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CONCERT Report Summary

Project ID: 662287

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CONCERT (European Joint Programme for the Integration of Radiation Protection Research)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2017-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Issue being addressed
The ‘CONCERT-European Joint Programme for the Integration of Radiation Protection Research’ under Horizon 2020 aims to contribute to the sustainable integration of European and national research programmes in radiation protection. CONCERT as a co-fund action strives to achieve the attraction and pooling of national research efforts in Radiation Protection with EURATOM research programmes in order to make better use of public R&D resources and to tackle common European challenges in radiation protection more effectively by joint research efforts in key areas. In order to rise to this challenge CONCERT is operating as an umbrella structure for the research initiatives jointly launched by the radiation protection research platforms MELODI, ALLIANCE, NERIS and EURADOS.
Given the limited, indeed even diminishing resources available nationally, in Europe and globally for research on radiation effects in humans and the environment and for radiation protection, and the loss of scientific as well as professional competence in recent years, every opportunity needs to be taken to tailor research activities to the needs of society, authorities and stakeholders, to develop synergies and economies of scale between national competent institutions in this field, particularly to link access to research infrastructures to international research efforts, and to optimise impact of the EURATOM RTD programme by further integrating the radiation protection related education and training activities across Europe.
CONCERT strives to stimulate the contribution of Member States to the development of a joint European strategic research agenda (SRA) in the field of radiation protection. This research agenda has to be multidisciplinary in science, tailored to societal needs, make full use of newly gained knowledge in all disciplines of life sciences and humanities and to fully integrate education and training especially for the young generation to build up and maintain competences needed for a successful, harmonious and sustainable radiation protection regime in Europe today and in future.

Importance for society
CONCERT has the mission to address as well as further reduce uncertainties in the assessment and management of radiation risks to humans and to the environment by targeted science. The promotion of joint national and European research and other co-funded integration activities will ensure that human health risks and possible impacts on the environment are better understood and quantified and that radiation protection strategies are optimised. This will be achieved by an open exchange of knowledge and information between scientists, regulators, stakeholders involved and society as a whole.

Overall objectives
CONCERT is focussing resources and efforts in the following five key directions:
1) Bring together the elements of the European scientific communities in the fields of radiation effects and risks, radioecology, nuclear emergency preparedness, dosimetry and medical radiation protection, whose joint expertise is essential to continue the development of radiation protection knowledge in a multidisciplinary mode to reduce further the uncertainties in radiation protection.
2) Strengthen integrative activities between the various areas of expertise, in particular biology, biophysics, epidemiology, dosimetry and modelling as well as fostering the use of existing infrastructures and education and training activities in radiation protection.
3) Stimulate and foster scientific excellence, by setting up and co-funding advanced research programmes with the potential to enhance current knowledge and the scientific evidence base for radiation protection.
4) Exchange and communicate with all stakeholders, including the professional organizations concerned with radiation protection, the regulatory organizations across Europe, the public and media where necessary, and the international community of scientific, technical, legal an

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Main achievements of the first project year were:
• Development of a joint SRA bringing together the SRAs of the EURATOM Research Platforms in Radiation Protection as basis of the call text
• Successful launch of the 1st (2016) and 2nd transnational and open CONCERT Call for Proposals (2017)
• Successful launch of eigtheen E&T Call for Courses
o CONCERT courses and travel grants strengthen European competence in radiation science by exchange and training of junior scientists.
• CONCERT actively supported the establishment of a Research Platform in the field of Radiation Protection in Medicine - EURAMED
CONCERT is structured in nine work packages (WPs) to achieve an efficient realisation of the project’s objectives and implementation of the bottom-up approach towards developing, delivering, match-making and promoting of a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) for radiation science. Until May 2017 the following work has been conducted and main results achieved are:

