Project funded by the Horizon2020 Programme of the European Union



Towards an increased EU-Middle East STI Cooperation.

On June 20th and 21th, MERID organizes in Portorož (Slovenia) a two-day event gathering researchers, experts, National Contact Points (NCPs) , decision makers and other stakeholders from the fields of research and academia in order to discuss the project’s outcomes and recommendations, as well as to exchange experiences and ideas on the future of EU-Middle East cooperation. The NCP Brokerage event will be held on June 20th, while the MERID Final Conference will take place on June 21th.

The NCP Brokerage event has the objective of bringing together EU and Middle-East (Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine) NCPs with the aim of facilitating networking of researchers from both EU and Middle East on H2020 (WP2018-2020) and PRIMA topics of common interest.

In the Final Conference the 13 partner institutions, forming the MERID consortium, from different EU and Middle East countries will present the project’s main achievements and discuss on future prospects together with high-level policy makers and external experts from both regions.

In parallel, on 20-21 June individual coaching sessions will be provided by MERID experts to researchers and experts willing to participate in next calls of the Horizon 2020 Programme and/or PRIMA initiative.

Registration for the conference and coaching is open to everyone till May 16:


Here you can find the agenda and concept note of the event of the event and the coaching session – application form for project idea owners.

You can use your social channels (Twitter and Facebook) to follow the event by using the hashtag #MeridNCPbrokerage.

Opportunities for research and innovation cooperation offered by the new H2020 Work Programmes 2018-2020, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Digital Single Market Strategy

The second Webinar organized in the framework of the MERID project will be held on 9 February 2018 at 11 am CET. It will last 60 minutes, including a 15-minute session of Q&A.

The content will focus on the following items:

  • A general overview of the opportunities for research and innovation cooperation offered by the new H2020 Work Programmes 2018-2020 to the MENA countries (first 10 min.)
  • An insight on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its consequences on businesses, governments and people; The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the Mediterranean countries; The Digital Single Market Strategy; Policy areas linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the framework programme (H2020); Stimulating and managing digital innovation in the Mediterranean countries (35 min.)


  • 11:00-11:05        Welcome and introduction of speakers
  • 11:05-11:15        Overview of the opportunities for research and innovation cooperation offered by the new H2020 Work Programmes 2018-2020 to the MENA countries
  • 11:15-11:45        Insight on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its consequences on businesses, governments and people; The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the Mediterranean countries; The Digital Single Market Strategy; Policy areas linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the framework programme (H2020); Stimulating and managing digital innovation in the Mediterranean countries
  • 11:45-12:00        Questions and Answers


Join us here for the webinar: platform. We advise downloading the latest version of this platform by clicking here before the webinar. In order to get familiar on how the platform works, please click here.

The webinars attendance is free and open to everybody.

Registration form:




Virginia BELSANTI, European project expert at CIHEAM Bari since 2002. Degree in Political Science, Economics-International specialization (Uni Bari), MA in Diplomatic Studies (London), Post-graduate Diploma in Management of Local Development (ILO), Certificate in Partnership Brokerage (TPI London), Certificate in Writing in the Sciences (Stanford). She is an expert in EU project and policy planning, covering different aspects from partnership brokerage, project design to content definition and administrative management. She has  been involved in a variety of activities related to training, research and cooperation  in the areas of poverty and rural development, innovation systems, management of local development, policy and institutional frameworks for sustainable development promotion; research cooperation, multi stakeholder dialogue promotion. She has a 15-year experience of training design and research tutoring.


Davide MEINERO is managing director at ID Consulting, where he’s in charge of relationship management and consulting services addressed to a variety of different customers. Working as a lecturer at the School of Management of the University of Turin, Davide Meinero developed a strong expertise on several subjects: economic analysis of institutions, ethics in economics, political economy, developmental economics and monetary policy.

His mission combines relations with the EU institutions, media communications, issue management, information, dissemination and strategic communication advice, policy analysis and assessment of public policy issues, technical assistance for project proposals, planning and implementation of advocacy startegies.


