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Network of the INCO-NCPs

Final Report Summary - INCONTACT (Network of the INCO-NCPs)

The INCONTACT project (see online) has aimed at the development of platform for stimulating closer cooperation among INCO National Contact Points (NCPs). Within the framework of this closer cooperation, INCO NCPs have worked together to improve the overall quality of NCP services in the field of International Cooperation.

The content of the work in INCONTACT was structured in such a way to cover the three main objectives of the project, namely:
- Reinforcing the network of INCO NCPs through trainings
- Raising regional awareness on FP7 and training of ICPC NCPs
- Identification and promotion of best practice.

Activities including three awareness and training workshops in ICPC countries (Mexico, Russia, South Africa), exchange of experience, good practice, training for inexperienced European NCPs had strengthened the overall capacity of INCO NCPs and provided for more coherence of the support activities offered. In addition an online encyclopaedia on International Cooperation compiling all relevant information on International Cooperation activities in FP7 has been developed.

A brief description of project activities and results is following:

Regional workshops
According to the work plan three regional workshops have been organised (Moscow-Russia, Puebla-Mexico, Pretoria-South Africa) in order to support raising regional FP7 capacity and awareness, and facilitate NCP networking. The workshops agendas were tailor made to serve the needs of the regional NCPs but in all the cases included a training session for the INCO NCPs, local views and activities towards FP7, and FP7 presentation for the local scientific community. The regional workshops have proved invaluable especially as a tool for exchange of information, sharing experience and building cooperation bridges with regional INCO NCPs that usually do not have the opportunity to participate in official NCP meetings.

Intercultural research
An interesting research took place with the assistant of external experts in order to study the effect of cultural differences in international research collaborations. According to the objective, a set of power point presentations addressing cultural differences in research and technology project initiatives has been developed. The presentation modules have been made available for use to all NCPs in Europe and in third countries.

Training workshops for INCO NCPs
Two training seminars have been organised centrally in Brussels in conjunction with the scheduled INCO NCP meetings. The seminars included several aspects of NCP best practices, but also special issues that are not usually elaborated:
- A special training session on the 'Cultural differences in research and technology project initiatives' was organised and performed by an external consultant.
- Another session was focused on 'Gender in research', cconcerning the importance of a more equal participation of men and women in research and the integration of gender or sex aspects into the research projects.

An online encyclopaedia on International Cooperation had been set up, according to the principles of the Wikipedia under the domain: and is functioning as an online handbook. As a result, during the 24 months there have been a total of 39 064 page views, and 1 197 page edits. The INCO-Wiki main page has been accessed 10 779 times, the information on FP7 1 945 times, and the news section 853 times. There are 228 total pages in the database and 146 files, while the INCO-Wiki haves 543 registered users.

INCO NCPs representation
INCONTACT as the official coordinating project of the INCO NCPs has been participating in several working groups and activities representing the INCO NCP network and providing information about the INCO NCPs and the INCO program:
- Participation in the working group for the new Cordis partner search service
- Cooperation with thematic NCPs
- Communication with new NCPs and other stakeholders.

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