NCP_WIDERA.NET Project is a 3 years Coordination and Support Action financed by the European Commission established with the aim to empower the network of National Contact Points (NCP) for WIDERA* under the Horizon Europe Framework Programme.
NCP_WIDERA.NET overall objective is to support the capacity and effectiveness of WIDERA National Contact Points with a special attention to less experienced entities in low performing Member States (MS) and Associated Countries (AC) to bridge the knowledge gaps to enhance access to funding possibilities under the Framework Programme.
Through strengthening and enhancing the role of the NCPs, the project shall support international networking and coordination and improve the quality of proposals from legal entities from low R&I performing MS and AC ensuring them better access to services during the application process in particular with regard to Widening Participation and Strengthening the European Research Area, as well as Pillar II actions.
NCP_WIDERA.NET will focus on identifying and sharing good practices within NCP community and raising standards of support offered by NCPs to the applicants, taking into account the diversity of actors that constitutes both the Widening and ERA parts. Moreover, this project will equip the transnational network of NCPs to be in a better position to effectively address will ensure cross-cutting objectives such as gender equality and open science. The objective will be reached using tailored measures targeted at improving NCPs’ capacities to deliver services of high-quality standards, enhancing transnational collaboration between NCPs and applicants, delivering complex information on WIDERA activities, and promoting the network.
*WIDERA NCPs is an umbrella name for the transnational network of National Contact Points (NCPs) for Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area under Horizon Europe.
The overall structure of the NCP_WIDERA.NET is divided into 9 Work Packages (WPs) which will be implemented through the 36 months of the project’s duration. The WPs aim at receiving the impacts foreseen within the project and are as follow:
- WP1 “Proposal pre-check” aims to support NCPs and potential applicants in Widening Countries. This will be achieved through two overarching objectives: 1) to close the innovation divide by helping NCPs in Widening Countries to rapidly acquire the know-how, on NCP operations accumulated in other countries, through developing Proposal precheck Guide, training, capacity building activities; 2) to raise awareness about the actions aimed at increasing visibility of well-qualified potential applicant organisations in the Widening countries.
- WP2 “Matchmaking” aims at prospective applicants coming from widening countries as well as at applicants from nonwidening countries (advanced partners). The main purpose is to promote participation of widening stakeholders in Pillar II calls as well as to help advanced partners find consortia within actions of the widening package (hereinafter widening actions), through the use of various tools and matchmaking platforms.
- WP3 “Widening NCPs capacity building” is conceived to improve and professionalise NCP services by providing training on key technical issues specifically related to widening and to mentor newcomers through dedicated introductory trainings and webinars
- WP4 “Widening stakeholders and synergies” objective is to reach out to Stakeholders relevant to ensuring the synergies between the Widening and other Programmes and initiatives. The target audience here are the programme owners and managing authorities / NCPs of other programmes such as ESIF, EEN, COST, EIT etc.
- WP5 “ERA sharing for NCPs” is devoted to updating the ERA NCP network on ERA specific issues, and to evaluating the contribution of the project activities to improving the NCPs services. It will be built on mapping the expertise, good practices and needs of all the NCPs in order to share and use the existing knowledge among the entire network through training sessions, exchange visits and mutual learning. The objective of WP5 is to improve and professionalise level of NCPs’ support.
- WP6 “ERA visibility for clients” will increase the visibility of the ERA part towards potential proposers. It will provide clients with activities and products that will improve their understanding of the ERA part, to facilitate their successful participation. Building on SiS.net experiences, all 5 tasks will take their own approach to strengthen visibility.
- WP7 “Communication” targets WIDERA NCPs and stakeholders in order to raise awareness on project activities, new roles and services offered by Widening NCPs such as pre-check of proposals. It will enhance the visibility of WIDERA part of Horizon Europe and promote success stories, contributing to enhancing reputation of applicants from Widening countries in particular.
- WP8 “Advancing Europe Package support” focusses on the implementation of the Advancing Europe Package (AEP) elements i.e. proposal pre-check service and matchmaking.
- The objective of WP9 “Management” is to ensure successful management of the project including necessary exchange of information between the partners and ensuring effective coordination of the actions.