Leonardo PICCINETTI is Senior Research and Innovation Advisor and Managing Director at Europe for Business. He has extensive experience in consulting on Research and Innovation EU funding schemes and has worked on several EU Projects on food, water, energy and ICT-related fields. Leonardo holds a BSc in Economics at University of Rome with a special focus on water management in Mediterranean countries. He finished his Master in European Studies at Sussex European Institute at University of Sussex United Kingdom. Leonardo is currently studying Business Sustainability Management at University of Cambridge United Kingdom at Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He is indipendent evaluator for H2020 programme. Leonardo is fluent in Italian, English, Spanish and French.




In case you had to miss it, check the recorded version of the webinar:

Yesterday Professor Van Lagenhove, research professor at the Institute of European Studies at the VUB in Belgium, has been interviewed by the EU Research & Innovation Magazine on the state of the art of science diplomacy in Europe. From the interview has emerged that “Some countries, such as Switzerland or Spain, have a well-developed strategic vision on what they want to achieve by their science diplomacy efforts. Spain is an interesting example, because they are quite innovative in how they use the concept of science diplomacy and how they link it to a number of practices, including this quite interesting practice of a shadowing system, where they invite scientists to shadow diplomats for a while, and vice versa. That’s good at raising awareness among scientists, and that is definitely needed because one of the problems of science diplomacy might well be that we are not really sure how the scientists themselves look at it. There might be some reluctance (which would cause) some to say, “Well what’s this? I’m a scientist, I’m not a diplomat. Why do you want to use me for state interests?” Hence, raising awareness is definitely a very important issue.’

In addition, the EU Research & Innovation Magazine states that: “The universal language of science’ can keep channels of communication open in the absence of other viable policy approaches, according to Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.

One example of science diplomacy in action is the SESAME particle accelerator in Jordan that brings together scientists from Middle East countries, including Israel and Palestine.”

Professor Van Lagenhove recently wrote a report on the development of science diplomacy in EU.

For more information about the interview visit the website:

If you want to download the report follow the link:

To submit proposals, interested scientists should first register with the SESAME User Office. This can be done at ( the instructions therein.

The deadline for receiving proposal is on March 15, 2017 at 23:59, Jordanian time

Before submitting a proposal, interested scientists are encouraged to contact the two SESAME beamline scientists Gihan Kamel and Messaoud Harfouche  for proposals related to the IR and XAFS/XRF beamlines respectively, who can advise on the technical possibilities of the instruments available at SESAME.

They should also consult the SESAME User Policy at ( which governs access to the laboratory. SESAME practices an open access policy, with no restriction on the nationality of its users or the institution from which they come.

Users from one of the SESAME Members ( whose home institution is unable to cover their travel and lodging expenses may apply for funds made available by the Lounsbery Foundation for this purpose.

Users from the European Union and Associated Countries may be able to apply for travel support thanks to a consortium of all European synchrotrons and free electron lasers coordinated by Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) ( that SESAME has joined, which in March 2016 submitted a Horizon 2020 proposal to the European Union for an Integrating Activity named “CALIPSOplus”. This proposal has been positively evaluated and will receive funding for 4 years with effect from 2017. The project is presently in the negotiation phase. More updates will be available in the spring of 2017.

We thank you in advance for your interest in using SESAME as an advanced tool for your research!

Download Gaza event – Brief Report


On 8 February 2017, the Islamic University of Gaza in cooperation with partners involved in the implementation of the Horizon 2020-funded MERID project (coordinated by EMUNI), is hosting a series of panel sessions on the topic of “Renewable Energy for Desalination: Innovative Research Solutions for Gaza” with renowned experts and researchers representing organisations such as the Middle East Desalination Research Centre, UNICEF or the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, among others.

After the conclusion of the debate sessions, a training event will take place where Ms. Tanya Dimitrova-Policy Officer at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, will introduce the EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020.


