by Givi Kochoradze
Within the framework programs of the European Commission there exist particular projects that make tangible contributions to the development of European science and technology. One such project is “IDEALIST”. IDEALIST, which actually encompasses a cycle of projects, has, since its inception in 1996, established itself as a strong and efficient learning network for the ICT National Contact Points (NCPs). IDEALIST is open to all ICT NCPs and ICT specialists, regardless of their individual status within the network.
A total of eight IDEALIST projects have been implemented since 1996: Idealfit; Idealist-East; Idealist5FP; Idealist34; Idealist Extend; Idealist7FP; Idealist2011; and Idealist2014. The first project started with the participation of NCPs from a few members and associated states. The latest IDEALIST project has now reached 85 NCPs from 75 different EU and non-EU countries. IDEALIST is continuing to attract NCPs from the entire world. The National Contact Points (officially appointed by national governments) continue to play a key role in the Framework Programs, assisting grant applicants and recipients in on-going projects. Their tasks are:
- to inform and raise awareness about the funding opportunities of the Framework Programs (FPs)
- to advise and assist potential applicants in the preparation, submission and follow-up of grant proposals;
- to provide support during the execution of projects – especially for management and administrative aspects;
- to gather quick, informal feedback from grant applicants and recipients about perceived difficulties in the implementation of the Framework Program, and hence immediate input to the EC to improve specific aspects of the FP.
IDEALIST is implementing advisory services to provide grant applicants with comprehensive information about ways of participating in the work program itself and about other FP7 and alternative ICT funding programs. To this end, a new IDEALIST project in 2014 will develop and implement a coordination mechanism for strengthening cooperation among ICT NCPs in the FP7 and in the Horizon 2020 program. The aim of the IDEALIST 2014 project is to increase the visibility of NCPs and improve the overall quality of NCP services across the Europe in the ICT area. The objectives are:
- Reinforcement of the ICT NCP network by promoting trans-national cooperation;
- Identification and promotion of good NCP practices;
- Enhancement and sharing of NCP knowledge on ICT research objectives;
- Provision of training and twinning measures tailored to the specific needs of ICT NCPs;
- Raising awareness of NCP services including the implementation of practical initiatives to benefit cross-border audiences, such as a quality checked partner search and a pre-proposal and full proposal service for all kinds of funding applicants;
- Establishment of trans-European networking among FP participants by offering brokerage services around large European events and small targeted brokerage meetings;
- Improved cooperation with other networks, organizations and initiatives;
To put special emphasis on the transition to ICT in Horizon 2020.
Due to the European Commission’s strong interest in strengthening international cooperation, we also expect that efforts will be made to enhance cooperation with ICT contact points in the International Cooperation Partner Countries (ICPC).
One of the main initiatives of the IDEALIST 2014 project is cooperation with international ICT associations in Europe. This backbone for international collaboration will guarantee quick information exchange. The IDEALIST project has already established closer cooperation with so-called “Co-ordination and. Support Actions” and other NCP networks with complementary missions. Closer cooperation between the other ICT funding initiatives has also begun. Last year, ERCIM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the IDEALIST project. The memorandum encompasses cooperation in partner search, sharing information about various events, invitation of ERCIM representatives to major EC workshops (eg the European Commission’s ICT event in Vilnius which will be held in November 2013). MoUs were also agreed upon with the Central and Eastern European Network (CEENet) and Informatics Europe. It is expected that the new IDEALIST project will play an important role in encouraging the involvement of European scientific organizations, associations, and several existing projects in EC framework programs.
Givi Kochoradze, EC ICT NCP in Georgia
International Center for Advancement of Research Technology and Innovation, Georgia
Tel: +995 599 292516