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Lead Market European research Area network

Final Report Summary - LEAD ERA (Lead Market European research Area network)

Executive Summary:
The LEAD ERA project was aimed at fostering the coordination of a series of trans-regional programmes dedicated to research and innovation within the highly innovative and technology based themes of the EU Lead market initiative. Through a process of intensive knowledge sharing of the regional competences and programmes, LEAD ERA partners developed a joint Scientific and Technological strategy and the mutual tools and methods to foster RTD cooperation amongst their regional RTD stakeholders.
The project was under the coordination of Wallonia and brings together the following innovative and science based regions/countries: Veneto Region (Italy), Lower Austria (Austria), Franche-Comte Region (France), Alsace Region (France), Greece, Galicia (Spain), Basque Country (Spain), France, Navarra (Spain), Andalusia (Spain) and Region of Western Greece (Greece).
During the 60 months of the project, the partners focussed on the topic of the 6 Lead Markets identified by the European Union. All of them are at the crossroad of a number of scientific and technological fields which are difficult for a single region to master. It was therefore economically and scientifically relevant to link the research competences from the various regions to achieve new technological and knowledge breakthroughs.
The LEAD ERA project seeks to link the two initiatives (lead markets and ERANET) by adding the research dimension to the support provided to the lead markets. The regions will bring together a joint fund dedicated to the launch of ambitious RTD calls for proposals. These activities will provide new resources for their regional RTD actors to work at a European level and, trans-national projects involving RTD actors from the private or the public sector.
A common strategy of communication and dissemination system will pave the way to create other joint collaborations between the various regional actors and even beyond the scope of the LEAD ERA consortium.

The consortium launched 4 Calls for proposals.
In total, 87 pre-proposals and 52 full proposals were submitted.
More than 30% were under the e-Health topic.
The Calls gathered 356 applicants among which 209 SMEs.
The total request for funding was: 87,818,833€.
The budget per project was mainly between 0,5 and 1Mio €.
The consortia are mainly composed by 4-5 partners, bilateral cooperation.
Although the expected result was to fund 10 RTD projects, the consortium finally funded 30 RTD projects for a total of 22,311,152€ public funding.

The consortium succeeded to connect R&D stakeholders from different regions/countries, especially a high number of SMEs.
The strong transnational collaboration of European SMEs in the six Lead Markets represents the major socio-economic impact of LEAD ERA.
The expected results are the consolidation of the Pilot Call’s results via the transnational funding of R&D&I projects.

Project Context and Objectives:
The LEAD ERA project is aimed at fostering the coordination of a series of trans-regional programmes dedicated to research and innovation within the highly innovative and technology based themes of the EU Lead market initiative. Through a process of intensive knowledge sharing of the regional competences and programmes, LEAD ERA partners will develop a joint Scientific and Technological strategy and the mutual tools and methods to foster RTD cooperation amongst their regional RTD stakeholders.
The project is under the coordination of the experienced Wallonia and brings together the following innovative and science based regions/countries: Veneto Region (Italy), Lower Austria (Austria), Franche-Comte Region (France), Alsace Region (France), Greece, Galicia (Spain), Basque Country (Spain), France, Navarra (Spain), Andalusia (Spain) and Region of Western Greece (Greece).
During the 60 months of the project, the partners focussed on the topic of the 6 Lead Markets identified by the European Union. All of them are at the crossroad of a number of scientific and technological fields which are difficult for a single region to master. It is therefore economically and scientifically relevant to link the research competences from the various regions to achieve new technological and knowledge breakthroughs.
The LEAD ERA project seeks to link the two initiatives (lead markets and ERANET) by adding the research dimension to the support provided to the lead markets. The regions will bring together a joint fund dedicated to the launch of ambitious RTD calls for proposals. These activities will provide new resources for their regional RTD actors to work at a European level and, trans-national projects involving RTD actors from the private or the public sector.
A common strategy of communication and dissemination system will pave the way to create other joint collaborations between the various regional actors and even beyond the scope of the LEAD ERA consortium.

