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Network of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action National Contact Points for the mobile scientific and innovation community

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Net4MobilityPlus (Network of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action National Contact Points for the mobile scientific and innovation community)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-08-31

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) are a very specific part of H2020 due to its separate set of rules, diversity of target groups and its openness to all scientific disciplines and nationalities. The international network of MSCA National Contact Points (NCP) is the first point of information for interested researchers and institutions about this attractive, but rather complicated programme offering many different opportunities. Ensuring sustainable development of the NCP network through updating and acquiring new knowledge, sharing expertise and good practice among the members contributes to raising the quality of support provided by each NCP to the worldwide research community. Thus, the overall objective of the 3-year Net4Mobility+ project is to build up and strengthen the professionalism and visibility of the MSCA NCP network.
Net4Mobility+ activities are directly addressed to the whole MSCA NCPs network composed of both project partners and staff from outside the consortium, including network newcomers, less and more experienced NCPs from Member States, Associated and Third Countries. This approach aims at raising general standard of the services provided to the applicants representing various locations, levels of experience, origins and cultures. The activities were tailored based on the results of a survey carried out among the NCPs. In order to further enhance the quality and efficiency of the NCP services the following joint activities were designed and implemented with an aim of:
• exchanging knowledge through a very efficient internal communicator helping to receive answers and practical advice on various MSCA issues from the whole network on a daily basis: almost 1000 emails exchanged; organisation of two NCP Forums allowing participants to get familiar with the project results. The new NCPs may rapidly acquire the know-how about the MSCA issues and project activities thanks to the Newcomer Welcome Package.
• expanding professionalism by organizing 16 various training events related to MSCA issues, transferable skills and cross-cutting aspects of H2020 for 320 participating MSCA NCPs.
• increasing expertise by developing various materials for daily use such as training presentations and case studies helping the NCPs to organise events in their countries; 6 practical recommendations with good practices on how to deal, for instance, with RRI, Open Access and other challenges the MSCA applicants and beneficiaries may encounter or how to cooperate with external actors/ networks such as researchers diasporas, EURAXESS and Enterprise Europe networks.
• equipping NCPs with tools that support their daily work and may be easily incorporated in various activities, for instance the MSCA Evolution Guide providing up-to-date data on each MSCA call including information on changed rules and statistics for each call.

The outcomes of the project are also addressed to researchers and institutions from all over the world that want to apply for the MSCA funds. 8 Handbooks with hints and tips on how to prepare the application for each MSC Action/ call were created. 2 webinars promoting MSC Actions were conducted for almost 600 attendees. Moreover, everyone interested in applying for a MSCA grant or implementing one of them may find answers to various questions posted on the project FAQ Blog.
The idea of the project is to raise the quality of the existing support offered to scientific and innovation community interested in applying for the European Union funds and implementing the projects. In order to ensure transparent access for all interested parties: from researchers, R+I institutions and companies to administration and policy makers, the project results have been made available on the Net4Mobility+ website. The stakeholders can find here documents not only advising them on how to write the research projects but also helping them to find partners and learn from experiences of the MSCA fellows and beneficiaries from many countries. Moreover, the project social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube inform about new MSCA calls and issues on Horizon 2020 and forthcoming project activities.

In addition, the project aims at promoting the research landscape of 27 so called widening countries so that the worldwide scientific and innovation community is better aware of their potential. The recommendations created within the project on what instruments these countries may introduce to be more successful in H2020, in particular in MSCA, can contribute to boost more successful participation of their researchers and host organisations. Some of the project activities may stimulate more high-quality applications with beneficiaries from these countries (the average quality of their proposals is lower as compared to the average numbers), for instance three Train the Trainers workshops were organized for their research community who is also invited to present their successful projects on the N4M+ website.
N4M+ EURAXESS and HRS4R training, Madrid, Spain 2019
N4M+ Meet & Exchange Workshop, Vienna, Austria 2019
N4M+ website dedicated to Scientific Community
N4M+ Training materials for researchers, Yerevan, Armenia 2019
N4M+ kick 0ff meeting, Warsaw, Poland 2018
N4M+ Banner for NCPs website
N4M+ 18 months accomplished, Cracow, Poland 2019
N4M+ Slide for the NCP's clients
N4M+ Twinning in Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay 2019