Annual conference of the EaP Panel on Research and Innovation 'EU4Innovation: Fostering Research-Industry Links'
The annual conference of the Eastern Partnership Panel on Research and Innovation took place on 1st October at Ivane Javakashvili Tbilisi State University in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The conference was organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) and Directorate-General Joint Research Centre (DG JRC), with the support of the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Georgia and the EaP PLUS H2020 project.
The theme of the conference was EU4Innovation: Fostering Research-Industry Links and was attended by over 80 representatives from all six Eastern Partnership countries and several EU Member States. The conference was opened by Alexander Tevzadze, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, George Sharvashidze, Rector of Tbilisi State University, Catalin Gherman, Deputy Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation in Georgia, and representatives of DG RTD.
The main focus areas of the event were Smart Specialisation Strategies (S3) and Technology Ttransfer. In addition, the issues of framework conditions for research and innovation, and EU research and innovation support to the Eastern Partnership countries to increase their participation in the 80 billion Euro Horizon 2020 programme were addressed.
The Eastern Partnership countries expressed interest in further expanding the application of smart specialisation strategies and technology transfer in the framework of their commitment at the November 2017 Eastern Partnership Summit to “Integrate Eastern Partnership and EU research and innovation systems and programmes,” one of the “20 Deliverables for 2020.”
It should be noted that Smart Specialization Strategies are currently under implementation in three Regions of Ukraine and in Moldova, while Georgia is currently exploring the possibilities to be involved in the process for S3 and in that regard, a dedicated awareness meeting among relevant national stakeholders, the EC and the EU Delegation took place on 2 October 2018 in Tbilisi.
#EU4Innovation is a joint initiative of DG RTD and DG NEAR launched in Yerevan by Commissioners Moedas and Hahn in November 2016. It aims to coordinate EU assistance to the Eastern Partnership countries in the area of innovation.