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APRE analyses proposals in 'Food Quality and Safety'

APRE Analysis; making Italian researchers more successful in a changing environment

Preparing an European research project within the EU Framework Programme (FP) is a demanding and time consuming process. Moreover coordinating an European research project requests highly specialised managerial skills which may contribute more successfully to achieve the proposed objectives within the project. From the 7 Thematic Priority Areas which compose the 1st Block of the 6th Framework Programme (FP6) “Focusing and Integrating European Research”, the 5th Priority (TP5) “Food Quality and Safety” seems to have the highest Italian participation. This is why APRE chose, in the first place, to analyse the performance of Italian coordinators in this specific sector. The main aim of this analysis is to improve the performances of Italian researchers at European level, therefore increasing their success rate especially in view of FP7. Relevance is seen as a strong criterion for Italian Coordinators in every instrument, however, this criterion can still be improved. In general ideas are presented good, nevertheless detailed information is missing. Studying the comments given by the evaluators on the ESRs, projects are not always addressing the topic of the call. Consortia must be aware of the inclusion and the active involvement of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) as this is of major importance and give the projects extra value. Inclusion of future and pan European states is regarded as extremely important, as this also increases the potential impact of the project. It should be clearly described why partners are well suited for the tasks described in the Work Packages, demonstration should be given on experience gathered in previous projects. More often a proper description is missing on Intellectual Property Rights, this should be well explained in the management or contingency plan. A good management plan is highly appreciated by the European Commission. Justification should be given on budgeted costs as in general budgeted costs are overestimated. Consortia face strong competition, more often similar projects are already running. Therefore deliverables and their impact on European scale must be clearly described and defined. Remarkable is the fact that Scientific and Technologic Excellence is performing weak in all instruments analysed. Reason for this is that procedures and objectives are poorly described and miss state-of-the-art. Thus it remains vague how project outcomes will contribute to an innovative Europe. Network of Excellence and Coordinated Action are in contrast to the other 3 instruments underrepresented. Italian participation in these instruments should be dramatically improved in the 7th Framework Programme. Starting from an analysis of the Evaluation Summary Reports (ESR) for projects submitted by Italian coordinators during FP6 in TP5, this analysis intends to provide a general overview on the strengths and weaknesses in preparing and writing an European research project. Therefore it may serve as a guideline for preparing future projects, especially in view of FP7.

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Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom