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H2020

SiS.net2 Report Summary

Project ID: 635656
Funded under: H2020-EU.5.f.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SiS.net2 (Network of Science with and for Society National Contact Points)

Reporting period: 2014-11-01 to 2016-04-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The main objective of SiS.net2 project is to share best practices among NCPs and through this improve the operation of each Science with and for Society NCP in order to provide more effective and better quality services to organisations participating in Horizon 2020 all over Europe and beyond. The proposal is dedicated to fulfilling this objective, leading to a more consistent, improved and professionalised level of NCP support services in all Horizon 2020 participant countries, taking into account the wide variety of NCP system structures. The project pays special attention to the objective of lowering entry barriers for newcomers to the programme, with particular focus on reaching the extremely diverse stakeholders involved in SwafS.

The SiS.net2 concept and approach behind the main objective focuses on the following four main aspects and support measures:

1. Mutual learning and capacity building for the diverse network of SwafS NCPs, through mutual learning and exchange of best practices, in particular through trainings and network meetings, as well as at individual level, through welcoming packages and bilateral visits. Mapping of NCP experience and NCP needs is a vital component to kepp the objective focused, not forgetting the need for knowledge in the wider area of EU policy in the field.
2. Further Mobilisation of stakeholders, respecting the diversity of SwafS players and the essentially cross-cutting nature of RRI actions. Activities will be aimed at overall new recruitment of potential participants in the programme; reaching stakeholders such as SMEs and CSOs, as well as participants in third countries, with special focus on ICPCs and neighbourhood policy countries.
3. The project addresses important policy issues by ensuring Visibility of SwafS outcomes, in order to educate NCPs in the different dimensions of RRI and to integrate important objectives and outcomes into policy discussion at EU and national levels.
4. Outreach and communication activities, focusing on Horizon 2020 SwafS objectives, as well as granting visibility of the programme to stakeholders, policy makers and the media through targeted outreach activities. In addition, the objective focuses on internal and external communication of the project and internal communication within the network of NCPs.

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

This periodic report covers the activities of the SiS.net 2 project for the first 18 months, from the start of the project on 1 November 2014 to 30 April 2016.
At the time of the report writing, all deliverables for the period have been submitted and all milestones have been fulfilled.

WP 1 Management
The objectives of the management work package are:
• Effective coordination of the project, administration and financial management;
• Quality management and quality assurance of project work and deliverables;
• Efficient cooperation and communication with project partners, the network of SwafS NCPs and with the EU Commission; and
• Coordination of the consortium and of the larger network, including the sixteen beneficiaries as well as all National Contact Points for Science with and for Society in Horizon 2020.
The work package is divided into three tasks, one is project coordination and the others pertain to efficient network maintenance and active quality management.

Task 1.1 Project Coordination
In addition to ensuring successful management, the coordination of this project functions at two levels; first the coordination of the project, the consortium, the work packages and tasks involved, but secondly, it requires coordination and involvement of the whole network of Horizon 2020 SwafS NCPs, beyond the actual partnership. Sixteen NCPs are involved as beneficiaries in the project, but it is important to keep in mind, that all activities of the project are targeted towards all officially nominated SwafS NCPs in EU member states and other participating countries.
The Project management board (PMB) is the group responsible for day-to-day management of the project, as well as all major decisions. The PMB has regular online meetings to run the normal operations of the network and real meetings usually combined with network meetings, in order to save travel budget. In addition, the PMB reserves time once a year for a working meeting, where network activities are planned farther ahead and any major issues tackled.
The project relies on a decentralised approach in management, with all work package leaders essentially responsible for their tasks as well as communication within their work package, mainly with task leaders and task teams. This has proven to be very efficient, not to mention personally empowering, and ensures that work and responsibilities are shared equally among partners. The role of the coordinator is to manage the PMB and keep an active overview of all work packages and support wherever needed, as well as maintaining a regular contact with the project officer and other EU Commission staff as relevant.

Task 1.2 Network maintenance and internal communication
Internal communication is important in a large network and the goal of this task is to ensure efficient communication within the SwafS NCP network throughout the project as well as coherence of the impact of all project tasks. A simple but efficient communication structure is being worked on, in order to share the information gathered in and for the project. This is an important issue for all NCPs who are not formal partners, but need to keep up with project activities and products. Central to this task is the SiS.net mailing list and updated database of SwafS NCPs.

Task 1.3 Quality Management
The Quality Management Plan of the SiS.net 2 project refers to how the quality manager works in tandem with all involved partners in making sure that every single team in the project produces high quality outputs. The Quality Manager is involved in all PMB meetings and teleconferences and supports task leaders when requested.
The Quality Management Plan (QMP) is the theoretical backbone of the Quality Management. It can be seen as a manual, which has been read and understood by all partners. In contrast, the appendices are the practical application of the QM Plan; they are to be used by each participant, whenever she/he needs them, and have proved their pra

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)

The SiS.net project has reached all its objectives in the first reporting period and acquired the expected impact in all aspects. Networking activities within the project and the larger network of SwafS NCPs have been according to expectations. The project has in some cases even exceeded the initial expectations for impact and dissemination. No significant deviations have been noted from the initial work description and resource management is efficient and practical. Even though a few deliverables have been submitted with some delay, all planned activities have been carried out and all planned milestones, products and outputs for the reporting period have been delivered.

The basic vision for defining the objectives and expected impact was listed in the 2014 SwafS work programme under Horizon 2020, which was the first call of the framework programme, a vision which was materialised in the content of the work packages; mobilisation and mutual learning; visibility and outreach to relevant stakeholders and players of the European resaerch scene, improved NCP service across Europe; simplifying and improving access to science in society calls; lowering the entry barriers for newcomers and raising the average quality of submitted proposals, with a more consistent level of NCP support services across Europe.

In terms of internal mobilisation of the whole network of SwafS NCPs, its success has been achieved through efficient communication and networking events and activities. As for external mobilisation of SwafS stakeholders, the project has until now exceeded the expected impact through efficient events and activities. An example of this are the brokerage events where the project managed to bring together different SwafS actors in order to encourage their interaction and reinforce their capacities to participate in the SwafS programme. The participation and stakeholder mobilisation achieved with these events was beyond expectations.

Capacity building of the diverse network of NCPs has been carried out with mutual learning activities such as organised trainings, interactive cooperation in network meetings and workshops, as well as bottom-up bilateral visits among NCPs. This has provided the opportunity of best practice sharing and support among SwafS NCPs for any issues pertaining to the organisation of NCP work and for the implementation of SwafS calls at local and European level.

The impact of the work carried out under the Communication work package was twofold; first to promote SiS.net as the network of SwafS NCPs and second to contribute towards more successful promotion of the H2020 SwafS programme. Both internal and external communication activities have gone according to plan, with the external communication strategy even reaching a wider audience than in the previous project, due to more active and efficient use of social media, which is also more widely used among the research community than before. This means that communication activities have generated huge impact for the network, for the SwafS programme as well as the visibility of Responsible Research and Innovation.

When it comes to visibility of Science with and for Society and general outreach, the impact is beyond expectations in many respects. By mapping stakholders, outreach activities have been facilitated, both at national and European level. The work of the external expert group has been well orgnaised, with relevant members putting a lot of professional effort into working for SiS.net for the benefit of the project as well as the SwafS community. Networking with other communities has been working well and opportunities across H2020 are promoted and made accessible through a publication of an Opportunities e-book for each call of the SwafS proegramme. Policy briefs and success stories contribute to the succes of the outreach activities at various levels, highligthing policy isseus as well as successful results of H2020.

The concrete achievements of ea

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