Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

T-AP Report Summary

Project ID: 613167
Funded under: FP7-SSH
Country: Netherlands

Final Report Summary - T-AP (Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities)

Executive Summary:
Trans-Atlantic Platform: A global first in research funding cooperation
The increasingly complex societal challenges of the 21st century transcend international boundaries. From poverty and inequality to preparing for the impact of an aging society, researchers in the social sciences and humanities on both sides of the Atlantic are working to understand and address global challenges. In recognition of the range of societal issues and their transatlantic nature, research funding agencies in Europe and the Americas have created the Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities (T-AP) to enhance international research collaboration in key areas of mutual interest and engagement. The Platform, funded through the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (grant no. 613167), is a global first among humanities and social sciences research funders.

The success and impact of the Trans-Atlantic Platform can be characterised by a series of achievements documented for each of the objectives of the Platform:
1 Increase international cooperation between the T-AP partners through closer coordination of activities
1 Leverage, enhance and expand existing networks
1 Identify opportunities for future research collaboration
1 Develop T-AP into an efficient, effective and sustainable platform for collaboration among funding agencies.

Increase international cooperation between the T-AP partners through closer coordination of activities
The Trans-Atlantic Platform represented a global first in establishing a mechanism for effective and structured multilateral engagement of research funding agencies in Europe and the Americas. The Platform has enhanced the ability of funders, research organisations and researchers to engage in transnational dialogue and collaboration. The Platform supported stepping up international collaboration through sharing best practices, identifying barriers to collaboration and building on existing knowledge as well as sharing information on funding procedures, peer review and policy priorities. In doing so, the Platform worked towards developing a new flexible platform to facilitate multidisciplinary networking across the social sciences and humanities in their widest remit both with respect to research and geographical areas.

Leverage, enhance and expand existing networks
The Trans-Atlantic Platform was built on the accomplishments of pre-existing collaborations (often relatively small scale and disparate in nature) both by learning from and strengthening them as going beyond them to accelerate the scale and scope of transatlantic collaboration in the social sciences and humanities. To provide a forum for discussion and exchange, T-AP initiated a series of capacity building activities to facilitate alignment and collaboration between research networks and the T-AP partner organisations. In doing so, the Trans-Atlantic Platform has facilitated cooperation based on mutual interest by bridging gaps between research networks and programmes and reinforcing dialogue concerning the cross-cutting areas of social sciences and humanities, on the one hand, to achieving a critical mass and a better use of available resources and join forces to provide common answers to common problems on the other hand.

Identify opportunities for future research collaboration
The Trans-Atlantic Platform has helped to facilitate the formation of international, interdisciplinary networks of researchers around key areas of mutual interest and engagement such as digital scholarship, diversity and inequality, social innovation and sustainability. In order to become more than a 'network of networks' and to bring genuine added value, a pilot programme on the theme of digital scholarship was implemented as a proof of principle for transatlantic collaboration. This pilot programme - the T-AP Digging into Data Challenge - was launched on March 1, 2016, and will lay the groundwork for future collaborative activities. Moreover, the Platform run an inclusive scoping exercises to identify potential future priorities for transatlantic collaboration and explored a shortlist of priorities in more detail to develop recommendations for future activities. A Trans-Atlantic Research Agenda for the social sciences and humanities was drafted to generate added value through initiating transatlantic cooperation and with the ambition of fostering cross-fertilization of the thematic priorities but at the same time to have clearly defined and focused call topics for the future. In doing so, the Platform strengthened the comparative and transatlantic dimension in research collaboration.

Develop T-AP into an efficient, effective and sustainable platform for collaboration among funding agencies
The Trans-Atlantic Platform offered new opportunities for cooperation across national and agency boundaries. From the start of the Platform, opportunities and challenges of extending the T-AP network were explored. A great number of funding agencies, stakeholders and researchers participated and contributed to the Platform's activities, workshops and meetings. CONICYT (Mexico), the FRQSC (Canada) and MINCYT (Argentina) joined T-AP following the launch of the Platform. The work of the Platform to draw in additional stakeholders and partners has been valuable in realising long term goals. Throughout the grant, the Platform has ensured collaboration with other international networks and explored synergies (e.g. JPIs and ERA-NETs) to avoid duplication of work elsewhere, and add real value for funders and researchers.

Project public website address: www.transatlanticplatform.com

Project Context and Objectives:
The Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities (T-AP), a consortium of major funders of social sciences and humanities research from North America, South America and Europe, was formed in October 2013. It is the first large-scale transnational collaboration related to social sciences and humanities research, spanning several continents. While there are a number of networks and forums for enhancing international research collaboration, the Trans-Atlantic Platform is seen as a "global first".

The Atlantic space is a region connected by growing linkages and common challenges. Not only nowadays, in the age of globalisation, this geographic area is tied together by economic flows, social and cultural linkages. The Americas and Europe are divided and united by the Atlantic Ocean which shaped the exchange between these world regions in the past and also forges cooperation today. Not only phenomena and processes like trade, migration, cultural exchange and social networking ties both sides of the Atlantic together but also global challenges like energy, climate change, demographic change and migration are key themes for the Americas and Europe alike. Yet, the different parts of the Atlantic have diverging objectives and concerns given the varying levels of development, democratisation and security challenges.

The transatlantic area with its distinct historical, social and cultural ties was increasingly confronted with the impact of global challenges and required a greater understanding of and learning from the history, the different cultures and political-economic systems. In order to better understand and analyse the interconnectedness of these regions and to improve capacities for understanding of and responding to the development and impact of globalization a constant examination of both the commonalities and the great diversity of needs, resources, priorities and actors was needed.

Solutions to the challenges the transatlantic area faced, the so-called "wicked problems", require not only scientific and technological advances but also deep social change. It cannot be assumed that technological innovation will advance and be implemented at a pace sufficient to meet these challenges confronting a globalised society in the 21st century. The social sciences and humanities contribute in particular to the knowledge base of the interconnectedness of the transatlantic area by examining, i.e. history, culture, interactions, norms and values, (global) shifts of power and the role of civil society with the aim to better understand current societal phenomena and to respond to global challenges.

In recognition of the range of societal issues and their transnational nature, the Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities was created to enhance international research collaboration in key areas of mutual interest and to develop international research cooperation in the social sciences and humanities. The Trans-Atlantic Platform strengthened the pillars that support research cooperation and built new pillars to meet the needs of 21st century research. It broadened the bridges that connect research and removed barriers that block transatlantic research projects from taking place.

By bringing together a significant corpus of high quality national research funding agencies, the Platform contributed to mutual knowledge and understanding and developed best practices for supporting international research collaboration. That collaboration also improved the research, and leads to excellence.

The following objectives of the Platform were identified and achievements towards the objectives can be reported:
• Increase international cooperation between the T-AP partners through closer coordination of activities.
• Leverage, enhance and expand existing networks.
• Identify opportunities for future research collaboration.
• Develop T-AP into an efficient, effective and sustainable platform for collaboration among funding agencies.
The above mentioned objectives have been implemented in a series of six work packages (WP). Work package 1: Strong Trans-Atlantic Partnership
This work package focused on mapping and sharing best practices in building a strong partnership
between all (including associate) partners on each side of the Atlantic, thereby creating added value in high quality research activity which crosses national boundaries.

Work package 2: Pilot Project
Work package 2 focused on implementing a proof of principle for transnational collaboration in a pilot project on 'The Digital Scholarship', investigating current challenges and exploring future alternatives. Commencing a concrete activity on this topic at an early stage of the Platform enabled the partners to quickly start to draw understanding about best practices and methods of working together.

Work package 3: Scoping Thematic Challenges
The objectives of this work package was to scope possible opportunities of international collaboration, within a multidisciplinary perspective, to set up T-AP symposia and to enhance and facilitate contributions of the social sciences and humanities to the Challenges as identified in Horizon 2020.

Work package 4: Expansion of the T-AP Network
From the start of the Platform, opportunities and challenges of extending the T-AP network were explored. In order to encourage effective international scientific cooperation in the social sciences and humanities and to broaden the network, all potential partners interested in working with the Platform were invited to attend and participate in the Platform's events, symposia's and meetings.

Work package 5: Dissemination, Communication and Implementation Strategy
The objectives of the work package were to develop a dissemination and communication, and implementation strategy, to launch a website /communication platform, to design PR material and to organise a launch and a final event.

Work package 6: Governance and Management Structure
Work package 6 involved all necessary management activities, including the overall management of the Platform, the financial management and reporting, the monitoring of T-AP work package activities and organisation of the Steering Committee and Management Team meetings.

Main examples of successful activities carried out within these work packages include:
o Facilitating a strong transatlantic partnership by mapping of the best practices and developing a 'toolbox' for joint funding programmes.
o Implementing a Pilot Project on Digital Scholarship and launch of the first jointly coordinated, transatlantic pilot call for project proposals in the social sciences and humanities.

o Identification of new transatlantic research priorities for the social sciences and humanities and development of a rolling agenda of thematic priorities for collaboration.
o Expansion of the network.

Project Results:
1 Strong Trans-Atlantic Partnership
Because many of the most pressing and/or intellectually-compelling research questions are global in nature or best addressed by comparative analyses involving more than one country, there was a strong need to: 1) develop new, flexible frameworks for joint funding and 2) strengthen the cooperation between social sciences and humanities research projects on both side of the Atlantic. The Trans-Atlantic Platform focused on mapping and sharing best practices in building a strong partnership between all (including associate) partners on each side of the Atlantic, thereby creating added value in high quality research activity which crossed national boundaries.

The Platform enhanced the collaboration between the T-AP partners, but also mapped the networking of ongoing research projects between the partners to facilitate high-level exchange of knowledge, experiences and good practices for mutual benefit of all partners. By mapping good practices, identifying barriers to collaboration and building on existing knowledge, as well as sharing information on funding procedures, peer review and policy priorities, T-AP worked toward developing a new flexible platform for research funding cooperation.

