Boosting EU-Ukraine cooperation in the field of Superhard Materials (GA No 295003)

Logo of the project "START"

Funding Source

European Commission – DG Research and Innovation


FP7 – “Capacities”


November 2011 – July 2014 (33 months)

Total budget



Q-PLAN role




START aimed at reinforcing the collaboration among research teams from the EU and Ukraine active in the domain of High Pressure Physics and Technology and its application areas in the various thematic areas of FP7 / HORIZON2020, with special focus on the field of Superhard Materials. To do so, START oriented its activities in supporting the V.N. Bakul Institute for Superhard Materials of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (ISM):

  1. Develop a medium-to-long term “Research Strategy” to address the scientific/ technological trends and emerging socio-economic challenges by:
  • analysing the Institute’s research capacity (i.e. fields of excellence, main achievements, research infrastructure, areas of interest);
  • identifying emerging opportunities (i.e. scientific/technological trends and socio-economic challenges);
  • suggesting specific actions to strengthen ISM’s international collaborations.
  1. Increase its visibility among EU leading research actors by implementing a set of “twinning with EU research centres activities” towards the design and set up joint R&D activities, namely:
  • delegation tours and demonstrations to facilitate direct discussions towards the design of joint R&D activities among ISM and leading EU research teams;
  • research Internships to carry out joint experiments;
  • scientific seminars to facilitate the exchange of scientific knowledge and best practices.
  1. Advance its competitiveness towards its participation in EU funded research activities under FP7 and HORIZON2020, by designing and organising a number of well focused “FP7 training activities”:
  • 2-days “training workshops” to share insight into the rules and procedures that apply in EU funded collaborative research activities;
  • 5-days “intensive training courses” to engage the Institute’s researchers into in a learning-by-doing exercise in proposal preparation procedure;
  • 2-weeks “on-the-job training” activities to prepare and submit FP7 proposals.

The project activities supported ISM:

  • build long-term collaborations with leading EU research teams;
  • enhance its capacity towards its participation in EU-funded collaborative research activities.

The ultimate goal was to boost the production of scientific knowledge and have a positive influence on the global science and technology agenda, while addressing Ukraine’s as well as the Eastern Europe and South Caucasus region’s emerging socio-economic needs and challenges.

Q-PLAN responsibilities

  • Support to project management
  • EU-funded technical assistance and institutional capacity building
  • Analysis of ISM support needs by mapping its research competencies to the international scientific and technological trends
  • Support to the elaboration of ISM’s research strategy, including a concrete action plan, to further strengthen its international partnerships and research collaborations
  • Elaboration of a monitoring and validation mechanism to ensure early identification of emerging opportunities and potential threats and take corrective actions if necessary
  • Organisation of the intensive training courses
  • Development of the training material, including the intensive courses curriculum and assignments
  • Promotion of ISM scientific excellence into their EU counterparts