Research and Technology Organisations (RTOs) are major actors of technology RD and innovation, but are too fragmented. Very few individual RTOs or companies that can reasonably claim to respond to challenges in RD sector due to increasing complexity and interdisciplinarity critical mass. For this purpose, support from EC was needed to initiate the networking process, so to integrate RTOs efficiently in European Research Area.
Beneficial's results were also expected to stimulate high tech and medium tech SMEs on specific niche technology through their participation in RTO network and partnership.
CRONET-DAYS was a Specific Support Action (SSA) with a main goal to facilitate and enhance the meeting between the contract research organisations of European Research Area (ERA) in surface transport area (road, rail, waterborne, intermodality). It aimed at:
- enhancing the creation of Research and development (R&D) and innovation projects in ERA;
- initiating European partnerships (Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) Integrated Projects (IPs) and Network of Excellence (NoE), Eureka, bi- or tri-national projects);
- increasing technology transfer and synergies inter-Research and technology organisations (RTOs) (sharing and combining knowledge, know-how, software, hardware, facilities, human resources);
- networking on common R&D areas by enabling cross-fertilisation of ideas and capabilities between the different surface transport modes.
This overall objective was achieved by organising a two-day 'Surface Transport' RTO meeting in Nantes, on 28-29 April 2005, including 20 general presentations (large FP6 projects, five technology platforms ERRAC, ERTRAC, WATERBORNE, ARTEMIS, H2 & FUEL CELLS, as well as one to one technical and business meetings (about 540 meetings). All presentations of speakers and list of participants were available on www.sirehna.com.
Main achievements were:
- Establishment of a technical/scientifical (T/S) organisation to design/specify and prepare the event, with six organisation meetings (14th oct, 14th dec, 13th January, 25th feb, 4th April, 27th April);
- The first pre-announcement of CRONET-DAYS issued and published on websites (CORDIS, EARTO, ANVAR, ASRC, ….) at the end of October 2004;
- Speakers were identified and contacted: 5 technology platforms + 15 large EU projects + representatives of EU DG Research and DG TREN, of PREDIT, of French Ministry of Research,
- CRONET-DAYS brochure was printed and mailed during the first 2 weeks of February’05 (more than 1000 invitations were sent);
- Electronic documents (brochure, registration form, list of hotels) were available on www.sirehna.com;
- Electronic documents were sent by e-mail (more than 3000 invitations);
- Active marketing and promotion of CRONET-DAYS by individual e-mails and by dedicated phone; in particular strong promotion towards New Member States in EU;
- RTOs of New Member States have shown great interest in such an initiative and asked to be continuously informed about any future similar event;
- Collecting participant’s wishes and organising the scheduled ONE to ONE meetings;
- Organising venue of the event in Ecole des Mines de Nantes (FR);
- Realisation of the event CRONET-DAYS in terms of contents (presentations of large projects in the mornings, and ONE to ONE meetings in the afternoons) as well as venue in Ecole des Mines de Nantes (FR) and official reception on the evening of the 28th April 2005, with 108 participants;
- A CRONET-DAYS folder was provided to each participant: paper copies of morning presentations, posters, copy of registration forms, practical information;
- Further to response to a Post-event Satisfaction Questionnaire, the feedback from the participants appeared very positive;
- Recommendations were formulated for future similar initiatives.