27.07.2016 | Cluj Napoca, Romania

NoGAP Final Conference – Bridging the gap between research and innovation in EU and Eastern Partner countries

The importance of international cooperation for better technology transfer between science and industry was underlined by all speakers at the NoGAP Final Conference in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, on 27 July 2016.

Participants at the NoGAP Finaly Conference on the twentyseventh of July twentysixteen Participants at the NoGAP Final Conference in Cluj Napoca on 27 July 2016 | © DLR, Birgit Ditgens

The conference gathered together the coordinators of all R2I INCO projects targeting Eastern Partner Countries, as well as representatives from several other projects in the field. Partners from NoGAP talked about their experiences with twinning activities in the projects and presented first results and impacts. More than 50 participants from 13 countries all over the European Union and the Eastern Partnership attended the event.

Opening speech by Professor Daniela Popescu Opening speech by Professor Daniela Popescu | © DLR, Birgit Ditgens

The conference was opened by Professor Daniela Popescu, Vice-Rector of the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca and host of the conference, and by Professor Norbert Höptner, Commissioner for Europe of the Ministry of Economics of Baden Württemberg and Director of Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum, the coordinating institution. Both speakers stressed the importance of transnational collaboration for the creation of a favourable environment for technology transfer. The Danube Transfer Centers (DTC) which operate in several locations in the Danube Region (DTC Cluj-Napoca & DTC Bucharest (Romania), DTC Bratislava & DTC Nitra (Slovakia,) DTC Novi Sad (Serbia), DTC Maribor (Slovenia), DTC Vukovar (Croatia), DTC Pannon (Hungary) and DTC Ruse (Bulgaria)) are good examples how best practices can be transferred across borders for the benefit of SMEs, academia and society in general.

Simina Fulga speaking at the conference
Simina Fulga (Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation)
Daniela Chiran speaking at the conference
Daniela Chiran, Coordinator of NoGAP (Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum)
Eden Mamut speaking at the conference
Eden Mamut (Ovidius University of Constantza)
all: © DLR, Birgit Ditgens

After an introduction into the project structure by the coordinators Daniela Chiran and Robert Gohla from Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum, two presentations introduced the potentials deriving from macro-regional strategies: Hicham Abghay from Steinbeis-Europe Zentrum presented the new project DanuBalt, which aims at connecting the Danube Region and the Baltic Sea Region in the field of innovation in Health Care. Professor Eden Mamut from the Ovidius University of Constantza presented the broad range of activities by the Black Sea Universities Network. New opportunities arise from the Danube Transnational Programme, as well as from clustering activities.

Simina Fulga from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA) explained the specific approach to technology transfer applied by the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, which uses several channels to bring scientific discoveries to the market, from contract research over patents and licenses up to joint research projects with industrial partners.

Panel at the country session on Georgia and Slovakia Country session on Georgia and Slovakia: Klaudia Tvergyak, coordinator of R2I Innover East project (Bay Zoltan), Zuzana Lajdova (Slovak University of Agriculture), and George Giorgobani (Georgian Technical University) | © DLR, Birgit Ditgens

The second part of the conference was dedicated to the discussion of country experiences from twinning activities in the NoGAP projects. Twinning took place between institutions in Georgia ans Slovakia, Ukraine and Romania as well as between Belarus and Germany. Coordinators from R2I projects InnoverEast , SUAFRI EPC  and SECURE R2I complemented these presentations with insights from their projects. Generally, twinning was considered an excellent instrument by all participants, which generates good relationships between institutions and leads to some tangible results. For example, the twinning between the Georgian Technical University in Tbilissi and the Slovak University of Agriculture (SUA) in Nitra in the frame of NoGAP lead to some results: Ideas are discussed how a research center similar to the new research center AgroBioTech at SUA can be established in Georgia. 2 Memoranda of Understanding have been signed between Slovak Agriculture University and 2 Georgian universities: Georgian Technical University and Georgian Agriculture University. Trust and communication were considered essential for successful twinning activities. The R2I coordinators, who supported comparable activities, supported this point of view. This bottom-up driven approach should be pursued further in the future.

