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'CEI Praise' to promote R&I in Central Eastern Europe

Ministerial meeting with participants from 18 countries concluded

25 September, 14:32

(ANSA) - TRIESTE - The "CEI-PRAISE" Framework Programme for the promotion of research, technology transfer and innovation in the 18 CEI Member States (Central and Eastern Europe) was formally launched during the CEI Ministerial meeting on Science and Technology held in Trieste.

The programme, finalised by the Trieste-based CEI Secretariat through its Science and Technology Network, will be developed over the next seven years, with an estimated overall value of 45 million euros. More than sixty scientific institutes from the entire region have already taken part in the Programme as partners.

"This is a very important programme for the CEI Member Countries, but at the same time it strongly enhances at international level the excellences in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region in the field of science. Special focus will also be given to the potential for participation in Horizon 2020, with the peculiar characteristic of an enhanced collaboration with Eastern European countries", said the special advisor to the CEI secretary-general, Giorgio Rosso Cicogna, specifying that CEI Praise will follow an innovative financing model, adhering both to EU resources and using other funds. "The Programme will hopefully be developed in collaboration with the Joint Research Centre JRC of the European Commission, and in line with the European macro-regional strategies", he added.

"CEI PRAISE offers exactly what Balkan countries need - transfer of knowledge and human capacity building, and not in the abstract but through scientific institutions (based in Trieste) that open their doors to the Balkan Countries", said Tania Friederichs of the European Commission's DG Research and Innovation at the sidelines of the event.

Serbia's assistent minister of education, Viktor Nedovic, also present at the meeting, stressed the importance of the CEI Praise Programme in terms of reversing the "brain drain" process, which he exlpained as "very painful", by offering new opportunities to "our best researchers".

During the Ministerial meeting, institutional representatives and experts in science and technology from 18 CEI countries also discussed the promotion of advanced biofuels in the context of bio-based economy, a field in which the CEI Secretariat is already active through three European funded projects within the 7th Framework Programme. The development of the Consortium CERIC-ERIC, based at Elettra Synchrotron Trieste, recently approved by the European Commission and already seeing the participation of nine CEI countries, was also illustrated.

(ANSA).

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