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NORFACE II — Result In Brief

Project ID: 263903
Funded under: FP7-SSH

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An EU-funded Support Action has enhanced cooperation between European social sciences research-funding agencies by building on previous related efforts. The overall goal of NORFACE II was to further deepen and strengthen transnational cooperation and to broaden network activities as well as EU impact.
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Since 2004 NORFACE succeeded in enhancing research collaboration in the social sciences and contributing to the realisation of the European Research Area (ERA) in this field. The 'New opportunities for research funding agency co-operation in Europe II' (NORFACE II) project sought to build on the already existing solid NORFACE network to successfully prepare a new ERA-Net Plus.

Over the course of the project, network activities were coordinated through work packages relevant to joint research and related activities and initiatives, and secondly by exploiting data and research infrastructure in the social sciences. A third focus area was governance and management of the NORFACE network, and its output, dissemination and impact.

The first work package entailed selecting a theme (Welfare State Futures) and outlining a plan for this new NORFACE Joint Research Programme. NORFACE partners pooled EUR 16 million for research funding for Welfare State Futures, the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare (Forte) made an additional contribution to the programme. NORFACE also successfully submitted a proposal for ERA-Net Plus funding to the European Commission.

With regard to the second work package, coordinated strategies were developed and put forward for the future enhancement of data in NORFACE. Partners also identified future directions for the further development of European data, developing mechanisms to exploit data. In addition, the Network took into account experiences and lessons learned from the NORFACE Migration programme to further develop the new Welfare State Futures programme.

Targeted joint activities and various events were organised to strengthen transnational cooperation, broaden network activities, and further support the sharing of experiences, best practices and ideas. Other project work involved a final evaluation of the NORFACE pilot research programme 'Re-emergence of religion as a social force in Europe?' This was carried out to improve the coordination and setup of the new transnational Welfare State Futures programme.

Beyond consolidating an already strong platform for the sharing and production of new knowledge, NORFACE II actions and results boosted the visibility of European research, and helped building new international connections and networks. NORFACE II successfully enhanced research collaboration in the social sciences.

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