Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


NCPs CaRE Report Summary

Project ID: 642025
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.5.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NCPs CaRE (National Contact Points for Climate action, Raw materials, Environment and Resource Efficiency)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2016-07-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The National Contact Points perform valuable services in guiding and supporting national applicants in preparing proposals for Horizon 2020 funding. We expect that through an enhanced cooperation and networking between these national entities, a higher quality of their consulting services and thus of proposals and projects can be achieved. Therefore, the overall objective of NCPs CaRE is to form a joint cooperation network of experienced and less experienced NCPs on Societal Challenge 5 (SC5) “Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials” which aims at pooling their resources and know-how to raise the overall quality of services provided to their clients.

By involving 23 formally nominated National Contact Points across Europe, the NCPs CaRE project will significantly strengthen trans-national cooperation. In addition, NCPs CaRE will extensively involve the 27 NCPs that have decided to become “associated partner”. To harness synergies is especially relevant to SC5 NCPs, since potential applicants within this Challenge are very diverse with respect to their scientific or organisational background, level of experience, involvement in transnational networks.

Concretely, activities of NCPs CaRE towards this goal include, amongst others, teaming and twinning schemes, the compilation of best practices handbooks and manuals, events, meetings and trainings both on-line and on a face-to-face basis, as well as a wide range of other communication and dissemination tools and platforms.
These activities foreseen by NCPs CaRE will contribute to enhancing the impact of R&I in SC5 and ensure a more efficient use of resources and R&I developments by improving the work flow between NCPs, applicants, the Commission, and other parties with a stake in SC5. Tailor-made like they are for the SC5 constituency, these activities will make it easier for all participating and benefitting NCPs to enhance the number of proposals with regards to both quantity and quality.

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 project launched immediately after the official start (February 01, 2015), with a pre-kick-off meeting (within month 1) on February 26th, 2015, in order to timely prepare the first activities of the consortium by a discussion of the Management Team (MT) and all Task Leaders (TLs). As some TLs are also Work Package Leaders (WPLs), this pre-kick-off was organised as a face-to-face meeting. During the pre-kick-off, the first steps of activities took place, such as:
WP1 - the Management system; communication; duties; reporting.
WP2 - dissemination strategy; selecting logo, presentation and document templates, planning the website structure, planning the proposal writing workshop for SME.
WP3 – Capacity building; initial planning of needs assessment (benchmarking) in connection with the twinnings & trainings, initial designation of topic-areas and interests for the trainings, and best practices to be collected.
WP4 - planning collaboration with other networks, such as Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) - Sector Group Environment (SGE), other NCP network projects, or European Neighbourhod Policy Countries (ENP) East & South.
WP5 - e.g. planning the matchmaking/partner search tool.

By the end of this 1st reporting period (covering the first 18 months from February 01, 2015 to July 31, 2016), we have covered all activities as planned and listed in our GA - Annex 1 – DoA. Indicatively, we particularly showcase:
In WP2 - a fully functional website entailing FAQs, news, events, partner search tool, guidelines, reports; PR-materials for visibility at brokerage-events, presentations, and conferences, a highlight SME workshop on proposal writing with direct impact for clientele SMEs.
Furthermore, towards the goal of capacity building (WP3) of NCPs for lowering the entry-barriers for newcomers and less-experienced NCPs, as well as leveling and homogenizing the provided service to clients throughout Europe, we have accomplished high-impact actions such as: benchmarking, trainings (e.g. webinars) and twinnings, accompanied by the creation of a thorough best practices guide, with templates and practical “how-to” information. Stemming from this, clients throughout Europe benefit from the elevation of the overall NCP-service.
In WP4, access to new NCP clientele (SMEs and regional clusters in particular) was fostered, via enhanced cooperation with Enterprise Europe Network at EU level: NCPs CaRE was represented in two EEN brokerage events and EEN will respectively promote NCPs CaRE brokerages. Furthermore, with the aim to assist NCPs and their clients in grasping a wider range of opportunities linked to other Networks (EEN, JPI/EIP), relevant EEN events and JPI/EIP news were listed on the website, a webinar took place on EEN services, and an Information guide was formulated on JPI/EIP.
In WP5, a fully operational matching/partner search tool supporting potential applicants for the Horizon 2020 Work programme of the Societal Challenge 5 (SC5) “Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials” has been created. It supports our clients in finding cooperation possibilities (e.g. partners and building a consortium) for a project proposal within the work programme for the topics in 2016 and 2017 of the SC5. Accordingly, it will be adapted to open topics for the successive work porgrammes 2018-2020. Furthermore, registered users also have the opportunity to register for the participation in B2Match brokerage events by using their PSF-profile data. NCPs CaRE organised a project internal workshop (Rome, June 21-22, 2016): “SC5 NCPs as competent contact points for SMEs-Workshop” on issues and challenges especially relevant to SMEs – but as information for SC5 NCPs. This means, the SC5 NCPs are able to use the workshop output in their advisory capacity to SMEs. For efficiency and synergy reasons, this workshop took place bck-to-back with the 2nd Annual Consortium Meeting (Rome, June 20-21, 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)

