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Enhancement of Jordan-European S&T Partnerships

Final Report Summary - EU-JORDANNET II (Enhancement of Jordan-European S&T Partnerships)

Executive Summary:
The EU-JordanNet II project, running from 1/10/2012 to 30/09/2015 was in response to the INCO 2011 call, with the main objectives:

1) Support the implementation of a service approach for FP7 Contacts in Jordan;
2) Support for Research and Innovation Actors;
3) Support the bilateral S&T policy dialogue;
4) Research and Development and Innovation Opportunities for Jordanian and European Researchers;
5) Cross-cutting support activity: Information and Partner Service.

The main activities of EU-JordanNet II focused on awareness raising for H2020 and training of re-searchers/ NCPs in universities and research centres in proposal writing and administrators in financial and contract management.

Four Thematic Partner Days were held for the Thematic Areas of the H2020 Cooperation Programme in NMP, FOOD and ICT; and a week of On-Site training at different organizations in Jordan to cover different geographical area to replace the second thematic workshops on Food and NMP since the work programmes of the 2016-2017 calls were not launched yet. Each of these events included a brokerage day to which European researchers were invited in order to establish partner-ships with Jordanian institutions.

In parallel to the thematic oriented awareness events, one workshop was held on the PEOPLE programme/ FP7 (2013) and another workshop on Marie Skłodowska-Curie/ H2020 (2014) followed by a video conference on 2015.

Over the life-time of the project (16) of these targeted workshops were held, attracting overall 757 participants.

Since the new financial guide for H2020 need to be explained to researchers and administrators staff, two events were held for training the administrative staff of universities and the private sector specifically on the financial rules and the procedures of submitting financial reports to the EC.

EU-JordanNet II organized the 3rd EU-Jordan Joint S&T Committee meeting and the 7th sub-committee meeting on “Research and Innovation” at the Higher Council for Science and Technology with EC presence.

Also, EU-JordanNet II Developed a Mobility Grant Scheme that allowed Jordanian researchers to visit European organisations in order to foster the formation of competitive consortia and the preparation of proposals to be submitted under H2020 to establish a first concrete working relationship to be followed by joint proposals for a long-term cooperation.

Project Context and Objectives:
Quite a number of activities aiming at bringing Jordan closer to EU Framework Programmes have been carried out over the recent years. Numerous information and awareness events were held by these projects addressing the Jordanian research community as well as the SMEs.

50 Information Focal Points were established by the PROMEDAccess project and assessed by two projects: SRTD and the first BILAT EU-JordanNet, these focal points distributed throughout the country and in different sectors of the society represented by persons - appointed by the universities and research centres as primary links/ contacts between the Jordan’s Information Point and HCST to enhance the integration of Jordanian professors and researchers into scientific high-level ex-changes (e.g. through joint research projects) and in international scientific debates.

Jordan has been well served with FP awareness actions over the recent years, which have also created an institutional framework in the country for providing assistance and information on the FP7 Programme. Six Thematic NCPs exist by now and 50 Focal Points have been established at universities, research centres, public organisations, and also private industries. The current EU-JordanNet project goes a step further than most of the past support activities by not only providing information about FP opportunities but also through targeted brokerage events on which Jordanians could directly discuss future collaboration prospects with European researchers.

In 2013, Jordan nominated the Marie Curie NCP at HCST to emphasis on the People programme, to increase the mobility of researchers between Jordan and Europe.

EU-JordanNet II aimed at further increasing the research cooperation between Jordan and Europe, following the successful activities of EU-JordanNet I. On the one hand it adopted a broader approach by addressing in particular the research-innovation chain encompassing academia as well as the private sector, and on the other hand facilitated the preparation of collaborative activities by a coaching programme for individual researchers and developers.

The Objectives of the Project

The overall aims of the BILAT activities stated in this call are:
• Supporting the institutional dialogue under the bilateral S&T agreement between the EU and the targeted country;
• Promoting bilateral cooperation between research and innovation actors;
• Monitoring progress in the bilateral S&T cooperation.
Furthermore, the call puts specific emphasis on a number of activities that will build on results of previous initiatives. The relevant ones for this proposed project are listed below, with a reference to

The proposed activities in the call text only mention FP7 but not the upcoming HORIZON 2020 Programme, expected to start in 2014. Since at this point of time there is no definite schedule of calls, neither for FP7 during 2013 nor for the first calls in H2020.