Mapping of best practices of partner organisations
A comparative analysis of best practices was initiated to compare the diverse practices of partner organisations, and to avoid or deal with any challenges that might lie ahead for the Trans-Atlantic Platform and thus be more prepared for future collaboration. The 'Comparative Analysis of Current Best Practices of Partner Agencies' report was based on an internet questionnaire sent to the consortium of partner agencies. The survey included 16 agencies, of which 14 were T-AP members or associate partners. The report chartered the international collaboration (the modes and extent of current cooperative activities undertaken by partner agencies); the status of social sciences and humanities in the activities of the partner organisations; the funding practices of partner organisations in detail in order to bring into light differences as well as chiasms relevant to joint initiatives; agencies' views of conditions necessary for joint activities. At the end of each chapter, a summary of the key findings in the chapter, as well as some possible barriers and also recommendations relating to the themes of the chapter in general, were provided.

Several conditions, potential barriers, and recommendations for joint activities based on previous experiences of partner organizations are expounded here:

Conditions for joint activities:
• Trust between partners
• Decision-making, and leading
• Organizing the calls
• Money

Potential barriers:
• Budgetary limitations
• Applying a common pot funding model for calls
• Differences in cost models
• Lack of clarity in terms, conditions, and implementation
• Added value of international management to research
• Limits of disciplinary remits
• Lack of trust in the quality of joint evaluation
• Calendar differences

Recommendations:
• Granting sufficient time to develop processes
• Involving the whole consortium in decision making and preparation of calls
• Transparency and clarity of decision making, of management, and of expectations and assumptions concerning collaboration
• Mutual commitment to joint efforts
• Implementing a "fund own" scheme

The 'Comparative Analysis of Current Best Practices of Partner Agencies' report provided the foundation for an Interagency Learning Workshop (17 September 2014, Paris). The workshop aimed to share best practices, identify common approaches and barriers to research cooperation and collaboration, and collect evidence of successful ways to support social sciences and humanities programmes and projects, particularly via best practice case studies. It brought together research funding agency staff and researchers to talk about their experiences of collaboration and to discuss the various models with the aim of sharing best practices. The bulk of the workshop comprised of presentations about existing forms of international collaboration in research funding - and experiences thereof - by representatives of the T-AP partner organisations as well as academics involved in various international, collaborative research projects, and discussion sessions.

More work was done to explore the best practices in more detail and to provide a best practice guide or 'toolkit' to enable the development of joint programming and collaboration with transatlantic partners. A T-AP cooperation template for joint activities was developed. The purpose of the template for joint funding programmes was to guide T-AP partners in organising joint funding
programmes and aimed to serve as a resource from which T-AP partners could draw when organising joint programmes and drafting MoU's. The document was divided into two parts. The first part concerned background consideration to determine prior to organising joint funding programmes, and the second part concerned possible common features of these programmes.

The comparative analysis of current best practices of partners involved in the Platform, the joint learning workshop and the template for joint funding programmes proved to be an important stepping stone for the first jointly coordinated, transatlantic T-AP pilot call for project proposals and other activities of the Platform.

T-AP not only provided a forum to share best practices concerning joint programming The role of social sciences and humanities in the public life was regularly debated and best practices shared. The Platform's Steering Committee and Management Team meetings proved to be a forum for joint learning about the various research funding SSH ecosystems. Moreover, the launch, networking and final event and thematic workshops engaged researchers and other stakeholders in discussions on how to share knowledge and learn about different approaches to valorisation of social sciences and humanities on both sides of the Atlantic.

T-AP partners were also invited to take part in workshops to share their best practices, for instance on knowledge exchange and valorisation in SSH (London, June 2015). During the workshop a joint statement was issued to raise awareness of social sciences and humanities research and its application to societal challenges and highlight the importance of valorisation.

Mapping of best practices of research networks
As there was a great variation in the level of bilateral and multilateral engagement across the EU and Americas, the Trans-Atlantic Platform mapped the relevant research networks, projects and cooperation modalities. In order to benefit from the knowledge and experience gained in these networks, the mapping and scoping exercise was included as an integral component of the T-AP activities which directly fed into the Platform's more detailed scoping and networking tasks to identify opportunities for future research collaboration.

A questionnaire was circulated among T-AP partners and associates. All T-AP (associate) partners were invited to complete this questionnaire aimed to (1) collect information on the scope of recent and current collaboration activities, and where possible a brief description of the impact of collaborations identified and future research priorities; (2) determine the barriers towards collaboration; (3) identify key research questions and exploring the possibility of joint funding initiatives. This questionnaire was used as basis for a dedicated analysis of existing collaborations with special relevance and potential for additional collaborative funding closely linked to the scoping of new transatlantic research priorities for the social sciences and humanities and the three thematic areas identified by the Platform. A second questionnaire was developed for this purpose. T-AP partners were invited to identify up to 20 projects to be surveyed and list with which one of the following prioritised T-AP theme area's (Diversity, (In)equality and Differences; Resilient and Innovative Societies; New (Path)Ways of Doing Research; Digital Scholarship) the selected project corresponded. This questionnaire was sent to the leaders of these international research projects to inventory their experiences in engaging and international collaboration. In doing so, challenges to transnational collaboration have been formulated and successful mechanisms to work together efficiently beyond the bilateral approach identified including successful communication and dissemination activities and any shortcomings of these.

Facilitating alignment and collaboration between research networks and partner organisations
To provide a forum for discussion and exchange, the Trans-Atlantic Platform initiated a series of capacity building activities to facilitate alignment and collaboration between research networks and the Trans-Atlantic Platform partner organisations. A launch event, networking event and final event and a series of thematic workshops were initiated by the Trans-Atlantic Platform to strengthen the networking and knowledge exchange of ongoing research projects and reinforce production, use and communication of best practices, project activities.

After an inaugural Steering Committee meeting in Montréal, Canada, at the World Social Science Forum October 2013, the formal launch took take place on 5 March 2014 in Amsterdam (Netherlands). The aim of this event was to provide an opportunity to discuss the development of the Platform and examine existing models of cooperation and the ways in which the partners could work better together. A variety of perspectives from within the social science and humanities community where presented at the event in order to share best practices, stimulate networking but also to explore existing obstacles in T-AP countries and solutions to overcome them. Renée van Kessel, co-chair of the T-AP Steering Committee, stated at the launch event: "As social sciences and humanities
research is of vital importance to address all future global challenges, there is a strong urge to strengthen collaboration in these disciplines on a transnational level. By encouraging transnational research coordination and intensifying communication, the Platform paves the way for national agencies to work together and achieve convergence, in terms of research policy, programme design and funding practice."

A number of speakers were invited at the launch event to address the benefits and challenges of transnational and transdisciplinary projects from different angles. Their presentations centered on the following items i) a short presentation of their work, (ii) learning curve, (iii) best practices and (iv) any other contribution they could make to T-AP.

Key note speech by professor Sally Wyatt, T-AP launch event (Amsterdam, March 5 2013)

These sessions acted successfully as a catalyst to discuss issues that had yet to be fully worked out in the Platform, and were used as a stepping stone for- for instance- the Interagency Learning Workshop (17 September 2014, Paris). The participants identified a number of items, addressed by the speakers, that affected their work on T-AP: utilizing expertise; focusing on research and impacts;
understanding and addressing asymmetries; the need to engage researchers; capitalizing on the breadth of T-AP's network and the plurality of policy issues the Platform could address; using questionnaires to find the right policy issues to address; imbalances regarding open access policies; the importance of considering different needs at the 'building' and 'maintenance' stages of the Platform; the usefulness of building on past successes and avoiding trying to "recreate the wheel".

A Trans-Atlantic Platform networking event was organised from June 1 till June 3 2015 at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Ottawa (Canada). The purpose of the T-AP event at Congress was to stimulate networking among existing research projects and build on established networks and to engage researchers on establishing a future research agenda in the three thematic areas which were identified by T-AP. The networking event provided input on research gaps and needs in T-AP's thematic priority areas and facilitated networking among researchers working in these areas. The networking event was closely aligned with the thematic workshops which took place in July, September and November 2015 and provided insights and perspectives that informed and complemented the discussions at these workshops. Break-out table discussions were asked to discuss the following questions: what are the existing barriers to promoting international research collaboration on this theme?; what opportunities are there for greater international research collaboration on this theme?; what is the current state of research and international research collaboration related to this theme?; how can research funding be better structured to promote and support international research collaboration on this theme?

Comments of the break-out groups typically fell into one of three areas: fostering participation, facilitating international research collaboration, and designing funding opportunities.

Fostering Participation
T-AP should ensure that it strives to include all stakeholders in its funding opportunities:
o In order to foster participation of South American researchers, the Platform should recognize the differences between northern and southern research paradigms (e.g., semantic and conceptual differences), as well as the differences between northern and southern cultures generally.
o T-AP should ensure that the humanities are included in any joint-funding opportunities, and should avoid pre-determining which disciplines are eligible to participate.
o T-AP should involve stakeholders (researchers and practitioners) in developing the research question(s) for any joint funding programme it might pursue.
o In order to foster co-production of research, T-AP should ensure that community/non-academic partners are involved in research projects in a significant way, and that they receive funding

Facilitating international research collaboration
T-AP should support the development of international projects and teams:
o The Platform should develop an international information hub, so that researchers can easily learn which international funding opportunities exist
o T-AP partners should serve as brokers to connect researchers

Designing funding opportunities
T-AP should consider the following when designing funding opportunities:
o T-AP should consider developing a programme devoted to seed funding, which would allow researchers to network and brainstorm prior to engaging in an international research project. In order to promote innovative thinking and risk taking, such a fund should allow for failure.
o Funding opportunities should provide for researcher mobility and opportunities for developing mutual understanding (e.g., exchanges), language learning and translation, and should foster different ways of writing and communicating.

