Newsletter No. 1




Danube Transnational Project “Excellence in research, social and technological innovation” (Excellence-in-ReSTI) runs between February 2017 and July 2019. The project involves 12 partners from 9 countries in the Danube Region. The aim of this project is to promote the knowledge and skills of young project managers of research, social and technological innovation (ReSTI) projects, thus increasing their employability and the quality of projects.

This aim is achieved by developing several innovative course modules focusing on the skills closely related to the acquisition and management of R&D&I projects, which will serve as the background for a full transnational intercultural academic curriculum for young managers and administrators to be implemented in the academic year 2018/19 as a pilot course. The Danube Region does not lag behind the rest of Europe when it comes to ideas and initiatives with regard to research, social and technological innovation. Still, specific managerial skills necessary for the development and implementation of ReSTI projects are on inadequate level and need to be improved in the future.



The Excellence-in-ReSTI-KICK-OFF MEETING was held on 29th March 2017 in Vienna, Austria. This was the first project meeting with the aim of establishing a good understanding of responsibilities and a successful networking between all partners to allow a smooth implementation of all upcoming activities. The project partners were informed about the financial and project management rules, agreed on the internal processes for project management, set up the Steering Committee and discussed in detail the activities of each Work Packages, in particular the project dissemination and communication plan. Moreover, the consortium agreed upon the next steps in the first project period.



The Excellence-in-ReSTI-SYNERGY WORKSHOP RESEARCH – INNOVATION – KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY was carried out in Vienna on Thursday 30th March 2017. This workshop was initiated by the Danube-INCO.NET project and the two DTP funded projects ResInfra@DR (presented by Martin Felix Gajdusek, ZSI) and Excellence-in-ReSTI (presented by Gábor Szüdi, ZIS) The main objective was to attract and involve those organisations representing the projects funded under priority area 1 “Innovative and Socially Responsible Danube Region” in the first call of the Danube Transnational Programme, as well as other key stakeholders from academia, government and business sectors across the Danube Region, in order to stimulate a long-term dialogue and networking beyond the existing partnerships´ duration.

14 different funded DTP projects were gathering at Tech Gate for networking and seeking alliances in future activities where appropriate. To create synergies also with other partners beyond the own project consortium, is a declared intention of the DTP funding authorities (labelled as “capitalisation strategy”).All the interested participants had the chance to fill out a short project information sheet where the potential synergies with other presenting projects could be indicated. The collected 33 project information sheets will be an important added value for the ongoing capitalisation strategy initiated by the Danube Transnational Programme’s Joint Secretariat.

The Danube Region Synergy Workshop has also provided the audience with a unique chance of getting acquainted with the past endeavours, ongoing work and future plans of the policy-level stakeholders through two round table discussions, which contributed to a better understanding within the EUSDR community.



Supporting the ongoing work between Charles University (WP4 leader) and University of Applied Sciences Burgenland (WP5 leader) with regard to curriculum development and module implementation, two internal stakeholder meetings were held in May. The project team of ZSI (Gorazd Weiss, Gábor Szüdi) met with the representatives of Charles University in Prague on 19 May and with the representatives of University of Applied Sciences Burgenland in Eisenstadt on 22 May to clear the most relevant issues concerning the content and technical implementation of modules to be developed within the program. The trilateral meetings were successful in elaborating a draft curriculum consisting of 20 courses (within 5 modules), which will be discussed and further developed with the support of every project partner in the upcoming 2nd consortium meeting in Sofia from 19-20 September.




In the second half of September 2017, Excellence-In-ReSTI partners will convene for their second project management meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, hosted by partner ARC Fund.  After an intense summer, partners will discuss their first Excellence-In-ReSTI experiences, and will review the advancement in the first stage of the project. Further discussions will focus on the identification of good practices in ReSTI management within the Danube region paying specific attention to existing gaps and to opportunities for transferability within the region. These initial results will provide input to the discussions on the design of a comprehensive Excellence-In-ReSTI training and curriculum, guided by the ambition to increase the competencies and employability of ReSTI managers in the region. An important deliberation will be on the aspects of a pilot course, which will emphasize the characteristics and differences between science management, innovation management (both technical and social innovation), and will offer guidance on how to set up a research or innovation project.




[ZSI Linke Wienzeile] The Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI), the lead partner of the Excellence-in-ReSTI project, is a scientific institute founded as a non-profit association in 1988. On 1st of July 2014 the Centre for Social Innovation changed its legal basis to a non-profit ZSI GmbH. ZSI follows the model of a self-governing institution. Diversification of services and a broad spectrum of expertise guarantee the independence of the institute, its level of employment and the achievement of its purpose. Since many years ZSI works in many projects commissioned or supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy. ZSI conducts research on the social embedding and impact of all types of innovations, and contributes to the design and diffusion of socially accepted and sustainable innovations to meet social challenges. By deployment of innovative research, education, advisory services and co-ordination of networks, we create new knowledge, reflect and configure existing knowledge, evaluate measures, develop concepts and forward their implementation.

As independent and globally acting scientific institution, they are engaged in the development of theories, methodologies, instruments and measures as well as in the dissemination of a systemically conceptualized broad innovation approach. It has performed about 70 projects. It employs around 60 team members. ZSI works in science and practice, systematically linking research with application. Many ZSI-projects  transcend scientific domains, and thus are interdisciplinary. Some also include collaboration with professionals and laymen from non-scientific realms.



The Excellence-in-ReSTI project partners come from nine countries of the Danube Region: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina. The lead partner is Centre for Social Innovation, Vienna, Austria. Particular partners are in charge of specific work packages (for example, the Communication activities, Development of the Curriculum etc.). The list of project partners can be found continuing:

  • Centre for Social Innovation (Lead partner) - Austria
  • University of Applied Sciences Burgenland (ERDF partner) - Austria
  • Applied Research and Communications Fund (ERDF partner) - Bulgaria
  • Social Innovation Lab (ERDF partner) - Croatia
  • University of Ljubljana (ERDF partner) - Slovenia
  • Digitalis Jolet Nonprofit Kft. (ERDF partner) - Hungary
  • Charles University in Prague (ERDF partner) - Czech Republic
  • EuroVienna EU - consulting & management GmbH (ERDF partner) - Austria
  • University of Belgrade – Faculty of Economics (IPA partner) - Serbia
  • Ministry of economy – Directorate for Development of small and medium enterprises (IPA partner) - Montenegro
  • School of Economics and Business, University of Sarajevo (IPA partner) - Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Non-government organization World and Danube (Associated partner) - Serbia



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Programme co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA, ENI)