Head of the EU Delegation to Russia visits Yekaterinburg, 20-21 November 2014
On 20-21 November 2014, the Head of the EU Delegation to Russia, Ambassador Vygaudas Ušackas, visited Yekaterinburg, Russia's fourth largest city, the centre of the Russian Ural region and one of the most important industrial centres of the country. It is also the birthplace of the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin and a city that positions itself as the "capital of Eurasia".
The programme of the visit included lectures to the students of two local universities – the Ural Federal University and the Ural State University of Economics, as well as attendance of a meeting of the Presidium of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. During the latter, Ambassador Ušackas addressed the audience, consisting of the Presidium members and directors of scientific institutes of the Ural region, with a speech on current relations between the European Union and Russia, in which he also underlined the importance of cooperation in research and called for a more active participation of research organisations from the region in the EU's Framework Programme, Horizon 2020. The visit received extensive coverage in the local press.
Additional information: EU Delegation to Russia
EU-Russia Year of Science 2014
At the EU-Russia Summit in Brussels in December 2012 the political leaders of the EU and Russia agreed to make 2014 the "EU-Russia Year of Science". Starting on 25 November 2013, this year-long series of events, to be jointly organised across the EU and Russia, will celebrate the vibrant and multifaceted cooperation between the EU, the EU Member States and the Russian Federation in the areas of research, higher education and innovation.
Involving scientists, research organisations, universities, innovators and the wider public, the EU-Russia Year of Science will build on Russia's strong involvement in the current EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development and on the dynamic cooperation in research between EU Member States and Russia.
The European Union and the Russian Federation have a strong history of cooperation in science and technology, based on common interests and mutual benefit.
In 2003, the EU and Russia agreed to reinforce their cooperation in research and development by working towards the creation of a "Common Space in Research and Education, including Cultural Matters" (the so called "4th EU-Russia Common Space") in the framework of the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, and on the basis of common values and shared interests.
Cooperation in research and innovation is also one of the priority areas foreseen in the EU-Russia Partnership for Modernization agreed on at the EU-Russia Summit of June 2010 as a shared agenda to help tackle global economic and societal challenges.
Institutionally, EU-Russia S&T cooperation is coordinated by the Joint S&T Cooperation Committee and several EU-Russia thematic working groups, established under the Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology. The joint working groups, which meet regularly to discuss potential research topics of mutual interest and prepare joint actions, cover the following priority areas of research: aeronautics; energy (nuclear and non-nuclear); environment; food, agriculture and biotechnologies; health; ICT; infrastructures; nanotechnologies and new materials; e-infrastructures; researchers' mobility; Space. All actions agreed by the working groups are set out in a roadmap for action.
The 2011-2013 EU-Russia S&T Cooperation Roadmap provides information on the achievements of ongoing EU-Russian cooperation through both the EU and Russian funding programmes, describes actions which are currently being planned, and sets out potential new actions for strengthening cooperation and building a strategic partnership between the EU and Russia in research and innovation.
One of the most established forms of EU-Russia S&T cooperation is the participation of Russian scientists in the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development, where Russia continues to be the most successful international cooperation partner country in terms of the total number of participations in the programme, the total amount of EU financial contribution received and the number of collaborative actions launched. EU researchers, for their part, successfully participate in Russia's Federal Targeted Programmes (FTPs), such as the FTP "R&D in Priority Fields of the S&T Complex of Russia (2007-2013)".
In 2007 a new cooperation mechanism of 'coordinated calls' for co-funded research projects between the EU and Russia was introduced. To date, ten coordinated calls have been completed in such areas as health; food, agriculture and biotechnology; ICT; energy; aeronautics; nanotechnologies; nuclear energy.
EU-Russia S&T cooperation also takes place through other international fora and large-scale research infrastructures, for example the EU X-ray Free-Electron Laser (XFEL) and the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR); the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER); the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN). Russia and the EU also collaborate within the framework of the Group of Senior Officials (GSO) on global research infrastructures, composed of representatives of the G8+O5 countries.
The strength of the EU-Russia relationship in S&T is demonstrated by the popularity of EU researchers' mobility programmes, such as the Marie Curie Actions (under the EU Framework Programme), TEMPUS (promotion of higher education development in Russia), and Erasmus Mundus (establishment of partnership networks between European and non-European universities elaborating joint Master programmes). These initiatives serve as an important tool of Russia's integration into the European Research Area and the European Higher Education Area.
