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ACCELERATing Europe's Leading Research Infrastructures

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ACCELERATE (ACCELERATing Europe's Leading Research Infrastructures)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-12-31

ACCELERATE supports the sustainability of the Central-European Research Infrastructure Consortium ERIC, a distributed research infrastructure for fundamental and applied research on novel materials and bio-materials. The project is designed as a collaborative action with other research infrastructures and universities to develop the necessary policies and procedures, and improve the existing ones to make CERIC run more effectively in the long term. The main work evolves around:
- Access to funding
- Achieving and demonstrating societal return
- Ensuring effective operations and ensuring scientific excellence
- Expanding the user base and bridging the research gap in EU Unlocking the innovative potential of CERIC
In the framework of WP 1, a complete review on Synergies on European RI funding Sources was performed. The societal return assessment exercise was concluded with a final protocol. CERIC invested significant efforts into the refinement of its monitoring approach, aligned with the ESFRI Monitoring working group, to which it actively contributed.
The partnership has been following very closely the developments at European level regarding the funding sources and has been decided to update the review on funding sources to include the Horizon Europe framework programme and the Regulations relating to the structural funds. As a part of its science and research infrastructure roadmap two priorities of CERIC were proposed, life science and energy materials. A pilot on how the battery community can better be addressed was launched.
Policies for efficient international operations have been developed, also in cooperation with other ERICs sharing the same issues, and working groups on international mobility, VAT/excise duty exemption and in-kind contributions have been organized. As a result of these activities, ERICs community and stakeholders are evolving towards a shared approach.
WP 2, WP 4 and WP 5 reinforced the sustainability of CERIC by contributing to its scientific excellence. The open access pilots developed in WP2 were tested, reinforcing the actions in synergy with the targeted outreach of WP4. The procedures of research infrastructures related to open access of were reviewed for the harmonisation and improvement of ACCELERATE partners’ procedures.
WP3 helped to ensure the sustainability of CERIC by unlocking its innovation potential, nominating an innovation advisory board that supported the revision of CERIC’s commercial access policies and procedures. Several Research–to-Business events on regional and European levels were organized to raise awareness about the possibilities of CERIC and other RIs for industrial innovation. The Intellectual Property (IP) policy for commercial access was finalized as well as the development of a CERIC ecosystem in support of technology transfer.
Through WP4, scientific communities along the eastern EU borderline are being reached and introduced through various activities. This ranges from the outpost in Ukraine through the ACCELERATE partner UZHNU, the outreach events organized in target countries, the satellite sessions held in the frame of European-level Winter-schools, and the targeted collaborations with various universities and institutions in the region. A gap analysis set the starting point for the enlargement strategy.
Based on all the outputs of the WPs, the Sustainability plan of CERIC will be prepared.
Access to funding
The partnership had focused on the identification of the opportunities offered by the Framework programme (FP), European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and national funds. To this end, the FP and ESIF regulations were reviewed and the type of funding available for the different activities of the Research Infrastructures (RIs) identified. Until the end of the project, the consortium plans to update the deliverable on the funding sources based on the Regulations for the period 2021-2027. In addition, in order to increase its relevance and visibility, the possible introduction of prioritisation of CERIC was investigated. As a part of its science and research infrastructure roadmap, two priorities of CERIC were proposed, life science and energy materials. A pilot on how the battery community can better be addressed was launched. CERIC Outline of the research and research infrastructure roadmap will be further refined.
Achieving and demonstrating societal return
The societal return exercise was concluded with the development of a final protocol, to which partners contributed developing their own societal return reports. These will be used in the future as a tool to communicate to stakeholders the impact of our RIs. The partnership plans to disseminate this result to other RIs that could profit and as the protocol needs to be supported by indicators, developments in the RIs monitoring approach will be incorporated.
Ensuring effective operations and achieving scientific excellence
The activities of the partnership regarding the issues related to the international mobility, VAT/excise duty exemption and in-kind contributions will continue and the main findings will be enclosed in a final report. It is expected that other initiatives as the ERIC Forum will treasure the outcomes of the working groups and continue exploring common solutions. The two open access pilots contributed to increased scientific excellence as well as the review of the procedures of infrastructures for the harmonisation and improvement of ACCELERATE partners procedures. These results will be shared with RIs beyond the partnership and the harmonization efforts will continue. These achievements are expected to contribute to better and more friendly user policies in European RIs CERIC will further exploit the synergies with PaNOSC, the EOSC cluster of photon and neutrons, to improve its open data management procedures.
Expanding the user base and bridging the research gap in EU
CERIC will continue to support its outpost at the University of Uzhhorod, Ukraine and exploring collaborations with other research infrastructures, according to its enlargement strategy.
Unlocking the innovation potential
A step forward can be done by developing the current Intellectual Property (IP) policy to include RI's open access and research projects whole or partly funded or sponsored by an ERIC including IP management in relation with ERIC's researchers. The development of a CERIC ecosystem in support of technology transfer will continue. All ACCELERATE partners are expected to benefit from the documents, training and events delivered.
Representatives of the ACCELERATE consortium at the annual meeting 2019
Representatives of the ACCELERATE consortium at the annual meeting 2018