The above mentioned topics and activities will be addressed in the proposed project by the following objectives:

Objective 1: Support the implementation of a service approach for FP7 Contacts in Jordan.
• Support the implementation of a service approach for FP7 Contacts in Jordan, and where appropriate the extension of the network of FP7 Contacts.
• Coaching and training of Focal Points and Jordanian Thematic NCPs.
• Preparing and performing the main basis that would ensure an efficient improvement of EU-Jordanian cooperation: to gather, complete and organize the data on Researchers, Enter-prises and RTD Institutes from Jordan and Europe into thematic updated and useful mailing lists.

Objective 2: Support for Research and Innovation Actors.
• Improve science and technology co-operation between Jordan and the EU member states by creating awareness about the thematic areas of FP7 among the Jordanian researchers and the private industry through specialised thematic workshops;
• Training and coaching individual Jordanian actors (researchers and SMEs) on proposal preparation, innovation perspectives and partnership establishment to facilitate the preparation of collaborative activities;
• Organise and support the participation of research and innovation actors (SMEs, researchers, incubators etc.) in brokerage and other networking events to facilitate the preparation of collaborative activities and the dissemination and use of results;
• Promote the PEOPLE Programme in Jordan to increase the exchange of Jordanian re-searchers with their European counterparts: Special focus will be given on opening and fostering dynamic pathways between public research organizations and private commercial enterprises;
• Training of administrators.

Objective 3: Support the bilateral S&T policy dialogue.
• Organizing joint EU-Jordan S&T Committee meetings to oversee implementation of the agreement and regularly discuss the future orientations of research policies and planning both in Jordan and in the EU;
• Identify possible new priorities that need to be incorporated in the bilateral policy dialogue between Jordan and the EU. Particular attention will be given to the new Science and Technology Innovation Policy currently developed in Jordan
• Preparation and following up the implementation of EU-Jordan S&T Co-operation Road Map Collecting information as an input for the EU-Jordan S&T Committee meetings from re-search community and Thematic NCPs on their participation in EU programmes: lessons learnt, obstacles, suggestions, etc.

Objective 4: Research and Development and Innovation Opportunities for Jordanian and European Researchers
• Develop a small 'mobility grant scheme' in the proposed project that will allow Jordanian re-searchers as well as developers from the private sector to spend some time (average 30 days) at an European organisation;
• Organise partnership days in Europe together with selected European NCPs (for example DLR, FFG, or IRD) and participants from Jordan (universities and SMEs)

Objective 5: Cross-cutting support activity: Information and Partner Service.
• Development of information facilities to provide a wide range of services to the Jordanian re-search community, SMEs and the research administrators of the information points, such as:
o A comprehensive website with relevant information on:
- The thematic areas of FP7, including open calls, and links to the official EC web ser-vices.
- On-line access to the EU-Jordan collaboration inventory;
- A mailing list of all individuals and institutions in Jordan and the EU, who are inter-ested in JO-EU R&D cooperation;
- Training and workshops’ material.
o Monitor and analyse the evolution of the collaboration activities in the FP7:
- Quantitative and qualitative analysis of EU-Jordan cooperation;
- Regular updating of the S&T Observatory.
o Assist Jordanian actors already involved in R&D projects to disseminate and use their project results;
o Regular Newsletters.

Project Results:
In view of the above mentioned objectives, the main results of the project are described below.

Objective 1: Support the implementation of a service approach for FP7 Contacts in Jordan
EU-JordanNet II delivered a “Coaching and training of Focal Points” workshop presenting the project and gave an overview of the new H2020 programme and the changes from FP7; then presented the coaching methodology which should be carried on by focal points after the project ends.
Two training sessions were held targeting administrative staff of universities and the private sector by introducing H2020, focused on financial management of H2020 projects, differentiated between the different programmes and their specific rules; number of participants were 69 attendees, exceeding by far the planned number of participants that were stated as an indicator of success in the DoW.
Administrators may need specific and individual assistance. It may be worthwhile considering to what extent such assistance on an individual basis could be provided by the Jordanian Focal Points and NCPs.

