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Creating R&D Capacities – Conference held in Oxford

Oxford. The famous English University of Oxford was the hosting institution for a project meeting and several workshops that took place in the frame of the Tempus IV project “Creating R&D Capacities” from the 22nd to the 23rd March 2010 in the honorable university town in Oxfordshire.

The town of Oxford hosts one of the most respected and well known universities in England, not to say in Europe. In a city where nearly every single building has a long standing history and tradition the preconditions for knowledge transfer and experience exchange couldn’t be any better. The Tempus IV Project “Creating R&D Capacities and Instruments for boosting Higher Education Economy Co-operations” was the reason why partners from all over Europe (Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro) attended a project meeting at the University of Oxford.

This project meeting opened up the possibilities for all involved partners to meet each other once more after a conference held in Sarajevo half a year ago and to discuss and plan the next step for the project implementation activities. Consequently the first day of the meeting was used to update all partners on the results that have been achieved so far. For instance, a self-assessment report on the current R&D situation at each Partner Country University had been successfully conducted and finalized. So called R&D Service Center Manger, the persons who are responsible to develop and implement a coherent R&D strategy at their university, had been hired at the four Partner Country Universities (University of Montenegro, University of Prishtina, University of Sarajevo as well as the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje).  Furthermore, several training visits and workshops lead by EU experts for the R&D Service Center staff had been conducted so far.

But the meeting in Oxford was not only used to discuss and wrap-up past activities, it also enabled the project partners to plan concrete next steps: The project implementation phase now calls for the development of appropriate services and instruments for the R&D Service Centers and their staff. Therefore the second day of the meeting was held in the form of workshops that addressed topics such as networking activities with important stakeholders (e.g. other universities and the industry), the development of a R&D database as well as of appropriate consultancy, fundraising and project management skills. These workshops proved to be a real success that shed precise work plans on the next activities that ought to be undertaken in the coming year of the project implementation.

Drawing from an evaluation conducted in the course of the meeting it can be said that a vast majority of the project partners were highly satisfied with the results of the meeting and the different workshops. The meeting not only gave all partners an update about the progress of the overall project but also fixed the next steps that will have to be undertaken. Furthermore, it opened up the possibility to exchange experiences and elaborate together new ideas for the implementation of the project.

Once again, WUS Austria wants to thank all involved partner for their valuable contributions to the meeting and their commitment to push the project further. Besides, WUS Austria especially wants to thank the University of Oxford and its staff for their very heartily welcome and their generous hospitality.

If you like to know more about the Tempus Project “R&D Capacities” and its aims and goals please visit the project’s webpage here.