MIRRIS (Mobilizing Institutional Reform for Research and Innovation Systems) is a Coordination and Support Action aiming at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of R&I performance in ERA and Framework Programmes of the EU12 and Croatia and to propose initiatives to improve participation to H2020 and performance with a multi-level policy dialogue among stakeholders in each target country, MIRRIS is funded under FP7 Social Sciences and Humanities programme and implemented by a consortium of 12 leading organizations in the field of research and innovation.
Notes from the editor
We would like to introduce you to the first issue of the MIRRIS newsletter. It will be issued every quarter providing information on the key challenges that MIRRIS is addressing, as well as other related events and activities.
Each newsletter will include an interview with one of the stakeholders involved in the policy dialogues or with a project partner. The last section of the newsletter is dedicated to the events that are taking place in the target countries on Horizon 2020 and other research-related issues.

Enjoy your reading!

1) Interview with Andrea Di Anselmo
Andrea Di Anselmo 
MIRRIS Project Director 
Vice-President of Meta Group

MIRRIS Newsletter: MIRRIS is particularly timely with the launch of Horizon 2020 (figure 1.1) just round the corner. What are its objectives to help widen participation of R&D&I organisations in the EU13 in Horizon 2020 and the European Research Area?  

MIRRIS seeks to promote a high level of participation and funding within the European Research Area and Framework Programmes, by 1) understanding success factors 2) identifying key actions and 3) mobilizing key stakeholders for improving performance and better exploiting H2020 in the EU12 countries and Croatia. To achieve this goal MIRRIS will organize 3 rounds of policy dialogue, promote mutual learning and prepare a road map for implementation.


What is the profile of the stakeholders that the consortium wishes to engage in the policy dialogue cycle? 

 To achieve its objectives of better exploitation of ERA and H2020 opportunities, MIRRIS, on the behalf of the European Commission, which gives its full support to the action, will ensure an active and committed participation of four groups of stakeholders: 

a) national policy makers,
b) representatives from academies of science, universities and public research centres,
c) representatives of SMEs and industry, d) innovation support actors.


How do you find them?

MIRRIS, thanks to the support of DG Research and Innovation of the EC, has already started to involve the national representatives of the EU 12 and Croatia in Brussels and to contact NCPs. In addition to this, MIRRIS is leveraging the outreach capacity of its partners, most of which are important EU associations, to contact directly relevant stakeholders at the highest level.

How can the project draw on successful initiatives in other EU Member States to increase the participation of researchers in EU-funded research projects? 


The key asset of MIRRIS is its partnership. The consortium members are the most important European associations and organizations, both public and private, that are dealing with R&D and Innovation and are engaged in improving the exploitation of EU funds. Thanks to their networks they can provide access to successful initiatives and practices in the EU and beyond.


What will be the outputs of the MIRRIS project?

MIRRIS will provide to each of the EU12 countries and Croatia a roadmap for implementing the necessary actions, links to other organizations across Europe and operational know-how to make all of this happen. Identifying and sharing European best practice is another important component which will be reflected in the final recommendations for institutional reforms and the uptake of selected initiatives.


How can outsiders to the MIRRIS project get involved in the planned activities and contribute with their experience and opinions?

We all know that to be successful an initiative like MIRRIS needs to mobilise consensus reaching out to all the relevant actors. We will leverage on communication actions and on our key strategic country partners to involve key target groups, including researchers, representatives of SMEs and service providers.

In what way do you think the impact of the project can be measured? 

Mobilising institutional reforms is a long-term action. The impact of such reforms will be observed much later than the end of MIRRIS support. Our KPIs are focusing on the existence of a formal agreement on actions and implementation steps needed. We look forward to seeing the launch of such a process within the lifetime of MIRRIS.


2) Framework conditions for R&D&I in the EU13: the current situation

          The MIRRIS Scoping Paper produced by EURADA presents the current situation in the EU13 target countries based on: FP7 statistics relating to national participation; national R&D&I reform programmes, as well as practices to promote the participation of stakeholders in FP/ projects. 
                Main finding
                Based on the fifth FP7 monitoring report for the period 2007-2011, statistics show that:
                • Regarding the total number of successful applicants all the EU12 (Croatia was not yet a Member State) except Poland are performing poorly in comparison with EU15 countries;
                • The EU contribution received by the EU12 countries reveals a lower allocation of funds than the EU15. Only Luxembourg does worse than any EU12 country except Malta;
                • EU 12 applicants are receiving less than the EU average contribution;
                • The EU12 countries have a low average of coordinated projects among retained projects and a low average on financial contributions per retained project.

                 Return on EU budget:three groups: 

                        • Well done: CY, EE & SI;
                        • Medium: BG, LV & HU;
                        • Rare: the others;
                 SME participation:
                        • Best in class: PL & CZ;
                        • Market coverage: CY & EE;

                 Similitude between EU12 & EU15:

                        • Relatively speaking, small countries are performing better than large countries (“alibi-effect”);
                        • Stakeholders located in capital city regions are more involved in FP7 than those located in the countryside (centralisation effect).

          The MIRRIS management has started to meet the people in charge of research at the permanent representations to the EU of the target countries. The aim of these meetings is to raise awareness about the policy dialogue to foster increased participation in EU funded research programmes. The first countries involved are Croatia, Malta, Slovenia, Estonia and Malta.  All the meetings were very positive. The representatives fully shared the aims of MIRRIS initiative. They also offered a general picture of the R&D&I scheme in their own countries. According with them, the main problem faced by the stakeholders is the lack of experience as well as the weak international networking.

3) Events
Horizon 2020 events in target EU13 countries
(Horizon 2020 events web page)


National Launch events in the target countries

​Country Date Website
Bulgaria 17 February 2014 Coming Soon
Croatia 10 February 2014
Coming Soon
Cyprus 16 February 2014 Coming Soon
Czech Republic
18 October 2013 www.fp7.cz/cs/conference-teera
Estonia 31 January 2014 www.etag.ee
​Hungary 26 November 2013 www.nih.gov.hu
Latvia 24 January 2014 Coming Soon
​Lithuania 4 December 2013 www.vif2013.com
​Poland 7 November 2013 Coming Soon
Poland 7 November 2013 Coming Soon
Romania 3-4 October 2013 Conferinta nationala
​Slovakia 21 January 2014 Coming Soon
Slovenia 29 November 2013 Coming Soon

Thematic Events for Horizon 2020
​Country Date Web page
Bulgaria 16 October 2013 Space (space-infoday.eu)
Poland 29-30 October 2013 Space (space-infoday.eu)
​Lithuania 6-8 November 2013 ICT (ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/ict-2013)