The project has 5 objectives to achieve:
- Objective 1: Increase European and Lead Market awareness at the regional/national level.
- Objective 2: Define S&T areas of collaboration between the various regions/countries to underpin the development of the Lead Markets. Both objectives have been achieved through the work performed in the Work Package 2 ‘Mutual learning through Regional/National exchange of information and knowledge’, coordinated by Corallia.
- Objective 3: Share a common S&T strategy on Lead Markets. The task related to this objective is in finalizing under the Work Package 3 ‘Complementarities of the competences and programmes for a mutual strategy’, coordinated by WST3. The objective has been reached in month 23 (January 2011), when the lessons to be learned from the Pilot Call will be available.
- Objective 4: Set-up a transnational fund of at least 10Mio€ of public funding, which is performed under Work Package 4 ‘Methodology and financial schemes to support transnational calls for proposals’, coordinated by VI; and the launch of 4 cross calls in order to ensure the ‘technology push’ of the different Lead Markets. This very ambitious objective has been achieved after the Pilot Call 2010, which was performed under Work Package 5 ‘Transnational networking activities calls for proposals’, coordinated by DGO6.
- Objective 5: Increase long-term competitiveness in the Lead Market. This final objective has been reached in WP6, under the task 6.5 ‘Proposal for sustainability of the network’, coordinated by RA.

Project Results:

At the beginning of the project, the consortium established a project handbook in order to help the partners in the project follow-up and monitoring. The project handbook has been updated twice, when the project duration passed from 36 months to 51; and to 51 months to 60.
A consortium agreement was established at the same time, in order to define the rules governing the Initiative and the responsibilities of the Parties supplementing but not in conflict with the Contract. The agreement defines the responsibilities of the parties, the organisation of the consortium, the decision making process, the organisation of the activities, the financial management, the confidentiality, the termination of consortium membership, the new parties, the entry into force of the consortium agreement and duration of the initiative, the applicable law, the settlement of disputes, the language, the Entire Agreement – Amendments / Severability and the accession to the consortium agreement. The document has been updated when a new party entered the consortium and after each contract prolongation.

The branding of the project has been defined early. The logo and the templates for PPT and deliverables have been designed to be used for any communication purpose (see attachment).

A Plan for using & disseminating Knowledge was defined at a early stage to work as an overall framework for managing and coordinating the variety of communication tasks that took place as part of the LEAD ERA Project.
This LEAD ERA Plan for using & disseminating Knowledge explained how communication activities could help the LEAD ERA project achieve its overall vision and goal. It revealed what were the main messages that LEAD ERA wanted to convey throughout its work, and what were the key interest groups which LEAD ERA needed to reach.
The goal of LEAD ERA project was to create a fertile network of national and regional funding organisations working in the field of the lead markets. To be successful the LEAD ERA project needed to develop effective communication and dissemination both among its members and with external stakeholders. This LEAD ERA Plan for using & disseminating Knowledge described who was being informed, what was the content of the information per key interest group, and how the information flow was followed up.

The workplan foresaw the set up of a collaboration and knowledge platform dedicated to the knowledge management of the project and to the exchange of information between the LEAD ERA partners. This platform was based on an already developed and tested web-based tool (PEPS Alsace). It provided the participants with a specific tool to identify, to gather and to disseminate information, competencies and knowledge. The LEAD ERA partners decided to integrate the knowledge and systematic exchange platform in the same tool (PEPS Alsace) considering the performances of this tool.
The platform gathers the project inputs and results as well as the competences of SMEs, institutions and individuals related to the project fields. This information was easy and thematically accessible internally among the project partners. It allowed and facilitated the access to the available competences and animated the establishment of cross-thematic relations.

Moreover, in this platform, the participants could find the project’s basic documents, current status reports, partner’s contacts and dissemination material. Alsace Region has created and updated the collaborative and knowledge platform in collaboration with all the partners who were responsible for adding there the needed working documents.

Once the legal and technical basis were settled, the first step to achieve the ambitious objectives was to build up a strong network. This network could only be built up by an efficient and accurate communication. WP2 entitled “Mutual learning through Regional/National exchange of information knowledge” aimed at establishing the basis of the project: networking through a systematic communication and knowledge exchange through a competence mapping. This step facilitated the finding of the common competencies and paved the way to a sustainable work between the regions/countries.
The mapping of existing regional/national funding opportunities and programmes within the WP2 was of crucial importance since the partners’ programmes constituted the funds for the transnational joint calls. Therefore it was of pivotal importance to map individual programme objectives, selection criteria, evaluation procedures and eligibility rules. Towards this each partner has meet with its own regional/national program owners and managers and identified, whether they were interested to contribute resources for setting-up a transnational fund. On this occasion it also provided the opportunity to the partners to communicate with other regional/national stakeholders about the ERA-NET scheme and in particular about the LEAD ERA project.

