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National Contact Points for Climate action, Raw materials, Environment and Resource Efficiency

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - NCPs CaRE (National Contact Points for Climate action, Raw materials, Environment and Resource Efficiency)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2019-07-31

NCPs perform valuable services in guiding and supporting national applicants in preparing proposals for Horizon 2020 funding. We expect that through an enhanced cooperation and networking between these national entities, a higher quality of their consulting services and thus of proposals and projects can be achieved. Therefore, the overall objective of NCPs CaRE is to form a joint cooperation network of experienced and less experienced NCPs on SC5 “Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials” which aims at pooling their resources and know-how to raise the overall quality of services provided to their clients. By involving 23 formally nominated NCPs across Europe, NCPs CaRE will significantly strengthen trans-national cooperation. In addition, NCPs CaRE extensively involves 26 NCPs that are “associated partner”. To harness synergies is especially relevant to SC5 NCPs, since potential applicants within this Challenge are very diverse with respect to their scientific or organisational background, level of experience, involvement in transnational networks. Activities of NCPs CaRE towards this goal include teaming and twinning schemes, compilation of best practices handbooks and manuals, events, meetings and trainings (on-line and on a face-to-face basis), as well as a wide range of other communication and dissemination tools and platforms. These activities foreseen by NCPs CaRE will contribute to enhancing the impact of R&I in SC5 and ensure a more efficient use of resources and R&I developments by improving the work flow between NCPs, applicants, the EC and other parties with a stake in SC5. Tailor-made like they are for the SC5 constituency, these activities will make it easier for all participating and benefitting NCPs to enhance the number of proposals with regards to both quantity and quality.
The project launched immediately after the official start (01.02.2015) with a pre-kick-off meeting (within month 1) on 26.02.2015 in order to timely prepare the first activities of the consortium by a discussion of the Management Team and all Task Leaders. By the end of this 1st reporting period (01.02.2015-31.07.2016) we have covered all activities as planned + listed in our GA Annex 1 DoA. Indicatively, we particularly showcase:
WP2: fully functional website entailing FAQs, news, events, partner search tool, guidelines, reports; PR-materials for visibility at brokerage-events, presentations, and conferences, a highlight SME workshop on proposal writing with direct impact for clientele SMEs.
WP3: Towards the goal of capacity building of NCPs for lowering the entry-barriers for newcomers and less-experienced NCPs, as well as leveling and homogenizing the provided service to clients throughout Europe, we have accomplished high-impact actions such as: benchmarking, trainings (e.g. webinars) and twinnings, accompanied by the creation of a thorough best practices guide, with templates and practical “how-to” information. Stemming from this, clients throughout Europe benefit from the elevation of the overall NCP-service.
WP4: access to new NCP clientele (SMEs and regional clusters in particular) was fostered, via enhanced cooperation with Enterprise Europe Network at EU level: NCPs CaRE was represented in two EEN brokerage events and EEN will respectively promote NCPs CaRE brokerages. Furthermore, with the aim to assist NCPs and their clients in grasping a wider range of opportunities linked to other Networks (EEN, JPI/EIP), relevant EEN events, JPI/EIP news were listed on website, webinar took place on EEN services, an Information guide was formulated on JPI/EIP.
WP5: a fully operational matching/partner search tool supporting potential applicants for the Horizon 2020 Work programme of the Societal Challenge 5 (SC5) “Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials” has been created. It supports our clients in finding cooperation possibilities (e.g. partners and building a consortium) for a project proposal within the work programme for the topics in 2016-17 of the SC5. Accordingly, it will be adapted to open topics for the successive work porgrammes 2018-20. Furthermore, registered users also have the opportunity to register for the participation in B2Match brokerage events by using their PSF-profile data. NCPs CaRE organised a project internal workshop (Rome, June 2016): “SC5 NCPs as competent contact points for SMEs-Workshop” on issues and challenges especially relevant to SMEs – but as information for SC5 NCPs (who are able to use the workshop output in their advisory capacity to SMEs).
"As this is a Coordinating an Support Action (CSA) and not a Research & Innovation Action (RIA) or Innovation Action (IA), the ""progress beyond the state of the art"" does not apply. NCPs CaRE aims to generate impact on three different levels:
Level I Improvement and professionalisation of NCP services: This target shall be reached through a mutual learning process supported by various measures undertaken in NCPs CaRE. Throughout the project, good practises will be identified and transferred from one NCP to another. Through an exchange of knowledge and expertise between MS, AC and ENP countries within NCPs CaRE, a more consistent level of support services across the EU will be established in the long term. This will be supported by various measures, such as benchmarking, trainings and twinnings. Especially less-experienced NCPs will have a chance to rapidly acquire know-how and thereby improve their standard of consulting service. Additionally, joint promotional materials and a NCPs CaRE website will contribute to a more consistent level of NCP support services. This expected impact is especially promoted by the WP1 Management and the WP3 Capacity Building.
Level II Higher quality of proposals submitted: Through an increased cooperation with other stakeholders and initiatives, potential clients can be more easily reached, mobilised and supported. This will result in better professionalised NCP services, as indicated above, which will furthermore provide potential clients with a more consistent NCP service across the MS, AC and ENP countries. The project is offering various activities concerning: online matching of partner searches and offers, bilateral meetings at brokerage events, reaching recipients through diverse communication tools (e.g. promotional materials, website, etc.).
Level III Establishment of an active network of SC5 NCPs on the European level: Establishment of an active and competent network of SC5 NCPs from all EU-members and beyond is in itself an added value and thus impact of this project. Through coordination and joint efforts, NCPs CaRE will be a network that is more than the sum of its parts. The project is a way to implement the ideas of the ENP as it strengthens the relationship between the EU and its neighbourhood countries and determines common interests and benefits. Within the NCPs CaRE network, the collaboration of a diverse group of partners, incl. MS, AC, ENP South & East countries, encourages a mutual learning process. Furthermore, collaboration is sought with stakeholders and initiatives relevant to SC5: EC, EEN, other NCP networks, joint initiatives and multilateral programmes to determine synergies, cooperation possibilities and related mutual benefits. This will create added value and complementary services with positive results and at the same time, duplications of services are avoided."
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