Objective 2: Support for Research and Innovation Actors
Altogether six Thematic Partner Days were carried out. In the first round the project carries out one Thematic Partner Days for the three areas of FOOD, NMP and ICT. In the second round one thematic for ICT and four days workshops as: “On-Site training of H2020” - at different organizations in Jordan to cover different geographical area: (Jordan University of Science and Technology, Mutah University, Royal scientific society and Petra University) - to replace the second thematic workshops on Food and NMP since the work programmes of the 2016-2017 calls were not launched yet. Each of these events consisted of an in-depth introduction of H2020 and the presentation of the current workprogramme, a training on proposal writing and an analysis of proposal ideas brought forward by the participants.
Five Brokerage events, 2 for each theme, while the 1st NMP & Food brokerage was conducted jointly with SRTD II project, these events were organized to which 3 to 4 European experts invited to discuss concrete proposal development with their Jordanian counterparts to initiate direct contacts with potential European partners for those Jordanian researchers who have sufficiently mature ideas for proposals.
Two training on the Mobility programme organised; in the first round of the project while FP7 still running, EU-JordanNet II conducted an Info day/ International Incoming Fellowships (IIF); The workshop aimed to increase the exchange of Jordanian researchers with their European counterparts, as well as individual assistance and coaching for establishing partnerships. 38 participants atteneded the traning.
In the second round, the other mobility training focused on the new framework programme: H2020 (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions), by highlighting the main changes from FP7 to H2020; proposal writing techniques, focused sessions on the programs of MSCA that are eligible for Jordanians and a practical session producing the work programme to researchers; 62 attendees participated in the training, this was followed by RISE video conference to support Jordanian researcher that are willing to apply to RISE action in 2015 call.

The ICT Events:
• Number of attendees: 106
• Problems or concerns highlighted by the invited EU experts:
There was a huge variation on the level of knowledge about EU-funding (Work Program, Objectives, Calls et.) among the participants. Some were aware of what it is all about and what kind of co-operation and projects are funded and how the Framework Program works. Some didn’t know what the WP is and what are the topics and what are the requirements etc. There were clearly people present that didn’t attend the workshops in two earlier days.
The level of scientific competence and knowledge of MPC researchers is high but what is lacking is the competence in writing a proposal:
1) Communication between different universities and between universities and Public administrations (to share activities without redundancy of tasks);
2) Communication between public and private sectors;
3) Capacity of “consortium - building”;
4) Lack of understanding the importance of a well-structured work plan for a project, for example the difference between a “work package” and a “milestone”.

During the discussion, it became clear that there was a lot of interest in participation in FP proposals but very little knowledge or related experience on how to do so. The questions that were asked, addressed the following points, some of which were general while others were of more specific nature:
• How to explore better the possibilities offered for Jordan in FP7?
• What constitutes a good and competitive proposal?
• How to explore the know how of the industrial sector of Jordan in participation in FP proposals?
• How to use existing technologies in e-Health and e-Business at European level for the benefit of the respective markets in Jordan?
• How Jordanian partners can create competitive profiles that would encourage European proposals coordinators to invite them to become part of a proposal’s consortium?
Defining the own research capacity and research agenda seems to be a practise that is not commonly accepted with some of the participants. In this context is it also remarkable that only very few come with an idea or offer that is supported by a research team or laboratory.

“Technology Enhanced Learning”, for example, caused some initial interest, two participants shared their own ideas for the specific target outcomes, but after close examination of the target outcome description, participants admitted that they had a wrong or incomplete understanding of the objective of the call and that they had to review their interest and approach.

• Proposals that were initiated through these events:
Overall 16 proposals were submitted for ICT calls from mid 2010 until end of 2011 and the majority of the involved organisations had attended EU-JordanNet’s Thematic Partner Days. Although no direct and individual support had been provided for the proposal preparation, EU-JordanNet has certainly played an important role not only to raise interest but stimulated active participation.
The FOOD Events:
• Number of attendees: 76
• Problems or concerns highlighted by the invited EU experts:
MAIN PROBLEMS on Partnership building for participating in European research projects:
• It is not easy for the Jordanian researchers to identify project partners, especially because it is not evident to find common interests in research areas of mutual interest and benefit;
• Information on Cordis partner service is not continuously updated;
• Lack of confidence for non-European countries to build a consortium as a coordinator;
• It is difficult to build a strong partnership without mutual trust, and sometimes partnerships are based only on personal relations;
• Lack of awareness on common interest research topics for the Mediterranean region.

