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Transnational Cooperation among ICT NCPs

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - Idealist2018 (Transnational Cooperation among ICT NCPs)

Reporting period: 2017-07-01 to 2018-12-31

Idealist2018 Project, the ICT NCPs network, ensures European-wide high-quality proposer-oriented NCP services by:
* Increasing visibility of NCPs
* Improving overall quality of NCP services
* Leveraging national NCP structures

1. Reinforce the ICT NCP network by promoting transnational cooperation
2. Identify & promote continuously well-tested good NCP practices
3. Enhance & share NCP knowledge on ICT R&I topics, including all ICT-related topics in H2020
4. Deliver training seminars & mentoring activities tailored to specific needs of LEIT ICT NCPs
5. Raise awareness about NCP including the implementation of practical initiatives to benefit cross border audiences, which includes a quality checked partner search, pre-proposal and full proposal check services, and workshops
6. Strengthen trans-European networking among FP participants by offering brokerage services during large European events and small targeted brokerage meetings
7. Improve cooperation with other networks, organisations and initiatives with the main goal of acquiring and disseminating information beneficial to the European R&D community
8. Optimise the use of funding to minimize overlap and duplication with parallel activities outside of Idealist2018, especially with other NCP networks
9. Emphasize the close collaboration with other H2020 actors, other NCP networks and DG RTD, enable a smooth transfer of FP7-ICT stakeholders to ICT-related topics within H2020
10. Ensure an efficient and operational management structure with a continual focus on quality aspects of the project and support mechanisms

Idealist2018 was a noticeable NCP project due to its activities and services offered to NCPs and ICT community. The variety of offered services created the needed support in every stage of ICT WP life cycle, for NCPs & ICT proposers. Most activities were executed through WP3 and WP4; all with synergies and supported by the other Work packages, strategy and guidance (WP2), WPs coordination and admin support (WP1), platform (website) to offer information and tips, promotion & dissemination (WP5) and followup to assure lessons learnt, efficiency and impact (WP6).
The Project examined some main challenges throughout the project; conclusions derived and implemented to continuation project, Idealist2020.
The Project is delighted to submit its final report, thanking the EC and PO for the opportunity to support European R&I by offering complementary, supportive wide-ranged services to a large community.
Work performed & main results- 3rd reporting period:

• Topic Tree Development completion: linking topics to the ICT LEIT Work Programme 2018-20 and ICT related topics in other thematic areas. Integration to Ideal-ist website, two versions: public and private (NCP only) version. A training seminar and webinar for ICT NCPs/EC officers were held.
• 4 training seminars on topics prioritised by NCPs were organised. A successful joint NCP training seminar with Health NCPs, organised by the EC (Oct 2017)
• 5 webinars highly relevant to ICT NCP daily work were organised
• 2 high-impact onsite mentoring activities supporting newcomers from 4 different countries (Oct 2017 & Dec 2017)
• The Project's Who’s Who Guide updated frequently, giving a new look & design. Hard copy prepared for all project partners
• Proposer toolbox was enriched with new updated material, with increased emphasis on engaging audio-visual guidance, such as the video explaining partnerships in H2020 and information of high interest, such as cascading grant guidance.
• Ideal-ist shifted focus to promoting & supporting the centralised EC F&T Portal service. The project began the process of structuring and developing an automated mechanism, within its website, offering added value through republication, recommendation and Search services, highlighting more relevant ways to get involved in H2020
• A partner search facilitation was set up to guide proposers on possible ways for partner search, participant portal partner searches were integrated for republication and better access (search, recommendation and notifications)
• 4 full proposal check events were held a month before call deadlines, 16 proposals were reviewed by external experts and NCPs, providing in-depth feedback for improvements
• ICT Proposers Day 2017 in Budapest- extensive support through a brokerage event, 1000+ participants & 5600 meetings, a booth and 3 workshops for proposers
• ICT Event 2018 in Vienna- extensive support through a brokerage event, 1500+ participants & 6000 meetings, a booth and 3 workshops for proposers and a proposal idea check service
• Contractual Public Private Partnerships (cPPP) workshops held at the ICT PD 2017 and ICT Event 2018; reports to ICT NCPs were published and shared
• Idealist2018 was represented at 36 events, including industrial events, and gathered information online on other cross-sectoral events and information days to extend Idealist2018’s network and raise awareness of services
• Background information on the Horizon 2020 call requirements was collected through over 100 interviews at NCP training seminars, EC info days and other events, the knowledge gathered was shared through the appropriate means
• A new and user-friendly website: extensive work was performed on the project’s website, including consultation with relevant partners and site development.
• A new way of disseminating project results was implemented: short introductory videos presenting the project’s services
• NCP Enhancement activity continued, conclusion published to the public
• The 3rd and 4th meeting of the Advisory Board were organised (Nov 2017 & Oct 2018), recommendations reports were released.

Previous activities can be found in previous reports.

Exploitation and Dissemination (Deliverables 5.2,5.3,5.4):
Idealist2018’s promotional campaign during the whole project was continuously adapted to clarify and promote the message: what Idealist2018 is about and what it is offering to the community. Videos produced to be a selling point in all presentations aimed at the ICT community; different versions are available, depending on the context, i.e. self-explanatory or more visual to complement an NCP’s speech. Leaflets developed and changed when needed, to maintain attractiveness, interest and a more clarified message.
The project’s new website, launched April 2018, enabled better dissemination of project results and effective external communication with the community. Idealist2018 team throughout the project made efforts to share valuable information and services provided by the network; these advertise activities through social media, newsletter and spotlights were made to increase traffic and exposure to services.
While the project is aware of its continuation project, an effort was also made to be 'green as possible', create and produce materials that will be in use also during next project.
The expected impacts are:

1. Improved NCP services:
1.1. Simplified participation in H2020 calls
1.2. Lowering the entry barriers for newcomers including SMEs
1.3. Raising the quality of submitted proposals.
2. A more consistent level of NCP support services-
3. Providing more effective participation of organisations from third countries, alongside European organisations, with a mutual benefit principle.

Further explanations about project's impact achievements can be found in Periodic Tech. Report, pp. 61-63.
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