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Fostering the network of National Contact Points

Specific challenge:Facilitate trans-national co-operation between National Contact Points (NCPs) within this Societal Challenge with a view to identifying and sharing good practices and raising the general standard of support to programme applicants, taking into account the diversity of actors that make up the constituency of this Societal Challenge.

Scope: Support will be given to a consortium of formally nominated NCPs covering the Challenge 'Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy'. The activities will be tailored according to the nature of the area, and the priorities of the NCPs concerned. Various mechanisms may be included, such as benchmarking, joint workshops, enhanced cross-border brokerage events, specific training linked to this Societal Challenge as well as to gender dimension of Research and Innovation, and twinning schemes. Special attention will be given to enhance the competence of NCPs, including helping less experienced NCPs rapidly acquire the know-how accumulated in other countries.

The focus of activities should be on issues specific to the Societal Challenge 'Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy' and should not duplicate actions foreseen in the NCP network for quality standards and horizontal issues under ‘Science with and for Society’. Where appropriate, links to other energy relevant parts of Horizon 2020, and to the overarching framework of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan should be taken into account.

Only NCPs from EU Member States, Associated Countries and – if their participation is deemed necessary for carrying out the action – from third countries, which have been officially appointed by the relevant national authorities are eligible to participate in and receive funding for this action.

The consortium should have a good representation of experienced and less experienced NCPs.

Submission of a single proposal is encouraged. NCPs from EU Member States or Associated Countries choosing not to participate as a member of the consortium should be identified and the reason explained in the proposal. These NCPs are nevertheless invited and encouraged to participate in the project activities (e.g. workshops), and  the costs incurred by the consortium for such participation (e.g. travel costs paid by the consortium) may be included in the estimated budget and be eligible for funding by the Commission.

The Commission will only fund one proposal under this topic.

Expected impact:

         An improved and professionalised NCP service across Europe, thereby helping simplify access to Horizon 2020 calls, lowering the entry barriers for newcomers, and raising the average quality of proposals submitted.

         A more consistent level of NCP support services across Europe.

Type of action: Coordination and Support Action