An additional aim of the workshops at the networking event was to better understand how funding through Horizon 2020 - The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation could be focused to foster research in these areas, so as to maximise the contribution of this research towards addressing international challenges. Workshop participants were encouraged to attend the various other events taking place at Congress, so as to learn about research projects and network with current and potential colleagues. On the evening of June 1, the EU Delegation to Ottawa hosted a diplomatic reception for workshop participants and other invited guests, and on the evening of June 2 T-AP hosted an informal networking dinner for workshop participants.

In addition to the Trans-Atlantic Platform networking event where the three priority societal challenges were introduced and discussed from a broader perspective, T-AP formed three academic focus groups for the respective themes comprising of 15-20 high-level experts from the social sciences and humanities representing both sides of the Atlantic. The symposia brought together European and Americas research collaborators working in the three identified areas, with the aim of establishing larger collaborative networks in order to identify priorities and opportunities for future research collaboration. The first workshop focused on the topics of Social and Cultural Identities: Diversity, (In)equality and Differences (London, United Kingdom, 7-8 July 2015), followed by the workshop on Supporting Transformational Research on the Environment (Sao Paulo, Brazil. 1-3 September 2015) and the workshop on Resilient and Innovative Societies (Dortmund, Germany, 1-2 December 2015).

To provide a forum for discussion and exchange, in particular regarding future activities, was the main purpose of the event that was held in Brussels on 27 and 28 September 2016 and concluded phase 1 of the Platform (2013-2016). The final event "Towards a New Transatlantic Dialogue in the Social Sciences and Humanities" was organised by the Trans-Atlantic Platform. On the premises of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, the Trans-Atlantic Platform brought together a broad variety of participants from funding agencies, research networking initiatives, European institutions, NGO representatives, academics and other stakeholders to discuss the prospects for continued and enhanced cooperation in the funding of impactful, international collaborative research in the social sciences and humanities.

In particular, the two-day workshop was designed to foster the sharing and discussion of best practices in establishing in the social sciences and humanities programmes with societal impact on both sides of the Atlantic and to help shape the future of research and advocate for its vital role in the transatlantic interconnected research agenda.

The workshop was structured around two themes:
1. What are the best practices of funding international collaborative research in the in the social sciences and humanities? How can funders' networks and organisations align their activities to create added value for being more complementary, efficient and effective on both sides of the Atlantic?
2. How can international and interdisciplinary funding programmes be designed to promote in the social sciences and humanities research that can contribute timely evidence to inform
decision-making in policy and other sectors?

While the first workshop day mainly focussed on enabling discussions among T-AP members and other trans-national platforms and initiatives, the second day also saw the active involvement of external stakeholders and experts of the science-policy interface.

The first workshop day was devoted to a discussion of best practices, challenges and opportunities in international research funding. The workshop kicked off with introductions to a number of different networks and initiatives relevant to the transatlantic social and humanities research landscape , such as T-AP, NORFACE, HERA, ERA-Net LAC, EqUIP, JPI Urban Europe, JPI Climate and Belmont Forum. These presentations already hinted at first synergies between the platforms and initiatives and also pointed at possibilities for future collaboration. Participants also exchanged on how to align the activities of research funding networks and other stakeholders. Participants then discussed a number of challenges that these initiatives and networks and, indeed, international funding platforms have.
Five overarching challenges were identified: mission funding; membership; challenges of international cooperation & challenges of interdisciplinary cooperation; and outreach. The issue of geography and of different approaches, needs, capacities - already within Europe and between European countries but even more so beyond - was identified as a particularly important and difficult dimension. Also, the difficulty to identify the best approach to engage stakeholders was raised, as was the issue of oversubscription, which is linked to the question of the framing of research calls.

The group discussions resulted in a variety of very concrete ideas and suggestions for collaborative efforts to succeed in launching Calls, alignment of efforts, lowering barriers between researchers such as:
• The idea to create an easily accessible structure for sharing information between research networks and for monitoring initiatives and funding initiatives in other countries.
• The insight that there is no one-size-fits-all structure for research networks; it all depends on the mission and also on the rationale of the members involved (e.g. focus on calls vs. focus on
policy-impact; thematically open vs. closed calls).
• With respect to the notion of impact. Participants agreed that the term "impact" is still very much defined in terms of natural science research. Hence, it is crucial to be very attentive and also proactive in re-shaping the meaning of impact to also include other kinds of impact, such as conceptual impact in trans-atlantic collaboration?.
• Concerning the management of networks, participants underlined the crucial importance of clear lines of responsibility: It needs to be clear from the beginning what partner is in charge of which activity.
• Governance structures need to be strong (and they need a strong and committed lead) but they also require flexibility.
• The importance of an "information-gathering phase": Participants stressed that it is essential for a collaborative effort to succeed to facture in time for the network members to get to know each other.
• The importance of taking the time from the very beginning of the joint effort to get to know each other also applies to definitions: It is essential to work from a common understanding (e.g. to define what is ground-breaking research, what is excellence, etc.). Furthermore, all partners that are supposed to collaborate need to take part in the shaping phase of the network and the joint projects in order to build strong common ground and commitment.
• Furthermore, it is important to reflect on the reasons that motivate researchers/funding agency representatives, organisations, networks to collaborate and to factor these into the design of the collaborative effort.

A recurring theme of day 1 was the awareness of European participants not to try to transfer "their" European experiences and prerogatives in international research cooperation to other parts of the world. Europe has a relatively long history of transnational collaboration in science and research which sometimes results in Europeans taking joint achievements as a given. Participants, especially from South America, underlined the crucial importance of sharing best practices. The research and research funding landscapes in Europe and on the American continent differ considerably. Hence, building truly collaborative activities between these different systems requires patience, focus and strong commitment.

The second meeting day focused on the role of social sciences and humanities research in policy making. It was also discussed how to best design international funding opportunities that lead to knowledge that informs policy decisions. Discussions that day also looked at how (international) funding opportunities could be designed that lead to knowledge that informs decision-making. The group discussions focussed on issues that need to be kept in mind when developing research programmes aiming to achieve policy impact: politics and academic freedom, scepticism and resistance; global challenges and (often) local solutions; engaging research users; communication, cooperation and co-creation. The importance of ensuring - and constantly communicating - that the focus on impact is not meant to undermine the notion of academic freedom was highlighted. The issue of expectation management was discussed as well: What can researchers deliver? What can stakeholders bring in? What are the needs of policy makers? Another issue that was highlighted repeatedly was the role of intermediaries as knowledge brokers and their central role in ensuring successful communication. Participants also asked about the role of funders as knowledge brokers, an issue that was brought up again during the last part of the day 2, which focused on funders perspectives on impact.

Among others, participants shared the following insights and perspectives:
• In order for successful research activities in an international context, an active senior-level commitment is essential (i.e. at ministerial and ambassador level).
• Setting a strategic research challenge is key to engage a wide number of stakeholders.
• To appropriately evaluate policy impact, it is essential for the funding organisation(s) that launch the funding opportunity to have a valorisation plan. Therefore, an impact manager in the institution can be an interesting addition.
• Multi-country calls face a particular challenge: Here, the chance of having impact is more diluted. Hence, the risk of "funding and forgetting" needs to be addressed in the very project design.
• Local funders have impact, but how much impact do multinational funders have? In order to make sure that they have, clear monitoring structures need to be set up. Also, it would be important to support the funded projects in their efforts to have impact.
• Who are the receivers/users of results of international funding calls? Although there are some international users that could potentially be interested in working with these results (e.g. international platforms, the OECD, the UN agencies), participants agreed that it might be more realistic to look at impact and users on the national level.

1 Pilot Project on Digital Scholarship

In order to become more than a 'network of networks' and to bring genuine added value, the Platform focused from the start of the Platform on a series of key topics. A solid process or mechanism to identify the key future research topics for inter- and transnational research
collaboration in the social sciences and humanities was delivered. In addition, one theme was already identified which was scoped in more detail through the life of the Platform as a pilot for exploring how all themes could be further developed beyond the Platform. As an initial focus, the Platform agreed upon a plan to pilot new principles of transnational collaboration facilitating prospective joint programming focusing on the theme of Digital Scholarship.

The growing prevalence of information technology advances in software and hardware, and increased mobility with decreased cost has impacted scholarly work across sectors, regions, and disciplines. This phenomenon, broadly termed digital scholarship, has been adopted to varying extents across disciplines. Within the social sciences and humanities, some individuals, disciplines, and communities (digital humanities) quickly and visibly incorporated digital tools and techniques
into their scholarly work. The common perception is that other than those who identify themselves as digital scholars, scholarly work in the social sciences and humanities has not moved as quickly to take advantage of digital tools and techniques.

Today massive amounts of digital data are being generated at unprecedented scales and velocity, ranging from digitised books, newspapers and music; to information generated by internet-based activities, social networking, mobile communications; administrative data from public agencies, and customer databases from private sector organisations; tracking data, monitoring the movement of individuals or physical objects subject to movement by humans; data generated by the internet of things; and aerial and satellite image data. At the same time technological advances are also enhancing our capacity to access, link and analyse existing survey, census, and administrative datasets; as well as the increasing integration of biomedical and phenotypic data.

However, the use of such data is not without challenges. For example, the reliability, statistical validity and generalizability of some of these new forms of data are not well understood. This means that the validity of research based on such data may be open to question. The emergence and growth of 'born digital' data and the increasing amounts of data resulting from our ability to digitize materials have outstripped the tools and methods at our disposal for analysing them. In addition, it is to be considered how to take advantage of the unprecedented scales on which these data are being generated. The expertise and knowledge required in order to exploit the value of these data and to make them available for re-use is in many cases dispersed across countries and scientific disciplines; as such, there is a need to leverage and build upon common international expertise and share knowledge and best practice across borders to ensure that duplication of effort is minimised and opportunities for collaboration and added value are not missed.