A review of EU-Russia cooperation in the field of research, assessing in particular the implementation and impact of the S&T Cooperation Agreement concluded between the European Community and the Russian Federation ("EU-Russia S&T Agreement") was performed between November 21, 2012 and March 31, 2013.The review was performed by a joint EU-Russia group of independent experts with two members (Päivi Karhunen and Uwe Meyer) appointed by the European Commission, and two members (Pavel Kadochnikov and Vladimir Popov) appointed by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science (RMES).
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Several important international cooperation projects funded under FP7 help to reinforce S&T relations with Russia:
- Enhancing the bilateral S&T Partnership with the Russian Federation (BILAT-RUS-Advanced) project aims to facilitate the science- technology and innovation cooperation between Russia and the EU. The web portal offers information about the Russian S&T landscape and funding opportunities from the EU and Russia for the implementation of joint scientific activities. The project has published a number of interesting reports such as case studies of good cooperation practice in S&T; good practice instruments and barriers for successful S&T cooperation; EU-Russian scientific mobility.
- Strengthening EU-Russia Science and Technology cooperation and EU access to Russian National Funding Programmes (ACCESSRU) project aims to help EU researchers and research organisations to access the scientific and innovation programmes established within the Russian Federation by providing an overview of the Russian research and innovation system, mapping access opportunities for EU researchers to Russian research programmes, identifying opportunities for R&D actors and proposing mechanism for facilitate the access by the EU researchers to Russian R&D programmes.
- Linking Russia to the ERA: Coordination of MS/AS ST programmes towards and with Russia (ERA.Net RUS) project aims to strengthen S&T cooperation between the Russia and the EU by the coordination of EU Member States' research programmes towards and with Russia. The studies carried out within this project identified common grounds across bilateral S&T programmes of MS/AC with Russia by analyzing Russian S&T system from perspective of international cooperation, developing an appropriate instrumental setting for joint funding activities.
- The EURUCAS project, a so-called INCO-LAB, supports the internationalisation of the joint Norwegian-Russian Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre in St. Petersburg with additional partners from Germany, Sweden, France, Austria, Finland and the UK.
- The INCO-NET EECA project has intensified the S&T policy dialogue with the broader region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA). It also includes a variety of activities, such as the support to FP7 Contact Points, information and brokerage events aiming at an enhanced participation of researchers from EECA countries in FP7.
- Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology 72 KB between the European Community and the Government of the Russian Federation (1999)
- Agreement renewing the agreement on cooperation in science and technology between the Government of the Russian federation and the European Community (2003)
- Council Decision concerning the renewal of the Agreement on cooperation in science and technology 128 KB between the Government of the Russian federation and the European Community (2009)
- Agreement for cooperation 196 KB between the European Atomic Energy Community and the Government of the Russian Federation in the field of controlled nuclear fusion (2001)
- Agreement for cooperation 197 KB between the European Atomic Energy Community and the Government of the Russian Federation in the field of nuclear safety (2001)
- Roadmaps of four EU-Russia Common Spaces 545 KB (including Roadmap for the Common Space of Research and Education including Cultural Aspects)
- EU-Russian Federation Cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation. A roadmap for Action 2011-2013 214 KB
- EU delegation to Russia
- The EU 7th Framework Programme for Research
- ERAWATCH country page
- EU research projects - success stories with partners from Russia
- Network of FP7 National Contact Points in Russia
- Guidance for Russian Participants in FP7 (published by the Voronezh Regional Information Centre for Scientific and Technological Cooperation with the EU)
- Russian Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation
- Russian Federal Space Agency
- Russian State Corporation for Atomic Energy
- Russian Academy of Sciences
- Russian Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises
DG Research and Innovation
Policy Officer - R&I Relations with Russia
Unit RTD C 1 - Policy Coordination, EFTA and Enlargement countries, Russia, Asia and Pacific
Tel. (+32) 229 80789
Research & Innovation Counsellor
Kadashevskaya nab. 14/1
119017 Moscow, Russia
Tel. (+7 495) 721-2000, 721-2038