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SYNAMERA Report Summary

Project ID: 645900
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SYNAMERA (Synergies in Nanotechnologies, Materials and Production in the European Research Area)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"In 2002, European Research Area Networks (ERANETs) have been developed to consolidate the European Research Area. ERANETs are very important in the scientific fields of Nanotechnologies, Materials and Production (NMP) with more than 20 projects since FP6. In FP6 and FP7, important networks were created such as CROSSTEXNET, ERACOBUILD, EURONANOMED, INCOMERA, MANUNET, MATERA+, M-ERA.NET, MNT-ERA.NET II, NANOSCI-EPLUS, SIINN... These networks have fostered the implementation of many transnational research projects across Europe.
With Horizon2020, the former ERANET and ERANET+ have merged into a single ERANET Cofund instrument with the central and compulsory element of implementing one substantial call with top-up funding from the Commission. The ERANET scheme encourages the coordination of Member States, and Regions in funding transnational research project.

In this framework, the project "Synergies in NMP Programming in the European Research Area" or SYNAMERA has the objective to define and plan research cooperation between Member States and Regions in the thematic areas of Nanotechnologies, Materials and Production (NMP). This objective goes beyond the core of Horizon 2020 funding programme by exploring the landscape of national and regional research funding programmes and by proposing an agenda to boost collaboration.
SYNAMERA is a Coordination and Support Action funded by the call Horizon 2020-NMP-CSA-2014 (project number 645900).The consortium gathers 12 organizations composed of a representative in the EC NMP Programme Committee, national funding agencies, regional funding agencies, programming authorities for the ERDF, and partners conducting programme and project management under H2020 and/or ERDF. SYNAMERA started in May 2015 and will end in April 2017.

1. Identify themes and trends relevant for NMP research programming based on a mapping of existing policies, competences, research agendas as well as foresight documents related to longer-term challenges;
2. Prepare a set of recommended actions, with focus on:
- R&D themes in NMP to be developed in synergies amongst Member States and Regions and operated through instruments such as the ERANET Cofund;
- the conditions to create and optimize synergies between Horizon 2020 and Regional (ERDF) funding at all levels (EU, Member States and Regions).
3. Validate the outcome of its activities with a broad and representative assembly of relevant players (funding agencies and programming organizations other than SYNAMERA partners) hence assuring a large operational support for adopting the recommended actions."

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During this first period of the project, SYNAMERA has set up its organisation, website, and focused mainly on programming and foresight activities, a survey of best practices, and preparatory work to for the round table on Synergies.

An analytical work on more than 60 programming documents of national funding authorities were collected and analysed. They were all related to on-going Research Roadmaps within the NMP area.
This analytical work led to a roundtable discussion on 23rd November 2015 during the Manufuture 2015 conference. To deepen the discussion, a closer collaboration with NanoFutures (ETP), EuMat (ETP), Factories of the Future (PPP) and SPIRE (PPP) has been engaged early 2016 in order to identify relevant NMP themes and trends that could be covered with the ERANET instrument. This collaboration led to roundtable on 23rd June 2016 during the broadly attended Industrial Technologies 2016 conference in Amsterdam.

SYNAMERA conducted a survey on best practices on policy coordination in the NMP area in January 2016. The survey took advantage of the experience in policy coordination accumulated by SYNAMERA partners, namely through the various types of ERANET instruments that have been implemented since FP6, and of the knowledge and experience gathered in ERA-LEARN. The survey was distributed to 304 project participants and 35 NMP-related coordinators of networks. The results of this survey were presented to the EC NMP Programme Committee (DG Research) in March 2016 to open discussion with Member States. The discussion will be continued in the second period of this project. The results of the survey are summarized in a Report available on the SYNAMERA website.

Preparatory work has also been undertaken for the round table on Synergies between ESI Funds, S3 Strategies and H2020 during the European Week of Regions and Cities in October 2016. The consortium is called “Local authorities promoting synergies between ESI Funds and H2020” and is composed of East Netherlands (NL), Region Hauts-de-France, Nord Pas de Calais-Picardie (FR), Kent Council (UK), Madrid Region (ES), North-East Romania (RO), and Province of West-Flanders (BE). The authorities of the Committee of Regions approved the project on 29th April 2016.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

SYNAMERA contributes to increase the integration of research and innovation in the European Union in the NMP field by coordinating national/regional funding and by facilitating cross-border funding for research and innovation activities.

The work carried out by SYNAMERA during this first period built bridges in the NMP area based on the active participation of experts in Research thematics, Policy stakeholders and Projects participants in ERANETs. It contributed on one hand to structure and integrate the European Research Area in the field of key enabling technologies in NMP and on another hand to process through shared understanding of coordinated formulation of needs beyond the core Horizon 2020 funding, involving Member States and Regions.

In the SYNAMERA consortium itself the key audience is involved with representatives of: Ministries involved in the EC NMP Programme Committee (e.g. Slovenia, Austria), National funding agencies (e.g. Portugal, Romania), Regional programming authorities for ERDF (e.g. Region Wallonia, Region Nord Pas de Calais-Picardie/Haut de France), regional development agencies with competencies in funding (e.g. Innobasque), programme managers with a public status (e.g. M2i and KIT) as well as regional clusters managing programmes or projects (e.g. Matikem).
The presentation of the project to the EC NMP Programme Committee involved all Member States in tight collaboration with the services of the European Commission.
The collaboration in foresight and programming activities in NMP involved key ETPs and PPPs.
The audience of the project has also been widen with local/regional authorities involved during the preparation of the debate to be held during the European Week of Regions and Cities in October 2016.

The first period of the project shaped a shared understanding between all NMP funding stakeholders involved to enhance cross-border funding for research and innovation activities. This will be further developed in the second period.

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