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The Applied Research and Communications Fund is being involved in a 24-month project within 6th EC Framework Programme named “COGNAC - Coordination of R&D&I policies and their coherence with other policies in Newly Acceded Countries”. The project gathers the experience of 16 partners from 7 European countries:

Regional Development Agency in Eszak Alfold Region, Hungary - Coordinator
Regional Development Council in Eszak Alfold Region, Hungary Debrecen University, Hungary
Bay Zoltan Foundation for applied research, Hungary
Kosice Self-governing Region, Slovakia
Technical University Košice, Slovakia
Castilla-León Provincial Government, Spain
CARTIF Foundation, Spain
Office of Styria County Government, Austria
Joanneum Research – Development Institute, Austria
Krakow Technological Park, Poland
National Institute of Animal Production, Poland
Applied Research and Communications Fund, Bulgaria
Stara Zagora District Government, Bulgaria
Zlin Region, Czech Republic
Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic

The main objective of COGNAC is to develop, design and implement coherent R&D&I policies by the coordination of the RIS-NAC and Structural Funds policy development and other complementary activities. Furthermore, it is expected to strengthen the role of research policies in the policy mixes at regional, national and EU level, by exploiting synergies.

Project implementation is divided into the following working packages:

• Survey of the R&D&I policies on international, national and regional level applied in the partner regions
• Benchmarking of the R&D&I policies
• Identification of synergy effects and weak points by testing the coordination of the adopted R&D&I policies
• Learning lessons based on sharing of good practices

Every participant region is represented by a research institute and a regional government in order to ensure crosscutting partnership in strengthening policies in order to promote research, development and innovation.
The project responds to the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy for 3% of the national GDP spent on science and research with the aim to boost the overall EU competitiveness. It aims to support the regional dimension of the European Research Area by increasing the effectiveness and coherence of the R&D&I policies focusing on the public research spending and policy mixes and comprehensively, the SMEs and research target areas.

COGNAC project will finish in October 2008 and its outcomes are expected to foster the development of both public and private research mainly by providing quality information in creating appropriate framework conditions to the relevant decision-makers, among which:

• development of coherent and effective research policies in the participating regions
• a transferability model of best practices,
• priorities and pilot projects concerted actions, joint policy initiatives and EU level recommendations with special respect to the ERA-NET process and FP7.

For more information:
Mrs. Zoya Damianova, Programme Director –

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