Digital scholarship concerns academic work in interaction with the digital. It can be about using computation methods for research with large datasets, or about the building of digital collections and archives. It can encompass equally the possibilities for rich visualisation of research data, connecting disparate data sets to generate new insight, and the practices of new ways of teaching, both online and on traditional campuses. It is concerned with digital publishing and how scholarship might move beyond text and into image sound, linkage and video. It embraces research methods for digital
cultures, movements and societies, gives rise to new, multi- and trans-disciplinary methodologies and modes of enquiry and new ways in which academic work are made visible. It is about the digital both as a field of study and a method.

Commencing a concrete activity on the theme of digital scholarship at an early stage of the Platform enabled partners to quickly start to draw understanding about best practices and methods of working together. The theme of Digital Scholarship had already been the subject of discussions between a wide range of the T-AP partners and related to concrete collaborations between partners (Digging into Data). The T-AP joint Pilot Call was formed on the basis of this previous successful collaboration but remained distinct from previous Digging into Data rounds in its scope and requirements.

Defining the scope of the Pilot Call
Initial work was done to identify research infrastructures across the transatlantic to support collaboration in the social sciences and humanities. A questionnaire was circulated among members and associates to secure high-level information regarding state of national data infrastructure in support of social sciences and humanities research. This survey was a key component as the findings from this survey informed the next step of the scoping exercise, which consisted in exploring options for joint funding initiatives and other projects in the area of Digital Scholarship. The National Research Data Infrastructures survey showed that expertise and knowledge required in order to exploit the scientific value of big data and to make them available for re-use is in many cases dispersed across countries and scientific disciplines. Therefore, opportunities to gain leverage and build on common international expertise are missed, and costs incurred as a result of duplication.

Following the analysis of this survey, the Trans-Atlantic Platform decided to develop a programme of activity with the aim of enhancing international collaboration in digital scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. The scientific agenda for such a pilot programme was scoped by the partners, with the assistance of scientific experts and other stakeholders, at a Joint Learning Workshop which took place in Washington (USA) on 28-29 January 2015. This workshop brought together research funding agency staff, selected researchers and other stakeholders to exchange knowledge on programming in support of Digital Scholarship in order to stimulate the networking of partners new to digital investments with more established projects to share best practices, explore expansion to new countries within the EU/Trans-Atlantic Platform and discuss the possibilities of launching new initiatives.

Recommendations of the workshop can be summarised as follows:
o Data Priorities. The potential of the data revolution is boundless and it is to be expected that, as technologies advance and digital capabilities become increasingly sophisticated, the opportunities for creating and exploiting large scale datasets will only grow. Today's world is increasingly connected and digital; it is a world in which data are generated via a multitude of channels and devices on a second-by-second basis. In 2008, the number of 'things' connected to the internet (and to each other) exceeded the number of people; by 2020 it's expected that there will be around 50 billion 'things', far outstripping the global population and all generating unprecedented volumes. Technological innovations also make it possible to digitise and analyse enormous volumes of text, audio, images, video and more.
The added value of new forms of data comes, in many cases, from the potential for linkage, calibration and interoperability between these data sources and also with 'traditional' datasets (or data specifically generated for the purposes of research). To unlock the potential of new forms of
data, it is crucial that researchers from the social sciences and the humanities are encouraged not only to work with data scientists and computer scientists, but also to work together between their own disciplinary areas. The following were identified as priority data sources: social media data/data generated through internet interactions; mobile phone data (including GPS tracking and
geo-location); Internet of Things; sensors data (e.g. traffic sensors, pollutant sensors); images, audio and video; oral histories, non-English language and mixed language texts.
o Research Priorities. New forms of data, or data that were not originally generated for research purposes, can enable researchers to investigate new research questions relating to new social, political, economic and cultural processes, as well as enabling the examination of existing research questions in new contexts. The potential themes and areas that could be informed by new forms of data are almost limitless, covering many 'challenge' areas. The following topics were identified as being particular priority areas: global resilience (including global security - social, economic, political, cultural, cyber/digital); sustainable cities/urban transformations; food/water/energy nexus; public health and wellbeing (ageing populations, mental health, healthcare provision, predictive potential of new forms of data); cultural heritage and diversity; understanding identities (including religion, histories, gender, sexuality); creative industries/economy.
o Interdisciplinarity & Inter-sectoral Working. The potential of new forms of data for research is almost entirely reliant upon the ability of researchers from multiple disciplines to work together towards shared goals, for example addressing the 'grand challenge' areas outlined above. As we move forward, new paradigms of research are emerging whereby the boundaries of academia and industry are becoming blurred, and the impact and policy-relevance of research is becoming increasingly important. Inter-sectoral working between academics and, where relevant/appropriate, the public, private and third sectors has many benefits, not least in the sharing of knowledge and best practice, enabling access to data through relationships with data owners/controllers; driving forward innovation, enabling and accelerating impact, and potentially ensuring sustainability.

o Training, Capacity Building & Impact. New forms of data are just that: new. Whilst there is an
ever-increasing appetite for using them, the rate at which these data are being adopted is not matched by increased investment in more comprehensive training and skills programmes for academic researchers as well as for application domains outside scientific research (e.g. business and policy). Interdisciplinary working will be crucial, including an awareness of the need for new algorithms; an improvement in predictive power; new forms of visualisation and communication of information; new forms of data harvesting and ingestion; and new business models. Although there are particular pockets of expertise, generally speaking there is a troubling gap in the ability of academia to capture and explore new forms of data for the purposes of social, behavioural, cultural and economic research. Improved training and capacity building provisions across research careers (from undergraduate through to established/professorial) will better equip researchers to maximise the benefit and impact of new forms of data. This is not only crucial when thinking about the conduct of research and handling of data, but also the ability of researchers to provide robust and well-informed peer review assessments.
Additionally the impact of Digital Scholarship was assessed, which helped the Trans-Atlantic Platform to identify promising research areas in Digital Scholarship and develop ethical principles to govern joint funding initiatives. A report was drafted which consisted of an analysis of two primary aspects of scholarly work: 1) research and teaching and 2) training. First, the report provided specific data related to the diffusion and use of digital tools and techniques within the social sciences and humanities research communities, as measured by a weighted random sampling of published journal articles. Second, the report provided a focused synthesis of key findings and best practices for using digital teaching/training tools to impart skills, recognizing that the same factors impacting research will also impact teaching and pedagogy.

One of the main recommendations of the report, which tied with the conclusions of the Joint Learning Workshop (28-29 January 2015), was that most if not all social sciences and humanities scholars should have digital tools in their toolbox. That's not to say that all research must involve digital tools; not at all. Rather, when tackling a problem in their field, scholars should be prepared and equipped to identify how methodologies involving digital tools might provide insight, and execute basic methodologies. To continue the metaphor: "I have a hammer in my toolbox; I know how to use to hang a painting on a wall. I know it is used to build a house, in combination with other tools; while I am not personally equipped to complete this more complex task, I am able to recognize that I can bring in experts to do it. I am also am cognizant that not everything is a nail, and
sometimes the hammer is completely the wrong tool". This digital tool and technique toolbox will evolve as technology evolves, and poses a substantial training challenge. Two key steps include:1) Provide opportunities and incentives to learn the capabilities of modern software; 2) Reward risk of taking in the use of digital tools to address SSH problems.

This analysis was built upon the OECD Global Science Forum report, New Data for Understanding the Human Condition, which highlighted that data-driven and evidence-based research is fundamental to understanding and addressing global challenges. It also responded to the OECD
report's main recommendations to research funders, namely that funders should collaborate a) to help researchers assess and better understand the research potential of new forms of data, and b) to
develop a framework code of conduct covering the use of new forms of personal data.

Following the Joint Learning Workshop and different scoping exercises, it was agreed that the
Trans-Atlantic Platform Digital Pilot would be branded as the 'Trans-Atlantic Platform Digging into Data Challenge' Pilot call. All T-AP partners were invited to nominate a representative to sit on a Technical Group, which took inspiration from A T-AP cooperation template for joint activities to produce a Memory of Understanding and Request for Proposals for the pilot programme. Staff from participating T-AP partners worked together intensively over several months to develop the call documents (the Framework for Cooperation and Request for Proposals), and shared best practices in merit review, governance, funding models and other topics. The pilot was led by the National Endowment of Humanities (USA) and Netherlands Organisation of Scientific Research (NL).
The Pilot Call
T-AP announced its first international grant program, the T-AP Digging into Data Challenge, on March 1 2016. This funding opportunity was open to international projects that consisted of teams from at least three member countries, and with partners from both sides of the Atlantic. The Call was open to projects that addressed research questions in humanities and/or social sciences disciplines by using large-scale, digital data analysis techniques, and demonstrated how these techniques could lead to new insights. It was specifically aimed to advance multidisciplinary collaborative projects in digital scholarship that sought new perspectives and insights. Proposals were invited to address any research question in the humanities and/or social sciences, utilising any data source to do so.

The call was supported by 16 funding agencies across 11 countries:

Americas Argentina MINCYT Brazil FAPESP
Canada SSHRC Canada FRQSC Canada NSERC Mexico CONACYT US NEH
US NSF US IMLS
Europe Germany DFG France ANR Finland AKA Portugal FCT Netherlands NOW UK AHRC
UK ESRC

The four overarching goals of the T-AP Digging into Data Pilot Call were to:
• Address humanities and social sciences research questions by using innovative research techniques in large-scale data, and show how these new techniques can lead to new theoretical insights.
• Stimulate transatlantic research collaborations that provide added value to digital scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, i.e., above what can be accomplished by single nation's efforts.
• Foster interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers in the humanities, social sciences, computer sciences, library science, archival science, information sciences, mathematical and statistical sciences, engineering, and other fields, around questions of data analysis.
• Promote efficient access to and sharing of the materials for research by working with data repositories that hold large digital collections.

Deadline for the submission of proposals was 30 June 2016, and 105 proposals were submitted. The overall Call budget was €M 7,5 and the funding decisions will be announced in March 2017.

Succeeding in opening a joint transatlantic pilot call was a clear sign of success of the Trans-Atlantic Platform. The mechanisms developed for the Challenge will lay the foundation for future T-AP funding programmes.

