Seventh MED-SPRING E-Newsletter

Mediterranean Science, Policy, Research & Innovation Gateway


The Mediterranean Science, Policy, Research and Innovation Gateway (MED-SPRING) is a Coordination Action financed by the INCO-Net instrument under the FP7 - Capacities Programme. The aim of the Project is to contribute to the quality of the Euro-Mediterranean research area, with a particular focus on the bi-regional Euro-Mediterranean S&T cooperation, research and innovation, policy dialogue and cooperation monitoring.




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Dear readers, welcome to the seventh issue of the MED-SPRING E-Newsletter, which has the purpose of informing about our activities and involving researchers, stakeholders, policy makers and governmental officers in a renewed strategy for the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, with a particular focus on the Euro-Mediterranean Science and Technology Cooperation.


Keep an eye on AGORA MED-SPRING

Our recent activities

MED-SPRING multi-task event - MED-SPRING and ERANETMED projects organized a multi-task event in Beirut, Lebanon, from May 27th to 29th 2015. Several workshops were organized: The first one was on “Presentation of final results on the mapping on research programs and infrastructures”, the second workshop, on “Strategic Research Agenda and Awareness meeting", the third one on ERANETMED funding agencies of MPCs and the ERANETMED extended session on wrap-up and perspectives, and finally the “MED-SPRING Session: policy, societal challenges and cooperation observatory". Read more.

Our coming activities

MED-SPRING Euro-Mediterranean Observatories meeting on Indicators - On November 5th, 2015 MED-SPRING will organize the third meeting of Euro-Mediterranean Observatories, hosted by IRD - Marseille in collaboration with CNRS Lebanon. The aim of the event is to discuss and agree a possible set of indicators of water quality monitoring. Read more.

Third EMEG meeting "A frame for a comprehensive understanding of water-energy-food nexus" - The 3rd EMEG meeting will be organized in Malta from 30 September to 2 October 2015, and hosted by the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST). It will focus on the development of “A frame for a comprehensive understanding of water-food-energy nexus”. Read more.


Also in the pipeline!

FAO white paper on water and food security - This new White paper, prepared by FAO and the World Water Council, aims to provide policy-makers with a helpful overview of the technical and economic aspects of water use in agriculture, with particular emphasis on crop and livestock production. Through 2050, in many countries, agriculture will remain an important determinant of economic growth, poverty reduction, and food security, even as, over time, the proportion of agricultural revenue in national gross income declines. Read more.

Common Water Strategy of 5+5 Dialogue Countries Adopted in Algiers - Water Ministers of the countries of Western Mediterranean (5+5) and their representatives adopted last March 31th, 2015 in Algiers, the common strategy of water, marking the effective start of the Euro-Maghreb dialogue in this sector. This strategy, intended to implement a common approach in terms of addressing waterrelated concerns, was adopted by all the ten countries of the northern and southern shores of the western Mediterranean attending the ministerial conference of 5+5 Dialogue, held in Algiers. The works of this ministerial conference were held under the joint chairmanship of Algeria and Spain which initiated the 5+5 Dialogue. Read more.

Focus on regional cooperation in the Mediterranean: five new projects labelled by the UfM - The Senior Officials of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) member states met for the sixth time in December 2014 in Barcelona. Five new projects promoting young people employability, job opportunities, entrepreneurship, urban sustainable development and water management transparency were approved, in particular “Water Integrity in MENA”. Promoted by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), this project aims to improve transparency and accountability practices in water management in the MENA region by addressing poor governance structures. The first phase will be implemented over a 4-year period in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. Read more.



Meet our partners: Conseil National de la Recherche Scientifique at Lebanon - CNRSL

The National Council for Scientific Research at Lebanon (CNRS-L) is a public institution established in 1962 and assigned with the task of formulating national science and technology policy, initiating, guiding, supporting and conducting scientific research programmes and activities in Lebanon. It advises the Government on all science and technology issues. The CNRS conducts research through its specialised centres and supports research projects having an impact on the socio-economic development of the country. The CNRS is a public autonomous institution reporting directly to the President of the Council of Ministers. It is administered by a Board of Administration and a General Secretariat. The general director is Prof. Mouin Hamze and our contact for the project is Dr. Rula Atweh. It has two major functions:

  • Advisory Function: The CNRS draws the general outline of the National Science Policy and formulates proposals and suggestions to the government and carries out surveys and inventories of on-going research activities in private and public institutions in the country.
  • Executive Function: Consists basically in the implementation of the National Science Policy. To achieve this objective, the CNRS initiates, encourages and coordinates research. In addition, it leads and organizes scientific research activities within its defined work programs.


The objectives of CNRS are to draw the general outline of a national science and research policy, to advise the government on any issue concerning science and national science policy, to carry out surveys and inventories of on-going research, to formulate work programs in cooperation with the concerned ministries and the private sector and to initiate and encourage scientific research in the theoretical and applied aspects of basic, social and behavioral sciences.