audience at the conference Impression from the NoGAP Final Conference | © DLR, Birgit Ditgens

To complement this view with some experiences from more policy-oriented projects, Oliver Rohde from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Philipp Brugner from the Center for Social Innovation (ZSI) gave some examples from other INCO-Projects targeting countries from the Eastern Partnership, the Danube Region and the Black Sea Region. Prominent examples are Danube Inco-Net, Inco-Net EaP, Black Sea Horizon and the RI Links 2 UA, successor of BILAT UKR*AINA.

As a conclusion, the support for technology transfer and innovation across borders should target all levels: the micro-level of cooperation between institutions, the cooperation in the frame of macro-regions such as the Black Sea region, as well as the cooperation on European level. Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of innovation, stakeholders looking for support should look beyond Horizon 2020 and search for synergies with other instruments, from regional policy and structural funds as well as thematically oriented programs.

participants with info bags Impression from the NoGAP Final Conference | © DLR, Birgit Ditgens


  1. Overview of activities of the NoGAP project
    Daniela Chiran (NoGAP Coordinator, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum)/ Robert Gohla (Senior Project Manager, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum)
  2. New Opportunities for collaboration between the Danube & Baltic Sea Macro Regions
    Hicham Abghay (Coordinator DanuBalt, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum)
  3. Bridging the gap between university research and innovation in the Black Sea Region: Study on Cluster MEDGreen specialized on ecotechnologies and alternative energy sources and new opportunities from the Black Sea Transnational Programme
    Prof. Dr. Eden Mamut (Institute for Nanotechnologies & Alternative Sources of Energy"Ovidius" University of Constantza)
  4. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft - bridge for innovation
    Simina Fulga (Project Manager, Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation)
  5. Country experiences: Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Slovakia
    Dr. George Giorgobani (Georgian Technical University)/ Dr. Zuzana Lajdova (Slovak University of Agriculture, Nitra)
  6. Innover East
    Klaudia Klara Tvergyak (Coordinator InnoverEast, Bay Zoltán Nonprofit Ltd. for Applied Research, Hungary)
  7. Country experiences: Ukraine, Moldova and Romania
    Prof. Sergey Shukayev (National Technical University of Ukraine “Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”)/
    Dr. Gabriel Vladut (IPA Craiova)
  8. Secure R2I
    Julien Sudre (Coordinator Secure R2I, Intelligentsia Consultants, Luxembourg)
  9. Country experiences: Belarus and Germany
    Robert Gohla (Senior Project Manager, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum)/ Dr. Aleksander Uspensky (Republican Centre for Technology Transfer Belarus)
    Flavien Massi (Coordinator SUAFRI EPC, Intelligentsia Consultants, Luxembourg)
  11. NoGAP: Project outcomes
    Daniela Chiran (Coordinator NoGAP, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum)
  12. Creating synergies in the European Neighbourhood
    Oliver Rohde (Senior Scientific Officer, German Aerospace Center)
  13. Conclusions and outlook for future cooperation in the Eastern Partnership Region -
    experiences from mutual Science, Technology & Innovation projects with the region
    Philipp Brugner (Project Manager, Center for Social Innovation (ZSI))

On 27 July 2016, the NoGAP project held its Final Conference in Cluj Napoca, Romania. In their function as editors of the NoGAP website, DLR agreed to upload the presentations held during this event on this website for download in pdf format subject to the express consent of the speakers concerned. DLR, as the uploading entity, has not monitored the contents of these presentations in any way. In case of incorrect contents, copyright infringements or other violations of the law, please contact Mr Oliver Rohde, DLR Project Management Agency, European and International Cooperation, oliver.rohde@dlr.de. Any offending material will be removed immediately.

© BMBF 09/19/2016 13:59 - All rights reserved.