MAIN PROBLEMS on writing a project proposal:
• Overload of administrative tasks;
• Often administrative staff are not well informed/updated on how to fill European projects forms;
• Lack of experience in writing a project and lack of knowledge of project evaluation process by the EC;
• The time granted for drafting the projects is usually short, and it is then difficult to respond in time, especially when the partnership has been recently established;
• A gap in scientific interest between Northern and Southern Mediterranean countries.

MAIN PROBLEMS on Managing a European research project:
• Difficulties in financial issues and in technical reporting;
• Misunderstanding of the EU rules; lack of experienced administrators for managing this kind of projects;
• Lack of competence for financial management;
• Complexity in project management and inadequacy in complying with the national regulations.
To stimulate or support the necessary EU-MPC cooperation in research and innovation, further capacity building of administrators in the Jordanian research centres is needed and the specific characteristics of international cooperation must be considered in the EU Financial Rules. The “Third Parties” concept, i.e. support structures or companies for handling the funding received by MPC partners, must be developed and stimulated in order to leave the managerial tasks of accounting and reporting in professional’s hands and provide services to the MPC participants in the cooperation projects.
Therefore, there is urgent need to capitalise on what has been done so far. Capacity building facilitates the construction and use of critical mass of competences and stimulates cross-fertilization among national and international research teams. To facilitate capacity building and empowerment of transformative networks, major recommendations concern also the need for a well-structured approach of both “capacity” and “power” building. Both dimensions – capacity building and empowerment – are key factors. On one hand, it is necessary to strengthen project and institutional management capabilities; on the other hand, it is also necessary to facilitate building up efficient transformative networks and coalitions of change. Taking into account the new approaches that will prevail in Horizon 2020, notably co-funding and co-ownership, the activities of capacity building may require a combination of various competences at national level. The new schemes of R&D cooperation and new rules of management require also that a “training plan for trainers” will be prepared.
Moreover, training seminars could be followed by twinning activities, in order to extend the scope of cooperation while putting capacity building at the core of the new regional strategic Research Agenda. In a time of increased global competition, it is urgent that Jordan pools its resources of talent and knowledge for a better and shared future.

The NMP Events:
• Number of attendees: 102
• Problems or concerns highlighted by the invited EU experts:
The “experiment” to share the workshop between a native speaker (working in Europe) and European experienced experts has been a full success. The inclusion of persons who live in both worlds allows identification and addressing of problems which otherwise will not come up. A discussion of practical aspects and problems in the first langue lowers barriers and creates an open, lively discussion climate difficult to achieve for foreign language speakers who are guests for only a few days. I strongly recommend pursuing this format whenever possible.
The discussion of a submitted proposal as an example to show the audience the way the evaluators judge the proposal created a lot of interest. It helped to understand the often very abstract terms and requirements stated in calls. It helped to understand what a principal investigator would need and expect as input for a proposal. And, from a psychological point of view, it puts proposal writing on a realistic level demonstrating what can go wrong.

On-Site Training for H2020
• Number of attendees:
Jordan University of Science and Technology: 40 attendees,
Mutah University: 30 attendees
Royal scientific society: 51 attendees
Petra University: 27 attendees

• Why “On-Site training” activity?
The first round of Thematic Partner Days for FOOD and NMP had been carried out in 2014 on the basis of the calls from the Work Programmes for 2015.
The second round was supposed to focus on the call defined in the Work Programmes for FOOD and NMP for 2016. However, these Work Programmes are not yet available, and in the absence of open calls it did not make sense to carry out Thematic Partner Days as defined in EU-JordanNet.
Through the various activities of EU-JordanNet II we observed that there is still a strong deficit with Jordanian researchers in understanding work programmes, call text, proposal development, etc. In particular some of the new concepts of H2020 such as the “Technology Readiness Levels” or the focus on “Innovation” are not yet fully understood.
Consequently, the project decided to replace the two themes specific Partner Days by 4 On-site training events that would – apart from an introduction on H2020 and the open MSCA IF call - focus on these new concepts and the analysis of call texts.
Another benefit was to be physically in researchers’ institutions to built their capacities and raise the project’s visibility.