The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) for Lebanon was launched on Thursday April 27, 2006 at the Grand Serail of Beirut in an official ceremony organized by the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) under the auspices and in the presence of H.E. the President of the Council of Ministers, Mr. Fouad Siniora with the participation of H.E. the Director-General of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Mr. Koichiro Matsuura. This Policy is based on cooperation between relevant government institutions, the scientific community (universities) and the private sector (industry, agriculture, services and so on).



Focus on the ERANETMED and MED-SPRING projects multitask event

A multi-task event was organized in the framework of the ERANETMED and MED-SPRING projects in Beirut on 27, 28 and 29 May 2015. The content focuses on conclusions and recommendations that highlighted how the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation on research can be developed, and achieve a higher degree of sustainability, through a strategy for project joint activities and the design of a strategic research agenda, the product of a common endeavor of both Member States (MS) and Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs), that goes beyond ERANET. MED-SPRING aims at contributing to the quality of Euro-Mediterranean research area, with a particular focus on bi-regional R&I cooperation and policy dialogue on three societal challenges: water, food, energy.

Within the multi-task event in Beirut, Med-Spring has organized a meeting of Euro-Mediterranean Observatories, as a specific activity of WP8. The multi-task meeting aimed to:

  • Present the results on the mapping on research programs in MS and MPCs to enhance institutional and financial synergies at the regional level, identify existing complementarities to avoid overlap and facilitate synergy, identify topics with a potential for a joint approach, mobilize critical mass.
  • Present the results of the mapping of research infrastructures in the MS and MPCs to find ways to maximise their use identifying synergies with research programmes.
  • Propose research topics for the 2nd ERANETMED call, ensuring consistency and building on current knowledge and strengths;
  • Present the roadmap and a framework leading to the preparation of the Euro-Mediterranean long-term Strategic Agenda on Research and Innovation.
  • Increase awareness for the long-term, sustainable Euro-Mediterranean cooperation
  • Identify and discuss synergies to be developed to support Euro-Mediterranean Observatories cooperation and networking , including the identification of common indicators


As far as ERANETMED is concerned, the outcomes of the presentations were also enriched by the plenary discussions that followed and involved different perspectives and country/regional specific requests expressed by the participant MPCs and stakeholders concerning, specifically, common research challenges and themes to be addressed by joint activities and long term prospects for Euro-Mediterranean cooperation on research. The following outcomes resulted from the presentations and related discussions:

  • Agriculture (including Food security), Water, Environmental research, Energy, Biotechnology and Biology, Engineering, Healthcare, Socio-Economic issues appear as the topics mostly addressed by FP7 research programmes.
  • Considering the interconnections among some domains it would be important as well as innovative to focus and address the NEXUS among some of them, when designing a new research call.
  • Common pressures are environmental, lack of water and sanitation, desertification, competition of different uses in coastal zones, lack of innovation.
  • There is shared interest in a possible focus on coastal zones, considered an example of Euro-Med research laboratory due to the multiple pressures they are exposed to, always in consideration of the different framework conditions.
  • Climate is an important issue and, if considered as a cross cutting issue, would bring value to the line programmes.
  • Tourism is a common issue, to be taken under consideration especially when it is related to coastal zones (it represents both a pressure and an opportunity).
  • The research domains where infrastructures in the Mediterranean countries are more developed are Environment, Engineering, Life science, Energy, Material Sciences. However, there is a need to explore in a more detailed and specific way what infrastructures are related to what precise areas of research, as the fields mentioned are quite broad and include several sub-fields.
  • ERANETMED 1st call has been a success and paves the way to more joint initiatives in ERANETMED.
  • Mobility and capacity building are considered a crucial part in the development of research cooperation.
  • Most active Euro-Mediterranean Observatories manifested their willingness to reinforce their linkages and to identify a common list of monitoring indicators on relevant domains (e.g. “water”).

According to the above outcomes the following recommendations were agreed:

  • To reduce fragmentation of research initiatives, it is advisable to consider the Nexus as a viable research approach, considering an appropriate intervention logic based on common pressures, problems and needs. It is important to continue to address the Nexus among water, energy and food.
  • Mobility and capacity building request a specific attention in research cooperation.
  • Connection between research and infrastructures must be ensured, particularly with observatories, to promote data sharing and knowledge with a systematic perspective and using the same standards. Access of MPCs to EU consolidated infrastructures must be facilitated.
  • The outcome of the first ERANETMED call must be taken into consideration as it provides operational inputs related to the identification of research needs.
  • Civil society awareness must be raised more and in a more effective and structured way. Dialogue must be established and fed in making it sustainable.
  • Joint programming initiatives research themes should be approached at a regional level. Wider partnerships would also attract more established experts.
  • A Research Strategic Agenda is an important instrument to strengthen joint programming and convey the importance of research in cooperation and development in the region at policy level. It will capitalize on the existing background and received inputs, as well as the outcomes of the 1st call. It will also provide inputs for the 2nd ERANETMED call. It must be promptly drafted to contribute to a long-term, sustainable Euro-Mediterranean cooperation on R&I and convey the importance of research in cooperation and development in the region at policy level.
  • An ad-hoc meeting of Euro-Mediterranean Observatories should be organized under the umbrella of Med-Spring as pilot initiative for the alignment of their activities and the identification of common indicators.


Please find the results for the first eranetmed call:

















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