1 Identification of new transatlantic research priorities for the social sciences and humanities

In parallel to the first Pilot Call, the Trans-Atlantic Platform engaged in the identification of transatlantic research priorities. This process included consulting stakeholders through several T-AP events and questionnaires among national funding agencies, as described in the next paragraphs. The identified themes were subsequently discussed with scholars from both sides of the Atlantic at the
T-AP networking event and a series of academic symposia's. The identified research priorities and in-depth scoping exercises via symposia resulted in three reflection papers. This shortlist of 'thematic' areas served as recommendations for the Trans-Atlantic Research Agenda for the social sciences and humanities.

The development of the Trans-Atlantic Research Agenda was based on a process that
• considered practical needs of research;
• took advantage of current research and projects;
• established links to national, European and international policies and programmes for joint implementation;
• built upon national Social Sciences and Humanities priorities and programmes.

Based on the Trans-Atlantic Research Agenda for the social sciences and humanities, and its defined priorities and research topics, a T-AP call agenda has been developed. The agenda was drafted to generate added value through initiating transatlantic cooperation and with the ambition of fostering cross-fertilization of the thematic priorities but at the same time to have clearly defined and focused call topics.

Scoping of national funding priorities
A consultation was run with Platform partners to scope ideas for themes for collaboration and to identify key strengths and interest areas. A questionnaire was circulated to scope ideas, suggestions and preferences for key thematic areas for collaboration and thus create the basis for preparing the T-AP Research Agenda. It encouraged partners to reflect on transatlantic issues and interests and
where international collaboration truly would add value. This was the first time any kind of collective process was undertaken across the humanities and social sciences with the geographical coverage of both Europe and the Americas.

The main focus of the scoping exercise was, first, common problem-awareness and, second, crosscutting intersections of themes and issues mentioned. In the process of charting, assessing and reviewing the research priorities, overlap and duplication with running initiatives was avoided to make sure the shortlisted thematic areas would make a distinctive contribution to the research landscape.

The scoping exercise revealed five potential key themes for transatlantic research collaboration:

In deciding which themes to scope in more in-depth, the Platform reflected upon the strategic orientation of the Platform. T-AP's primary focus - and where it brings most value to the international research system - is the development of transatlantic collaboration in the social sciences and humanities. It was agreed that all T-AP activities should support transatlantic collaboration around common challenges where such collaboration would bring added value, and be driven by a social sciences and humanities (SSH) challenge or consist of interdisciplinary work with a SSH component, and should encourage SSH collaboration. This ensured that T-AP activities would have an added value over other (international) calls and would bring most value to the international research system. In light of this discussion, T-AP efforts were directed to three themes: Social and Cultural Identities: Diversity, (In)equality and Differences, Supporting Transformational Research on the Environment and Resilient and Innovative Societies. The chosen topics reflected the need to ensure geographic coverage in terms of 'benefits' and the need to cover both humanities and social sciences.

Three thematic symposia
In addition to the Trans-Atlantic Platform networking event where the three themes were introduced and discussed from a broader perspective, T-AP formed three academic focus groups for the respective themes comprising of 15-20 high-level experts from the social sciences and humanities representing both sides of the Atlantic.

The focus groups convened in three thematic academic experts symposia. Here the experts were asked to elaborate and discuss the subsequent themes in detail and to elaborate the transatlantic added value of each theme in a multilateral framework. The symposia provided the opportunity to:
• Stimulate the networking of existing collaborative projects working in areas of mutual interest.
• Create new networks to identify and explore state of the art research needs in the theme area.
• Strengthen the production, use and communication of existing research findings to policy makers and practitioners.
• Share experiences of the challenges of undertaking international collaborative research and how challenges can be overcome.
• Identify future broad research priorities for possible future collaborative initiatives between research funders and enhancing the quality, quantity and visibility of future actions, including the possible formulation of joint research agendas.

The symposia's brought together European and Americas research collaborators working in the three identified workshop areas, with the aim of establishing larger collaborative networks and to identify priorities and opportunities for future research collaboration. The first workshop focused on the topics of Social and Cultural Identities: Diversity, (In)equality and Differences (London, United Kingdom, 7-8 July 2015), followed by the workshop on Supporting Transformational Research on the Environment (Sao Paulo, Brazil. 1-3 September 2015) and the workshop on Resilient and Innovative Societies (Dortmund, Germany, 1-2 December 2015).

Common principles for all symposia to ensure openness and transparency of the process, consistency of engagement with partners and clarification of partners' expectations were agreed. A common approach was particularly needed on the selection of participants, academic experts and on the workshops report/reflection papers.

For each of the symposia similar criteria in identifying attendees to ensure a good range of participants were used, with good coverage across disciplines and countries. All T-AP (associate) partners were invited to nominate up to five researchers/experts for each workshop. Partners were requested to include a brief description of each researcher's area of expertise (or link to a website with that information). All nominations had to meet the following criteria:
- Suggested attendees should be carrying out research that falls primarily within the social sciences and humanities, although interdisciplinary expertise is welcomed.
- Suggested attendees should be able to take an overarching view of the social sciences and humanities, and be comfortable engaging with topics beyond their immediate area of expertise.
- Suggested attendees should have a significant international research experience or active engagement with interdisciplinary research scholarship.

The content and format of symposia was developed by the partner leading that workshop and tailored according to the thematic area and focus. A draft programme was circulated to all T-AP (associate) partners for input, comments, and speaker suggestions.

The identified research priorities and in-depth scoping exercises via workshops resulted in three reflection papers.

Reflection papers
The activities on the selected themes led to a reflection paper containing a state of the art overview, the most compelling research questions of scientific interest, and recommendations for future activities. Special attention was dedicated in the reflection papers to the scoping and identifying of multidisciplinary areas for potential cutting-edge research collaboration between national research programmes addressing the major transatlantic challenges, with the intention of making recommendations for and facilitating the development of new joint research and related activities and initiatives in pursuit of collaboration identified.

The production of the reflection papers following the symposia acted as a tangible focal point for discussions around shared research agendas.

Diversity, (In)equality and Differences
With respect to the theme Diversity, (In)equality and Differences theme, a clear need for a transatlantic research agenda to be more fully explored by the research community and more widely articulated, was identified. This research effort goes beyond an international set comparative exercises, and requires theoretical and conceptual reflection to unravel the implications of such a new endeavour if closer large-scale research collaboration between Europe, North America and South America is to achieve its full potential.

It was noted that this transatlantic environment, and the linkages between a supra-national, intercontinental area and the local, regional and national considerations provide an unique framework that has to date been relatively underexplored by the research community. Issues of different scales, complexity, social and political contexts, languages, cultural practices, assumptions, intellectual traditions, and histories are fundamental aspects that need to be recognised and understood both for research to happen and for any funded research to have impact. Research is needed to develop a greater understanding of the wider geographical, historical, social and cultural context of the transatlantic.

In terms of research priorities, inequalities, inclusion, mobility, contested/hidden pasts, well-being and diversity were the key cross-cutting areas. The following four themes were identified:

• Culture and heritage enabling inclusion. This research priority focused on the role of culture and heritage in enabling inclusion and reducing inequalities. The sub-themes are based on a dynamic understanding of what "heritage" is beyond objects and structures and how difficult, contested or hidden pasts might be dealt with. It included the role of cultures and heritage in enabling inclusion and the changing sense of place and belonging, as well as the idea of intangible heritage.

• Mobility, flows and relationships in the Trans-Atlantic. This is an overarching research theme organised around the flows of people and ideas in the Trans-Atlantic area, including migration and
mobility and their implications for demographic change, the changing nature of identity, communities, relationships and cultural practice, across time and space.

• The implications of economic development and the diverse constructions of inequalities. This research theme focussed on how global economic development affects sustainability and (in)equality in a local context, and what are the conditions and consequences of the perceptions of inequalities for participation and public policies, as well as the consequences of those policies regarding social mobility. This theme included the study of policies and practices applied in different areas and their consequences on social, economic and cultural mobility dynamics.

• The role of social sciences and humanities in understanding well-being. Well-being is understood here beyond its economic implications. These sub-themes are based on ideas of 'Well-being' understood as a broad, collective action and concern ('living well together'), as well as the individual, singular idea of 'well-being'; and cultural approaches to identity, and their implications for well-being, and for policy.

The themes have to be understood as general research areas which cluster a number of subthemes and focus in making research topics transatlantic, while taking into account local, regional and national particularities. The transatlantic area is very diverse and delivering an overarching view, articulating
it beyond comparative studies, and therefore defining its 'distinctiveness' is difficult to obtain in this context.
Exploring these research themes requires pursuing multi-sector and multi-disciplinary research with a wider scope in the transatlantic area.

It was recommended that participation from South and Western African nations and the wider Americas including Caribbean, Central and South America was facilitated in the Trans-Atlantic Platform. Involving scholars from these areas in future research activities would widen the geographical and intellectual scope of the Platform, enhance the authority of the Trans-Atlantic Platform, and speak actively to the very questions -urgent questions- of inclusion and inequality that T-AP aimed to be interrogating.

Supporting Transformational Research on the Environment
The reflection paper on Supporting Transformational Research on the Environment underlined that strengthening of the research interactions between social sciences, humanities and environmental sciences are needed to tackle climate related challenges at both sides of the Atlantic. While environmental science concentrated on investigating environmental problems and working out solutions, these solutions require social, cultural, political and ethical change, and thus the intervention of SSH researchers. The study of the environment cannot be restricted to natural phenomena, but must also consider human-induced transformations. Research on ecosystems services, sustainable production of food and energy, smart cities or transportation planning, are examples of fields in which there is need of interaction between social sciences, humanities and environmental sciences. The transatlantic collaboration would contribute to fostering research that is transformative in all aspects: conception of new problems and methodological approaches, and applicability of results. Such an opportunity also brings about the challenge of ensuring that the ensuing collaborations produce long lasting results.