• Benefits of “On-Site training” activity:
The decision to replace two theme-specific awareness events – due to the absence of a work programme and calls – by four events taking place on-site at different universities/research centres turned out to be a good move. We reached a large number of researchers from different faculties which otherwise most probably wouldn’t have attended the theme-specific Partnership Days.
Although for many participants a participation in H2020 RIA or IA is not an immediate option, they gained valuable insight not only in the structure of H2020 projects but also better understood the requirements for ‘scientific excellence’ that are a pre-condition for successful proposals, which indeed is not easy: “the procedure for application appears harder than I thought” was one of the comments received.
Only a few universities in Jordan are actively pursuing scientific research, most – in particular the private one – still concentrate on teaching. Jordan needs to invest more into research to keep up with Europe, and one comment in this respect was to the point: “It is the time to establish a research institute of science and technology”.

FOOD and NMP Brokerage day’s Events:
• Number of attendees: 14+10+39 = 63 attendees
Interactive discussions took place between the Jordanian researchers and the EU experts during the event, where a number of different ideas were presented by the Jordanian researchers for project proposals. European researchers through the event helped Jordanians who presented their ideas to find the relevant calls to their specific ideas and the best way to participate in a consortium and to best fit in one. Further actions were taken between couple of the Jordanian researchers with the European experts by emails through HCST after the event in order to keep an eye on the official launching of the new calls to join one consortium together.
• Feedback from International Experts
Feedback in details is in (D2.10/12) (D2.13 2) and (D2.15 2)

ICT Brokerage Events
• Number of attendees: 138
• Feedback from International Experts
1. How do you rate the quality of the proposals presented?
“Most participants presented, as I expected, basic ideas of which many were interesting. These, however, need an intensive work with the potential partners to develop a reasonable proposal draft.”
“The proposals presented I would rate them like quite basic ones, there is still work to be done to improve them. But I think that the point to be highlighted is that they show capabilities of people involved (and that’s the most important point).”
“The quality was rather mixed. Probably, the main reason for this impression was that some speakers did not come to the point in a short time, but presented their ideas as a lecture. There were a couple of promising ideas and serious proposals.”
“Overall the quality of the presentations was very variable. Some presentations were very mature while some were mainly focused on the specific research area of the presenter. I believe that it is an indication of how familiar people are with European projects.”
“The proposals are good, but not so detailed described. Some of them need to have a comparison to the state of the art. Some of the proposals are not so related to the H2020, because the proposals trying only to solve / consider the Jordanian problems or the results can be used only in Jordan. While H2020 proposals target problems, which can be solved by EU- and Jordanian participants and bring benefit for both sides.”
“The proposals in general were very good but some of them need to be presented in better way. I am suggesting in future a project could be suggested by the European partners and then we can match it with the Jordanian expertise and resources.”

2. How do you rate the interaction of the Jordanian researchers during the event?
Expert 1: The interaction between Jordanians and EU experts was very good. The fact that Dr. Bourouah, from Hahn Schickard, came with two proposal ideas and the will to cooperate with Jordanian organisations increased the level and quality of exchange between both parties. From my part I was happy by the number of questions raised by the Jordanian participants about H2020 proposals and projects. The interaction was highly appreciated during the brokerage event but also during 'networking' coffee breaks.
Expert 2: In general the interaction was good.
Expert 3: It was brilliant and I am already in contact with some of them now.

