EECA Cluster overview

The Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) ICT cluster was an initiative supported by the European Commission under the Information and Communication Technologies Thematic area of the 7th Framework Programme (FP7-ICT). It aimed at enabling:

  • exploration of new opportunities for ICT R&D collaboration among researchers from the EU and the EECA countries
  • diffusion of information about research activities under FP7-ICT.

The EECA cluster was the joint effort 3 complementary FP7-ICT support actions (ISTOK-SOYUZ, SCUBE-ICT and EXTEND). The targeted countries were: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The Cluster implemented a wide range of diversified activities aiming to:

  • Increase awareness on EU-funded research activities under the FP7-ICT in the EECA region, through:
    • The initiation of dialogue with extensive ICT R&D communities in the EECA countries to indentify their research strengths and competencies
    • The organisation of info-days and training sessions in all EECA countries to share insight on emerging opportunities under FP7-ICT
    • The setting up an online Help Desk to offer guidance and support related to the procedures of participation in FP7-ICT
    • The provision of hands-on support to EECA researchers towards their involvement in EU-funded projects
    • The creation of a web portal acting as an on-line source of information
  • Improve visibility of ICT R&D organizations and specialists from EECA countries on the European arena and stimulate collaboration with their EU counterparts, through:
    • The creation of an on-line database (Competence Platform) for the promotion of the research interests and achievements of prominent ICT R&D organisations and experts
    • The organisation of networking activities in EU and the EECA countries to enable face-to-face discussions between researchers from the 2 regions to explore their future collaboration potential
    • The exploitation of the Cluster partners' wide network of contacts in EU
    • The integration of EECA organisations into relevant European Technology Platforms
    • The organisation of a promotion-publicity campaign informing both EU and EECA researchers on the benefits of their collaboration
  • Support the policy dialogue between the EU and EECA countries, contributing to the setting up of joint initiatives enhancing their ICT R&D collaboration, through:
    • The identification and analysis of the ICT research priorities in the EECA countries

    • The identification of key ICT areas of mutual interest that may result to substantial socio-economic benefits and impact for all regions.
    • The organisation of a series of policy/consultation meetings providing an open discussion forum for the exchange of ideas on future indicative action plan to strengthen collaboration between the EU and the EECA region.