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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NET4SOCIETY4 (Transnational network of National Contact Points (NCPs) of Societal Challenge 6 'Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies' (SC6))
H2020

NET4SOCIETY4 Report Summary

Project ID: 649180
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - NET4SOCIETY4 (Transnational network of National Contact Points (NCPs) of Societal Challenge 6 'Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies' (SC6))

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Net4Society4 is the transnational network of National Contact Points (NCPs) for Societal Challenge 6 (SC6) “Inclusive, innovative, and reflective societies” in Horizon 2020.
NCPs are set up to guide researchers in their quest for securing EU funding.
Net4Society4 further develops the network of SC6 NCPs (former NCPs for Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities) which was established in 2008 and has members from over 50 countries in Europe and around the world.

The overall objectives of Net4Society4 are
• to enhance SC6 NCP services
• to support potential applicants in Societal Challenge 6 of Horizon 2020
• to facilitate the implementation of embedding Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) throughout Horizon 2020
• to support the international dimension of Horizon 2020
• to promote the relevance and impact of research and innovation in Societal Challenge 6

To enhance SC6 NCP services, Net4Society4 aims to ensure that all SC6 NCPs have the relevant knowledge and skills for their work and can offer professional, high-quality and tailor-made services to applicants.
Net4Society4 carries out targeted activities to support applicants in SC6. The project facilitates interdisciplinary and international consortium building through the organisation of brokerage events and through dedicated online partner search tools. In addition, Net4Society4 organises expert meetings on different aspects of SC6 research and disseminates the results to NCPs and applicants.

To support the integration of Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in all parts of Horizon 2020, Net4Society4 carries out a number of activities. The project regularly publishes a much appreciated document listing SSH relevant funding opportunities in all of Horizon 2020. Based on surveys, interviews, and expert meetings, Net4Society4 publishes factsheets on the integration of SSH in Horizon 2020, promoting best practices and hands-on advice for NCPs and applicants.

Net4Society4 promotes the international dimension of Horizon 2020 by offering services to Third Country NCPs in the project and by seeking close contact with international networks in the area of Horizon 2020.

Net4Society4 organises three large conferences in the thematic area of SC6 to provide visibility to the funding programme and the possibility to discuss future research needs. Various promotion activities enhancing the visibility of Net4Society4 services and the relevance and impact of SC6 in Horizon 2020 further underline these efforts.

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

A major highlight within the first reporting period of Net4Society4 was the organisation of the international conference “Trust: European research co-creating resilient societies.”(29-30 October 2015 in Brussels).The event combined a scientific conference with an Info day on the open calls for proposals in Horizon 2020’s Societal Challenge 6. The conference featured the EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, as a speaker and attracted around 400 participants.

To support a high quality of SC6 NCP’s work, Net4Society4 held several project meetings with a focus on exchanging experiences on specific topics, as well as targeted trainings for NCPs, including a webinar on “Impact” of SC6 research. In addition, publications such as newsletters and the “ISSUES” e-magazine spread relevant information to NCPs and policy makers.

Two brokerage events that facilitated networking for potential applicants were organised by Net4Society4. The brokerage events focused on thematic areas of open research calls in Societal Challenge 6 such as “Europe as a Global Actor” (26 February, Brussels) and “Social Innovation” (19 November 2015, Vienna). In addition, Net4Society4 supported the brokerage events of other NCP networks (in the areas of Health and Food Security, Agriculture and Bioeconomy). Further activities to support the networking of applicants included the repeated update of the Partner Search Support Tool during open calls and the continued maintenance of the Net4Society Research Directory for SC6 key players.

The integration of SSH in Horizon 2020 was supported through the publication of the “Opportunities for SSH researchers document”, which was downloaded more than 3,500 times from the Net4Society website. Net4Society4 also organised an expert workshop on the integration of SSH in all parts of Horizon 2020, which showcased best practice examples. The project further supported the integration of SSH by intense networking with other NCP networks to raise awareness of the cross-cutting dimension of SSH and to plan concrete common activities such as brokerage events.

Several editions of the Net4Society Newsletter were published as well as the “ISSUES” e-magazine that discussed various aspects of Societal Challenge 6 and SSH in Horizon 2020.

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)

"Net4Society4’s activities had a strong impact on the quality of SC6 NCPs services. Project meetings and training activities received overwhelmingly positive feedback from participants (e.g. more than 90% of the participants rated the first project meeting and training as “excellent” or “good”).
High quality NCP services and Net4Society activities that target applicants directly contribute to raising the overall quality of proposals in Societal Challenge 6.

The promotion of SSH funding opportunities throughout Horizon 2020 via the dedicated “Opportunities document” was very well received by NCPs and researchers alike and was downloaded more than 3,500 times from the Net4Society website. A positive effect on the quality of SSH integration in Horizon 2020 can therefore be expected.

The Net4Society4 conference "Trust: European Research Co-creating Resilient Societies" resulted in a high visibility for SC6 research. The conference was jointly organised by Net4Society and the European Commission DG RTD in October 2015 with participation of Mr. Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation (Report at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/pdf/other_pubs/ki-01-16-264-en.pdf).

Eventually, all activities of Net4Society4 aim at supporting better research results that are relevant to European societies – thus creating a positive societal impact."

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