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Security Research NCP Network 3

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SEREN 3 (Security Research NCP Network 3)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2018-04-30

National Contact Points perform valuable services aiming at supporting and guiding national applicants during the preparation of proposals that will submitted in Horizon 2020 and in this particular case under the 7th Societal Challenge “Secure Societies – Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens”.
Through a strong cooperation among the subjects mentioned before, it should be expected an improvement of the quality both of the services provided by NCPs that of the proposals submitted by the applicants.
Therefore maybe one of the main goals SEREN3 project, is to create a joint network of experienced and less experienced NCPs on Societal Challenge 7 with the aim of pooling the resources and know-how to raise the overall quality of services provided to their clients.
Through the involvement of 17 National Contact Points of 16 different countries (Member States, Associated and Third Countries) SEREN3 network will considerably strengthen the trans – national cooperation; furthermore, all the NCPs from member states and associated countries are welcome to participate to the project activities as “Associated Partners”.
Concretely, among the several activities foreseen during the lifetime of the project we could mention the trainings, the twinnings, the organization of brokerage events, the organization of other events somehow related to the whole security community from different points of view, a wide range of communication and dissemination activities, the promotion of tools and platforms (e.g. the partner search tool).
All these activities will contribute to enhance the impact of Research & Innovation in Societal Challenge 7 and to improve the work flow between NCPs, applicants, the European Commission, and other interested parties in the Secure Societies field.
Tailor-made like they are for this challenge and for its constituency, these activities will facilitate the participation also through benefitting NCPs services, enhancing the number of proposals with regards to both quantity and quality.
The work carried out since the beginning of the project, which started on the 1st of May 2015, during the first reporting period reflects the objectives highlighted in the Description of Action. The project goes on through the strong work and the good capabilities of five different work packages: WP1– Management, WP 2 – Capacity Building, WP 3 – Strengthening Participation, WP4 – Networking, WP5 – Dissemination and Communication.
By the end of the first reporting period (covering the first 18 months, 1/05/2015 – 31/10/2016) the following results have been achieved.
Customized templates, shared with the consortium, for the deliverables production and quality check procedure for the documents have been set up under WP1 activities.
Four physical management meetings have been held while virtual internal communications always runs through different channels (e.g. intranet area, mail system).
13 associated NCPs participated to the SEREN3 activities (trainings, webinars, for a, brokerage events).
Under WP2 two benchmarking exercises and four events have been organized for the NCPs were launched: 2 face – to – face trainings, one webinar and one twinning scheme with a total of almost 100 participants.
Thanks to the efforts of WP3, in 2016, the official European Info Day and brokerage event with the Research Executive Agency (REA) in conjunction with the launch of the Secure Societies 2016 call has been organized; furthermore, 5 brokerage events have been co organized. Concerning the consortia building, the partner search tool has been improved in order to increase its performances and its usage by users.
Regarding the networking, WP4 has identified several NCP networks and established communications with them aiming at enhancing the exchange of information and of experiences. Moreover, SEREN3 signed a memorandum of understanding with the ICT EEN sector group and contacts with security stakeholders, such as ASD and EARTO security group, have been established.
In relation to the dissemination and communication activities, a dissemination and communication strategy has been drafted, the visual identity has been finalized and the promotional material (poster, leaflet, roll up) prepared.
In addition to this, a new version of the website has been completed and launched.
Since SEREN3 is a Coordination and Support Action and not a Research and Innovation Action (RIA) or an Innovation Action (IA), the “progress beyond the state of the art” is not applicable.
Concerning the expected potential impact, SEREN3 is contributing to the expected impact required and described in the Description of Action which are or will be achieved through the implementation of the several activities foreseen.
Activities directly related to the NCPs (e.g. trainings) will enhance their professionality, simplifying the access to Horizon 2020, increasing the knowledge of the programme, and lowering the barriers for newcomers; less experienced NCPs will have the chance to rapidly acquire know – how and thereby improve their standard of consulting services.
Throughout the project, good practices will be identified and transferred from one NCP to another. A more consistent level of support services across the EU will be established.
NCPs should ensure an adequate promotion of the SEREN3 platform in order to raise the awareness and the benefit of the research community. Through direct feedbacks, the Secure Societies National Contact Points performances will evolve in respect of the clients’ needs.
Brokerage events, trainings to stakeholders, partner search tool, will contribute to the improvement of the quality of submitted proposals.
Through an increased cooperation with other stakeholders and initiatives, potential clients could be more easily reached and supported.
The establishment of an active and competent network of SC7 NCPs from EU members and beyond is in itself an added value and thus an impact of this project.
SEREN3 represents an instrument useful to the implementation of the European Neighborhood Policy as it as it strengthens the relationship between the EU and its neighborhood countries and determines common interests and benefits.
Within the S3 network, the collaboration of a diverse group of partners, including MS, AC and third countries, encourages a mutual learning process.
The interaction of different stakeholders and networks will create added value and complementary services with positive results and at the same time, duplications of services will be avoided.