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Euraxess Top IV - extension

This grant will be awarded without call for proposals in line with Article 195(e) of the Financial Regulation, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1046/2018 and Article 11(2) of the Rules for participation and dissemination in ""Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020)"", Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013

This action aims at strengthening the effectiveness, optimize the services and enhance the role of the EURAXESS Services Network in building the next generation of researchers and innovators through (digital) cross-countries competence hubs, while collaborating with business, industry and non-academic actors to improve researchers’ employability, as well as facilitate more effective engagement of researchers with citizens and society.

This action will support the activities of the EURAXESS Service Network represented by the Bridgehead Organizations, which are beneficiaries of EURAXESS TOP IV project. The objective is to build upon and maximize the impact of the activities delivered under EURAXESS TOP IV, while maintaining or improving the quality of the services offered by the EURAXESS national networks in two main directions:

(1) Connecting and partnering with multiplier and enabler organizations in the EURAXESS member countries, such as business and industrial clusters and networks, incubators, accelerator programs, start-up ecosystem stakeholders, non-academic employers and others, aiming at facilitating engagement of mobile and non-mobile researchers in a cross-border and cross-sector career development experience that enhances their skills in areas addressing major societal challenges, and

(2) Engaging with citizens and society, aiming to develop positive attitudes to science and enhance the educational process to better equip future researchers and other actors with the necessary knowledge, motivation and sense of societal responsibility to participate actively in the innovation process, in context of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) values and principles.

The action will design, implement and show-case the concept of (digital) cross-countries competence hubs, as virtual platforms for effective collaboration of individual EURAXESS Service centers, empowered with competences drawn from or accessed through their own partnerships with multiplier and enabler organizations. Cross-countries competence hubs will involve researchers and other target groups in a pilot with a limited scope, which will validate the role of the EURAXESS service centers as knowledge brokers and facilitators of services provided in a complex, networked environment.

The action will develop toolkits reflecting the experiences gained through concept development, networking and pilot implementation, addressing both directions detailed above, and including mapping of competences within the designed hubs for providing signposting, guidance, mentoring and training services for researchers in the designated areas. The toolkit will also include the description of the approach, the methodology for implementation, proposed activities, tools and resources, performance assessment model, maturity/improvement model as well as recommendations for reuse in a different geographical and/or cultural set-up. The hubs will be balanced from a geographical point of view, and the participation of each beneficiary will be limited to one hub. Hubs should be also composed of organizations that already have some experience to deliver the scope of the action, and beginners, in order to encourage mutual learning. Structured cooperation among the created hubs is strongly encouraged, including cluster activities to ensure the action is designed and implemented in a consistent way.

The Commission considers that a contribution of EUR 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately during 12 months.

Expected impact: The action will result in three digital cross-countries competence hub models, detailed in three corresponding implementation toolkits, which will be used as baselines for development of new proposed working models for EURAXESS services network.

The action will contribute to a greater involvement of different external stakeholders in the designed cross-border hubs on a mission to open new career options for researchers, and accelerate knowledge transfer to/from industry and businesses, as well as facilitate more effective engagement of researchers with citizens and society.

In the medium term, the action will produce an increased volume of job opportunities published on the EURAXESS Jobs portal from non-academic employers.

In the long-term, it will contribute directly to cross-national and international circulation of researchers, and will support the progress towards the European targets on Research and Development intensity and percentage of researchers in the active population, while boosting European innovation and competitiveness.