The results gathered from WP2 were used in WP3, first in a report on reduction of barriers to foster transnational activities. The goal was not to look for similarities but for complementarities. In particular we raised information from all partners to
• Map mutual scientific and technological complementarities
• Define barriers and opportunities to foster trans-national collaboration and future complementarities to be targeted by transnational calls for proposals
• Identify concrete networking activities and areas for transnational calls
• Prepare a common strategy, work program (action plan) and a common vision

Considering the questionnaires of WP2, we identified some areas where barriers could be a problem in order to do joint work activities or common calls together. This task was crucial for the future of the project because it assessed the potential areas of collaboration.
“Priorities of the program”: we derived from this table that priorities of the programs in the different countries don’t vary a lot.
To go into more detail nearly every partner had a focus on
- industrial research
- demonstration/Experimental
- basic research
- central Service development and/or
- a mixture of it all.

This is not surprising because this was one of the main criteria to become a member at the Lead Era project. However, considering this information, there was no hurdle expected.
“Eligible applicants”: considering this area we raised information concerning the applicants who were eligible to submit project proposals in every region. This could be a problem if one/some regions didn’t support certain institutions and others did, in order to create common transnational projects.

Basically applicants of all partners were the same: SMEs, Large companies, Universities and Research organizations, so even in this area there was no major concern.
“Timeframe, scheme for calls”: from the table we could see that the scheme for calls was very different of each partner:
- on the one hand at WST3 and DGO6 applications were possible at any time
- Alsace didn’t have calls at all
- Veneto had annual calls
The question was how to arrange common calls if some regions have different procedures?
Is it still possible to arrange a call?

What are the principles?
If Veneto has annual calls how can we arrange this with our calls?
If DGO6 and Alsace have an open programme or continuous process how to draw attention to a common call?
The consortium agreed on a certain for the first call considering all regional circumstances.
“Documents required for proposal submission”: in this particular table all partners were asked to specify their documents which they requested if one institution is submitting a proposal.
In this matter we could see again that there were very different documents for submission required. The question was how to handle application via interview if for example a company was from another country.
This problem field was solved by an agreement that every call project partner submitted the proposal to their attendant partner so every region could keep their usual way of evaluating projects.
“Requirements for (pre)proposals”: this topic covered the information of how long were projects possible (duration) and what was the maximum amount of budget for a project to be allowed to hand in a proposal. Basically this was one of the first criteria on which project proposals are being evaluated on and therefore inevitable for us to evaluate.
The maximum duration was approximately 36 month, except Veneto with a maximum duration of 26 month. Possible inconveniences in this case were:
- What happens if the common projects last longer than 36 month? Could this be a problem for some partners to have a longer duration?
- A contribution maximum of € 600.000,- could be problem for establishing common projects with a much higher budget
- How do 2 partners arrange for giving the right support to a common project
The consortium agreed on a certain procedure for the first call considering all regional circumstances.
“Evaluation procedure”: means the duration from submitting a proposal till the project is accepted.
Considering the duration of the evaluation procedure it took 2 – 6 month to give submission.
- How can two partners arrange if for example WST3 and DGO6 have a shorter duration than Alsace? Is it possible to shorten the process – or can we arrange to find a common duration of evaluation procedures which fits together? Otherwise it could be very bureaucratic for the project partners to wait until the proposal is been evaluated.
Because all partners agreed on specific times for handing in (pre-)proposals and (full-)proposals, the time for evaluating project proposals was limited and the same for every partner.
“Internal rules”: were topics and criteria on which proposals were evaluated on and as obvious from the table they varied between all partners. Considering this little information, the consortium discussed this particular problem and found out that actually all rules were the same but with a different way of naming it. However, consortium agreed that every partner kept its rules.
“Eligible costs”: are costs which are applicable and refunded by the regional partner. It was obvious from this table that not in every country, travel costs were supported. This was a problem within interpremises projects especially if there were a huge travel effort necessary. Furthermore the general question on this specific topic was
- how to handle transnational projects if not the same costs are eligible?
After discussing this all partners agreed that every region supported their belonging call project partner in the usual way, so that there were no specific changes for common calls and eligible costs could even vary between Lead Era partners.
“Lead Era focus” and “Main interest in topics for”: these two tables were important in order to find - common call topics because it illustrated emphasis of each region in a detailed way.
As obvious from the table, all LEAD ERA topics were covered from any of the partners, especially
“Renewable energy” and “E-Health” were topics with a widespread experience, which indicated that there was a big existing interest of our stakeholders. Furthermore “Recycling” was a topic where projects were not common in different countries.
Nevertheless this was a chance for many partners to focus more on this topic. Therefore was an effort necessary to drew attention to these topic(s), otherwise we wouldn’t have had projects distributed to all topics of LEAD ERA.

