The enlargement of the European Union in 2004 provided the opportunity to enlarge scientific cooperation. In fact, cooperation between East and South-east European countries is essential to tackle topics in environmental research with a wider regional dimension such as climate change, biodiversity and water.
Although Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey have very good research capacities at their disposal, the building up of collaborations had not yet reached a sufficient level.
More participation of new Member States and candidate countries in Global Change and Ecosystems research was needed.
The HUNPOL-TRANS project's aim was to increase Hungarian and Polish participation in Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) and the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) in the surface transport sector. The activities planned were also to contribute to the creation of European Research Area (ERA) by facilitating the Hungarian and Polish research potential wider cooperation within EU initiatives as well as other ways of cooperation between Member States, Associated Candidate Countries and third countries. The plan of HUNPOL-TRANS was also to renew enthusiasm in science and research for the surface transport all over Europe.
The first step was the identification of science and research institutions with a different R&D component that can improve implementation of FP6 relating to the surface transport. This identification covered broad spectrum of products and technologies as well as different offers as to have a broader view as to the whole Hungarian and Polish potential in surface transport. These institutions were then classified in a database that could be used during various tasks of the project to either disseminate information such as calls for proposals launched by the Commission or a running project, the workshops and activities organised in the project and assessed by the Expert Groups. A process of identification of young research potential in surface transport was also carried out.
The European R&D associations for the road (EUCAR), rail (UNIFE & ERRAC) and maritime (COREDES) sectors were associated to the project on the basis that they or their members were invited to strategic activities of the project (like brokerage events) as well as was informed about the deliverables of the project. The project cooperated with the European network of NCPs (National Contact Point) mainly from MS (Member State) to improve the capacities of researchers of ACC.
The project work was structured into the following WPs:
- WP 1 Target group
- WP 2 IPs and NoEs identification
- WP 3 Seminars, conferences, workshops & brokerage events
- WP 4 Partner search tools – database of researchers and research organisations
- WP 5 Renewing enthusiasm
- WP 6 Policy evaluation and recommendation
- WP 7 Consortium management
The project results included:
- identification of target groups, organisation of introductory seminars, call conferences, brokerage events;
- creation of partner search tool, internet database of researchers and research organisations;
- renewing and enhancing enthusiasm of young researchers;
- presentation of success stories and pathway from the project idea to consortium creation and proposal submission;
- presentation of technology needs of industry;
- setting up new contacts with student associations;
- organisation of several meetings in Brussels for Polish project coordinators to consult their projects with project officers of DG Research before submitting proposals.
Polish Technology Platforms were interested in cooperation with HUNPOL-TRANS in identifying industrial partners. This activity was very successful and proved that new and old Member States are interested in collaboration and that it will bring results in the near future.