The following figure singled out three components considered under this theme, namely: the added value of transatlantic collaboration; the knowledge gaps to be addressed by investigating the theme; and the kind of transformative research that the theme brings about. In particular, the proposed research should be transformative either in its outcomes and impacts, or in the processes and methods adopted to conduct it.

Cross disciplinary partnerships between social sciences, humanities and environmental sciences require scholars to rethink and transform scientific thinking, and require a change of attitude in partners. To ensure transformative research, successful collaboration on this topic and dissemination of results, the construction of projects around a concrete problem (problem-based collaboration) was cited as a concrete possibility. The construction of shared conceptual framework will negotiate a common language across disciplines. Domain ontologies, for one, can be progressively created to support communication among experts and interactions across levels and perceptions of the world. Maps (as in cartographic renderings) were cited as yet another example of a means to effectively engage actors, and help construct collaboration across disciplines. They can also help to establish connections between past, present and future, and condense information for stakeholders.

This collaboration needs to be supported via technology, in particular when multiple disciplines and methodologies are involved. Special emphasis should be placed on data and research infrastructure. Data availability and sharing are essential to support collaborative work, to promote reuse (e.g., reducing costs of producing new datasets) and reproducibility of scientific research and experiments. Thus, all projects should plan on an appropriate data infrastructure, subject to appropriate curation, preservation, archival and publication policies. The proposal of a data infrastructure includes, but goes far beyond, a "data management plan" (e.g., as defined by NSF's directorates, see http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/dmp.jsp), but must also include the software (to analyze and visualize data), and protocols and standards for sharing of data.

The notion of "data" is not limited to static data files, but also to all kinds of media collected and produced by projects. Data also includes executable code and documentation of various types, such as questionnaires and reports. Hence, the data to be shared to foster collaboration should include, among others: (a) raw and analyzed/derived data sources, e.g., produced by models; (b) models developed within a project; (c) publications including educational material; and (d) metadata on all the other data items, e.g., with details on how raw data were collected, context in which they were
produced, information on quality, and how to use. Additionally, some kinds of data may be protected by privacy, and their use be subject to ethical considerations. "Data" also includes ontologies (see section 5) as a means to share consensual vocabularies and knowledge. Ontologies can be used, among others, to help integrate concepts and to give meaning to annotations. Collaboration also
needs a reliable cyberinfrastructure, including computer networks, communication protocols, data exchange standards and repositories for accessing data (considering the extended definition of data provided here). Last but not least, such a collaboration infrastructure also relies on technical staff support (namely, IT), to help researchers store, access, share and reuse data of interest. In this sense, technical issues to foster collaboration can no longer consider data heterogeneity alone, but also the heterogeneity of processes that occur within and across multiscale levels.

To sum-up, the following recommendations were provided to foster cross disciplinary partnerships on the topic:
a) Availability of good quality, open data repositories, so that researchers can reuse and exchange the results of others' work. This might also include project reports (and even reports of unsuccessful work)
b) Availability of opportunities and forums for training young researchers in multidisciplinary activities, and
c) Availability technical support in information technology aspects, in recognition of IT as a basis for conducting research

The notion that there are multiple perceptions of sustainability, and many pathways to research on sustainability was reinforced. It is, moreover, characterized by what may be called "multiscale" concerns -- i.e., it requires collaboration of scientists that study the world at multiple space and time scales, and from distinct perspectives. As pointed out during the discussions on methodological challenges, studies (and research focus) vary from the large (the world) to the small (a home) to the smaller (e.g., effects of micro-organisms on health or on the environment). This, in turn, results in highly heterogeneous research scenarios, with a wide variety of disciplines and research profiles.

In terms of research priorities, key concepts included, among others, notions of pathways and timelines, as well as scales, sites, places and networks. The following subthemes were put forward: local and indigenous knowledge of and solutions for sustainability; ripple effects and dynamics of global connectivity; triggering multilevel sustainability transformations; comparative studies of cultural spheres in relation to environment and sustainability; relational aspects and global/local different scales of engagement and sustainability plus environment; large scale movements of people and other species and new forms of settlements, and the role and impact(s) of environment(s); finding meaning, making meaning and imagining difference in understanding and adapting to global change, including practice of science; impact of abrupt change (climate, environmental, socio-economic); acceleration of synchronicity; tele-coupling (land/water-grabbing, conflicts, migration).

Cross cutting themes suggested were trust in science and models (climate and economic), reflexive research, revealing uncertainty and semantics and different terminologies.

One of the ideas that clearly came across is that the "transatlantic" dimension of transformative research on the environment does not mean that all collaboration initiatives should be along a transatlantic topic. Rather, the Platform would provide added value to international collaboration, by allowing different (transatlantic) perspectives and approaches to research to be combined to produce transformative research on the environment. As such, the Platform can bring about changes in two ways: by leveraging competitive international linkages, where researchers share their experiences; and by establishing calls driven by social sciences and humanities that clearly demonstrate how to involve researchers across the Atlantic to solve environmental problems. Yet another contribution of the transatlantic dimension is to facilitate comparative studies across continental divides, involving distinct scientific, economic, social and cultural perspectives. This diversity, in itself, can strongly contribute to transformative research.

Resilient and Innovative Societies
The huge potential that transatlantic collaboration could offer for research on Resilience and Innovative Societies were underlined. For research on the topic, especially the interconnectedness and the global context need to be considered in order to benefit from transfers from local solutions to a larger scale. The benefit of transatlantic research collaboration derives from the different angles which may be applied. Furthermore, different areas of research need to be covered ranging from a development of common concepts, typology of actors and comparing (local) examples, common measurements and methodology which can be developed in order to answer societal challenges.
Exploring the research themes under the umbrella of Resilient and Innovative Societies requires a trans-disciplinary and intercultural approach also including communities and stakeholders at local level with a wider scope in the transatlantic area.

The existing innovation paradigm is mainly technology driven, which can be challenged by highlighting the effects of the transition from an industrial to a knowledge and services-based society. Innovations are also stemming from new demands, social needs and societal challenges, and social value creation. These result in new (social) practices and thereby open up the innovation process to society by co-creating and empowerment of citizens.

One of the major challenges in the contemporary research is to better understand the conditions under which social innovation develop, flourish and lead to sustainable social change. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a comprehensive view on innovation and an integrated understanding of the role of various actors in the innovation process.

The importance of co-creation in finding solutions at local levels in order to ensure that successful Social Innovations have durability and broad impact (social acceptance), was stressed and the enormous range of Social Innovation and resilience measures of promoting individual and community resilience in North and South America and Europe highlighted.

In terms of research priorities, the following four research priorities were identified:
• Innovative capacities of societies. Societies face global challenges but solutions are often (firstly) developed and based on the local level. A comparative Trans-Atlantic perspective adds value by focusing on the innovative capacities of societies at local levels and transferring them to other contexts. New forms of governance and processes of citizen participation and co-creation need to be considered in this context as well as new cross-sector innovation concepts including social innovations.
• New role of Social Sciences and Humanities (interdisciplinarity, geopolitics of knowledge). As the most urgent and important innovations in the 21st century will take place in the social field, this priority aims at advancing the established innovation paradigm which is often focused on the technological solutions only. This opens up the necessity as well as possibilities for Social Sciences and Humanities to find new roles and relevance by generating knowledge applicable to new dynamics and structures of contemporary and future societies.
• Resilience - Conceptual discussion. Clarification of the concept of resilience e.g. by examining who is involved, what are the mechanisms to preserve and rebuild and what are measures and strategies for improving resilience. In addition, also the linkage between resilience and Social Innovation needs to be considered, highlighting a critical analysis of power relations between and among societies in a Trans-Atlantic context.
• Inclusion and Diversity. This theme is linked to the discussions of new forms of governance, focusing on practical discussions, on which communities and stakeholders are included in social processes. Here especially an inclusive approach from social sciences, humanities and arts should be the basis for research including also the impact of macro-level changes on life (survival) and
well-being.
The initiative of the Trans-Atlantic Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities was valued as positive especially in regard to promoting research on equal footing and offering necessary fora for transatlantic research communities. Recommendations in order to further strengthen this process were to promote community building (networking and capacity building opportunities), to promote intercultural equality within the transatlantic community (language, concepts) and to support existing SSH projects and networks in order to expand and further develop.
Rolling agenda- Research Agenda
Based on the results of the symposia's and reflection papers, a shortlist of thematic priorities were put forward which firstly, were validated by academics as genuine valuable to be researched with a transatlantic perspective, secondly, could be aligned with national research agendas and thirdly, matched the Specific Programme of Horizon 2020 in order to align with European programming.

This Trans-Atlantic Research Agenda was drafted to generate added value through initiating transatlantic cooperation and with the ambition of fostering cross-fertilization of the thematic priorities but at the same time to have clearly defined and focused call topics. The shortlist of thematic areas on the Agenda with special promise for international collaboration served as recommendations for topics and issues to incorporate within Horizon 2020 and national funding strategies.

The following themes were identified as particular priorities, where the Trans-Atlantic Platform and the research directly or indirectly under its funding, could make a substantial and permanent contribution. This contribution could take the form of new conceptual approaches and new insights allowing the development of solutions to answer grand societal challenges which are affecting both sides of the Atlantic.

Migration, mobility, flows and relationships in the Trans-Atlantic:
This is an overarching research theme organised around the flows of people and ideas in the transatlantic area, including migration and mobility and their implications for demographic change, the changing nature of identity, communities, relationships and cultural practice, across time and space. It also includes study of the culture and language ecosystem in the societies of origin and destination, the emergence and evolution of diverse multicultural and multi-ethnic societies, the effects of policies on the treatment of refugees and displaced people and the relationships between demographic change and movement of people from a transatlantic perspective. Topics to be addressed:
• Consequences and understanding of enforced movement of people historically and today (e.g. Slave trade and human trafficking). Impact on people, trade, country relationships, identity.
• The Trans-Atlantic effects of local and national policies on treatment of refugees and displaced people. Trajectories of "movement".
• Study of the flows in space and time and impact of both social and geographic mobility on art, culture and policy.
• A non-imperial view of movement, "circuits and flows" of cultural hybridization, in the wider Trans-Atlantic context.
• Ideas and memories of being "Trans-Atlantic" as part of the global discourses.
• Shared and contested cultural experiences in the Trans-Atlantic area concerning demographic change, multiculturalism, multilingualism and multiethnicities.