3. How would you rate the scientific level of the participants from Jordan that you met and discussed with?
“The researchers have very good knowledge”
“ I believe the scientific level of the participants is very good, most of them have very strong academic/research background.”
“As many of the presented and discussed ideas were still at an early stage of evolvement, scientific judgment is rather difficult. Nevertheless, many participants from the MPC left a positive impression of their scientific knowledge and capabilities in their field. “
“The participants I met fall in one of two groups:
- Full-time researchers and R&D practitioners, or university professors who had extensive research experience in the past and are still conducting research by themselves, with their students, or with other academic and industry partners. These were quite competent and aware of how to conduct applied research to address real needs (innovation in H2020 terms).
- Full-time teaching staff (professors, etc.), without running research projects.
These seem to be quite involved in teaching - applied research is probably not a priority for them. So they are therefore not fully up-to-date in their fields, and seem a bit unfamiliar with research culture (e.g. proposal presentations in lecture style, unclear how to start a collaboration, etc.).”
“Globally I found that most participants are very active researchers. They are already involved in collaborations with European partners. They are also well aware of the global scientific challenges. The gap between European and MPC researchers has narrowed, due to a better access to information, mobility and higher scientific budget in their countries. It is therefore difficult to link the scientific quality to the origin of the researcher. “

4. Do you think that networking events like this one can really help creating partnerships with Jordanian or MPC researchers for H2020 proposals?
“I think the main role of such events is to significantly increase the awareness and understanding of H2020 calls and procedures for participants form MPC. This should definitely bring them to a common knowledge level of the proposal development process and requirements with their European peers and enable them to play a reasonable role as a potential partner in a consortium. “
“Definitely, one of the gap of preparing successful proposals is to better understand people you are expected to work with and the challenges they face in an European project. So, every chance to better know potential partners is very important.”
“Such meetings can potentially help toward H2020 proposals, if the participants fall predominantly in the category of full-time researchers.”
“I am sure that this networking event is a very crucial step towards H2020 proposals. First of all, it allows us to meet MPC researchers in a focused situation and to have long informal exchanges that go beyond each other preoccupations. This event makes it possible to build relationships that go also beyond the H2020 proposals.”
“To be honest, networking events have a limited impact on a short-term period and concrete results will only come out few months/years after the event: e.g. partnership agreement between 2 research organisations, joint H2020 proposals, staff exchange, joint research experiments, etc.”

5. Do you think MPC researchers have a chance in H2020 and if not, what should be done to increase the chances?
“MPC researchers have definitively a chance in H2020 Programme but they must develop a comprehensive strategy to increase their visibility and promote their participation in H2020 Programme. This strategy must be developed on one hand at an institutional level and supported by a continuous training of their staff members, but on the other hand each single researcher must also develop a personal strategy and increase their network of contacts in Europe. A first step would be to learn how to read/translate a H2020 call and identified the ones requiring their expertise and competencies as well as the ones with an international cooperation dimension. Then they might contact possible partners and convince them, Jordanian partner(s) might bring an added value to their proposal.”
“The chance does not depend only on the MPC researchers, but the whole consortium and the quality of proposals. To increase the chance; the researchers should do a deep research on the state of the art and formulate the problems and the proposed solution for it exactly (or as well as possible).”
“Yes, there is a big opportunity. I am suggesting if they can summaries their expertise and the available resources online on a web page then projects coordinators can contact the suitable persons to contribute in their projects.”
“As H2020 calls usually define prerequisites for proposal submission including minimum number of partners from different countries, the success chance should also be estimated for a whole consortium. Thus, MPC researchers have to find the right potential partners and introduce themselves as competent partner who can show value added to an existing consortium or propose a novel idea of a clear relevance and interest for the European partners to align with the main goals of EC funding programs, especially H2020. It is important to offer MPC researchers the chance to meet European peers and to facilitate serious negotiations and discussions that lead them to establish a successful partnership and this is why such networking events are essential.”
“I don’t think that scientific level should be a gap. I think the gap comes mostly from understanding European calls and in which calls the partnership with MPC is really a must.”
“Only few of the participants I met (about a handful) will be able to submit solid proposals that might have a chance.”
“One idea that might help is to pick successful H2020 proposals (close to participants' areas), and discuss why they did succeed, and how participants can learn from that for their own proposals. Also, some pre-meeting coordination might have helped participants form work-groups and to refine their proposals [though I understand it is hard for partners to collaborate before meeting in person].”
“I think that they have the same amount of chance to join a H2020 proposal than other researchers. The main concern is their experience in dealing with such proposals. In order to increase there chances there should be some technical support in their university or maybe a technical support at another level to assist them efficiently.”