"As this is a Coordinating an Support Action (CSA) and not a Research & Innovation Action (RIA) or Innovation Action (IA), the "progress beyond the state of the art" does not apply.

Expected potential impact

Being appointed as an NCP for Horizon 2020 means, on the one hand, fulfilling the tasks formulated in the particular national contracts, and, on the other hand, respecting those to be found in the ‘Minimum standards and guiding principles for setting up systems of National Contact Points under Horizon 2020 (DG RTD)’. The activities within NCPs CaRE will follow these principles.

NCPs CaRE aims to generate impact on three different levels:

Level I Improvement and professionalisation of NCP services
This target shall be reached through a mutual learning process supported by various measures undertaken in NCPs CaRE. Throughout the project, good practises will be identified and transferred from one NCP to another. Through an exchange of knowledge and expertise between MS, AC and ENP countries within NCPs CaRE, a more consistent level of support services across the EU will be established in the long term. This will be supported by various measures, such as benchmarking, trainings and twinnings. Especially less-experienced NCPs will have the chance to rapidly acquire know-how and thereby improve their standard of consulting service. Additionally, joint promotional materials and a NCPs CaRE website will contribute to a more consistent level of NCP support services. This expected impact is especially promoted by the WP1 Management and the WP3 Capacity Building.
Due to the increased importance of innovation in H2020, NCPs CaRE is dedicated to reach SMEs as new clientele in SC5. NCPs will undertake various measures in order to inform SMEs about their opportunities to receive funding and motivate them to participate in H2020. The introduction of adequate services for SMEs is part of the professionalization process and will be pursued through Work Package 5 “Enhance Partnering”.
Level I targets ‘improvement and professionalization’ and will furthermore contribute to a higher quality of proposals submitted by applicants (Level II).

Level II Higher quality of proposals submitted
Through an increased cooperation with other stakeholders and initiatives, potential clients can be more easily reached, mobilised and supported. This will therefore result in better professionalised NCP services, as indicated above, which will furthermore provide potential clients with a more consistent NCP service across the MS, AC and ENP countries.
As a result of NCPs CaRE, recipients of national NCP services will obtain a bundle of services and significant support in order to make their access to H2020 opportunities easier and more effective.
The project is offering various activities concerning: online matching of partner searches and offers, bilateral meetings at brokerage events, reaching recipients through traditional and modern communication tools (e.g. promotional materials, website, etc.).

Level III Establishment of an active network of SC5 NCPs on the European level The establishment of an active and competent network of SC5 NCPs from all EU-members and beyond is in itself an added value and thus impact of this project. Through coordination and joint efforts, NCPs CaRE will be a network that is more than the sum of its parts. The project is a way to implement the ideas of the European Neighbourhood Policy as it strengthens the relationship between the EU and its neighbourhood countries and determines common interests and benefits.
Within the NCPs CaRE network, the collaboration of a diverse group of partners, including MS, AC, ENP South and East countries, encourages a mutual learning process.
Furthermore, collaboration is sought with stakeholders and initiatives relevant to SC5, like the EC, EEN, other NCP networks, joint initiatives and multilateral programmes to determine synergies, cooperation possibilities and related mutual benefits. The interaction of these different stakeholders and networks will create added value and complementary services with positive results and at the same time, duplications of services are avoided."

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