EUREKA! Ministerial Conference round up

July 9, 2002

Brussels, 08 July 2002

Ministers from EUREKA network’s 33 member countries plus a Commission representative met for the annual Ministerial Conference last week in Thessaloniki to conclude the Hellenic Chair and discuss the network’s role in the European Research Area (ERA).

EUREKA, a European network for market-oriented R&D, confirmed during the Hellenic Chair 171 new projects, two ‘umbrella’ schemes (Eurocare and Eurolearn) and 33 new sub-projects worth an estimated €1 313 million. This takes the total number of ongoing projects supported by EUREKA to 713. Two new members, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Cyprus, were welcomed at the Conference, and Morocco has been offered ‘associate status’ – allowing non-European Mediterranean countries access to public R&D funding under the EUREKA initiative. Awards were also handed out during the proceedings.

The EUREKA Lillehammer Award 2002 for outstanding contributions to Europe’s environment and sustainability went to the project ‘Care Electronic Materials and Ageing’, while the EUREKA Lynx Award for SMEs whose participation in a EUREKA project contributed to a 25% or more increase in turnover went to the Dutch company, Contronics Engineering B.V..

A new ERA for EUREKA
The past year under the Hellenic Chair has also seen increased collaboration between EUREKA and the Commission’s Innovation Relay Centres (IRCs), complementing the broader aims of the ERA. “We have made good progress in determining EUREKA’s role in the ERA,” remarked EUREKA member Dimitrios Deniozos, Hellenic Secretary General for Development. The key areas earmarked for closer collaboration include combining financial support under the Sixth Framework Programme with EUREKA’s national support scheme, common use of instruments and networks (i.e. through IRCs), and regular meetings to encourage R&D information exchange.


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