The main aim of the EECA-2-HORIZON project was to reinforce the development of strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships in ICT between the EU and the East Europe and Central Asia (EECA) countries. The goal was to strengthen links and boost cooperation among the research and industrial communities of both regions to exploit emerging opportunities for international partnerships (under EU and EECA RTD&I programmes) and jointly address common societal challenges:
- Create a knowledge sharing and collaboration environment (“EU-EECA Virtual Collaboration Breeding Environment in ICT”) to facilitate interaction and support collaboration among ICT research and industrial actors from both regions towards the formation of strategic partnerships.
- Link and bring together leading ICT research and industrial actors from both regions in areas of mutual interest and added value for EU – EECA cooperation. This will be based on 2 pillars:
- RTD&I actors: sustainable cooperative “ICT Communities” will be created having a thematic focus (e.g. focusing on specific ICT sub-areas); and
- Technology Platforms: strengthen interaction and cooperation among ICT-oriented ETPs and similar structures and interested stakeholders from the EECA countries.
- Reciprocity in collaboration by identifying and promoting RTD&I national programmes and initiatives from the EECA countries that are open to the participation of EU research teams and/or individual researchers, with a view to support the international cooperation under these EECA programmes.
- Support dialogue between the EU and the EECA countries on enhancing their cooperation in ICT and thus contribute in shaping HORIZON2020 research orientation regarding the participation of the EECA ICT research and industrial actors.
- Organise a series of increase awareness and networking / twinning events in both regions to promote and facilitate collaboration among ICT actors.
EECA-2-HORIZON built upon the invaluable legacy in EU-EECA cooperation in ICT that was created by the PICTURE project (December 2011 – May 2014) and its preceding EECA-ICT cluster (January 2009 – June 2011) that was formed by joining forces of FP7-ICT CSAs, namely: ISTOK-SOYUZ, SCUBE-ICT and EXTEND).
EECA-2-HORIZON consortium closely collaborated with the EAST HORIZON project in the context of the “EU-EECA ICT Cluster” as both projects focused on the same region and have similar objectives.