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Monday, 09 June 2008 12:14

 

About the initiative Mission and objectives

 

EUREKA is a pan-European network for market-oriented, industrial R&D.

 

Created as an intergovernmental Initiative in 1985, EUREKA aims to enhance European competitiveness through its support to businesses, research centres and universities who carry out pan-European projects to develop innovative products, processes and services.

 

Through its flexible and decentralised Network, EUREKA offers project partners rapid access to a wealth of knowledge, skills and expertise across Europe and facilitates access to national public and private funding schemes.

 

The internationally recognised EUREKA label adds value to a project and gives participants a competitive edge in their dealings with financial, technical and commercial partners.

 

Through a EUREKA project, partners develop new technologies for which they agree the Intellectual Property Rights and build partnerships to penetrate new markets.

 

The EUREKA Clusters play a key role in building European competitiveness, driving European standards and the interoperability of products in a wide range of sectors. The result is a clear demonstration of the strength of pan-European teamwork in the European Research Area.

 

The EUREKA Umbrellas are thematic networks which focus on a specific technology area or business sector. The main goal of an Umbrella is to facilitate the generation of EUREKA projects in its own target area.

 

Each year hundreds of individual projects are initiated by European companies, an increasing number of which are SMEs. These contribute to improved wellbeing, security, environment and employment in Europe and beyond.

 

Each year the EUREKA Lillehammer Award is given to a project that has demonstrated its outstanding contribution to the environment. The EUREKA Lynx Award goes to the SME that has achieved or expects to achieve a significant increase in turnover as a result of participation in a EUREKA project.

 

By encouraging and assisting businesses to innovate, the EUREKA Initiative complements the European Union's Framework Programme in working actively towards the common European objective of raising investment in R&D to 3% of GDP by 2010.

 

EUREKA’s main results are summarised in the Initiative’s Annual Report.

 

Others information is possible to obtain at the web-site http://www.eureka.be/about.do

 

 

Structure

 

EUREKA currently counts 38 full members.

 

EUREKA’s organisational structure is composed of the following main bodies

 

The Ministerial Conference (MC) is a biennial meeting of ministers from each EUREKA member country and a Commissioner from the European Commission. The MC is the political body of EUREKA and, during these meetings, ministers lay down political guidelines and officially announce the new EUREKA projects endorsed during the Chairmanship year. Ministers also take decisions on the further development of EUREKA and give approval on the admission or dismissal of members.

 

An Interparliamentary Conference (IPC) takes place alternate years with the MC. The IPC raises the public awareness of EUREKA’s role and possibilities and makes recommendations on strategic issues to be presented to ministers.

 

The Chairmanship country hosts the MC or IPC. The Chairmanship of EUREKA rotates between member countries on a yearly basis and each mandate runs from July to June the following year. The role of the Chair is to sustain the momentum of the work of EUREKA, to organise the MC or IPC, as well as High-Level Group, Executive Group and National Project Coordinator meetings, which it also chairs. It implements the three-year rolling programme of the Initiative in cooperation with the previous and future Chairs (known as the ‘Troika’). The Chair represents EUREKA externally. It agrees with the EUREKA Secretariat the level of support this latter should provide to the Chair and incorporates this into the ESE’s business plan.

 

The High-Level Group (HLG) is the key decision-marking body of EUREKA and meets three times a year. Each EUREKA member appoints a representative to this group, which endorses new EUREKA projects, takes decisions on the management of EUREKA as well as preparing new EUREKA policy discussions for the MC. The ministry responsible for EUREKA in each member country generally names its High-Level Representative (HLR).

 

The Executive Group (EG) is a small group comprising members from the Troika countries (past, present & future Chairs), plus others representing a balance of EUREKA members, whose role is to act as an executive body on behalf of the HLG, to whom it reports. A member of the European Commission is also invited to attend EG meetings. In addition to its role of implementation of the decisions taken by the HLG, the EG is responsible for debating key issues of policy, deciding on issues delegated by the HLG, as well as advising successive Chairs. The EG meets at least eight times a year.

 

National Project Coordinators (NPCs) are at operational level, running the National EUREKA Offices. They are the direct contact with project participants – and potential project participants - in each member country. NPCs facilitate the setting-up and running of a project and are responsible for project generation, national and international support and follow-up. Given the NPC’s role in the core activities of EUREKA, their meetings, four or five times annually, are a good forum for exchange of experiences and discussions on best practice.

 

EUREKA Clusters are longer-term, strategically significant industrial initiatives. They usually have a large number of participants, and aim to develop generic technologies of key importance for European competitiveness, primarily in ICT and, more recently, in energy and biotechnology. Initiated by industry in close collaboration with national funding authorities, each Cluster has a technological 'roadmap', defining its most important strategic domains.

 

The EUREKA Umbrellas are thematic networks which focus on a specific technology area or business sector. The main goal of an Umbrella is to facilitate the generation of EUREKA projects in its own target area.

 

The EUREKA Secretariat (ESE) in Brussels is an international association which acts as the central support unit for the Initiative. The ESE manages the EUREKA project database and undertakes marketing, communications and network-development activities. It is also responsible for the collection and dissemination of information on projects and on EUREKA – and promotes the EUREKA philosophy, in cooperation with the Chair and the National Offices.

 

The Executive Board (EB) has the same members as the EG and is the sole responsible body for the management of the ESE.

 

The General Assembly (GA) is the highest-level body of the ESE. It is vested with all the powers necessary to perform the objectives of this association.

 

In addition to the full members, two countries participate in EUREKA projects through a network of National Information Points (NIPs). As well as preparing these countries for full EUREKA membership, the NIP-status was set up to provide industry and research institutes with an easy interface with EUREKA and to facilitate participation in projects. The affiliation known as Associated Country Status was initiated as part of EUREKA’s strategy to enhance cooperation with countries outside of Europe judged to have scientific and research potential.

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 09 June 2008 13:12
 

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