Gaza, 8 February, 2017

Almashtal Hotel

09h30 – 09h40       Registration

09h40 – 10h15       Opening remarks

Mohammed Shabat, Islamic University of Gaza, Partner in Horizon 2020 funded-project MERID

Adel Awadallah, President, The Islamic University of Gaza

R El Sheikh, Deputy Head, Palestinian Water Authority

Andrea Carignani, Head of Unit “EU Neighbourhood, Africa and the Gulf”, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission

Lucas Cibor, European External Action Service

Sophie Collette, Policy Officer, Office of the European Union Representative to West Bank and Gaza Strip, Unrwa

10h15 – 11h15     Panel session 1: Good practice exchange and lessons learnt from the region and EU

Jauad El Kharraz, Head of Research, Middle East Desalination Research Centre (MEDRC)

Mahmoud Shatat, Water and Sustainable Energy Specialist, Water and Sanitation Program Manager, OXFAM GB.

EU funded FP7 MED-CSD project

Gregor von Medeazza, Chief Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, UNICEF


11h15 – 11h30       Coffee break

11h30 – 12h30       Panel session 2: From research results to policy recommendations

Piero de Bonis, DG Research and Innovation (via video conference with Brussels)

Violeta Kuzmickaiteec, DG Research and Innovation (via video conference with Brussels)

Ahmad Baraka, Research and Development Head of Department, Palestinian Water Authority

Local initiatives

  • Mahmoud Qedra, Solar system using Parabolic through solar energy collector for water desalination unit
  • Banan Alhalaq, Solar Households Unit for Water Desalination


12h30 – 13h00       Conclusions


EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020 – How and where to apply?


Gaza, 8 February 2017

Almashtal Hotel


14:00 – 14:15          Welcoming words

Ministry of Education (via video conference with Ramallah)

Andrea Carignani, Head of Unit “EU Neighbourhood, Africa and the Gulf”, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission

14:15- 14:45            General presentation of the EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020

Tanya Dimitrova, Policy Officer “EU Neighbourhood, Africa and the Gulf”, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission


14:45 – 15:00          Coffee break

15:00 – 17:30          Nicola Tucci, Horizon 2020 training session

  • How to prepare and draft a successful proposal?
  • How to find partners and build a consortium?
  • Methodology
  • On-going open calls for proposals


17:30                      Closure & Informal networking cocktail



12th of January 2017

We would like to draw your attention to the public stakeholder consultation that the European Commission has recently launched and which will feed into the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020. This interim evaluation will help improve the functioning of Horizon 2020 and will also be an important element in preparations of a next EU research and innovation programme.


Stakeholders, including those from non-EU countries, are encouraged to participate to the public stakeholder consultation, which will be open until 15 January 2017.



On Monday 5 December 2016, the research and innovation department of the EU Commission organized a regional event in Brussels: “Horizon 2020: Europe as a Global Actor”, hosted with the collaboration of the Open Innovation and Open Science and Open and inclusive Societies units. The main objective of the conference was to present the projects funded during 2015 under the H2020 programme.

After the welcome speech of Elisabeth LIPIATOU, Head of Unit Open and Inclusive Societies (DG RTD), the first panel started with the remark of Elisabeth TISON (Senior Advisor, EEAS, Strategic planning), who underscored the importance to enhance R&I cooperation and the need to establish more links between different projects for the implementation of a global strategy. Helene SJURSEN (ARENA University of Oslo) presented the GLOBUS project, that aims at reconsider European Contributions to Global Justice.

Beate SJAFJELL  of the University of Oslo described the SMART project “Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade” and emphasized the importance of sustainability during the innovation and development processes. Morten BOAS (Norsk Utenrikspolitisk Institutt, NUPI) presented the EUNPACK project, that aims at closing the gap between mechanisms and ambitions by using a conflict-sensitive unpacking of the EU comprehensive approach to crisis response mechanisms.

The first panel was completed by the presentation of the EL-CSID project, which focuses on the understanding of societal changes and on the worldwide attention for the science diplomacy. The Global science diplomacy, as they said, should be used as a tool for the Global governance.

The second panel was opened by Manfredo FANTI (Head of Unit EEAS Latin America and the Caribbean), who underscored the importance of cooperation in a most pragmatic way. He analysed the cooperation between EU and Latin America, stressing the different opportunities of cooperation such as the Horizon 2020 projects, the Erasmus plus and the others projects directly involving the Latin America’s regions.

