OREST was a Specific Support Action aimed at encouraging the participation of partners from the new Member States in European activities, and to stimulate innovative small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and scientific institutes in taking an active role in the realisation of the European Research Area.
Large rivers have a strong influence on their adjacent estuary and surrounding coastal area. During the period 1997 - 2007 it became more and more obvious that coastal zones in the vicinity of large rivers can not be managed independently from the rivers and their catchments. With Poland's EU membership in 2004, the entire Odra region became part of European Union.
The new agriculture and industry policy, but also the implementation of new standards caused dramatic changes. Cross-border cooperation as well as competition increased and caused social and economical transformations. This had multiple effects on the Odra basin, the river and the coastal area.
The objective of the OREST project was to strengthen the competitiveness and cohesion of the cross-border region alongside the Odra river by stimulation of participation of innovative SMEs and scientific institutes in Research and Technical Development (RTD) projects within the 6th Framework Programme of the European Union, and to contribute to the integration of the new Member States into the European Community.
To achieve the goals, the partners of OREST will established a virtual network, providing a contact platform for information and cooperation, which will explore available online CEC services, and will contribute to the preparation of future community RTD activities.
OREST strived to strengthen international cooperation in the European Research Area, and to encourage partners from the new Member States to take over central roles in Sustainable Surface Transport programmes.
The process leading to establishing the new programmes and activities was based on four stages:
- Need: identifying need for knowledge or experience in specific fields and/or for international cooperation in transport related research - WP4 (lead by SPEKTRUM)
- Source: establishing a sound State-of-the-Art basis, identifying sources of up-to-date expertise - WP1 (lead by SPEKTRUM)
- People: matching partners with the needed expertise and the ones searching for it - WP2 and WP3 (lead by TZV and conVoco)
- Programme: involving both sides in the definition of the frame of their cooperation, providing needed support and information and communication platform, assisting the programme establishment and, if desired, carrying it out. - WP3 (led by conVoco)
There was a general need to raise awareness about river related problems, to improve cross-border information and to promote the integrated management of the Odra River and coastal zone. Cross-border coastal dialogues were required (and were initiated) to bring together the coastal community and to develop a joint identity.
Large river systems like the Odra, with a large population a high number of authorities and organisations as well as complex political and legal structures required high ranking political commitments, clear objectives and structures as well as an adequate body as a basis for cooperation and management.
The OREST network was established and functioned.
The OREST network was a virtual network, providing a contact platform for targeted knowledge transfer and exploitation of innovative and sustainable transport solutions. It strived to answer the individual support needs of its members and involved them in the decision-making process and in the active network development.
Thematic focus for the OREST cross-border cooperation:
Within the thematic priority 'New technologies and concepts for all surface transport modes (road, rail, water)' the OREST initiative focused on:
- Clean transport modes and solutions:
- Sustainable energy for transport; alternative motor fuels;
- Environmental friendly and energy efficient transport modes (public transport, rail, waterborne, other clean modes);
- Stimulation of regional and national policy development (indirectly: support to European Policy development).
- Integrated transport in cities:
- Innovative technological solutions for urban transport management, for road traffic and for urban public transport. Solutions for increased safety, security and for reduced congestion e.g. advanced context sensitive information and guidance services, charging for infrastructure usage, technologies for road pricing.
- Efficient land use for transport.
- Stimulation of local and national policy development regarding urban transport planning and environment e.g. modal shift, quality of infrastructure, ITS- solutions, security, social and economic aspects; Stimulation of public-private partnership.
OREST network goals:
- to set up a network of innovative enterprises, technology suppliers and potential institutional users of the results of Research and Technical Development projects;
- to provide a contact platform to support the participation of SMEs from the new Member States in international cooperation, knowledge exchange, scientific conferences and practical workshops;
- to facilitate the take-up of existing knowledge and to set up an international cooperation structure, going beyond the Odra region, in order to cover the knowledge and experience needs of the network partners;
- to promote the policies of European Union within the network partners.