IncoNet EECA

The partnership between the countries of the European Union and Eastern Europe/Central Asia (EECA) is of utmost importance for the political, economic and social development of both regions. Linking the scientific potential and resources has a huge impact on economic growth, social prosperity and welfare as well as public stability.


Project Description

Aim of this IncoNet was primarily to extend the European Research Area by a systematic integration of Eastern European and Central Asian countries. The project addressed policy stakeholders from the EU-MS/AC and EECA countries. The aim was to establish and sustain three dedicated S&T Policy Dialogue Platforms: one biregional EU-MS/AC with all Eastern European and Central Asian countries, and two bilateral platforms for the respective dialogues of EU-MS/AC with Russia and with Ukraine. The existing policy framework for cooperation was improved. A special focus was placed on the field of S&T to develop new opportunities and links between the scientific and research communities of the countries involved.

The main objectives of IncoNet EECA were:

  • To support and facilitate a bi-regional EU – EECA S&T policy dialogue and, in the case of Russia and the Ukraine, a complementary bilateral S&T policy dialogue involving stakeholders from policy making, science community and industry. The dialogue will address national S&T potential, policy goals and demands in order to define common priorities and to develop respective joint scenarios and implementation strategies in order to strengthen the S&T cooperation. During this project, three S&T Policy Dialogue Platforms will be established and supported through the creation of a knowledge base and a variety of other concrete activities.
  • To address other EU policies and their Instruments from which S&T cooperation with EECA could benefit. Emphasis will be given to the European Neighbourhood Policy – ENP and the Four Common Spaces with Russia (External Relations), the Development Cooperation and Economic Cooperation (DCEC), the Education Policy (Life Long Learning Programme - LLL) and the Innovation policy (Competitiveness and Innovation Programme – CIP)
  • To strengthen the participation of EECA in FP7 with emphasis on the 'Cooperation'  Programme but addressing other Specific Programmes, such as 'Peoples', 'Ideas', 'Capacities – SMEs', as well. In parallel, concrete recommendation for future Specific International Cooperation Activities (SICAs) will be presented to the European Commission and to the responsible Programme Committees.
  • To raise the capacities of the EECA countries, through particular activities that will address the institution building and human potential development of the existing National Information Points/National Contact Points.
  • To build a public S&T Web Portal (incrEAST) and to setup a Central Information Office to widely disseminate information and to raise awareness of the potential of and the framework for enhanced EU-EECA S&T cooperation.

The project was financed within the 7th Framework programme of the EC. The International Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (DLR) was one of the key participants within the consortium.

Project Partners

Greece: International Centre for Black Sea Studies ICBSS
Greece: Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas HELP-FORWARD
Armenia: Centre of Ideas and Technologies CIT
Germany: International Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research - German Aerospace Center DLR
Russia: State University - Higher School of Economics HSE
Austria: Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG
Austria: Centre for Social Innovation ZSI
Ukraine: The National Information Centre for Ukraine - EU S&T Cooperation at Kyiv State Center for Scientific, Technical and Economic Information NIP
Turkey: The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey TUBITAK
France: European Network for Quality of Higher Engineering Education for Industry ENQHEEI
Kasakhstan: Independent Expert Consulting Board to Promote Scientific Research Activity in Kazakhstan InExCB-Kz
Sweden: Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems VINNOVA
Azerbaijan: Presidium of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences ANAS
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences BAS
Moldova: Academy of Sciences of Moldova ASM
Norway: The Research Council of Norway RCN
Estonia: Archimedes Foundation ARCHIMEDES
Belarus: Belarusian Institute of System Analysis and Science & Technology Information Support BellSA
Romania: National School of Political Studies and Public Administration NSPSPA
Georgia: Georgian National Science Foundation GNSF
Poland: National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the EU IPPT-PAN
Finland: Academy of Finland AKA


The IncoNet EECA was divided into 8 work packages. DLR was the work package (WP) leader of WP1 that aimed to establish three policy dialogue platforms. Besides this DLR was responsible for two tasks in WP7 („Communication, Dissemination, and Conferences“), the analysis of the European Neighbour Policy (ENP) and the four common spaces with Russia (WP2, Task 2.1) and the coordination with other EU Projects, that target to the EECA region (WP6, Task 6.2)

Specific responsibilities:

  • Within WP1 DLR was responsible for the policy dialogue platform with Russia (PDP-RU). After agreeing on the general Terms of Reference for the PDP-RU, the whole process was put on hold due to current political developments (i.e. conflict with Georgia).
  • Within WP2 DLR analysed the four common spaces with Russia and its implementation.
  • In WP6 DLR coordinated the cooperation with other „Coordination and Support Activities“ aiming to the EECA countries. On a first meeting in Bonnin 2008, coordinators from 20 CSA projects exchanged information and experiences.
  • Within WP7 the DLR was in charge of developing a project website and a web portal that provided information about S&T activities in the EECA countries beyond the lifetime of the project. As part of this activity an “Information Office” was established at DLR.

The project website was launched in February 2008. The website provided general information about the project and an internal area for communication among the participants.

The web portal incrEAST was launched in August 2008. IncrEAST is a central information portal for S&T activities in the EECA region, that aims at enhancing the networking between stakeholders from the EECA and the ERA.


  • Kick-Off-meeting of the project, 16. - 18. February 2008 in Athens.
  • February 2008: project website launched
  • Meeting of “Regional Correspondents”, 17. – 18. April 2008 in Bonn
  • „Project Coordinators Meeting“: Meeting of the coordinators from other CSA aiming at Eastern Europe and Central Asian, 18. June 2008 in Bonn
  • Management Board Meeting, 19. June 2008 in Bonn
  • Web portal incrEAST online, August 2008
  • 12.-13. February 2009, General Assembly (Vienna)

Policy Stakeholders' Conferences:

This series of events brought together policy and research stakeholders from the EU as well as from Eastern Eastern Europe and Central Asia to facilitate an open bi-regional dialogue on research and innivation policies.