It has now been 12 months since Berytech has been involved in the 5TOI_4EWAS project along with key partners in the region, with the aim of supporting Science and Innovation Policy Dialogue for a more strategic priority setting for international cooperation on water, energy and agriculture targeted specific challenges following a NEXUS and co-design and co-ownership approach in the EU-MPC region.
In this 12-month journey it has been possible to start building the basis to establish an optimal framework conditions for coordinated international long-term cooperation among all the members of the value chains
Pave the way for innovation!
“The actions engaged so far, together with the result of the commitment of the partnership and the contributions made by all of them, have allowed to raise awareness concerning targeted open innovation in water, agriculture and energy sectors among policy, business community and civil society to spread the concept of international cooperation between EU-MPC actors” says prof. Manuel Valiente from University Autonoma of Barcelona – project coordinator of the 5TOI_4EWAS consortium. As a result of the project activities some relevant outputs have been achieved so far which can be summarized as follows:
The survey on EU-Med University – Industry cooperation
One of the most extensive survey on University-Industry cooperation ever done in the EU-MED area has been performed. The aim of the survey is to define the extent of cooperation between researchers, innovators and policy makers within the EU-MED basin. Tonia Sapia from Innova BIC – task leader of the research – says that “we are doing and impressive work, we created a library of more than 40 relevant literature sources gathered so far within the website library – primarily dealing with water, energy and agrifood, Nexus approach and Quintuple Helix model. We gathered 42 qualitative interviews performed with relevant representatives of the Quintuple Helix of the value chains of water, energy and food from 12 Countries. The survey, led by Mihai Melonari and Arno Meerman from Münster University of Applied Science (MUAS), has gathered more than 7000 responded related to study the cooperation between higher education institutions and public, private organizations and enterprises in Mediterranean Countries and Southern EU Country. This unevaluable quantity of information gathered from the interviews, survey and inventories will let generate the baseline position and provide relevant information to support science and innovation policy dialogue in the MPC region”.
The Nexus Think Thank
In order to have a first-hand view on the EU-MED area and to be able to provide policy recommendation, 5TOI_4EWAS has establish the Nexus Think Tank (NTT). This high-level body is composed by 43 members coming from: research institutions such s the NRC in Egypt and the CRES in Greece, ministries such us the ASRT in Egypt and the AQAC in Palestine, industries representative such as KIC InnoEnergy, international organization and EU technological platform such as the WATER JPI, UNESCO and EUREC and the civil society. The Innovation Week in Casablanca in January 2017, was the perfect occasion where the NTT organized itself in thematic committees’ sessions on energy, food and water. As result of it has been initially defined potential obstacles and issues to be solved within water, energy and food sector to bridge the gap between research and policy. The think tank chaired by Omar Amawi from Higher Council of Science and Technology of Jordan represents a unique forum were the policy makers can find solutions to the current challenges.
The Innovation Week
Last 21-27 of January the Innovation week in Casablanca took place. The event offered to the audience a full panorama of events and occasions for discussion around the theme of innovation.Gustavo Perez the 5 TOI_EWAS project manager, says “it was a great week full of fruitful discussion: 34 people were trained on H2020, 1 Nexus Think Tank meeting with 3 Thematic Committees meetings were held, the bases for 12 policy papers were settled, 1 Regional Innovation workshop and 1 brokerage event – with the participation of 36 people took place”.
Call For “Research and Innovation H2020 champions” – Training and capacity building
Ten participants from different MENA countries composted mainly by PhD students, researchers, professors, innovators and stakeholders (companies, public administrations and governments) that have a good scientific level and English language skills will be selected to participate in a traineeship in Europe, hosted by five EU partners. Due to the foreseen program of the training courses , the selection will be primarily directed to scientific degrees. The hosting institutions will accept participants with a different degree but with a consistent and demonstrable experience in the topics of 5TOI_4EWAS project (water, energy, food and/or nexus related fields).The choice of the participants must be consistent with the objective of the same foreseen training courses which is to motivate and strengthen the collaboration of young researchers and companies to encourage applied research and innovation in the nexus related fields.
The main sources of participants to be selected to attend to the courses should come from MENA Consortium partners and from stakeholder entities such as:
- MENA Ministries of Environment, Research and Enterprises
- National public agencies related to R&D (focused on nexus)
- Universities, Research Centres and other Institutions involved in Water R&D and Innovation
- Nexus Industrial association
- Large and Small Companies known to be involved in Nexus Research and innovation
After approval of the selected candidates the successful participants will be distributed according to the following agenda of secondments:
2 people will stay in UAB
2 people will stay in INNOLABS
2 people will stay in INNOVABIC
2 people will stay in GIRAF
2 people will stay in MUAS
Participants will receive a contribution of 1500 Euro per each – plus a benefit for the accommodation – for their secondments in Europe.