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Frontpage News 2013 Cooperation in education and research

Vidar
Photo credit: Innovation Center Iceland

Cooperation in education and research

The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannis) is a donor programme partner in scholarship programmes in nine beneficiary countries and in one research programme. “Cooperation is the key concept,” says Viðar Helgason, explaining the organisation’s role in fostering partnerships and innovation.

In its role as a donor programme partner for programmes developed under the EEA and Norway Grants, The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannis) assists the programme operators in managing the programmes in the most efficient way. Emphasis is put on ensuring good governance and maximum benefit for the beneficiary countries, all the while supporting Icelandic partnership participation in the programmes. In Iceland, the Centre supports research, technological development and innovation.

“Rannis serves the Icelandic science community across all areas of science and the humanities,” says Viðar Helgason, Senior Adviser at Rannis.

Communication is vital

Asked about the biggest challenges related to the Centre’s role as a donor programme partner, Mr. Helgason points to setting up programmes in the beneficiary states in a way that would reflect the needs of their populations.

“All [programmes] have different emphasis, which has complicated the programme [development] work,” Mr. Helgason said. “To really understand the differences, one has, at least to a certain degree, to try to understand the society in each case.”

To ensure that scholarships and research activities foster innovation and exchange of ideas, clear and coherent communication between beneficiary and donor state partners is also vital, according to Mr. Helgason. To achieve the objectives of the programmes, all the partners must be equally engaged in cooperation.

“It is important to remember the EEA and Norway Grants will not succeed without a sincere and open effort of all the involved parties,” Mr. Helgason said. “Cooperation is the key concept.”

Research and scholarship: €136.8 million

Under the current Grants period, €136.8 million has been earmarked for research and scholarships. Open calls for project proposals in both programme areas are launched on a continuous basis, and their texts can be found here.

The scholarship programmes aim to increase the mobility of students and staff from higher education institutions and strengthen institutional cooperation at all levels of the education sector.

The research programmes foster increased research capacity and the application of research results in the beneficiary states, with particular emphasis put on research and innovation.

Sustainable partnerships

Under the EEA and Norway Grants 2009-2014, Rannis and two other donor state organisations, the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) and Liechtenstein’s National Agency for International Education Affairs (AIBA), are involved in scholarship programmes implemented in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Rannis is also involved in one research programme in Romania, on which the Centre partners together with the Research Council of Norway.

Read more on how you can apply for funding or get involved as a partner in research and scholarships projects in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.