WP1 – Project management
The project’s kick-off meeting took place in Munich, June 2015, with representatives of all beneficiaries. A Consortium Agreement between all 32 CONCERT beneficiaries was established. During the first year, two amendments of the Grant Agreement have been started. The 1st amendment was mainly related to the financial support to third parties and this amendment was a prerequisite for the start of the 1st open CONCERT R&D call in June 2016. The 2nd amendment is related to the accession of new beneficiaries to CONCERT and focuses on new POMs, some of them from member states not jet represented in CONCERT. This amendment was just filed and is expected to be accepted by the European Commission later this year. WP 1 deliverables were submitted in time. A summary report of the activities carried out during the first month on CONCERT’s projects progress (D1.1) and all deliverables that have been due so far were submitted to the European Commission. All milestones scheduled in this phase were achieved. The 1st and 2nd transnational and open CONCERT Call for Proposals were prepared and published after approval by the European Commission.
To extend CONCERT's scope and its co-fund capability in the second year six beneficiaries were added as mutual benefit of the current consortium and the joining institutions and foster the integration of radiation protection research in Europe.
The following beneficiaries were added to the consortium:

• APA - Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente (Portuguese Environment Agency), Portugal;
• FOPH – Bundesamt für Gesundheit (Swiss Federal Office of Public Health), Switzerland;
• GIG - Główny Instytut Górnictwa (Central Mining Institute);
• JSI - Jožef Stefan Institute, Slovenia;
• MINECO - Ministerio de economia y competitividad (Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness), Spain;
• UEF - Itä-Suomen yliopisto (University of Eastern Finland), Finland.

With FOPH, GIG, and JSI joining CONCERT, the action extends to countries currently not represented with beneficiaries in the consortium. This also is a first step to national alignment and integrate Swiss, Polish, and Slovenian universities and other research institutions. Currently, such institutions lack a national source of providing co-fund, which is a disadvantage when competing in CONCERT's transnational open research calls. The participation of APA, MINECO, and UEF strengthens the integration of the respective countries' research community into CONCERT's activities.

CONCERT Work package 2 concerns integration and SRA development in radiation protection research. Supported by CONCERT the radiation protection research platforms MELODI, ALLIANCE, NERIS and EURADOS updated their respective Strategic Research Agendas (SRA) and recommended Research Priorities (RP). In addition to the already established platforms CONCERT supported the establishment of a Research Platform in the field of Radiation Protection in Medicine - EURAMED- and discussed th

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

CONCERT supported the development of strategic research agendas, the recommendation of research priorities and the development of research road maps in all major sectors of radiation protection research via the platform activities of MELODI, ALLIANCE, NERIS, and EURADOS. In addition CONCERT stimulated a similar development in the field of radiation protection in medicine. The work for the development for joint SRA for radiation protection in medicine was finalised. A representative working group formed by the European professional associations interested in medical radiation explored the most effective way to integrate radiation protection in medicine in a wider radiation protection research umbrella structure in Europe. Subsequently, the medical SRA was published during the Radiation Protection Week in Oxford in September 2016 and the creation of EURAMED association under Austrian law was initiated and is expected to be a registered association at the beginning of October.
From the sectorial strategic research programmes and research priorities CONCERT extracted by joint programming major research priorities for the open CONCERT calls. Projects (3) of the first call (2016) started in January 2017. The six successful proposals of the second call currently in the negotisation process. They will be funded by a co-funding mechanism between European Commission and national Programme Manager institutions.
Parallel to the research funding activities CONCERT developmed a research agenda in social sciences and humanities in relation to radiation protection that was included as an integral part in the second call for research projects funded by CONCERT. Further priorities of CONCERT’s integrative activities are the development of a joint research roadmap for all radiation protection research sectors, increased education and training activities for young scientists and provisions for optimal use of European research infrastructures for radiation protection research.
These integrative activities of CONCERT together with the research funding activities will stimulate multidisciplinary work in research and translational work towards societal needs in radiation protection for the general public, for workers, for patients and for the environment.

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