Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

ACCELERATE Report Summary

Project ID: 731112
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.4.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ACCELERATE (ACCELERATing Europe's Leading Research Infrastructures)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2018-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

ACCELERATE supports the sustainability of the Central-European Research Infrastructure Consortium ERIC, a distributed research infrastructure for fundamental and applied research on novel materials and bio-materials. The project is designed as a collaborative action with other research infrastructures and universities to develop the necessary policies and procedures, and improve the existing ones to make CERIC run more effectively in the long term. The main work revolves around the following cornerstones of the sustainability for research infrastructures:
• Access to external funding
• Ensuring effective operations in international environments
• Achieving and demonstrating socio-economic impact
• Ensuring the scientific excellence
• Unlocking the innovation potential of CERIC

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

In the first periodic report, ACCELERATE achieved all its deliverables and milestones. The main results of the work in this reporting period in relation to the objectives of the project are described in the following:
WP 1: In this reporting period, ACCELEARTE tackled some of the common issues ERICs face in their day-to-day operation. At first, the ACCELERTE partners mapped the issues of all ERICs in the areas of international mobility of employees and VAT/excise duty exemption. On the basis of this mapping exercise, experts in the fields were consulted and the results of the consultation were shared with all ERICs and policy makers in two dedicated workshops. Additionally, the project prepared a document that gives examples of possible synergies in European, national and regional funding sources with focus on distributed RIs. In order to demonstrate socio-economic impact, ACCELERTE started to develop a general assessment methodology.
WP 2/WP 5: To ensure the scientific excellence of CERIC, ACCELERATE developed two new access pathways for users to CERIC instrumentation. The first pathway, the Fast Track Access, allows users to access some instruments of CERIC for feasibility studies outside the regular calls and with a short waiting time. The second pathway, the Promotional Access, is dedicated to users from countries where the user part is not well developed. In these calls, users receive more support for the preparation of their open access proposals for the regular calls. The data generated by these two pilots for open access will be treated according to the Data Management Plan which was also prepared in this reporting period.
WP 3: To enhance the innovation potential of CERIC, ACCELERATE nominated an Innovation Advisory Board comprising experts in the field of innovation management, which supports the development of policies and procedures for commercial access to CERIC. To raise awareness of the potential that CERIC in particular and RIs in general have to offer to industry, ACCELERATE, in synergy with other European Projects, organised three research-to-business events on regional and European levels and participated in other four conferences. As a direct result, CERIC gained one new industrial user that already conducted research on CERIC instruments.
WP 4: This work package aims at ensuring the scientific excellence through collaboration with other scientific institutions, enlargement of the consortium and expansion of the user base. To achieve the first two goals, CERIC started with the development of a strategy for international collaboration, a work that is continuously ongoing. The latter goal is reached through raising awareness among the scientific communities in countries with a not well developed user base, mainly in the Western Balkans and the post-soviet countries neighbouring the European Union.
For the Western Balkans, ACCELERATE organised two outreach events which were dedicated to scientists in the region and contained, next a presentation of the possibilities of CERIC, also practical tutorials in proposal writing, hands-on work at certain instruments and presentations of first hand user experiences. For the former soviet countries, CERIC successfully established an outpost at the University of Uzhhorod/Ukraine. The scientists of the Uzhhorod University received a special training in the opportunities of CERIC in particular and open access to RIs in general and will work as CERIC ambassadors among the regional scientific communities. A direct outcome of the outreach activities is the number of applications from new user groups from the target region.

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)

ACCELERATE is tackling some of the present issues in the areas of international mobility and VAT/excise duty exemption in ERIC operations in a collaborative way with different ERICs. The outcome of the project will help the European Commission to better understand the possibilities and limitations of the ERIC legal instrument.
Regional industrial outreach events raise the awareness of the opportunities of an RI to local SMEs. The use of this knowledge can make the SMEs more competitive, support regional innovation and contribute to the east-west-alignment of the EU.

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