On the basis of this report, the consortium finally agreed on the themes to be targeted by transnational activities, the calls topics:
• eHealth - ICT solutions for patients, medical services and payment institutions. Main areas: telemedicine/homecare and clinical information systems in the primary healthcare sector personalized health systems, home care for independent living
• Protective textiles - Technical textiles for intelligent personal protective clothing and equipment.
Clothing and other textile-based systems accessories whose main function is to protect the user. These high-tech products are used under very different circumstances such as by professionals and emergency services operating in hazardous environments or dangerous situations. Including protective textiles for non professional activities (sports..).
• Sustainable construction - An integrated life-cycle-oriented approach.
Sustainable solutions in residential and non-residential buildings as well as in infrastructure constructions are included in this market area. It involves for example efficient heating installations, in-door air quality systems and issues related to elderly persons' independence and new measurement systems of energy consumption and parameters linked to the building’s life-cycle. New methods and products to enhance adaptability of constructions to substantial technological changes, like moving from passive to positive house concept or integration of photovoltaics systems, for example.
• Recycling - A key towards moving to sustainable patterns of consumption and production.
Recycling plays an underpinning role by reducing waste, by reducing consumption of natural resources and contributing to greater energy efficiency. In this broad and diverse area, a lead market potential may also be seen in electrical and electronic waste and the waste from the end-of-life of vehicles.
• Bio-based products - Innovative use of renewable raw materials
Industrial and consumer products based on renewable, biological raw materials such as plants and trees constitute the focal point of the lead market on biobased products. It also includes non-food new bio-based products and materials such as bio-plastics, bio-lubricants, surfactants, enzymes and pharmaceuticals.
Generally there is a strong interest to find out where bio-based products can substitute products based on other raw materials. It excludes food, traditional paper and wood products, but also biomass as an energy source.
• Renewable energies - Towards renewable energy consumption
Renewable energy is energy produced by regenerative energy sources like wind, solar, biomass, biodegradable waste or feedstock, geothermal, wave, tidal, aerothermal and hydropower.
The results of the Pilot Lead Era Call and the regional strategies of every partner were summed up in the following vision:
“Our vision is the establishment of transnational projects to sustain the development of all Lead Markets in all participating countries by setting up a network for mutual cooperations.”
Based on this vision we identified strengths of the consortium. :
• The development of the Lead markets are considered to be wide which means that no certain Lead Market will be focused on or fostered in a certain way. Furthermore the mature consortium will have regularly common open Calls where submission of proposals will be possible in every Lead market.
• Besides this, new interested regions should be integrated in the consortium and are welcome to become partners.
• Basically the Call process should be carried out carefully and should be improved by considering the Era Net best practice and the results of the evaluation of previous Lead Era Calls.
We had to consider that the vision must reflect the consortium’s ideas, thoughts, plans and values which were the basis for identifying a common strategy and the settlement of further actions. The first impression was gained by checking the surveys of all regional visions and missions which were available and the EU Lea Market initiative as well as the Lead Era proposal.
All this information was put together and discussed, while the respond of our Markets were not available. So the consortium decided to wait with the formulation of the vision and strategy until the first Pilot Call results could be integrated.

