News archive - Conclusions from the First 18 Months of SEE-ERA.NET PLUS

With the acceptance of the proposed funding list by the European Commission (EC), a key-milestone of the project was reached during August 2010, following 18 months of intensive work. The acceptance of the funding list for Joint European Research Projects (JERPs) was prepared in several phases and conclusions can be drawn from the experience gained.

SEE-ERA.NET PLUS (FP7) is based on the forerunner project SEE-ERA.NET (FP6). By joining forces and by pooling financial resources, the project consortium enhances the coordination of bilateral R&D cooperation with the WBC and the EU. It involves 17 R&D programme owners as well as ministries or agencies from 14 countries, including EU Member States, Associated Countries and all WBCs.

SEE-ERA.NET PLUS supports the integration of bilateral RTD initiatives into multilateral, jointly agreed activities with an impact on strategic priorities at European level and makes more resources available than it would have been possible via bilateral cooperation agreements. Strengthening research communities in new Member States and WBCs and preparing them for a participation in FP7 is of key importance.

The project coordinates national R&D funds and launched a call for Joint European Research Projects with a budget of about € 3.5 million. This is the largest amount dedicated to one call for SEE including all the WBCs. The figure of € 2,675,000 shows the national commitment to the project. External evaluators and a Scientific Council assist the selection based on scientific excellence.

Expected Impact and Results

The project further integrates the WBCs and their key research communities into the ERA by means of joint work in the funded projects. It engages scientists and key actors in R&D policy making in the broad SEE-ERA.NET PLUS consortium. The result is a significant European added value in many aspects.

During the first 18 months of the project the work performed involved three work packages:

WP1 – Preparing the call

There was a consensual agreement on all formal steps and call documents. The consensus on the concept and the procedures of the single joint call was followed by signing an “Implementation Agreement on the execution of the SEE-ERA.NET PLUS Joint Call”. The scope of the call was defined and a call text was finalised.

WP2 – Implementing the call and monitoring

The call was launched on September 1, 2009. The second stage started on January 15, 2010. A pool of 1,400 distinguished external evaluators was available for the remote evaluation in two stages, at the first stage two external evaluators and at the full proposal stage three external evaluators were consulted. A Scientific Council for SEE-ERA.NET PLUS composed of eminent scientists from the participating countries was set up in order to provide support and guarantee scientific excellence concerning the evaluation and selection procedure. Its work resulted in a ranking list. The Steering Board agreed on a funding list, mobilising additional funding of € 208,600 from Croatia, France and Serbia. The selection procedure followed the final ranking list of projects established by the Scientific Council in June 2010 in Sofia. After a consultation process during the summer, SEE-ERA.NET PLUS decided to fund 23 projects, applying a reduction rate for partners in selected projects coming from countries overspending their national contribution. The funding list was updated during July 2010 and accepted by the EC in August 2010. The decision of the Steering Board is very positive, as a maximum of JERPs and involved partners will be funded. Following this approach, funding of JERPs with € 3,050,000 is possible. Nevertheless, due to the specific eligibility criteria, some of the allocated national contributions will remain unspent. The monitoring process for funded projects was drafted during the Steering Board meeting in Belgrade.

WP3 – Management and Dissemination

The starting point was the partner’s formal agreement on the established governance structure and workflow. Steering Board meetings were organised. The call was advertised by several dissemination activities, e.g. the established NCP network, its relevant contacts and websites, the project website, websites of consortium members and via CORDIS as well as by sending information to applicants to the SEE-ERA.NET Pilot Joint Call and to scientists from databases of the consortium partners. Moreover, eNewsletters and scientific fora with the topic of S&T in the WBC as well as presentations by the NCP network addressed directly at the concerned researchers in several countries supported the dissemination of the call.

Outlook on Further Activities of SEE-ERA.NET PLUS

All JERPs have signed funding contracts and interim monitoring activities are going to be organised during October 2011. Boundaries for the impact analysis of the call were set at the Steering Board Meeting in Belgrade. During the first half of 2011, the Steering Board of SEE-ERA.NET PLUS will meet to identify further steps for the sustainability of the project, as formally the end of the project will be January 2013.

Geographical focus
  • Europe
  • European Union (EU 27)
  • International; Other
  • SEE
  • Western Balkans
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Entry created by Katarina Rohsmann on November 11, 2010
Modified on November 11, 2010