Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: The challenge is to strengthen the administrative and operational capacity of transnational networks of National Contact Points, through financial and technical support while improving the framework for the operation of NCPs and the flow of information between them and the Horizon 2020 implementation bodies.

Scope:  Support will be given to a consortium of formally nominated National Contact Points in the area of Societal Challenge 6 to promote good practice and to support the implementation of HORIZON 2020, and to overcome barriers due to the fragmentation of research communities along national lines. In addition, contact points will provide important feedback on issues relating to programme planning, design and evaluation.

In view of the changes brought about by the adoption of HORIZON 2020, the network of national contact points will organise transnational events to communicate with all interested scientific communities regarding new research actions; to draw lessons from previous research programmes on best practice for cooperation; to help researchers prepare for new funding schemes and structures.

The network will organise NCP Information Days, NCP trainings and provide appropriate tools and instruments to support NCPs and researchers. Activities will support researchers to connect into all Societal Challenges of Horizon 2020, but they should not duplicate actions foreseen in the NCP network for quality standards and horizontal issues under ‘Science with and for Society’.

Attention will also be given to enhance the competence of NCPs, including helping less experienced NCPs rapidly acquire the know-how accumulated in other countries.

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.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:  This action will strengthen the network of NCPs in view of reducing the fragmentation of national research communities and promoting 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. It will guide researchers in their quest for securing EU funding. The action is expected to contribute to embedding the Social Sciences and Humanities and International Cooperation throughout HORIZON 2020 as well as other ERA-Initiatives. It will also contribute to implementing the other horizontal activities of Societal Challenge 6.

Type of action: Coordination and support actions

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