Karen BROWN (The University court of the University of St. Andrews, UK) and Karin WEIL (University of Austral, Chile) presented the project EU-LAC-MUSEUMS, based on a bi-regional approach for the integration of youth exchange. They emphasized the importance of blogs and communities as tools of exploration, dissemination and exploitation of the personal heritage to share knowledge and empower the youth’ impact on policy.

Ramon TORRENT (University of Barcelona) concluded the second panel with the presentation of the EULAC Focus project. He underlined the necessity to adapt a pragmatic approach instead of focusing just on the political dialogue.

The third panel “Setting the scene: EU neighbourhood and enlargement” was opened by Allan JONAS (Head of Unit DG NEAR, Unit Strategy, Policy, Planning; EEA/EFTA) who evidenced the importance to increase the cooperation society and enlarge the collaboration policy. Daniela HUBER (Institute of Intl. Relations; IAI) presented MedReset and their comprehensive, integrated and bottom-up approach to reset the understanding of the Mediterranean space, remap the region, and reconstruct flexible EU policies.

Eduard SOLER (Centre for international information and documentation in Barcelona; CIDOB), coordinator of the MENARA project, highlighted the multilevel impact generated by the domestic level on the regional and by the regional level on the global. Only a full understanding of the scenario allows to generate a strategic thinking about the region. Esther ADEMMER (Free University of Berlin) presented the EU-STRAT project, based on a multilevel collaboration between the EU and the Eastern Partnership Countries.

Funda TEKIN and Hanna-Lisa HAUGE (University of Cologne) introduced the last panel of the event by presenting the FEUTURE project, which aims to map the dynamics of EU-Turkey relations to focus on conflict, cooperation and convergence issues. Eventually, the event was concluded by the presentation of INFORM project, which aims to close the gap between formal and informal institutions in the Balkan countries.

A wide array of different EU funded projects for a very interesting event which emphasized the importance of cooperation and collaboration between the EU member States and the neighbourhood countries, at various levels and with different approaches and strategies.


On 11th – 12th of July 2016, Europe for Business Ltd (EFB) conducted the 2nd coaching session targeted to the Middle East researchers and experts under the MERID project. Researchers and representatives, who came from the Middle East (Iran, Iraq and Lebanon), were seven in total. They were drawn from various sector, including both governmental and non-governmental organisations, as well as private companies; They had a one-to-one coaching session. The coaching sessions were conducted using online platform in order to provide the best possible quality.

Each participant had an opportunity to briefly present and further discuss project ideas, whichwere furnished each participant previously. The EU innovation and research experts from EFB provided comments and recommendations. Moreover, conclusions and steps to be taken were agreed between each participant and EFB.

The coaching session gives background information about the priorities in the EU Strategic Research Agendas of the Technology Platforms, European Innovation Partnerships or reference to previously funded projects in the areas of participant’s interest. Furthermore, coaching touches upon specific issues related to Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme, and other EU programmes for international cooperation and development, such as EuropeAid, ERASMUS+, ENPI CBC MED 2014-2020 and Bilaterial programmes with several Scientific and Technical Cooperation (S&T) agreements.

Europe for Business Ltd disseminated before the session  was viewed by significant number of views.

Screenshot 2016-07-12 12.19.31.png







Coaching sessions will be provided by the end of the MERID project.

Europe for Business Ltd is planning to conduct the 3rd coaching session at the end of September 2016.

More information is coming soon.

It’s our pleasure to work together!

One of the aims of Merid project is to establish links and open connections with other bodies and projects dedicated to the relations between EU and MENA countries.

On 22nd June 2016, at Infopoint Europa in Bruxelles, we participated at a very interesting policy workshop on “Democracy, Youth and Social justice: challenges for Europe and the Middle East”, with the presentation of the state of art of three FP7-SSH funded research projects focusing on different aspects of transition in selected Middle East and North Africa (MENA)/South-East Mediterranean (SEM) countries: ArabTrans, Power2Youth and Sahwa. These projects bring together multiple partners from Europe and Arab countries to survey the changes occurred in the Arab Mediterranean countries after the “Arab Spring”, focusing in particular on youth, migration and jobs.

