eap-plus.eu – STI International Cooperation Network for Eastern Partnership Countries - PLUS

Scientific Diaspora

Some of the countries in the EaP region possess extended diaspora in the EU, which regularly cultivates its scientific and cultural ties with the home country. In order to use this potential and to exploit the Scientific Diaspora in view of joint applications to H2020, different activities are organised within EaP PLUS.

Following you can find a description of our activities as well as selected entries (events, documents, news etc.) targeting Scientific Diasporas.

Task 2.2: Targeted Cooperation with Scientific Diaspora

The researchers within the scientific diaspora often possess a scientific network in both regions, so with their dual embedment and special dedication they can serve as a bridge between the scientific communities in EU and the EaP countries. In addition (and vice-versa), a non-negligible number of EU researchers that did part of their studies in EaP countries, also exists and it would also be interesting to exploit.

In that respect Scientific Diaspora workshops were conducted in 5 EaP countries (Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) in the period from 2017 to 2018, where speakers from EU MS/AC presented their specific field of research with the aim to expand their networking in the local community. These workshops focused on one or two Societal Challenges, that are better reflecting each country’s priorities and the Diaspora’s potential. The main aim of the event was to set-up cooperation that could evolve to consortia for Horizon 2020 applications.

The agendas of the workshops were based on the H2020 Societal Challenges which better reflect each country’s priorities and the diaspora’s potential.  Thus, the scientific diaspora representatives were invited to the workshops, depending on selected societal challenges coinciding with their sphere of activity.

Main aim of the events was to set-up cooperation that could evolve into consortia for Horizon 2020 applications. Such cooperation could be further supported by the EaP Plus grant scheme (Task 2.3). In addition, the workshops promoted the idea of international peer review of national research grants, as well as involvement of the diaspora representatives in evaluation process as external experts.

The Workshops had impact on enlarging Diaspora Databases in the EaP countries.

Such cooperation could be further supported by the Grant scheme (Task 2.3).

These conferences also promoted the idea of international peer reviewing for the national research grants, in the EaP countries and, more specifically, the involvement of the Diaspora in the evaluation process.

Task 2.3: Enhancing contacts: Grants for networking

The currently running IncoNet EaP project provided two type of Grants for attending Brokerage Events or for ‘twinning’ among research teams to prepare H2020 applications. These Grant schemes were considered to be an effective tool for building up new scientific networks and for participation in consortia applying for Horizon 2020 projects.

Building on the acquired experience the present project is implementing an even more flexible single Grant scheme providing funds for either:

  1. The invitation of EaP researchers by scientists in EU MS/AC to jointly develop H2020 applications
  2. The participation in Brokerage Events (BEs) in EU.

In both cases the scientific excellence and the prospects for concrete applications to H2020 constitute major evaluation criteria. The Grant scheme is open for applications on any Societal Challenge.

Current situation on development of cooperation with Scientific Diaspora from EaP countries

Armenia: National Academy of Sciences of Armenia (NAS RA) has Diaspora Department (joint research projects) and a database listing 200 researchers.

Azerbaijan: State Committee on Work with Diaspora of Azerbaijan Republic; SDF involves scientific diaspora in expertise for grant projects; to define scientific priorities; for short‐term trainings for young scientists. Institute of Information Technology of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences ANAS (IIT) is planning to establish an information system called “Diaspora of Azerbaijani scientists”.

Belarus: A database “Belarusian Researchers Abroad” was developed in 2011 in the framework of a national research project funded by the State Committee on S&T of Belarus. It wasupdated in 2013 and it is accessible to public through: http://www.scienceportal.org.by/en/diaspora/

Georgia: There is an office of the State Minister of Georgia for Diaspora Issues and  Collaborative research grants are given to support collaboration with diaspora (38 applications in 2016. Additionally,  ENIGMA (Enhancing Georgia’s Migration Management) is funded by EC+IOM to engage Georgia’s high‐profile Diaspora and conduct several activates such as. mapping, annual awards, etc.

Moldova: Moldovan Scientific Diaspora (MSD) database creation started in 2010. In addition there are two Temporary Return Schemes targeting the Moldovan Scientific Diaspora, MSD; (funded by EC + Norwegian Foreign Ministry). The e‐platform “Scientific Diaspora Network” gathers more than 200 members of MSD.

Ukraine: The Ukrainian Academic International Network - The UKRAINE Network - has been developed recently. At the beginning of EaP Project there was no database of individuals from Scientific Diaspora of Ukraine. NASU saw EaP PLUS as an opportunity for SD Database development (For details – see Par.3 “Development of the Extended Contact List of Ukrainian Scientific Diaspora”). 

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