New role of Social Sciences and Humanities - Toward a New Innovation Paradigm (Social Innovations, transdisciplinarity and geopolitics of knowledge):
This theme is based on discussions around the established innovation paradigm which is focused on a merely technological approach. However, not only the impact of technology on societies needs to be examined but also social innovations and innovative capacities of societies as such. In this context
the general capacities of social innovation in different local, national and international contexts needs to be studied. Furthermore, the role of social sciences and humanities research in conveying (social) innovations between actors (stakeholders, researches, civil society) is an important aspect to scrutinize. A transatlantic research perspective on this theme should help to advance the impact and relevance of different Social Innovation practices at various levels and in differing contexts. Aspects which need to be addressed in this context are:
• What are the norms of social innovations, and the impact of unintended consequences of innovation?
• Discussion of the role of social sciences and humanities in the prevailing innovation paradigm: Need to find "other" theories and practices and not delivering solutions but to work together with practitioners
• Stronger collaboration of SSH and bridge social innovation research and innovation studies
• (Social) Innovation as learning process, which needs to involve communities and stakeholders in order to deliver solutions and solve problems.
• Trans-Atlantic Learnings: Local learnings for global solutions
• Social innovation and Co-Creation: Role of social scientists - new approaches towards stakeholders are necessary and new approach for looking at problems, this includes also community work with academics, as there is a strong need to translate (academic) results into knowledge mobilization

Adaptations to global change and local environments- Making Meaning and imagining difference This research theme focuses on how global development affects sustainability and changes in a local context, and what are the conditions and consequences of the perceptions combining human and ecological relationships and dynamics across (geographical and temporal scales). This theme includes the study of cultural relations, their evolution from a global change perspective and the fact that sustainability is not necessarily concerned with geographic space alone, but also with cultural loci, instead of spatial ones. Here the Trans-Atlantic perspective brings added-value by supporting transcontinental collaboration and points of views (e.g. comparative studies).Questions to be addressed under this research priority are:
• Local and indigenous knowledge of sustainability
• Ripple effects and dynamics of global connectivity
• Triggering multilevel sustainability transformations
• Comparative studies of cultural spheres in relation to environment and sustainability
• Relational aspects and global/local different scales of engagement and sustainability and environment
• Large scale movements of people and other species and new forms of settlements, and the role and impact(s) of environment(s)
• Impact of abrupt change (climate, environmental, socio-economic)

In addition to themes as identified in initial phase of the Platform and set out in Research Agenda, new themes will be added to agenda over the years.

1 Expansion of the T-AP Network
From the start of the Platform, opportunities and challenges of extending the Platform were explored. In order to encourage effective international scientific cooperation in the social sciences and humanities and to broaden the network, all potential partners interested in working with the Platform were invited to attend and participate in the Platform's workshops and meetings. T-AP partners also actively approached agencies in Europe, Latin America and North America.

A Cooperation Strategy to Broaden Engagement aimed to broaden the engagement and to explore opportunities and challenges of extending the network was developed, considering the following three principles. In the first place, the strategy aimed to strengthen the collaboration with the main funding agencies in Europe and Americas, especially those potential partners that already have experience in transnational (or transatlantic) cooperation in social sciences and humanities and in particular with those countries where links are less established. In second place, the strategy took into account the existing social sciences and humanities networks in Europe, North America and Latin American, focusing on strategic partners who are involved in different networks, in order to strengthen the impact of T-AP activities instead of duplicate. Thirdly, a 'light touch' membership process was developed to maintain flexibility for future potential partner inclusion and also keep the doors open for future engagements with potential partners and to align activities with other networks.

A great number of funding agencies, stakeholders and researchers participated in the Platform's activities, workshops and meetings. In order to maximise efforts, representatives were to invited to strategic events to explore cooperation opportunities, to share knowledge and best practices and to discuss the possibility of future alignments. T-AP's coordination office played a key role to keep the partners communication and engagement, for this reason keeping it operating is of high importance for the platform future sustainability.

The Platform is currently supported by 18 partners: 10 from Europe, 5 from North America and 3 from South America. Fifteen partners (including three associate partners) signed the T-AP Memory of Understanding at the launch of the Platform in October 2013. Three funding agencies joined the Platform since then: Chile's Comisión Nacional de Investigación Cientifica y Tecnológica, The
Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCyT) and Quebec Research Fund - Society and Culture (Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture). Those three agencies took part in T-AP events, and assisted in developing the T-AP Digging into Data Challenge call
documents (the Framework for Cooperation and Request for Proposals) and pooled resources to support the T-AP Call. To be sustainable in the long-term, there is a need to cultivate and continue to strengthen that trust on an ongoing basis through information sharing and joint activities of the Platform beyond calls for proposals.

The active involvement of scholars and funding agencies from South and Western Africa and the wider Americas including Caribbean, Central and South America in both T-AP and the research projects funded in was recommended for the next phase of the Platform.

Potential Impact:
Work performed, results achieved
T-AP is a global first, representing the collaborative efforts of key humanities and social science funders globally on a scale not previously entertained. No previous Platform has involved humanities and social science research funders from Europe, Canada and the Americas.

The success and impact of the Trans-Atlantic Platform can be characterised by a series of a achievements documented for each of the objectives of the Platform:
• increase international cooperation between the T-AP partners through closer coordination of activities.
• Leverage, enhanced and expanded existing networks.
• Identify opportunities for future research collaboration.
• Develop T-AP into an efficient, effective and sustainable platform for collaboration among funding agencies.

The Trans-Atlantic Platform has enhanced the ability of funders, research organisations and researchers to engage in transnational dialogue and collaboration. T-AP's primary focus, and where it brings most value to the international research system, is the development of transatlantic funding programmes in the social sciences and humanities. T-AP provided a forum for research funders to convene to discuss possible joint activities - ranging from activities on Big Data tot inequality.

The socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the Platform ranged from facilitating cooperation based on mutual interest and benefit by bridging gaps between research programmes and activities and reinforcing dialogue concerning the cross-cutting areas of social sciences and humanities, on the one hand, to achieving a critical mass and a better use of available resources to provide common answers to common problems on the other.

By mapping good practices, identifying barriers to collaboration and building on existing knowledge, as well as sharing information on funding procedures, peer review and policy priorities, T-AP
worked toward developing a new flexible platform for research funding cooperation. The Platform stimulated the international cooperation between T-AP partners through closer coordination of activities, learning from and enhancing the networking of and expanding existing networks, identifying opportunities for future research collaboration, constructing and supporting the
Trans-Atlantic Platform and enhancing the international cooperation between the T-AP partners.

1) Minimise duplication and promote synergy among national/regional programmes
By encouraging multilateral transatlantic research coordination and intensifying communication, the Trans-Atlantic Platform has paved the way for national agencies to work together and achieve convergence, in terms of research policy, programme design and funding practice to avoid duplication of efforts and expenditures and make a better use of available resources.

1 Multilateral collaboration in the field of social sciences and humanities
The Trans-Atlantic Platform represented a global first in establishing a mechanism for effective and structured multilateral engagement of research funding agencies in Europe and the Americas. There are a number of pre-existing activities between EU Member States and Trans-Atlantic states, often these are relatively small scale and disparate in nature. T-AP has better enabled agencies involved in the Platform to understand the range of existing initiatives and prevent them from expending resources attempting to 'start from scratch'.

The transatlantic is understood as a geographical area that has been shaped by exceptionally intense and sustained connections over centuries. Collaboration within Europe and between Northern America in the field of social sciences and humanities research has a long tradition, but this cooperation has been mainly developed on a bilateral approach, whereby the geographic scope or operational area, the objectives and goals to achieve jointly are defined for the implementation of the activities. This bilateral approach of cooperation, as developed within the Scientific and Technology (S&T) Agreements, was mainly adopted by the research funding/performing organisations (RFO/RPO). Though most of the objectives of the agreements were considered as of common interest for more than two partners, the actions related to these S&T Bilateral Agreements were not synchronized and systematically interlinked.

While cooperation in the field of SSH was growing considerably among European and Northern American, links with other countries in the Americas were less established. The increasing economic and geopolitical relevance of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to the international scene clearly rendered them strategic partners for the European Union in the last decades, and their scientific potential is constantly growing. This applied particularly to the countries of Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Argentina, whose scientific systems are advanced and are the countries that the Platform will initially focus on to create new sustainable relationships to tackle global societal challenges.
Moreover, the Latin American region faced several problems that needed to be addressed and further researched such as poverty and inequality, access to education, employment, crime and violence.
Latin America holds at least 40% of the world's remaining rainforest, 35% global freshwater and 25% of cultivable land, making it an essential region for global environmental concerns and protection. Trade is of utmost importance for the international community interested in establishing links with Latin America as a region providing great opportunities for the future. Therefore there was a need to understand the region's economic development, especially its resilience. Furthermore, learning from the importance of understanding Latin America's growing economic and political influence is instrumental in tackling European societal challenges and to help understand Europe's position in the global environment.

Rather than competing with bilateral (or small scale multilateral) activities or repeating each other's mistakes, the Platform has drawn and built on experiences to create more harmonised and EU wide approaches. This is particularly important for the humanities and social sciences, who are often represented by smaller organisations (or smaller parts of larger organisations) than other research remits, and so through joining together will be able to achieve more.

In this regard especially the linkages between a supra-national and intercontinental levels and contrasting local, regional and national considerations provided an unique framework that was until the launch of the Platform relatively underexplored by the research community. Thereby, issues of different scales, complexity, social and political contexts, languages, cultural practices, assumptions, intellectual traditions, and histories are raised frequently as fundamental aspects that need to be recognised and understood.