Considering all information the following vision was established:
“Our vision is the establishment of transnational projects to sustain the development of all Lead Markets in all participating countries by setting up a network for mutual cooperations.”
The next step was the discussion on how to define a common strategy by integrating all strengths and derived from the formulated vision. The most discussed point was how to focus on one or more Lead markets. In workpackage 3 we made a survey asking for the numbers of SME, Clusters, R&D and Universities and their specific field of interest…. in the 6 Lead markets. For all participants the gathering of this information was very hard. But it gave an impression how interregional projects could be fostered. The next step was focusing on the number of institutions in one region and the results of the pilot calls. Comparing these results with the first Pilot Call the figures did not match. This was due to the fact, that most of the proposals of the pilot calls were triggered by the regions or agencies and the low number of proposals to do real statistical analysis. On the other hand the interregional comparison of the number of SME …. gathered by the survey bare statistical vagueness due to the different databasis.
Considering all these efforts the result in the end was that we could not focus at that time on one or more Lead Markets. So the consortium finally agreed on the following strategy:
The development of the Lead markets are considered to be wide which means that no certain Lead Market will be focused on or fostered in a certain way. Furthermore the mature consortium will have regularly common open Calls where submission of proposals will be possible in every Lead market.
Besides this, new interested regions should be integrated in the consortium and are welcome to become partners.
Basically the Call process should be carried out carefully and should be improved by considering the Era Net best practice and the results of the evaluation of previous Lead Era Calls.

With the shared vision and strategy, the consortium agreed on procedures to manage the funds dedicated to the calls. The partnership decided to adopt the “virtual common pot” model to implement the calls.
Therefore, each funding agency declared the budget allocated to fund the call and maintained its national or regional regulation to manage the transferring of fund to the beneficiaries. Afterwards, to give all applicants the possibility to have a clear picture about the local procedures, in the application package a specific document has been included: the Local requirements description (Annex 1), were all the information concerning the rules used by each funding agency has been collected.
Before each call opening, the consortium established transnational fund financial procedures. Each funding agency participating to the call declared the budget committed for its applicants.
Before each call, the complete set of documents was prepared and updated:
-Lead Era Guidelines for applicants
-Annex 1 Fact Sheets (Local requirements)
-Annex 2 Contact Details
-Pre-proposal template
-Full-proposal template
-On line submission Guidelines
All documents were available for download on the LEAD ERA website.

Before each call, efforts have been undertaken to enlarge the consortium. Two main tools have been foreseen for the consortium enlargement:
- Twining by each partner: each LEAD ERA partner was asked to contact one region/country and propose them to join the consortium. This “twining” has been done “in chain”, meaning at least once before each call;
- Mapping of new potential partners: a mapping of regions / countries outside the consortium was done through a study. The aim was to identify new potential partners with high scientific and technological potential in the Lead Markets.
Several methods have been used to increase the number of regions and countries participating to the calls and therefore the geographical coverage of the project. These methods were differently efficient. The enlargement by the LEAD ERA members, particularly the twining, gave the best results.
To conclude, the enlargement was successful: starting with 9 members, the project totalizes for the last call 18 partners from 11 countries.

