-URAL project, focused on research topics related to FP7-Environment priorities, namely: integrated coastal zone management (Sochi), forests and biodiversity (Voronezh), climate change impacts (Barnaul) and environmental technologies (Arkhangelsk). The events, participated by Russian and EU researchers and stakeholders, permitted interesting and fruitful exchanges of knowledge about relevant on-going research projects and initiatives. Moreover, the involved experts were asked to suggest possible subjects of interest for future EU-Russia collaboration and, through an interactive process, these proposals were revised and discussed for developing a final list of relevant collaboration topics submitted to the EC as inputs for future FP7-Environment Calls for Proposals.
Two Brokerage events were organized by the E-URAL project, aiming at improving the participation of Russian researchers in the “Environment (including climate change)” theme of the 7th Framework Programme:
“Marine Research Capacities in a global context”, Istanbul, 23-24 September 2010, organized by the two EU funded projects EURAL and ENV-NCP-TOGETHER
“FP7 Environmental Research – Focus Russia”, Brussels, 17th June 2011
E-URAL triggered collaborations between EU and Russian institutes
E-URAL project actively promotes the development of new collaborations between EU and Russia researchers on environmental topics. As a taste of the positive outcomes achieved by our project, three stories of fruitful cooperation are presented in this newsletter.
Northern Arctic Federal University (Arkhangelsk)
Face-to-face meetings organized at the brokerage event «Marine ResearchCapacities in a global context» in Istanbul in September 2010 triggered a new collaborative project involving the Northern (Arctic) Federal University and EU institutes. The project title is “HEROMAT—Protection of Cultural Heritage Objects with Multifunctional Advanced Materials” and was approved for being funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7- ENV-NMP-2011). The multidisciplinary research project will be directed towards the development of innovative environmental-friendly materials with value added functions aimed at the protection of immovable Cultural Heritage assets. This project will cross-link an expert Pan-European team from the UK, Italy, Slovenia, Serbia and Russia, including experienced researchers and active participation of industrial partners -SME. The duration of the project is 48 months and the budget is 3 500 000 euro. The HEROMAT Grant Agreement was signed by EC on 24/11/2011 and that HEROMAT project officially starts on 01/12/2011.
Sochi State University (Sochi)
Some representatives of the Sochi State University participated in the brokerage event «Marine Research Capacities in a global context» in Istanbul in September 2010 and received from Murat V. Ardelan, Scientific Manager at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (SINTEF) the invitation to participate in the submission of a FP7 research proposal.
The proposal for a large scale collaborative project was submitted in the middle of January 2011 in the frame of the Call for Proposals “Ocean for Tomorrow”. The project proposal was focused on the integration and improvement of knowledge and governance of marine environment in the Mediterranean and Black See and in total 29 partners from 19 countries participated in its preparation. The proposal received a positive evaluation (11.5 score over a total of 15, where the threshold was 10), but unfortunately the project was not selected for being funded. However, the creation of a network of contacts and the experience gained on FP7 rules will surely support Sochi University team for future initiatives.
Voronezh State Academy of Forestry and Technologies (Voronezh)
Prof. Sergey Matveev, from the Voronezh State Academy of Forestry and Technologies, and Dr. Walter Seidling, from the Institute for Forest Ecology and Forest Inventory of the Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut (Germany), first met at the E-URAL Workshop “Forest and Biodiversity: Opportunities for EU-Russia collaboration” held in Voronezh in June 2010. Their collaboration developed first by e-mail, then in November 2010 Prof. Matveev visited the Institute for Forest Ecology and Forest Inventory in Eberswalde. The outcome of these fruitful contacts is an “Agreement for Scholarly Exchange and Collaboration” between their institutes signed by the respective directors (Prof. A. Bolte and Prof. V. Bugakov). Hopefully this agreement will represent a sound foundation for further collaboration projects and joint initiatives between the institutes.
FP7 ENVIRONMENT OPEN CALLS FOR PROPOSALS
One FP7 Environment is currently open:
Call Identifier: FP7-JPROG-2012-RTD
Call Title: Joint Programming Coordination 2012
The catalogue of the documents published by the Environment Directorate-General is accessible through the EU bookshop managed by the Publications Office of the European Union, which also gives access to publications from the EU institutions, agencies and other bodies.
By clicking on the following EU bookshop link you'll have a direct access to all DG Environmentpublications. It is possible to search for publications, order a paper copy and/or, if an electronic version exists, to download or print copies.
The areas of interest range over everything related to energy, environment, eco-building,sustainable town planning, landscaping and efficient water management, since it is celebrated in the framework of five fairs: Egética-Expoenergética, Ecofira, Novabuild, Greenup and Efiaqua.
4. World Sustainable Energy Days - ExpoEnergy 2012
The World Sustainable Energy Days are one of the largest annual conferences in this field inEurope, offering a unique combination of events on sustainable energy production and use, covering energy efficiency and renewable energy sources for buildings and industry. The expoEnergy in Wels is the leading fair for innovative building and for efficient energy use and production. In the year 2011 more than 100 000 visitors and more than 900 exhibitors from all over the world participated in the fair.
The Conference will provide opportunities to exchange the latest ideas, to present and discuss recent results on the physical-chemical and biochemical aspects of processes, which take part in the ecosystem – soil, air and water, and promising approaches of sustainable development including engineering and modeling, as well as social and educational implications. The aim of the conference is to encourage and facilitate the interdisciplinary communication among scientists, engineers, economists, teachers and professionals working on environmental issues and sustainable development.
6. Water & Environment 2012: CIWEMs Annual Conference
The aim of the conference is to challenge and inspire the water and environment community bysharing knowledge and best practice, which is at the heart of meeting key global challenges for a low-carbon future. There will be a mix of keynote speakers, offered papers, exhibitions and networking opportunities that will make this the key event for water and environment professionals.
7. 8th South-East European Congress & Exhibition on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy / South-East European Conference & Exhibition “SAVE the Planet” - Waste Management, Recycling, Environment
The events will be the most significant meeting point for business and knowledge exchange in theRegion of South-East Europe. Investors, local policy makers, municipality experts, industry executives in EE and RES, representatives of branch associations and media will participate in the event.
Direct exhibitors and represented companies from 32 countries showed their latest products and technologies. The exhibition area was increased with 84 % in comparison with 2010. The group participations from Austria, Germany and the USA attracted strong interest. Industry specialists from 39 countries visited the event.