6. If you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to share us with your opinion;
• Not only through events like this one can increase the chance for Jordanian researchers networking with other partner, but also events inside Jordan, online conferences (using skype or similar).
• Networking between universities (or researchers) inside Jordan could come with excellent ideas. Individual ideas are sometimes good, but involving many researchers to formulate one or more good proposals can have more chance to succeed.
• A data base of the EU-partner could help the researchers to find partners. For example; listing the projects, which are already done including the partners and their working fields, interests and E-mail.
• Showing step by step how to use the H2020 platform to find partner and to find the appropriate call for the proposals.

Objective 3: Support the bilateral S&T policy dialogue
The main achievement was organizing the 3rd EU-Jordan Joint S&T Committee meeting and the 7th sub-committee meeting on “Research and Innovation” on the 14th April 2015 at the Higher Council for Science and Technology with EC presence;
The operational outcomes of the Joint Committees, which are organized in the context of the cooperation agreement, are reflected in a Roadmap which is to be considered as a rolling agenda for the further cooperation between the EU and Jordan aiming at ensuring research cooperation in areas of mutual interest, supporting scientific excellence, and increasing Jordan's participation in H2020, supporting participation in other pertinent programmes and its engagement with the European Research Area and reciprocal participation of European researchers in Jordanian programmes. The Road Map will builds on the outcomes of the 1st and 2nd Joint Committee Meeting, it reports the progress made in FP7 and other relevant programmes (ex. ENP programmes) as well as under programmes funded by Jordan.

Objective 4: Research and Development and Innovation Opportunities for Jordanian and European Researchers
• Partnership Days in Europe
During the project life-time; EU-JordanNet II supported 29 Jordanian researchers to participate in EU-events as follow:
- Individual requests based on formal invitation to Jordanian institution: 3 researchers*;
- INFO days in Europe: 26 researchers.
• ICT 2013: Create, Connect, Grow, 6 - 8 /11/ 2013, Vilnius, ICT, 2 researchers supported
• ICT proposer’s day, 9-10/10/14, Italy, ICT, 7 researchers supported
• Let’s 2014 conference, 29/9/14-01/10/14, Italy, NMP, 8 researchers supported
• Meeting for Project EUR-O-OIL 2020., 31/5/14- 02/06/14, Italy, FOOD, 1 researchers supported
• 22nd General Assembly & Biennial Congress, 16-19/9/2014, Denmark, RTOs, 1 researchers supported
• Murcia FOOD Brokerage Event, 14-15th /5/ 2015, Spain, Food, 9 researchers supported
• H2020 Physical Consortium Meeting (1st Coordination Meeting), 5/2/2015, United Kingdom, ICT, 1 researchers supported

• Partnership Days impact:
1. The activity has increased the level of cooperation through the whole research to innovation chain. As stated in the report, EU-Jordan net II has focused the collaboration between the private sector and academia by supporting the participation of research and innovation actors in brokerage events and other networking activities;
2. The level of cooperation with Jordan has been strengthened in specific areas where the project yields a measurable benefit. As a result of the mobility programme, 84 new contacts have born and one proposal with Jordan participation has been submitted;
3. Finally, the experience has reflected the needs and benefits of intensifying cooperation between Europe and Jordan and has identified potential obstacles to furthering relationship (i.e. different IPR regulations, open access policies, limited participation as beneficiaries…).
• Mobility Grant Scheme
During the project life-time; EU-JordanNet II supported 11 Jordanian researchers to establish a first concrete working relationship with European organisations, to be followed by joint proposals for a long-term cooperation; the below table shows a summary about the selected researchers:

No., Jo-Organization, Researcher Name, Theme, EU-Organization
1, German Jordanian University, Dhiah el Diehn Abou Tair, Computer science, University of Siegen/Germany
2, Tafila Technical University, Qais Alsafasfeh, Energy, The Center for Research and Technology-Hellas (CE.R.T.H)/ Greece
3, Yarmouk University, Hussein Alzoubi, Computer Engineering, Dublin City University/ Ireland
4, Zarqa University, Nabil Abdelmajeed, ICT, Newcastle University/ United Kingdom
5, Royal Scientific Society, Othman Mashagbeh, Water, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences/ Sweden
6, Yarmouk University, Anjad Mahasneh, Gender Discrimination, The University of Manchester
7, German Jordanian University, Inshad Juma’a, NMP, ISAS (Leibniz-Institute for Analytical science)
8, Scientific Food Center, Hanee Dmour, Food, The Olive Oil and Olive Farming Technological Center CITOLIVA
9, Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Edward Jaser, MSCA, Technische Universität Dresden
10, Jordan University of Science & Technology, Abdel Raoof Rjoub, MSCA, Southampton University
11, Al-Zaytoonah University, Rania Hamed, MSCA, Queen’s University of Belfast

