Within the framework of the CANA-CNRS Project on “Establishing Monitoring and Sustainable Development of the Lebanese Sea” co-financed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/General Directorate for Development Cooperation and the National Council for Scientific Research in Lebanon (CNRS-L); and within its planned objective of establishing institutional linkages between Lebanese and Italian institutions towards enhancing cooperative opportunities for Lebanese researchers.
On July 13, 2011 an Agreement and Cooperative Programme was signed between the National Council for Scientific Research of Lebanon (CNRS-L) and the National Research Council of Italy (CNR) towards strengthening cooperation in scientific research between the 2 countries. The agreement also included a Cooperative Programme to establish Joint Research Projects between Lebanese and Italian researchers.
The CNRS-L & the CNR look forward to an active cooperative programme, and on the basis of equality and mutual benefits, undertake to promote and support cooperation between qualified scientists in those research areas of most interest to both parties.
In accordance with the text of the Agreement on Scientific Cooperation and the Cooperative Programme signed, a yearly Call for Proposal for joint research projects is launched by CNR and CNRS-L in May.
Topics of the Call
- Marine Sciences and Biodiversity
- Management of Natural Resources
- Renewable Energy
- Food Security
* The research programme needs to be agreed on with the Italian partner (acting as co-coordinator) who should be affiliated to the CNR, to which he will submit a similar proposal, following the procedure of his/her Institution.
** For Italian researchers who are not affiliated to the CNR-Italy and wish to be coordinators/members of the research team in the third call for proposals, it is recommended that they start the procedures of affiliation to the CNR-Italy as soon as possible, in order to ensure ample time for administrative procedures.
*** Researchers already involved, as Lebanese Project Coordinators, in a running CNR-CNRS JRP accepted project; cannot be Coordinators in a new proposal; they can however be a Member of the Lebanese Team in a new proposal.
Within the aim of strengthening cooperation through implementing join activities and developing joint funding scheme, one of the main activities of the the ERANETMED project is the launching of 2 joint calls for proposals, where MS/AC and MPC partner countries cooperate and submit joint research proposals. Proposals are submitted through the online platform of the ERANETMED and are then subjected to an external and anonymous evaluation. The CNRS-L is a project partner in the ERANETMED and coordinates the ERANETMED joint call for Lebanon, performing the dual role of a project partner and a national funding agency.
First ERANETMED Joint Call (2014)
The first Joint Call for Proposals was launched in 2014 for funding joint EU-MED Research Proposals with a focus on enhancing collaborative research, innovation, capacity building, and mobility within the Euro-Mediterranean region, within the following themes:
ENERGY-WATER nexus: Applicant could also decide to address energy and water issues in the same project
- Renewable energies and energy efficiency: This theme had the overarching objective of capitalizing on local large availability of renewable sources of energy, by developing adapted packages of solutions for the sustainability of vulnerable communities, including: a) Hybrid renewable energy system integration, b) smart Micro-grids, and c) renewable energy and energy efficiency for smart and rural communities
- Water Resources Management: This theme had to be addressed in the context of global change, particularly demographic, climate, new trends of water yields and availability.
- Integrated water management from the catchment to coastal zone
- Integrated water use efficiency
- Water reuse in agriculture
- Water desalination
These themes were identified as major challenges for the area and as the pillars of scientific research and innovation throughout the Mediterranean basis.
Out of a total of 190 proposals submitted, 21 eligible proposals were submitted by Lebanese Researchers with the administrative and financial commitment of their respective institutions, as follows:
- The American University of Beirut (AUB): 6 proposals.
- CNRS-L Research Centres: 8 proposals.
- Université Saint Joseph (USJ): 2 proposals.
- University of Balamand (UoB): 1 proposal.
- Beirut Arab University (BAU): 2 proposals.
- Notre Dame University (NDU): 2 proposals.
- Université Saint Esprit du Kaslik (USEK): 2 proposals.
- Lebanese University (LU): 2 proposals.
- Lebanese American University (LAU): 1 proposal.
Following the evaluation process of the first call, three proposals were selected for Funding by the ERANETMED Funding Agencies:
- Solar Assisted Catalytic Reforming: a Hybrid Process to Transform Municipal Waste into Energy (SOL-CARE)Lebanese Researchers: Nisrine El Hassan (University of Balamand), and Maya Boutros (Lebanese University).
- Sustainable Air Conditioning Using Desiccant Membrane System (SOLCOOLDRY)Lebanese Researcher: Nesreen Ghaddar (American University of Beirut)
- Communication Systems with Renewable Energy Micro-Grid (COM-MED)” Lebanese Researcher: Ghassan Kraidy (Notre Dame University)
Second ERANETMED Joint Call (2016)
The second Joint call for Proposals was launched in 2016. The aim of this second call is to propose sustainable solutions for the environmental challenges of the Mediterranean community. Therefore, there was a need for a holistic, multi-disciplinary and comprehensive approach, which is why four research questions were established as a guiding framework, as follows:
- Land and Soil Management:including climate and drought, erosion and desertification, with a focus on socio-economic and governance aspects as well as human induced hazard and risk, and their impact on water and food resources availability.
- Renewable and Sustainable Energy: Environmentally sound systems and production at community level with a view to support sustainable use of water resources, food production and ecosystems protection.
- Climate and Demographic Change: Reducing pressure on the Environment and ecosystems through the efficient use of resources.
- Societal Dynamics and Ecosystem Variables: Relationships and complex interactions among and the transformations of resources (water, energy, food) and related supply systems.
Applicants were required to submit proposals that would have direct and tangible impact on:
- Sustainability and quality of life of targeted communities.
- Communities’ awareness and capacity to protect own local resources, environment and ecosystems.
- Improving methods, innovative approaches and governance for the mitigation of impacts on local resources and ecosystems due to natural and non-natural hazards.
Projects had to include collaborative research. Other actions more related to innovation and mobility were also strongly encouraged. Furthermore, applicants were encouraged to take into account important cross-cutting issues, particularly: socio-economic, governance, ICT and gender.
Demonstrating a high participation from Lebanese research institutions and universities, 26 eligible proposals were submitted by Lebanese researchers with the administrative and financial commitment of their respective institutions, namely:
- The American University of Beirut (AUB): 7 proposals.
- CNRS-L Research Centres: 10 proposals.
- Université Saint Joseph (USJ): 2 proposals.
- Notre Dame University (NDU): 1 proposal.
- Université Saint Esprit du Kaslik (USEK): 3 proposals.
- Lebanese University (LU): 1 proposal.
- Lebanese Agricultural Research institute (LARI): 3 proposals
- Al Manar University of Tripoli: 1 Proposal