FP7: In the Framework Beyond the Frames
On July 22nd an information day dedicated to the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for research and technology development took place at the HSE. Anna Pikalova, Director of the HSE International Centre for the Promotion of Mobility of Researchers, Students and Postgraduates, told us about the HSE’s participation in this programme and particularly about the creation of a Russian-European information portal as part of FP7.
— Ms. Pikalova, what are the aims of the Seventh Framework Programme and what is its timeframe?
— FP7 was launched with the aim of academic cooperation and implementing research, technological and information projects in collaboration with international partners. Among the non-EU countries taking part in FP7, Russia is probably the most active programme participant. The key outcome of Russia’s participation in FP7 is the creation of stable connections between research organizations and teams from our country and the European Union and increased development of interaction in the innovation sphere. The programme was launched in 2007, and will finish in 2013.
— What projects have been implemented as part of FP7?
— Currently, the HSE is a participant of a number of international projects, including IncoNet EECA, ERA.Net RUS, BILAT RUS, and INCONTAC. Our university is a long-term partner of many European organizations in the development of science and technology (S&T) cooperation between Russia and the EU. Our work is carried out in two main fields Firstly, analytics; we are involved in data collection, monitoring of cooperation in various programmes, bibliometric analysis, processing of the received data, and as a result, we are developing recommendations on the improvement of cooperation between Russian and European partners.
Secondly, the HSE is involved in the practical realization of some events taking place as part of these projects: we organize political-level dialogues, conferences, information days like that which took place in July, we broker events aimed at finding partners for joint projects and the exchange of project ideas. Also, two national contact points – Mobility and Partnership – work at the Higher School of Economics and are responsible for information and consultation support relating to Russian participation in FP7.
— Which of the HSE’s achievements in this area have been most noteworthy?
— I would like to talk about the project ‘Enhancing the bilateral S&T partnership with the Russian Federation’ (BILAT-RUS). It started in September 2008 and was designed to run for three and a half years. Organizations from Russia and three EU countries – Germany, Austria and France – are involved in the project. The key tasks of the project include inventory and analysis of existing legal documents and agreements, including bilateral ones, related to S&T cooperation between the EU and Russia, as well as tools for its implementation. In other words, we discover both successful examples and obstacles in the process of cooperation, and the recommendations we provide are aimed at strengthening interaction between Russian and European academic communities, including real support of international academic mobility, as well as the improvement of activities carried out by joint Russian-European working groups on academic cooperation.
— Is the creation of a Russian-European internet portal for the exchange of information on S&T cooperation programmes also part of this project?
— Yes, it is. The portal was developed and supported by the project coordinator – the International Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany. The Higher School of Economics plays a key role in providing information for the portal from the Russian side, though all the other project participants, as well as any other interested parties can also post news related to the opportunities of Russian-European cooperation to the portal. The portal is aimed at specialists interested in participating in international research projects and continuing education in cooperation with the EU. It can be used not only by researchers, but also by policy makers who represent the government and the private sector.
— What kind of information can representatives of academic organizations get from the portal?
— The portal can be considered as an internet guide for finding information about the EU and Russia. You can find an overview of state S&T policy, information on governmental bodies responsible for science administration, links and summaries of national laws and governmental resolutions which regulate academic activity in a country, different agreements on S&T collaboration between Russia and the EU and other documents which create a framework for cooperation in science, including common spaces, roadmaps and topical working groups which have been created as part of the Joint committee for S&T cooperation. This is bureaucratic information, knowledge of which considerably facilitates the creation of mechanisms for researchers’ cooperation.
In addition to that, the portal provides information on relevant international and national research programmes and foundations. One of the most useful tools is a search facility for programmes and partners for joint projects in Russia and the EU countries. You can also find announcements of competitions and a calendar of events on the portal. And also, twice a year we publish special information reviews dedicated to S&T cooperation between Russia and the European Union.
In order to increase European awareness of the Russian academic potential, we have prepared an ‘Internet guide to the Russian science and technology landscape: target audience — policy makers’ and an ‘Internet guide to the Russian science and technology landscape: target audience — scientists’ which can be printed out from the BILAT-RUS website.
— How does an organisation publish some information on itself or its project on your portal? Do they need to register?
— You can post information on your work in research and technology, your publications, financial support of projects in certain areas and find partners for your future programmes and projects. No preliminary registration is required. There is an option in the left menu ‘Your contribution’. You can select the section where you would like to add the information – News, Documents, Calls or Projects. Then simply complete the form, enter information on yourself as an author and press ‘Submit’.
— What does the HSE do as part of the portal project to facilitate the search for partners for joint projects?
— We have gathered and translated data on 600 leading and the most internationally active research organizations and universities of Russia. In the ‘Search for Key Institutions’ section, the international colleagues can get information on potential Russian partners, including a summary of their academic work, experience of participation in international projects and contact information. The portal also offers a number of tools to help find international partners, which have been developed as part of various programmes and projects and are available on the Internet.
Oleg Seregin, HSE News Service