According to the Annex I, the consortium has, among others, the following objective: Set-up a transnational fund of at least 10Mio€ of public funding Launch of 3 cross calls in order to ensure the ‘technology push’ of the different Lead Markets.
It has been achieved and even exceeded. The consortium expected:
- 10 transnational projects - 30 projects were funded.
- A total transnational fund of 10Mio€ - 22Mio€ public funding were mobilised.
- 15 companies participating in these projects - 78 companies participated in those projects.
- 3 represented regions/countries at least per project - 3 or more Funding Agencies were involved in 26% of the funded projects.
- 1/3 of innovative SMEs with research capacities involved in RTD projects - more than ½ of the projects partners were SMEs.
- 3 transnational calls for proposals - 4 calls were launched.
Partners participated to the Calls on a variable geometry basis:
- Call 2010
11 Funding Agencies participated to the Pilot Call: DGO6 (Wallonia/Belgium), WST3 (Lower Austria/Austria), RFC (Franche-Comté Region/France), RA (Alsace Region/France), OSEO (France), RWG (Region of Western Greece/Greece), Innobasque (Basque Country/Spain), DXIDI (Galicia/Spain), GN-DIEE (Navarra/Spain), IDEA (Andalusia/Spain) and IMADE (associated partner) (Communidad de Madrid/Spain). The global funding available for the Pilot Call was approximately 10Mio €.
- Call 2011
11 Funding Agencies participated to the Call 2011: DGO6 (Wallonia/Belgium), WST3 (Lower Austria/Austria), RFC (Franche-Comté Region/France), RA(Alsace Region/France), OSEO (France), Innobasque (Basque Country/Spain), GN-DIEE (Navarra/Spain), IDEA (Andalusia/Spain), RWG (Region of Western Greece/Greece); TÜBITAK (Turkey) and EAS (Estonia) as associated partners. The global funding available for the Call was approximately 11Mio €.
- Call 2012
14 Funding Agencies participated to the Call 2012: DGO6 (Wallonia/Belgium), WST3 (Lower Austria/Austria), RFC (Franche-Comté Region/France), RA(Alsace Region/France), OSEO (France), Innobasque (Basque Country/Spain), GN-DIEE (Navarra/Spain), IDEA (Andalusia/Spain), RWG (Region of Western Greece/Greece), VI (Veneto Region/Italy); TÜBITAK (Turkey), MATIMOP ISERD (Israel), IWT (Flanders/Belgium) and FOEN (Switzerland) as associated partners. The global funding available for the Call was approximately 14Mio €.
- Call 2013
8 Funding Agencies participated to the Call 2012: DGO6 (Wallonia/Belgium), WST3 (Lower Austria/Austria), RA (Alsace Region/France), Innobasque (Basque Country/Spain), IDEA (Andalusia/Spain), RWG (Region of Western Greece/Greece); TÜBITAK (Turkey) and FOEN (Switzerland) as associated partners. The global funding available for the Call was approximately 7Mio €.
In total, 42 million euros public budget was committed by the participating funding agencies for the 4 calls.

87 pre-proposals and 52 full proposals were submitted.
More than 30% were under the e-Health topic.
The Calls gathered 356 applicants among which 209 SMEs.
The total request for funding was: 87,818,833€.
The budget per project was mainly between 0,5 and 1Mio €.
The consortia are mainly composed by 4-5 partners, bilateral cooperation.
Although the expected result was to fund 10 RTD projects, the consortium finally funded 30 RTD projects for a total of 22,311,152€ public funding.

In order to monitor the Calls procedures and the funded projects, five different questionnaires have been used :
- A questionnaire on Call procedures to be filled in by the Funding Agencies;
- A questionnaire on Call procedures to be filled in by the applicants;
- A questionnaire on the rules used for the monitoring of funded projects in each Funding Agency;
- A questionnaire to monitor the LEAD ERA transnational funded projects, to be filled in by the projects’ coordinators every year;
- A questionnaire to monitor the LEAD ERA transnational funded projects, to be filled in by the projects’ coordinators after the end of the project.

The website www.leadera.net has been updated on a regular basis and will be kept online for the next 2 years.
6 Electronic Newsletters have been posted online.

The consortium started to work on the sustainability strategy in December 2010, analysing 3 options. One year later, the consortium decided to prepare and submit a proposal ERA NETs project in the NMP thematic area by end of February 2013. The new consortium gathers half of the LEAD ERA partners plus other Funding Agencies from other NMP ERA-Nets such as MANUNETII, M-ERA.Net and CrossTexNet.
The INCOMERA ERA-Net project gathers 21 partners and started in January 2014.

Potential Impact:
LEAD ERA aimed at creating a European Research Area in the field of the Lead Market. The expected impacts of the project LEADERA were located at different policy levels and across a different set of sectors and players. The expected impact was driven and achieved thanks to the regional/national readiness of the partners to actively contribute to the development of a transnational approach of RTD funding. The partners shared the willingness to fund transnational RTD activities on top of their actual regional/national funding and to achieve sustainable impacts on their regional economies and at a European level.

