Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

NCP ACADEMY Report Summary

Project ID: 633563
Funded under: H2020-EU.5.f.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NCP ACADEMY (National Contact Points for quality standards and horizontal issues)

Reporting period: 2014-12-10 to 2016-06-09

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

National Contact Points (NCPs) play a key role in Horizon 2020 as providers of information and assistance to potential applicants and project beneficiaries. They constitute the main interface to the European R&D community for Member States and Associated Countries and the European Commission. While their activities are underpinned by the European Commission’s “Guiding principles for setting up systems of national contact points”, NCPs are appointed and financed at national level so that existing NCP systems show a wide variety of architectures and ways of working.

This project aims to create and implement a new and integrated training of Horizon 2020 advisors – the NCP Academy. It brings together NCP Coordinators and NCPs for Legal and Financial aspects of Horizon 2020 to develop the NCP Academy concept and to develop and implement training courses on cross-cutting issues. It addresses quality standards and good practice as well as routes to feedback and communication for this community. In doing so it aims to significantly enhance the performance of NCPs and does so by harnessing the knowledge base already existing within this community.

The NCP Academy is responsive, addressing new issues that emerge during implementation of the Horizon 2020 programme and it is all-inclusive, providing training to all NCPs, and especially targeting new and/or less experienced NCPs. The consortium works closely with existing thematic NCP Networks, carefully serving their needs for cross-cutting aspects of Horizon 2020.

Expected impacts include achievement of an improved and professionalised NCP service across Europe, thereby helping simplify access to Horizon 2020 calls.

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

The NCP Academy Concept has been developed to set the framework for the project and the training within the project. The concept is available on the NCP Academy webpage.

A Common train-the-NCP approach has been developed for on-site-training and webinars.

An Annual Training Calendar has been developed and is in use among partners.

A google group was established for all Legal and Financial NCPs. This has proved to be a huge success with a lot of daily activity and questions being answered rapidly by Legal and Financial NCP colleagues.

The following on-site training courses have been developed and implemented: legal and financial issues in Horizon 2020 (Copenhagen, November 2015); Synergies between Horizon 2020, European Structural and Investment Funds and other measures: (Brussels, October 2015); Cross-cutting issues such as gender, IPR, ethics, open access, standards (Lisbon, November 2015); Innovation concepts and EU Innovation Policy (webinar, May 2015). Information on other webinars, on-site-training covering more specialist topics and training modules provided to other NCP Networks and the European Commission can be obtained on our website.

A mapping survey of Key Performance Indicators has been completed initially among consortium members.

Five Meet & Exchange Workshops have been organised: Spotlight on Innovation Procurement in HORIZON 2020” (Vienna, May 2015); Personnel Costs in Horizon 2020 (Brussels, October 2015); Open Access (Brussels, March 2016); NCP Systems: Impact of NCP networks (Copenhagen, June 2016); Access to Risk Finance (Brussels, June 2016).

An NCP-specific input to the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 is currently being prepared in consultation with the NCP community.

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)

The NCP Academy is already impacting on NCP services across Europe:

- The NCP Academy service is now recognised by the NCP community;
- Demand is growing from the thematic NCP Networks to provide cross-cutting training modules;
- The NCP Academy is responding to opportunities to work closely with the European Commission.

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