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Network of Science with and for Society National Contact Points

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - SiS.net2 (Network of Science with and for Society National Contact Points)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2018-12-31

The main objective of the SiS.net 2 project is to share best practices among NCPs and through this improve the operation of each Science with and for Society NCP in order to provide more effective and better quality services to organisations participating in Horizon 2020 all over Europe and beyond. The network has been dedicated to fulfilling this objective, resulting in a more consistent, improved and professionalised level of NCP support services in all Horizon 2020 participant countries, taking into account the wide variety of NCP system structures. The project pays special attention to the objective of lowering entry barriers for newcomers to the programme, with particular focus on reaching the extremely diverse stakeholders involved in SwafS.
This report has a twofold purpose as a third periodic report as well as a final management and quality management report. As periodic report, it covers activities of the SiS.net 2 NCP network from 1 Nov 2017 to 31 Dec 2018 during its amendment period, which constitues months 37-50 of the project. In this regard, the report complements the two previous periodic reports already submitted and completes the picture of the SiS.net project. As the third periodic report, it focuses on activities and achievements of the project during the period in question. However, as the last periodic report, it is also regarded as the final report of the project management, emphasising the quality management, which was an integral part of the management stucture throughout. At the end of the final period of the project, all planned deliverables have been submitted and all objectives and milestones defined for the project and the larger NCP network have been fulfilled. Apart from the changes that were outlined in the amendment request for the third period, no other changes were made to the consortium and the Description of Work.

During the reporting period, two network meetings have been organised, two trainings and three bilateral visits. A welcoming package for new NCPs was sent to all newcomers, built on a survey mapping NCPs’ needs for support. Participation in all activities is open for all nominated SwafS NCPs, and has been very balanced among project partners and the larger network. The network has actively mobilised SwafS stakeholders to increase participation and lower entry barriers for newcomers. One of the network's success factor are brokerage events, which have attracted ever increasing numbers of stakheolders and proposers from all over Europe and beyond.

The project enhances visibility of SwafS to reinforce role of NCPs as national informers and increase visibility of the objectives of the programme, the advancement of the concept of RRI and its impact on the ERA. Policy briefs were published on RRI elements. There is active outreach to EU policy and policy makers at national level. There has also been outreach to other target groups, networks, SwafS communities & stakeholders through means like events, meetings and newsletters. Opportunities for SwafS in other thematic areas was analysed in an e-book across H2020 work programmes. Therewas also some showcasing of SwafS success stories with addisional projects presented in all fields of RRI. The final output was an e-booklet with compilation of all the success stories produced in the project. The network runs an external expert group with outstanding experts for every dimension of RRI, which provides the consortium with relevant expertise to assist with advice in regards to the policy dimensions of RRI and SwafS.

The project has an active quality management plan, with a quality team that works in tandem with all involved partners in making sure that every single team in the project produces high quality outputs. The QM team carried out an evaluation of all major activities of the project in the third reporting period and this was mainly done through feedback questionnaires, addressed to the participants of the project events, such as networking meetings and trainings.
SiS.net has reached all its objectives in the reporting period and acquired expected impact in all aspects. Networking activities within the project and larger network of SwafS NCPs have been according to plan. The project has in some cases exceeded the initial expectations for impact and dissemination. No significant deviations have been noted from the initial work description and resource management is efficient and practical. Even though a few deliverables have been submitted with some delay, all planned activities have been carried out and all planned milestones, products and outputs for the reporting period have been delivered.

The basic vision for defining the objectives and expected impact was materialised in the content of the work packages; mobilisation and mutual learning; visibility and outreach to relevant stakeholders and players of the European research area, improved NCP service; simplifying and improving access to SwafS calls; lowering entry barriers for newcomers and raising average quality of submitted proposals, with a more consistent level of NCP support services across Europe.

In terms of internal mobilisation of the whole network of SwafS NCPs, its success has been achieved through efficient communication and networking events and activities. As for external mobilisation of SwafS stakeholders, the project has until now exceeded the expected impact through efficient events and activities. Example is the brokerage events where the project managed to bring together different SwafS actors in order to encourage their interaction and reinforce their capacities to participate in the SwafS programme. The participation and stakeholder mobilisation achieved with these events was beyond expectations.

Capacity building of the diverse network of NCPs has been carried out with mutual learning activities, trainings, interactive cooperation in network workshops, and bottom-up bilateral visits among NCPs. This has provided an opportunity of best practice sharing and support among SwafS NCPs for any issues pertaining to the organisation of NCP work and for the implementation of SwafS calls at local and European level.

The impact of the communication and dissemination was twofold; to promote SiS.net as network of SwafS NCPs and to contribute to successful promotion of the SwafS programme. Both internal and external communication activities have gone according to plan, with external communication strategy even reaching a wider audience than in the previous project, due to more active and efficient use of social media. This has generated huge impact for the network, for the SwafS programme as well as the visibility of RRI.

As for visibility of Science with and for Society and general outreach, the impact is beyond expectations in many respects. By mapping stakholders, outreach activities have been facilitated at national and European level. The work of the external expert group has been well orgnaised, with relevant members putting a lot of professional effort into working for SiS.net for the benefit of the project as well as the SwafS community. Networking with other communities has worked well and opportunities across H2020 are promoted for each call. Policy briefs and success stories contribute to the succes of the outreach activities at various levels, highligthing policy isseus as well as successful results of SwafS and H2020.
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