Roadmapping – Challenges and actions to exploit EU 13 potential

The MIRRIS initiative is entering into its third and last year of activities, the one dedicated to the elaboration of a roadmap, with the support of national stakeholders in the EU 13 target countries.

The roadmap, which will result from the third cycle of policy dialogues, will consist in a set of recommendations and actions to support an increase in participation in the European Research Area (ERA) and a better exploitation of EU13 countries‘ potential and outreach towards internationalisation. Actions and recommendations will be shaped in a clear time plan, with recognizable institution(s) in charge, and aim at becoming a real Activity plan for the country.

The process will be supported by MIRRIS through a coaching programme targeting the highest country priorities, as selected during the precedent dialogues’ phases. Coaching support will be delivered in a two-day session in each target country, engaging national, regional and transnational players. In particular it will address actors selected among relevant stakeholder groups in the target country (programme owners, research managers, institutional multipliers) in order to ensure the right level of adoption, and to foster cooperation throughout different intervention levels.

Poland opens the third cycle of Policy Dialogues: which are its challenges?

Poland was the first country that hosted the 3rd Policy Dialogues cycle, on June 25, 2015, and hosted by one of MIRRIS’ Consortium Partners, PARP (Polish Agency for Enterprise Development). More than 20 national stakeholders were present, notably representatives of the NCP directorate, Ministry of Economy, National Centre for Research and Development, Polish Academy of Science, University of Warsaw and Swiss Contribution Office.
The participants discussed and agreed on the roadmap. However, and because of an insufficient representation of decision-making stakeholders, no sufficient endorsement was achieved in terms of concrete prioritization of challenges and actions by the hosting country – such activity will be finally taken over by MIRRIS. This tells us something regarding the difficulty for the majority of EU 13 countries in pursuing with changes and in stepping to the active decision making process. There might be serveral reasons for that, often connected with motivation and rewarding mechanisms.
Indeed, the 3rd dialogue streesed again that the added value of participation to the ERA is still not sufficiently recognized, and is often overpowered with the argument of low researchers' salary and inedaquate rewarding system as compared to western Europe.
Creating conditions to strengthen the quality and impact of research carried out at the national level through mobilising appropriate resources (human, physical and financial) would heighten international recognition of Polish researchers and would have a knock-on-effect of enhancing motivation for participation in the ERA and H2020.
Raising awarness about the benefits – even beyon economic rewarding – for Polish researchers shall be considered a top priority for Poland. Similarly, Polish reseachers shall be made aware of their exisiting infrastructures, and leverage on those.
A real threat for Poland was identified with the brain drain issue, calling for a series of actions and schemes related to the international dimension outreach, such as mobility of researchers, engagement of diaspora, incentives for attracting foreign researchers to the country and other as essential for reversing this negative trend.
Another challenge strongly highlighted was the need to mobilize institutions in order to establish a good strategy for international cooperation. Establishment of the systematic partnership between relevant national and international networks and NCP, organisations of different research institutions in Poland, supported by the institutional individual contacts at each university would help overcoming of this gap.
This is what Polish decision makers shall give priority to, according to MIRRIS recommendations:
In absence of a definitive outcome of the 3rd dialogue, in the way it was originally planned, MIRRIS Consortium will finalise the Roadmap for Poland based on the presented draft.

What comes next?

MIRRIS Consortium will continue with the 3rd cycle of dialogues as of September 2015 till December 2015 in the remaining EU13 countries, starting with Malta and Cyprus.
In Czech Republic our hosting organisation, Technology Centre ASCR, decided to combine MIRRIS Policy dialogue with the Annual Czech Days for European Research taking place on November 04-06, 2015 – the CZEDER 2015 conference, for a stronger engagement towards the roadmap.

MIRRIS Scoping Paper Updates – Importance of EU associations and networks

MIRRIS Scoping Paper comes to its third issue. This time we analyse the influecne of two factors  - notably: the presence in European association and networks, and geographical charachteristics – in EU13 participation.
Membership in European associations, and the partnerships build and consolidated through them, plays a relevant influence on participation of EU 13 countries in FP7/H2020.
The issue of presence and membership within European associations was raised and discussed with the national stakeholders during MIRRIS policy dialogues, and was identified as one of the most influencial gaps. Indeed, EU 13 countries did not acknowledge this type of membership as important, while it is a fact that building partnerships through European associations and networks would lead more easily towards the international acknowledgement of a country's research excellence. The analysis conducted by MIRRIS highlights how involvement in the European associations and networks located in Brussels can provide three major types of advantages for EU13 stakeholders seeking benefits from H2020, i.e.
  • visibility by peers
  • early information about consortium formation
  • intelligence about calls (pre-information, writing tips, informal contacts with officials, …).
Furtermore, based on a survey of FP7 beneficiaries, it appears that European associations and networks based in Brussels are involved in more than 450 projects, i.e. more than the number of beneficiaries of countries such as Malta, Cyprus, Latvia, Great-Duchy of Luxembourg.
For further information please download MIRRIS Scoping Paper Updates and Annex 1 and Annex 2 via the following link:

Geographical issues are another factor recognised as playing a major role.
During MIRRIS policy dialogues, it was highlighed how specific geographical locations or charactheristics (notably "island countries" and second tier regions) can act as door opener for opportunies, or – in the contrary – as a path towards isolation.

The conducted analysis provide statistics regarding the volume of money, the number of projects funded, the average size of projects as well as the themes of FP7 funding received at NUTS2 (Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics) level in the European Union. The data comes from the eCorda database (July 2014) which contains more than 41,000 beneficiaries.

This data is useful for:

  • matching the RIS³ sectorial ambitions with FP7 sectorial excellence
  • assessing if the regional stakeholders perform in the EU programmes in line with their potential
  • benchmarking with other regions having similar sectorial strengths (island, for instance)
  • identifying archipelagos of excellence in non obvious regions or outside the capital city region.

For further information please download MIRRIS Scoping Paper Updates and Annex 1 and Annex 2 via the following link: