Big turnout for research cooperation in Romania
“We were very happy to find a lot of Romanian authors who have published very good articles”.
Jørn Holm Hansen, senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR), delivered this upbeat assessment in front of more than 700 potential Romanian applicants and 10 potential Norwegian partners at an information and matchmaking seminar for the Romanian ‘Research’ programme in Bucharest 10 December.
Investments in research and innovation are needed to drive economic growth, for job-creation and to secure social and economic welfare. Romania is among the countries in Europe with the lowest investments in research in relation to GDP, and still far below the EU average. Despite limited funding, Holm Hansen was impressed by the Romanian applicants, both in terms of quality and quantity:
“We contacted people we found by reading scientific journals in the field of our interest, and there were many Romanian names,” he said.
Special research focus on the Roma population
Several of the participants at the seminar had been beneficiaries from EEA and Norway Grants funded projects in the previous period. One of them, Anca Nemuc, senior researcher at the Romanian Institute for Optoelectronics wants to repeat the success:
“We were very satisfied with the smooth implementation of our first project and we would like to apply again, this time with two project ideas: one is a continuation of the air research started together with NILU (Norwegian Institute for Air Research) and the second is more linked to scientific education for vulnerable children,” she explained.
Vulnerable children were also a key priority for Holm Hansen:
“We would like to study the access of Roma populations to services and their situation in informal settlements,” he added.
About the call
Under the research programme in Romania, €21.68 million is now available for joint research projects between Romanian researchers and partners from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Under the present call, funding is available for joint research projects in the following areas of research:
- Renewable energy
- Health and food safety
- Environmental protection and management
- Social sciences and humanities
Both basic research and applied research projects will be eligible for financing in all thematic areas.The application deadline is 17 January, 2014.
More details are to be found in the call document published on the website of the programme operator, the Romanian Ministry of National Education.
Addressing the health status of Roma
The programme will provide financial support to projects that address the health status and living conditions of the Roma population in Romania. At least 10 % of the total budget of the programme shall support projects that will improve the situation of the Roma population.
Up to €3 million shall be allocated to projects in the area of renewable energy.
Cooperation is key
All projects will all have a Romanian project promoter and a partner from Iceland, Liechtenstein and/or Norway.
The objective of the programme is to enhance research-based knowledge development in Romania through research cooperation between Romania and the EEA States Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.