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Deepening east-west knowledge transfer


As a bridge between western and eastern Europe, ENERGIA’s International Cooperation Network promotes knowledge transfer about information and communication technologies (ICT) in both emergent and traditional sectors.

The network was formed to promote knowledge transfer between five eastern European countries (Bulgaria, Georgia, Poland, Romania and Russia) and five EU countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece and Italy) and later extended to include the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The network promoted the aims of the project through awareness actions, industrial alliances, initiatives and micro-economic projects.

With funding from the IST programme the 13 partners in ENERGIA determined the political and economic priorities for east-west cooperation through a Desk Study and the Delphi Study, which focused on identifying the economic and industrial collaboration perspectives, and priorities related to ICT.

For the former candidate countries, knowledge transfer focused on administrative and industrial fields where changes to ways of working were necessary to comply with EU methods and standards.

For others, the knowledge transfer was aimed at forming strategic partnerships, subcontracting policies, education programmes and the development of a framework to foster e-commerce and e-business transactions. The project successfully identified areas where concrete cooperation could be taken on by the ENERGIA network and the European Commission.

It became clear that for better collaboration to take place, it is essential that western and eastern actors get to know each other better and remove stereotyped clichés. Project manager Alison Garnier-Rivers, European Project Manager at ADEC explains: "One of the most important aspects of this was spending time in each of the countries to get a true feeling of the political, economic and cultural realities. This was particularly beneficial for the younger project members."

Project results were disseminated through seven workshops in each of the eastern countries, with a conference held in Strasbourg at the European Parliament in December 2002. More than 800 delegates, including decision makers and local enterprises, attended the conference cycle.

At the end of the project, a number of potential cooperative projects were identified, which the partners hope could be eligible for further funding. The International Cooperation Network is still active in some countries and project partners keep in touch. Countries involved in the network are France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Poland.

Alison Garnier-Rivers
European Project Manager
ADEC (Association pour le Développement des Entreprises et des Compétences)
37 rue des d’Engwiller
F-67350 La Walck
Tel: +33-3-88-72-29-10

Tara Morris | IST Results
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