This instrument showed the great interest from the research community in Jordan according to the received number of applications and the high competition of the applicants to apply for these grants, this also helped in raising the awareness of the H2020 framework programme among Jordanians R&D actors.

Objective 5: Cross-cutting support activity: Information and Partner Service

Development of information facilities to provide a wide range of services to the Jordanian re-search community, SMEs and the research administrators of the information points, such as:
o A comprehensive website was developed right at the beginning of the project and was regularly updated throughout its course. The main information areas covered were:
- The thematic areas of FP7, including open calls, and links to the official EC web services.
- A mailing list of all individuals and institutions in Jordan and the EU, who are interested in JO-EU R&D cooperation;
- Training and workshops’ material.
o Monitor and analyse the evolution of the collaboration activities in the FP7:
- Quantitative and qualitative analysis of EU-Jordan cooperation;
- Further development of the EU-Jordan collaboration inventory;
o An inventory of projects results from FP7 projects in which Jordanian actors had been involved in order to disseminate their R&D results;
o 4 Newsletters reporting on the projects activities and providing information on open call and EU events related to H2020.

Potential Impact:

The expected impact was defined in the Workprogramme as:

1. The BILAT projects will support the policy dialogue and contribute to the definition and implementation of joint strategic agendas for research, development and innovation.
2. An increased level of cooperation through the whole research to innovation chain will be achieved via the development or strengthening of partnerships, the preparation of joint collaborative projects and programmers, and the improved coherence of framework conditions for innovation.
3. Critical mass will be achieved through the commitment of a large number of Member States and Associated Countries in the coordination of policies and programmes vis-à-vis the targeted third country.
4. The bilateral relation on Science, Technology and Innovation will be made sustainable through an uptake of the coordination mechanisms by the stakeholders involved.
5. The level of cooperation with the targeted country will be strengthened in specific areas where policy intervention may yield a measurable benefit. This will result in an increased participation in FP7.

EU-JordanNet through its results has contributed to achieving this impact by:

1. EU-JordanNet II supported the policy dialogue through overseeing implementation of the S&T agreement and regularly discuss the future orientations of research policies and planning both in Jordan and in the EU. It identified new priorities that need to be incorporated in the bilateral policy dialogue between Jordan and the EU.
2. EU-JordanNet II promoted Jordan's research and innovation potentials in Europe. An inventory of the existing cooperation programs and instruments between the European Union and Jordan was developed that enabled the project to orientate the Jordanian and European demands towards the most appropriate instruments and thus better cover the S&T Agreement’s objectives, taking into account possible new priorities to be incorporated. Apart from the successful 'mobility grant scheme' that aimed at an 'individual promotion' of Jordan's potential through direct cooperation with European organisations, the project promoted Jordan's potential through the NCP network across Europe, engaging in a dialogue aiming at a better coordination of policies and programmes vis-à-vis Jordan.
3. EU-JordanNet II ensured the sustainability of the network of the Focal Points through involving them in cooperation networks and business support network services. The focal points in Jordan are essential for an efficient improvement of EU-Jordan cooperation through gathering, and completing the data on researchers, enterprises and RTD Institutes into thematic updated mailing lists. These data had been shared with the European partners (Germany and Spain) and their network of contacts.
4. EU-JordanNet II developed policy recommendation for the current and future Framework Programmes reflecting the needs and benefits of intensifying cooperation between Europe and Jordan and identifying potential obstacles to furthering this relationship. Exploring legal, administrative and financial solutions to these problems, based on better knowledge of scientific and technological systems on both sides, as well as a closer dialogue between European and Jordanian policy makers.

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