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ERA-NET for materials research and innovation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - M-ERA.NET 2 (ERA-NET for materials research and innovation)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2017-02-28

M-ERA.NET 2 brings together 41 partners from Europe and beyond to facilitate transnational RTD projects in materials research and innovation, including materials for low carbon energy technologies and related production technologies. The objectives are:
*Establishing a joint vision and policy towards joint strategic programming
*Implementation of 1 co-funded call and additional joint calls
*Monitoring and assessments of funded projects and valorisation of results
*Consolidation of participating funding programmes
*Cooperation with RTD community
1.1: Contract management
Deliverable reports were compiled and submitted to the EC according to schedule.
1.2: Project coordination
An efficient system to organise the internal work load and information flow was set up. 5 physical meetings were organised.

2.1: Joint establishment of thematic priorities for the co-funded call
The following actions were undertaken already before the actual M-ERA.NET 2 kick-off:
- survey among consortium partners to identify call topics and workshop of Strategic Experts Group
- analysis of ongoing initiatives to identify materials related R&D&I needs and opportunities for low-carbon energy technology development

2.2: Design and preparation of the co-funded call
Call 2016 was designed from Oct 2015 to Jan 2016 and prepared for implementation Jan 2016 to Mar 2016.
2.3: Promotion of the co-funded call
M-ERA.NET webpage, mailing list, call flyer.
2.4: Operation of the co-funded call
An electronic proposal management system was set up by the call secretariat comprising 3 separate modules: Submission, Evaluation, Monitoring module.

WP 3
3.1 Evaluation step 1: Pre-Proposals
233 Pre-Proposals, requesting 194 Mio EUR funding. 91 Pre-Proposals were recommended to stage 2.
3.2. Selection of evaluators
Full-Proposals were evaluated by 3 evaluators. One of the experts acted as the rapporteur.
3.3. Evaluation step 2: Full-Proposals
Evaluation organised according to the EC rules for ERA-NET COFUND. An independent observer was contracted to monitor the call implementation.
89 Full-Proposals. 68 Full-Proposals passed the central evaluation, requesting around 48.8 Mio EUR funding.
3.4. Selection of proposals to be funded
The results of the full proposal evaluation were endorsed at the selection meeting. Some updates of initial national/regional budgets were necessary. The final selection list was accepted 27 Feb. 46 Full-Proposals were selected for funding requesting 30.5 Mio EUR funding.
3.5. Feedback to applicants
All applicants received feedback emails from the call secretariat after the pre-proposal and full-proposal selection meetings.
3.6. Funding decisions and use of EC top-up
Options for using the EC top-up were defined in the CA; while the mixed-mode approach was already agreed the exact share of top-up was decided 27 Feb.

4.1: Monitoring of technical implementation from the cofunded call
Online questionnaires to collect feedback from applicants were drafted.
4.2. Monitoring of funded projects from the cofunded call
Templates for mid-term and final reviews were approved by the consortium.
4.3. Assessment of funded projects from the cofunded call
A set of indicators and on-line questionnaire was developed covering technical results, scientific results, economic effects, transnational benefit.

WP 5
5.1. Joint establishment of priorities for the additional joint calls
Input on preferred topics for the call 2017 was collected through an online survey. The consortium agreed to support 6 topics.
5.2: Design and preparation of additional joint calls
A draft work programme with call 2017 schedule and procedures was circulated in Sep 2016 and finally endorsed in Jan 2017.
5.3: Promotion of additional joint calls
The call 2017 was promoted through the M-ERA.NET website, a mass mailing and printed material.
5.5: Monitoring of funded projects from the joint calls by the previous 2012-2015 and from the additional joint calls
Activities in task 5.5 correspond to the activities in task 4.2.
5.6: Assessments of funded projects from the joint calls by the previous 2012-2015 and from the additional joint calls
A set of indicators and questionnaire was presented in Jan 2017.

WP 6
6.1. Consolidation of participating national and regional funding programmes
A questionnaire was developed to collect information on participating organisations and programmes in materials research and innovation.
6.2. Cooperation with European RTD community
A database of national and regional RTD clusters was assembled and published on the homepage.
6.3. International cooperation and integration of partners outside EU
A survey showed preferences for Brazil and USA.

WP 7
7.1: Communication
The public homepage was updated in March 2016.
The project intranet is part of the M-ERA.NET monitoring tool.
7.2: Exploitation and dissemination of results
The communication strategy is used to present the project via different media to various target groups.
Synergies and coherence in key fields of industrial materials research at national and regional level:
• M-ERA.NET 2 will foster the convergence of funding programmes by streamlining programme procedures and allowing for a more efficient use of resources.
• The project will have a major impact on the efficiency in the coordination and cooperation of funding programmes in EU Member States and Associated States and boosted progress in research, technological development, innovation in the field of industrial technologies and particularly materials research.
• M-ERA.NET 2 will contribute to achieving consolidated research cooperation within the EU and improved cooperation with Third Countries. Programme owners from Brazil, Korea, Russia, South Africa, and Taiwan will be network partners. Further collaborations with Third Countries are planned.
• M-ERA.NET 2 will provide broad support for the research and innovation chain as it will address the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 2-7 with national and regional funding schemes for research projects.
• Furthermore the exploitation of research results will be fostered through dedicated activities (valorisation workshop, project/technology catalogues and brokerage events in cooperation with EEN).

Implementation of relevant parts of the Materials Roadmap Enabling Low Carbon Energy Technologies (SEC(2011)1609), and relevant objectives of the SET-Plan (COM (2009)519):
• M-ERA.NET 2 will put an emphasis on low carbon energy technologies. The topics addressed by the network are closely connected to the “Materials Roadmap Enabling Low Carbon Energy Technologies”.
• For M-ERA.NET 2 the new Materials Roadmap and the relevant objectives of the SET-Plan will serve as a programmatic guide for research and development activities n the field of wind, photovoltaic, concentrating solar power, geothermal, electricity storage, electricity grids, bio-energy, novel materials for the fossil fuel energies sector (including carbon capture and storage), hydrogen and fuel cells, nuclear energy as well as energy efficient materials for buildings.
• The impact assessment of the transnational projects funded by the M-ERA.NET 2 network partners will address the Materials Roadmap and the relevant objectives of the SET-Plan to prove the expected impact in reality.