The event was leaded by Philippe Keraudren, Deputy head of Unit, DG RTD, Unit B.6 – Open and Inclusive Societies, with the participation of officials of the European Parliament: Perla Srour-Gandon, Policy Advisor, for Middle East and Gulf – Policy and research and Benjamin Rey, Policy Analyst for Middle East and North Africa of the Directorate General for External Policies.

Presentations of the projects were taken on by stakeholders and researchers such as Andrea Teti and Pamela Abbott from the University of Aberdeen, Maria Cristina Paciello of IAI Italian institute, Elena Sánchez-Montijano of the Barcelona Center for Global Affairs and Asuman Goksel from the Middle-East Technical University of Ankara, Turkey.

The presentations were followed by a lively debate about some very actual topics, such as borders control, security and social issues, which are strongly connected with the basic needs and hopes of young generations across the Mediterranean. Yet it was an interesting opportunity to create new partnerships between Europe, Africa and Middle East bodies in order to “co-create the future through new solutions that have the potential to ensure sustainability, participatory governance, openness and transparency in policies and markets and social cohesion” – as stated in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme for 2016 – 2017 issued by the European Commission.






2nd Coaching Session of H2020 MERID project focused on the Middle East researchers and experts

Following the 1st coaching session that was successfully conducted on 1-2 June 2016, Europe for Business Ltd is happy to announce about the 2nd coaching session targeted to the Middle East researchers and experts from the H2020 MERID project members of consortia on 11-12 July 2016.

A representative from Europe for Business Ltd Leonardo Piccinetti will conduct a face-to-face coaching sessions that will last for 30 minutes time slot individually for each researcher or expert. The highest possible impact for the researcher or expert will be assured by following a structured pattern. Please see the Guidelines for coaching session.

The main objective of the coaching session is to discuss either project ideas or to obtain a specific ‘positioning’ advice taking into account participants field of expertise and the thematic areas they might target within open and upcoming calls for proposals.

On behalf of Europe for Business Ltd team we kindly ask you to indicate your preferred date and timing between 9:00 – 13:00 (GMT +2) on 11-12 July 2016 by clicking here.

The coaching session will be conducted through platform, please download the latest version by clicking here and get familiar with the platform before the face-to-face session takes place by clicking here.

Please find bellow the Guidelines for coaching session and complete the registration Registration Form by clicking here.

Looking forward for the successful coaching session!

On behalf of Europe for Business Ltd team

Guidelines for coaching session

Driving Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation at EMUNI’s annual conference on Migration, Diaspora and Brain Circulation

Thursday, 12 May 2016, Barcelona, Spain

EMUNI’s 2016 annual conference, together with its General Assembly, and the regional event of project MERID (Horizon2020 project funded by the EU) addressed the role of diaspora in intercultural dialogue, trust-building and development cooperation between the European Union, Southern Mediterranean and the Middle East countries. Interactive discussions and lively debates examined the potential use of Diaspora as bridges for building trust and catalysts for cooperation and partnership in the Euro-Mediterranean region and Middle East. The event also aimed at employing science diplomacy in exploring new avenues of cooperation, particularly with Iran and Iraq.

The event, which was hosted by the ESADE Business School in Barcelona, hosted over 130 high profile participants, including heads of international organizations, rectors and vice-rectors of universities, senior academics and officials as well as policy-makers from 29 countries and international organisations. The keynote opening speech was given by Javier Solana, President of ESADEgeo – Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics.

Three lively panels including 18 high-profile pannelists discussed the constructive use of brain circulation to advance scientific cooperation and unleash the untapped potential of the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern scientific communities. By employing science, technology and innovation in addressing the cross-cutting societal challenges of water and renewable energy in the region, the panel organised through the MERID project offered new avenues and identified potential obstacles for EI-Middle East cooperation. Resulting from the fruitful discussions, a set of recommendations of how to surpass the remaining obstacles in cooperation between the European and the Middle Eastern research communities were compiled and presented. Many contributions, inputs, ideas, statements and interventions can be found on MERID’s twitter profile and under the hashtag #braincirculation.


