The BEFORE Project was approved in the FP6-2004-KNOW-REG-2 call for proposals of the 6th Framework Programme. The specific programme covered was “Integrating and Strengthening the European Research Area” and the activity areas included were “Coherent development of research and innovation policies”.

The project will perform the comparative analysis (benchmarking) of efficient support instruments for the RTD in geographical areas with demographic significant imbalances. In this way also specific tools of support would be analyzed for rural companies and entrepreneurs. Also, there would develop a panel of indicators of impact of the regional RTD support policies in this type of regions, with special attention to the indicators of social impact.

A special attention will be paid to the case of regions that have obtained significant advances implementing RTD policies in the last years (for example, regions to which the good use of the resources has allowed or will allow to leave the Objective 1). In the consortium take part some regions of this type (Castilla y León, Brandenburg). These regions will carry out a task of mentoring on the rest of regions in the project.

One of the factors for success in the present project is the achievement of wide regional consensus and the involvement of regional RTD players in the project. A strong effort will thus be made in order to obtain this actor interaction, integratingkey players in the management structure and widely disseminating project results. Also the benchmarking process will contribute to transnational exchange of experience.

Other objective of the project is to carry out foresight studies of policies and support instruments to RTD guided to future sectors, intensive in knowledge and with high added value. The sectors being covered will be aeronautical (Castilla y León), biotechnology (South Estonia), ICTs (Mid Sweden, South Estonia and West Romania), transport (logistics in Brandenburg and automotive in West Romania) and renewable energies (Brandenburg, Castilla y León and Mid Sweden). The development of these new sectors will allow to the participant regions to maintain and promote equilibrium between the competitiveness of its basic industries and businesses and the bid to introduce new economic activities in sectors with good prospects of future.