The three main objectives of the BLACK SEA HORIZON (abbr. BSH) are:
- to support the EU’s external relations with the target region by significantly contributing to ongoing bi-regional and regional STI policy dialogues, and by increasing the knowledge base about the EU’s external environment,
- to stimulate bi-regional STI cooperation and to strengthen the EU’s economic competitiveness
- to contribute to the establishment of supportive framework conditions by facilitating the pooling of resources and by identifying challenging thematic areas for mutual STI cooperation.
Hence, drawing on the previous main objectives, the BLACK SEA HORIZON aims to achieve the following operational sub-objectives:
Support the EU’s external relations with the target region
BSH aims to contribute to the EU’s external relations with the Black Sea region building on the “Black Sea Synergy” initiative, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) and other ongoing policy dialogue fora by providing specific services and tools tailored to identifying and eliminating existing cooperation obstacles and tackling common problems in the field of international STI cooperation. A dedicated work package (WP1) has been earmarked for this.
The main measurable contribution of BSH to support the EU’s external relations in the field of STI will be a proposal for an “EU – Black Sea Cooperation Programme in STI” consolidated with major stakeholders such as the EaP Panel on Research and Innovation, SFIC, the European Commission (esp. DG R&I), BSEC Working Group on S&T, Balkan and Black Sea Regional Commission, Ad hoc Group of Experts on BSEC-EU Interaction, EURONEST, EaP Civil Society Forum, EUSDR, etc.
Several activities are foreseen to establish a consolidated “EU – Black Sea Cooperation Programme in STI” including a major bi-regional STI conference involving at least 70 stakeholders from the field of STI policy making, STI policy delivery and STI policy analysis.
Special attention and efforts have been earmarked to pro-actively approach also EU Member States who have rather weak participation in INCO type of activities by now.
Increase the knowledge base about EU’s external environment
BSH aims to increase the knowledge base about the EU’s external environment through analytical work in order to substantiate the bi-regional STI dialogue in the Black Sea region.
The main measurable contributions are:
- two policy briefs:
- on obstacles, drivers and opportunities to enhance EU-Black Sea STI cooperation (incl. recommendations) and
- on thematic patterns of cross-border S&T cooperation based on co-patent and co-publication analysis.
- one analytical report about different ongoing policy dialogue activities with a focus on their strengths and weaknesses as well as,
- at least one article published in scientific journals.
Stimulate bi-regional STI cooperation
BSH aims to stimulate the bi-regional STI cooperation, in particular by increasing the participation of excellent R&D organisations in HORIZON 2020, with a strong thematic focus on a limited number of Societal Challenges, which are, firstly, of pertinent importance for the EU and its partners in the Black Sea region and, secondly, for which STI potential and excellence is available to be jointly exploited by the EU together with non-EU Black Sea countries (abbr. non-EU BS countries). Actions and services to support joint RTI activities are pre-dominantly designed in work package 3. They result in:
- the delivery of up-to-date relevant information, good practices and practical advisory through a series of dedicated webinars to facilitate participation of a large group of researchers both from academia and business (minimum 500 subscribers) in HORIZON 2020,
- an increased number of research proposals with partners from non-EU BS countries (at least + 10% when comparing to FP7), through facilitating direct face-to-face meetings of researchers from the EU Member States and non-EU Black Sea countries. To achieve that, among other actions, a competitive merit-based grant scheme (BS:MS) will be implemented, which enables at least 25 experienced researchers from the non-EU BS countries to actively engage in EU brokerage events and conferences with the final goal to enhance participation in HORIZON 2020 research projects,
- the organisation of a “HORIZON 2020 Summer School” that will train a group of 25 young researchers from the non EU BS countries preparing them to promote and back up future bi-regional STI cooperation.
Strengthen the EU’s economic competitiveness
BSH aims to strengthen the EU’s economic competitiveness by focusing on bi-regional cluster cooperation under a dedicated innovation support work package (WP4).
In measurable terms this includes:
- identification of at least 30 research-based industrial clusters in the non-EU BS partner countries, promoted through an online catalogue;
- training of a minimum of 15 research-based industrial cluster managers from the Black Sea regionon establishing, managing, sustaining and internationalising clusters;
- establishing direct business contacts between 20 cluster managers from the target region and EU Member States;
- and training of a total of 25 social entrepreneurs, commercial enterprises, NGOs and public authorities on inclusive, sustainable and social innovation.
Contribute to the pooling of resources
BSH aims to contribute to the pooling of resources from the EU Member States and countries associated to HORIZON 2020 on the one hand and the non-EU BS countries on the other hand by organising a process to prepare a jointly funded regional call for research projects, thus avoiding fragmentation and overlaps and enabling the creation of synergies within ERA. Work package 2 has been designed to support this process.
The main measurable contributions of BSH to support the aforementioned objective include:
- the establishment of a group of funding parties,
- adopted Terms of Reference for a joint call for proposals and,
- an adopted agreement and business-plan for a joint call secretariat and call implementation.
In order to design the process as smart as possible, lessons learnt from previous regional ERA-NETs, e.g. Black Sea ERA-NET and ERA-NET Russia (+) will be taken into account.
Moreover, BSH will also aim to an increased awareness and readiness of programme owners both from the EU and non-EU BS countries to engage in JPIs and future COFUND ERA-NETs.
Contribute to the establishment of supportive framework conditions
BSH aims to contribute to the establishment of supportive framework conditions to forward bi-regional STI cooperation by promoting responsible research and innovation (RRI), in particular, by facilitating and professionalising merit-based peer reviewing. The measurable output in this respect will be the provision of a functional peer review database consisting of a minimum of 1000 international peer reviewer entries accessible to research funding agencies of the Black Sea region. This will enlarge the currently narrow national basis of peer reviewers including peer reviewers from abroad and, thus, will increase the quality of peer reviewing and academic competitivity in the target region.
Identify challenging thematic areas for mutual STI cooperation.
BSH finally aims to identify at least six validated and challenging thematic research topics for further take-up in Horizon 2020 or other bi- and multilateral research programmes targeting the region, based on a robust and sound methodology.