Two training events were held during the year 2015: the first one on the framework programme H2020, held in Cairo, Egypt on 28-30 October 2015, and the second one on Innovation, held in Naples, Italy, on 25-27 November 2015. The organisation of MERID training events has been facilitated by the creation of a synergy with the project MedSpring (Mediterranean Science, Policy, Research & Innovation Gateway, FP7-INCO-2012-1).

The first training addressed MPC researchers, research managers, administrators and NCPs. The training aimed to improve the quality of the Mediterranean Partner Countries’ participation in the H2020 Programme, increase skills and level of understanding of the administrative and technical issues related to the management of H2020 projects, encourage the enhancement of research resulting from international cooperation projects.

The second training targeted representatives of governmental organizations, research institutions and business clusters. The training aimed to strengthen participants’ capacities in R&I cooperation through the improvement of knowledge and skills required to promote innovation at institutional level, implement research and innovation strategies at local and national level, network for building R&I international partnerships and identifying funding opportunities.


Bogazici University, Turkey

Europe for Business Ltd is going to participate in the networking event in the field of Energy Efficiency Market Uptake Projects, organized by The Scientific and Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) in collaboration with Sabanci University with the participation of national and international participants.
The event will be hold at Bogazici University, Istanbul on March 21st, 2016.

Europe for Business Ltd is going to share project ideas and initiating new projects mainly targeting Energy Efficiency call in Horizon 2020 Programme.

There is a possibility to have a support for flight tickets for participants who are willing to attend the event. Up to 30 participants with project ideas will be supported under the TEYDEB 1503 Programme.
What you have to do to get a support? Participants should provide a presentation before 17th March 2016 to and

Europe for Business Ltd will be in the brokerage event and will attend pre-arranged meetings with potential partners. Let’s meet in Istanbul, Turkey!

H2020 Regional Middle East Info-Day

The “H2020 Regional Middle East Info-Day” was held by Iranian Association for Management of Technology (IRAMOT) in cooperation with MERID project partners on December 15, 2015 in Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran with the presence of some representatives of MERID partners and more than 50 Iranian participants from different organizations and institutions which were involved in STI sectorsin Iran.

Here are some of the organizations that participated in this meeting:

· Vice Presidency for Science and Technology,

· Ministry of Science, Research and Technology,

· Ministry of Petroleum,

· Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade,

· Ministry of Health and Medical Education-Pasteur Institute of Iran,

· Innovation and Flourishing Foundation,

· Technology Development Foundation,

· Center for Innovation and Technology Cooperation,

· Tehran Urban Planing and Reseach Centre,

· Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology

· Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences,

· The Research Center of New Technologies in Life Science Engineering of Tehran University,

· Agriculture Biotechnology Research of Iran,

· Vice Presidency for Science and Technology- Headquarters of Development of Nanotechnology,

· Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science,

· etc.

At the beginning of the conference each of the participants introduces themselves and their organizations. Then Mr. Ghadiri (Managing Director of IRAMOT) welcomed to all participants and briefly described the event and role of IRAMOT in MERID Project. After that, Dr. Mahdi Elyasi (Deputy of Policy Making and Strategic Evaluation of Vice Presidency for Science and Technology) described the goals and opportunities of taking part in these kinds of international programs for Iranian organizations. Then Mr. Hribar and Mr.Bonas presented the MERID project and opportunities in H2020 program for Iranian STI actors and also let everyone ask their questions in regard to the project.

H2020 Regional Middle East Info-Day

This event was held along with MERID project’s objectives in order to understand the status of Science, Research and Technology in Iran and to explore and enhance collaboration opportunities between Iranian STI actors and EU countries under H 2020 program.

H2020 Regional Middle East Info-Day

IUG infoday horizon 2020

IUG infoday horizon 2020Supported by and in cooperation with MERID, Research and graduate Affairs at IUG held ‘Horizon 2020 Info Day’  during which many European experts participated.
The event was held inside the University. It was meant to introduce the program and to help the researchers learn how to write proposals for the program which is considered to be the biggest of its sort worldwide. The program supports scientific research and innovation at a budget of more than 70 billion dollars set aside by the EU.

