DDNI's expertise and potential has been recognized at European level by being designated, in 2000, as a Centre of Excellence for Deltas and Wetlands within the European Commision's Centres of Excellence Programme launched in 1999.
The selection criteria of the proposals submitted for the EC call - the scientific and technological excellence of the Centre; the structure of the Centre, the scientific&tehnological potential and the diversity of funding have been reached by the Danube Delta National Institute as well as by other 3 Romanian institutes and 30 ones from the the acceding and candidate countries. The objective of the selection of Centres of Excellence was to put their capabilities at the service of the economic and social needs of their region, in conformity with the interest of the UE as a whole, by enabling them to improve their links with other European research centres.
The specific goal of the proposal (acronym DELWET) was to increase the capacity of the Danube Delta National Institute (DDNI) based in Romania, to participate more formally in the relevant programmes of the EU, thereby contributing to the economic and social needs of the region. The ultimate beneficiaries of this proposal would be the communities of the Danube Delta who would gain from the increased capacity of the DDNI to deliver services directly related to the improvement of the economic and social conditions of the region.
Links with other EU countries and the contribution of the DDNI to the EU research community improved through networking and twinning arrangements.
The EU institutions involved in similar research activities should benefit from a greater access to infrastructure, services, indigenous knowledge and research results at DDNI as a result of networking. The scientific skills and the quality of research work and publications at the DDNI should be enhanced as a result of the links developed with EU institutes involved in similar activities. These improvements resulted from:
provision of advanced training and transfer of state-of the-art technologies
increased opportunity for collaborative research
provision of technical support and peer review of research proposals and results
greater access to scientific literature and other sources of information
increased opportunities to attend international meetings
Natural Resources Institute/University of Greenwich
30 Park Row, Greenwich, London SE10 9LS, United Kingdom
Telephone:+44(0) 1634 883444
Fax: +44(0) 1634 883959
The Queen's University of Belfast
Riddel Hall,185 Stranmillis Road
Belfast,BT9 5EE,Northern Ireland.
Tel: (+44) (0)28 9027 4067
Fax: (+44) (0)28 9068 7558
Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment
Zuiderwagenplein 2, P.O.box 17, 8200 AA
Lelystad, the Netherlands,
Tel: +31 (320) 29 84 11
Fax: + 31 (320) 24 92 18
Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat
le Sambuc – 13200 Arles - France
Tel: +33 (0) 490 97 20 12
Fax: +33(0) 490 97 20 19
WWF Auen – Institute
Josefstrasse, 1 D- 76437, Rastatt, Germany,
Tel: 00 49 7222-38 070
Fax: 00 49 7222 380 720
The visiting fellow programme supported and short visits abroad for training and access to laboratories have improved the quality of scientific outputs of DDNI.
Specific support for mobility and attending EU meetings increased the capacity of the centre's staff to publish their work results in EU journals and make the scientific output of the centre available to a wider audience. A number of 51 scientific papers have been presented by the DDNI's scientists at conferences and workshops organized by EU centres and 30 scientific papers have been published in EU journals.
The annual scientific symposiums organized by DDNI were attended by more than 70 scientists from EU centres during the project and 101 scientific papers have been published in the Proceedings.
As a result of the short term visits abroad, the research methodologies for biodiversity monitoring, water chemistry analyses, natural resources assessment, hydrological modelling, remote sensing techniques, integrated monitoring, have been improved.
In-house training courses in applied statistics, project cycle management and human resources management have increased the quality of the research outputs and capacity to acquire and manage research projects.
Powerful tool for research and management of wetlands as hydrologic and hydro-chemical model of the Danube Delta have been built at the centre by transfer of existing expertise in EU centres.
New knowledge has been obtained from the interdisciplinary and multinational expeditions organized in the Danube Delta during the wetlands ecology project. International surveys of colonial water-birds protected by Bird Directive have been achieved as well as particular surveys on endangered species at European level.
The most relevant indicator of achievements of the expected deliverables is participation in EU FP6. As a result of the project activities DDNI became member of large consortiums of three funded projects: two STREPS with 39 partners and one Integrated Project (acronym EDEN, proposal no. 010284) with other 47 partners.
DDNI has been re-accredited as National Institute during the project and has been nominated as national scientific advisor for implementing the EU Environmental legislation in Romania in the context of future accession. DDNI enhanced, thus, its scope and coverage at national scale, beyond the Danube Delta area.
Implementation of the project has significantly contributed to a wider national and international recognition of the centre, increasing the scope and quality of its services toward integration in European Research Area.