21.09.2015 - 25.09.2015 | Minsk, Belarus

'Horizon 2020 Week' in Belarus

The 'Horizon 2020 Week – 2015' was held in Minsk on 21-25 September 2015. It presented opportunities for Belarusian research organisations and businesses to participate in the Horizon 2020 calls for proposals 2016-2107. For Belarus, the start of Horizon 2020 has been quite promising: upon the results of the first year, 11 projects with national participants have already brought around 1,5 mln EUR. However, having almost 20 thousand researchers, Belarus has a much higher capacity.

The Week was organised by the Belarusian Institute of System Analysis and Information Support for Science and Technology with a support from the two EU projects – IncoNet EaP and EAST-HORIZON.

The Week has combined three major activities. It started with the 'Horizon 2020' Information Day (21 September 2015) which focused on such thematic priorities as 'Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy' and 'Climate action, resource efficiency and raw materials', as well as on Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions. The partners from several EU projects (IncoNet EaP, ener2i, INNOVER-EAST and NoGap) presented the instruments provided by their projects to support innovation activities in Belarus and promote the international collaboration in the Programme and beyond it. Several ‘external’ schemes (COST, the new EU-supported project 'MOST') were also presented. Due to the fact that Belarus recently joined the Enterprise Europe Network, the Business Cooperation Centre 'EEN Belarus', its local partner, has offered a mechanism of practical interaction with national clients thus starting the awareness raising campaign in the country about the opportunities of cooperation with this network.

On 21-23 September 2015, two training sessions were organised for potential participants in 'Horizon 2020'. The training for newcomers was held by the experienced experts from the Estonian Research Council. It focused on such issues as project idea, partner search, understanding of the Work Programme for 2016–2017 and practical skills for working with the Participant Portal of 'Horizon 2020'. During the second training, the attendants had an opportunity to improve their skills in preparing a proposal through drafting, presenting and evaluating the pilot project proposals in the 'Information and Communication Technologies' theme.

The last days, 24-25 September 2015, were devoted to individual consultations provided by the staff of the Belarus National Information Point for the EU Research and Innovation Programmes to the participants of the Week in order to answer the numerous questions generated by the new information they had got there. 

The 'Horizon 2020 Week – 2015' has raised a significant interest in the national research community. The total number of attendants in the first three days was around 200. The number of those who registered to the training for newcomers exceeded the available places twice – that is a good reason to repeat such trainings more often in future.

Мaterials and photos of  the 'Horizon 2020 Week – 2015' are available online:

Source: Olga Merovskaya, event organiser, IncoNet EaP partner, BelISA

 
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