Impact on regional programmes
• Increasing consciousness on Lead Markets relevance: a significant budget increase for R&D in lead market was expected;
• Increasing the available budget for LEAD MARKET support up to figures that are appropriate for facing the European competitiveness challenges. Both have been achieved with a total committed budget of 42 million euros.
• Implementation of detected best regional/national practices at every regional/national R&D support programme. The best practices have been detected and analysed in WPs 2 and 3.
• Softening the sharp differences between the R&D regional/national programmes (in terms of tools, ways of funding, procedures for submission, evaluation...) going towards a coordinated concept for regional R&D related support programmes. This has been implemented in WPs 4 and 5, using them to implement the joint calls for proposals.
• Identifying, and including in their respective programmes, R&D priority issues to support the lead markets. This has been done via the participation to the 4 joint Calls for proposals.
• Increasing the independence and scientific quality of evaluation at a regional level, by the creation of the scientific advisory board. The SAB has been created and used only for the Pilot Call. For the 3 next Calls, the funding agencies decided to proceed on their own. This impact has been partly reached.
• Improving the regional R&D capacities for public and private organisation. Clearly, this has been done via the funding of 30 transnational RTD projects gathering public and private organisation from all the participating regions/countries.

Structuring the European Research Area
• Implying the most significant universities, institutes, competence centres, facilities and researchers in the field of the Lead markets, in order to achieve technological breakthroughs; this has been done via the funding of 30 transnational RTD projects gathering public and private organisation from all the participating regions/countries.
• Defining common strategies, putting into motion Transnational calls for proposals, establishing common procedures and using the best common evaluators in Clean

Technology and fighting fragmentation of efforts; this has been done through the implementation of joint calls for proposals.
• Helping to establish a permanent relationship and communication at every scale: among the administrations, among the programmes and, mainly, among R&D performers and companies. The permanent relationship among R&D performers and companies has been established through the annual opening of joint calls for proposals gathering mainly the same core of funding agencies participating.

Regarding the permanent relationship among organisations and programmes, it has been achieved via the implementation of the sustainability strategy developed in WP6 and resulting in the new ERA-Net project INCOMERA, in which 21 partners are involved, among which half are partners from LEAD ERA. The INCOMERA project started in January 2014.
• Fostering the openness of technological markets on the Lead Markets, making more feasible to contract any technological supplier from any corner of the European Union.
• Contributing to the coordination with other related ERANETS in order to share an improved vision for regional-national cooperation of programmes under FP7. This has been done with the ERA-Nets MANUNET, CrossTexNet and ECO-INNOVERA.

36% of the funded projects concern the e-Health sector (dosimetry. We can consider LEAD ERA participated to the improvement of the healthcare sector in Europe.
17% of the funded projects were about Renewable energies and Sustainable construction (photovoltaic. The ecologic impact of the LEAD ERA project has been significant.
53% of beneficiaries in the projects were SMEs, therefore the economic impact has been important.
The participation to those projects have foster the companies’ competitiveness, opening the market to other European countries, but also to countries outside Europe such as Turkey, for instance.

In most cases, applicants foresaw that the number of employees in the participating companies and their turnover would increase thanks to the project results and the new products/services they’ll be able to put on the market.
Unfortunately, only a few funded projects are over today so measuring the accurate impact of the projects in the regions/countries is difficult.
Nevertheless, we can consider the social impact as important for the 30 transnational projects placed at work together people from universities, research centres, SMEs, companies, hospitals, etc. from different regions/countries in and outside Europe.
Using the Expression of Interest tool or via the participating funding agencies, we managed to build up consortia gathering partners who didn’t know each other beforehand and who will probably continue working together after their project’s end in new markets or new H2020 projects for instance.
Participants learned a lot in the 6 different topics covered by LEAD ERA while working with each other. It’s not only about research results or new products or services, but also for them to learn who things are managed abroad and the state-of-the-art in other countries in fields related to their core business.
In the LEAD ERA case, being a mainly regional ERA-Net, it’s also the opportunity for applicants to be in close contact with their funding agency in a European context, which brings a broader point of view than strictly regional/national collaboration.

From the participating funding agencies point of view, the impact has been important as well. The projects allowed regions/countries to participate in an ERA-Net project for the first time, give them access to the learning process of joint calls for proposals process but also to the ERA-Net community. It allowed each funding agency to learn best practices from colleagues abroad and sometimes to propose to implement them in its own organisation.
LEAD ERA also highlighted the importance of the 6 Lead Markets that the project covered and to sensibilize the policy makers on those topics of major importance. The result was that regions/countries allocated money to those topics via the LEAD ERA calls for proposals.

The leverage effect of the project is important: the consortium received 1,094,769€ funding from the European Commission and spent 22,311,152.7€ public funding to support 30 transnational RTD projects.

List of Websites:

www.leadera.net