The Info Day included Pro. Abedelraouf Elmanama-Vice President of Research and Graduate Affairs and Prof. Mohammed Shabat Coordinator of MERID in Palestine, and participated by experts through video conference such as Dr. Abdulhamid Al Zuhari, EMUNI President; Mr. Raniero Chelli, SOPHIA R&I President; Mr. Dejan Hribar, EMUNI External Affairs; and Dr. Mustafa Jarar, Birzeit University. The attendants were academics and officials from IUG and other universities.

The Info Day highlighted the introduction and explanation of  ‘Middle East Research and Innovation Dialogue’ project and Horizon 2020, the way to write proposals and how to apply, how the goals of proposals must meet the description of each topic, the importance of recruiting related experts in the research team, distribution of related pamphlets such as the application for Horizon 2020 (whether that of Coordination and Support Action, Research and Innovation Action, or Innovation Action), and the standards of assessment the juries will use to evaluate the Horizon 2020 applications.


Developing A Common Knowledge and Innovation Space

JAN2Q2, European Parliament, Brussels – 31 March 2015

On March 31 2015 a conference jointly organized by the EU Commission and the European Parliament, titled “Building Together Knowledge-oriented Forward-looking EU Neighbourhood: Developing A Common Knowledge and Innovation Space”, took place in Brussels, at the European Parliament. The conference featured a number of panellists coming from the research and innovation community from both the Eastern and the Southern European neighbourhood.

After the initial greetings and opening remarks of the co-chairing persons, respectively Mr Elmar Brok, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET), and Mr Jerzy Buzek, Chair of the Industry, Technology, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), the word has been given to the EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Mr Carlos Moedas. The Commissioner has introduced the conference through a brief overview of the state of the art international cooperation in research and innovation and the recent achievements of the EU in these matters, as well as the way forward foreseen by the EU commission.

Mr Moedas illustrated the European vision of science, technology and innovation as potential vehicles of mutual understanding, which could help building a stable environment and overcome political and religious barriers. Science diplomacy is essential to peace and stability and the elevated language of science is universal and therefore uniting. This is why Horizon 2020 is both an instrument for science and for peace.

The commissioner than mentioned a number of past and on going EU funded projects in the Eastern and Southern neighbourhood as well as in the Middle East, such as SESAME or PRIMA. The Middle East research and Innovation Dialogue – MERID project, is located precisely within this context and it is meant to be a tool that contributes to overcome barriers through science and help building trust, mutual understanding and cooperative behaviour. Moedas concluded stressing that science diplomacy should begin with our neighbours, and should be founded in common values and visions of the future.

Mrs Marite Seile, the Latvian Minister for Education and Science, has then mentioned how research and innovation are important drivers of social and economic development and therefore of jobs: international research cooperation could only contribute to ensuring economic prosperity. This is why the neighbourhood policy is a key priority of the Latvian presidency, which aims at creating an environment of trust in the region by fostering dialogue. Latvia has indeed a short past with the Eastern partnership and deeply care about the Eastern neighbourhood. The minister mentioned the Ucraine case which is associated with scientific excellence, where Latvia hosts many Ucranian researchers involved in new pipeline technologies’ research.

The rest of the conference has been devoted to the presentation of case-studies and best practices in two different regional sessions. The first one addressed the Southern Neighbourhood and featured panellists from the European External Action Service, the Union for the Mediterranean, the European Commission’s DG ELARG and protagonists of former Framework Programmes’ success stories coming from all around the MENA region. The second one addressed the Eastern Neighbourhood and addressed mainly the Ucranian state of the art in scientific research and innovation, but featured also speakers from Moldova and other European counterparts.

The occasion was saluted by Ms Cristina Russo, the European Commission’s DG Research and Innovation ‘International Cooperation’ Director, as a historical event, due to the fact that is was framed within the first ever ITRE-AFET joint parliamentary committee. Her closing remarks stressed how the private sector and the scientific community are two essential stakeholders of innovation and that could bring about social and economic prosperity in Europe and its surroundings.