Building new relationships was a primary benefit of T-AP for agency personnel working on the project, and all T-AP partners rated this as a highly successful aspect of the Platform. Not only were new relationships developed, but existing relationships among agencies were strengthened. All of the agencies involved in T-AP welcomed the greater range of partners involved in the Platform than in typical EU initiatives, and the expansion of perspectives, particularly those that came with the inclusion of new partners in South America. For European agencies, collaboration has been a fact of life for a number of years, with much international work funded through the European Union and its Horizon 2020 program. For most North and South American agencies, relationships were often new, and while more time-intensive to forge, may therefore have been even more valuable.

The Trans-Atlantic Platform has helped to build and to consolidate an integrated, global research network and supported multilateral transatlantic research collaboration. It is recognised that there is huge potential to be developed and that transatlantic collaboration in the social sciences and humanities has offered innovative opportunities across disciplinary and national boundaries.

1 Alignment of national research agenda's
Today's society faces many grand societal challenges of a global nature. Efforts to resolve them require international collaboration. It is important that research funding agencies respond to these developments accordingly, by setting up possibilities for international collaboration between researchers, promoting research involving many disciplinary fields, and by advancing the utilisation and inclusion of the rich and diverse field of social-scientific and humanistic research.

The Trans-Atlantic Platform instituted a common but flexible framework, by putting social sciences and humanities in driving roles, to support efforts to promote alignment of research agenda's to improve our understanding of contemporary global challenges. As such duplication of effort or expenditure is avoided and a better use of available resources promoted.

Under the umbrella of the T-AP, a pilot call was launched and a series of research priorities for the future identified. Special attention was dedicated to the scoping and identifying of areas for potential cutting-edge transatlantic research collaboration between national research programmes and initiatives addressing the major European challenges. Based on the results of implementing a proof of principle for the 'digital scholarship pilot project' and the scoping of new key themes for collaboration, the Trans-Atlantic Research Agenda promoted the identified research priorities and aimed at connecting them to for instance Horizon 2020 challenges.

2) Building 'critical mass' towards shared learning and reduction in barriers to collaboration Navigating in the complex landscapes of different national policies and legal frameworks can often pose surprising challenges, and any hope for success depends on charting the way ahead beforehand. A series of activities were implemented by the Platform to foster mutual knowledge and understanding and to develope best practices for supporting international research collaboration.
T-AP partners familiarized themselves with the research funding practices and procedures of each other, and also carefully listened to other partners' hopes and recommendations for future collaboration. By mapping good practices, identifying barriers to collaboration and building on existing knowledge, as well as sharing information on funding procedures, peer review and policy priorities, T-AP worked toward developing a new flexible platform for research funding cooperation. By encouraging transnational research coordination and intensifying communication, the Platform enhanced the ability of national agencies to work together and to harmonise both research policy and research practice wherever appropriate.

As there was a great variation in the level of engagement currently occurring at a multi- and bilateral level across the European Union and Americas, the Trans-Atlantic Platform was committed to engage with the needs of those new to collaboration as well as build on the existing links where appropriate. At the onset of the Platform, partners were engaged in a great variation of a multi- and bilateral cooperation across the European Union and Americas. Particularly in Europe, the multifaceted processes of EU integration have resulted in the development of many forums for collaborative research. The ERA-NET funding schemes - developed as part of the EU's Framework Programmes - have, in particular, broadened cooperation between European and other funding agencies. To mention two examples, HERA has provided valuable opportunities for cross-border research in the humanities within the European Research Area, while NORFACE has been an ambitious project advancing research and research policy relating to the social sciences. NORFACE already involved some transatlantic collaboration through the membership of Canada's SSHRC. The Open Research Area in Europe for the Social Sciences (ORA) has also included one North American organisation, USA's NSF.

The Trans-Atlantic Platform was built on the accomplishments of the existing collaborations and networks both by learning from and strengthening them as going beyond them to accelerate the scale and scope of Trans-Atlantic collaboration in the social sciences and humanities. By using European networks to work with those beyond Europe in a structured way promoted that the 'Platform' funding has led to future research collaborations than a more ad-hoc or smaller scale approach would otherwise do.

The Trans-Atlantic Platform enabled the partners involved in the Platform to understand the range of existing initiatives and prevent them from expending resource attempting to 'start from scratch'.
Throughout the grant, the Platform has ensured collaboration with other international networks and explored synergies (e.g. JPIs and ERA-NETs) to avoid duplication of work elsewhere, and add real value for funders and researchers.

The Trans-Atlantic Platform enabled and enhanced cooperation among the major national research funding agencies on both sides of the Atlantic and fostered innovation, excellence and best practices among national research funding agencies. The Platform supported stepping up international collaboration through sharing best practices, networking and closer coordination of existing activities and the establishment of new relationships to facilitate multidisciplinary networking across the social sciences and humanities in their widest remit both with respect to research and geographical areas.

The foundations that support transatlantic research collaboration are well documented by the Platform, shared and utilized to strengthen existing activities and create new opportunities. Consolidating the lessons learned from these types of activities and through the symposia discussions will form a valuable resource for future collaboration building.

3) Effective transnational and pan-European research networking
The Trans-Atlantic Platform has facilitated cooperation based on mutual interest and by bridging gaps between research networks and programmes and reinforcing dialogue concerning the
cross-cutting areas of social sciences and humanities, on the one hand, to join forces to provide common answers to common problems on the other hand. The Platform stimulated the international cooperation between T-AP partners through closer coordination of activities, learning from and enhancing the networking of and expanding existing networks, identifying opportunities for future research collaboration, constructing and supporting the Trans-Atlantic Platform and enhancing the international cooperation between the T-AP partners.

This Platform offered new opportunities for cooperation across national and agency boundaries. The joint scoping of activities and priorities has ensured joint 'ownership' of these and therefore a commitment to shared goals. Decisions on topics for symposia and the symposia themselves, involved feeding in of strategic priorities from all partners, and working through these to understand where there are shared priorities and mutually beneficial interests.

The Trans-Atlantic Platform has offered new opportunities for cooperation across national and agency boundaries. The Trans-Atlantic Platform encouraged innovative thinking, oriented research towards urgent issues, and strengthened partnerships in collective and comparative research networks. This approach fostered theoretical, conceptual and methodological innovation as well as enriched insights and evidence about human thought and behavior in the past and present.

In terms of research themes and international collaboration, the transatlantic perspective allowed per se different (transcontinental) views and approaches to social sciences and humanities research to be combined to produce competitive international linkages where researchers share their experiences. Furthermore, by establishing a Trans-Atlantic Platform forum, the promotion of intercultural equality in research i.e. in terms of concepts and languages served as important basis for talking joint
solutions to global challenges. Only by achieving research 'on equal footing' significant and lasting contributions to joint transatlantic solutions are possible. Through the establishment of multilateral research funding programmes new interdisciplinary approaches, concepts, methodologies and data were generated and tested for a better understanding of global processes and local impacts.

The Trans-Atlantic Platform has helped to facilitate the formation of international, interdisciplinary networks of researchers through a number of events and workshops. In order to become more than a 'network of networks' and to bring genuine added value, the Platform focused from the start of the project on a series of key topics. A solid process or mechanism to identify the key future research topics for inter- and transnational research collaboration in the social sciences and humanities was delivered. In addition, one theme has already been identified which will be scoped in more detail through the life of the Platform as a pilot for exploring how all themes may be further developed beyond the Platform.

A pilot programme on the theme of digital scholarship was implemented as a proof of principle for transnational collaboration. This pilot programme - the T-AP Digging into Data Challenge will lay the groundwork for future collaborative activities. This is a topic which merits transatlantic approach, not only because of the inherent value of comparative analysis, but also because big Data involved actors on many levels which can be more effectively studied in an international programme facilitating multi-level research on institutions and actors from local to supra-national levels.

4) Forward thinking: Enabling Future Collaborations
The Platform has tested new principles of transnational collaboration in the Pilot Project, run an inclusive scoping exercises to identify potential future priorities for European/Americas collaboration and explored a shortlist of priorities in more detail to develop recommendations for future. In doing so, the Platform strengthened the comparative and transatlantic dimension in research collaboration.

Parallel to developing its first joint Call, opportunities for future research collaboration were explored. A consultation was run with all Platform partners to identify key strengths and interest areas. This was the first time any kind of collective process was undertaken across the humanities and social sciences with the geographical coverage of both Europe and the Americas. A
Trans-Atlantic Research Agenda for the social sciences and humanities was drafted. The agenda contains a state of the art overview, the most compelling research questions of transatlantic scientific interest, and recommendations for future activities.

Engagement at a practical level has served to ensure long term links. Activities supported through the Platform such joint organisation of symposia and discussions of peer review and decision making involved close working of the Partners. This served to build trust between organisations at a working level, both through deeper understanding of how each other work, and also through the practical experience of working together on tasks. This trust was an important pillar on which to build future collaborations and, once built, will be more likely to lead to jointly funded research programmes.

The widening of research funding agency networks has served to maximise the potential for longer term collaborations. The work of the Platform to draw in additional stakeholders and partners has been valuable in realising long term goals.

List of Websites:
Project public website address: www.transatlanticplatform.com

Co-ordinator's contact details:
The T-AP Coordination Team is a joint effort of Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) (with special responsibility for the Americas) and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (with special responsibility for Europe).

Dr. Renée van Kessel-Hagesteijn
Director Social Sciences Department, Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Netherlands)
P.O. Box 93425, 2509 AK The Hague, The Netherlands E-mail: T-AP@NWO.NL

Dr. Ted Hewitt
President Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) 350 Albert Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4, Canada
E-mail: Jeremy.Geelen@SSHRC-CRSH.GC.CA

Related information

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NEDERLANDSE ORGANISATIE VOOR WETENSCHAPPELIJK ONDERZOEK
Netherlands
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