Overview

Context:

The 36-month INNOVER-EAST project targets five countries of the Eastern Partnership of the European Union (in short, EPCs: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine) to overcome the bottlenecks of innovation and intensify thel evel of cooperation between research and business in the target countries. The project aims, on one hand, to develop new skills and competences in innovation services at relevant organisations in the above countries, and on the other hand, to contribute to the learning process on how to bridge knowledge and business with a direct focus on energy efficiency.
INNOVER-EAST targets an area which is highly prioritised in all of the targeted EPCs, being on the top of strategies both in economic and energy policies. All countries are active in energy efficiency and - based on activities of the past decade, largely due to assistance programs provided by major international players - have gathered experience how to approach these challenges. Innovation, as an opportunity forsolution is well-known, but it has not been given too much emphasis so far. Therefore the concept of INNOVER-EAST brings new ways of tackling the challenges of energy efficiency in the targeted EPCs.

Objective:

The main objective of the project is to bridge effectively the gap between research and innovation; between researchers and business; and between EU and the targeted Eastern Partnership countries (EPCs) in the field of energy efficiency.

This main objective will be achieved by targeting the following specific objectives:

• Objective 1: Capacity building on innovation services in the targeted EPCs for assisting both researchers and businesses in improving their performance to transfer technologies and knowledge from academy to industry/market. Special attention will be given to start-ups and other innovative SMEs.
• Objective 2: Paving the way for a more effective commercialization and market uptake process of innovative products and solutions in the targeted EPCs.
• Objective 3: Facilitating the policy dialogue between the EU, EU Member States, Associated Countries and the targeted EPCs, and in particular inside the targeted EPCs, on innovation related to energy efficiency.
• Objective 4: Building and developing capabilities at nationall evel in the targeted EPCs among all stakeholders in the innovation value chain on energy efficiency, including academy, industry, government, innovation financing (private and public) and bridging (service provider) organisations.
• Objective 5: Improving and facilitating the networking activities of innovation actors (academy, industry, NGOs, intermediary service providers) between the EPC region and Europe (Member States and Associated Countries) and promoting investment related to innovation in the EPCs.

Activities:

• Five national reports on the “Status of innovation in energy efficiency, 2015”, validated by professional community of energy efficiency innovation at national level;
• Methodological handbook for running the national analysis, approved by the consortium and tested by the INNOVER-EAST project;
• 3 training courses with the participation of 30 trainees/course from the targeted EPCs;
• Service guidelines approved and accepted by the consortium and tested by the pilot phase of service provision;
• 5 short term twinning visits from organisations in the targeted EPCs to EU Member State/Associated Country organisations and 5 visits from EU twins to EPCs;
• 10 letters of intent signed by research and business organisations on exploitation of research results;
• Policy document titled “How to improve innovation in energy efficiency in the EPCs. Policy recommendations; 2017” validated by the professional community of energy efficiency innovation in both the EU and the targeted EPCs;
• 5 national brokerage events with at least 30 participants in each EPC;
• 1 regional brokerage event with at least 50 participants from business, SMEs, academy and other research, policy makers and other administrative actors from the EPCs, other Eastern European and Central Asian (EECA) countries and EU Member State/Associated Countries.

The INNOVER-EAST project is funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union.