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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BioHorizon (Cooperation between NCPs for Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2 on “Food security, Sustainable Agriculture, Marine and Maritime Research and the Bioeconomy” and the Key Enabling Technology ()

BioHorizon Report Summary

Project ID: 652637
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BioHorizon (Cooperation between NCPs for Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 2 on “Food security, Sustainable Agriculture, Marine and Maritime Research and the Bioeconomy” and the Key Enabling Technology ()

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The objective of BioHorizon project is to establish an innovative pan-European platform for transnational activities of NCPs involved in the SC2 and KET-B which will contribute to mutual learning of its members. Moreover, our ambition is to create a network of NCPs exploiting the synergies of acquired and distributed knowledge, collective development and trainings, in which all NCPs can learn from each other, thus increasing mutual understanding of different approaches and requirements in the daily work of an NCP.

Based on the overall aim described above, our specific objectives and the work carried out during first 18 months period achieve those objectives were the following:
1. We have contributed to improved and professionalised Bio-NCPs services and establishment of a more consistent service across Europe through training and common tools like project website with an accompanying internal communication platform for all Bio-NCPs.
2. Improve cohesion of the Bio-NCP network through network activities. Sharing knowledge and collective problem solving from various fields and countries is an added value for the Bio-NCP network as a whole. Thus series of mentoring and staff exchanges activities were organized.
3. Simplify access to H2020 calls through joint transnational activities.

The results of the BioHorizon project so far contributed to capacity building, enhancing NCP knowledge and expertise, facilitating access to professional collaboration with other NCPs. BioHorizon services go beyond the capacity of any individual national organisation. By offering the added value tools and services that the individual NCP cannot develop at the national level, trying help to align with NCP services, simplify access to Horizon 2020, lower entry barriers to newcomers across the EU by facilitating their start as NCPs and trying to integrate them into the Network and ERA.
Wide promotion of the project via project’s website, elaboration of the logo participation in various events and collaboration with more than 50 different networks and organization significantly influenced the increase of visibility of Bio-NCPs to its national clients across the EU and beyond.

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 volume of work carried out during first 18 months period done so in line with the main objectives of the project. In order to provide improved and professionalised Bio-NCPs services and to be able to establish of a more consistent service across Europe through training and common tools were developed. Thru this tool all SC2 NCPs had easy access to all information we generated during the project’s lifetime. We organized one interactive training, two bioeconomy workshops, three virtual training sessions (webinars) and developed many materials which Bio-NCPs need for delivering excellent support services to their clients in many horizontal areas of SC2 and KET-B.
The main material developed within the first year has been The BioHorizon Practical Guide for Horizon 2020 Bio-NCPs which is focused on good practices and challenges. This guideline was prepared by all BioHorizon beneficiaries by writing chapters, has been delivered in 2 formats, and can be downloaded from the internal project platform.
For the objective of increasing of quality of NCP’s services, benchmarking activity was developed. This was a starting point to align the necessary skills from the Bio-NCPs and make an initial training programme Setting up of the BioHorizon website ( with an accompanying internal communication platform was an essential part of the activities and became main repository of information developed by the BioHorizon partners. The public website provides a wide spectrum of information for Bio-NCPs on the ongoing activities and events so that an NCP can direct clients towards the side. The website also provides links to partner profile databases with high quality profiles of all participants registered for the brokerage events organized by BioHorizon. The internal platform, restricted to all Bio NCPs and staff of the EC, includes information that is only relevant to NCPs like trainings materials, or helpful documents, guidelines and recordings of webinars.
In order to keep the constant learning process, 2 rounds of the staff exchange programme and e-mentoring activities have taken place during the first 18 months. By creating links between BioHorizon project and all community of Bio-NCPs and experts of SC2 and KET-B related programmes and several actions have been undertaken with other joint initiatives implementing SC2.
Joint collaboration in co-organisation of brokerage events and webinars has become an essential part of the activities within this period.
In order to simplify access to H2020 calls two international brokerage events were organised back to back with EC info days in order to support the formation of high quality consortia and widen participation in open SC2 and KET-B calls.
Future more BioHorizon paid special attention to develop synergies with other European Networks and projects to maximize the impact of BioHoriozn in all its different tasks under every day work package and to support networks and projects, to look for all possible synergies and collaboration with relevant networks.

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)

"As this is a Coordinating an Support Action (CSA) and not a Research & Innovation Action (RIA) or Innovation Action (IA), the "progress beyond the state of the art" does not apply.

Being appointed as an NCP for Horizon 2020 means, on the one hand, fulfilling the tasks formulated in the particular national contracts, and, on the other hand, respecting those to be found in the ‘Minimum standards and guiding principles for setting up systems of National Contact Points underHorizon 2020 (DG RTD)’. The activities within BioHorizon will follow these principles.

Expected potential impact at two different levels:
Improved and professionalised NCP services across Europe, thereby contributing to simplified access to Horizon 2020 calls, lowering the entry barriers for newcomers and raising the average quality of submitted proposals. This target shall be reached through a mutual learning process supported by various measures undertaken in BioHorizon.
A more consistent level of NCP support services across Europe and connection with the rest of the world. Especially NCPs from less experienced countries will improve their level of knowledge of Horizon 2020 in the SC2 and KET-B areas, as well as improve their capacity to deliver best quality services to target group of researchers.
The establishment of an active and competent network of SC2 NCPs from all EU-members and beyond is in itself an added value and thus impact of this project. Through coordination and joint efforts, Bio-NCPs will be a well skilled and professional network."

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