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EASN endorsed projects for the 6th FP7 call: Outcome and lessons learned

Having coordinated the EASN projects endorsement process and now knowing the final outcome, I feel the obligation to share with all the EASN members and especially with those who actively assisted and participated in the process the final results and some main conclusions from my point of view.

Going all the way back to February 2012, EASN initiated its "Expression of Interest campaign" to select a number of upstream and innovative L1 project proposals for endorsement. About 30 project ideas were received, a number considerably smaller than the number of ideas received during previous years. However, the limited number of topics as well as the small available budget for L1 projects discouraged many academics from participating in this campaign.
Following a pre-evaluation and whenever possible, a merging of similar proposals, the project ideas were evaluated independently by EASN and the European Industrial partners. A total of 8 projects were initially selected for endorsement. From these, 2 failed the internal "quality assurance" process and the endorsement was withdrawn. A 7th project was later included in the list as it was a re-submission of an EASN endorsed project submitted and highly scored in the previous FP7 call. The finally submitted EASN endorsed projects were the following:

CORSAIR: COld spray Radical Solutions for Aeronautic Improved Repairs
i-VISION: Immersive Semantics-based Virtual Environments for the Design and Validation of Human-centred Aircraft Cockpits
ENCOMB+:Validation of Quality Assurance Concepts for Adhesive Bonding of Aircraft Composite Structures by Extended NDT  
PACIS: Pioneering aircraft-integrated structural sensors    
VIVID: Virtual assessment of low-velocity impact damage in composite airframes
EFRA: Environmental Friendly Aircraft  
DREAMCOMP: A universal approach in developing robust and energy efficient monitoring, optimisation and control technologies for economic composites processing

EASN participated in the above projects with the role of assisting or leading the dissemination activities. At this point, I feel the need to thank the coordinators of the above projects for their trust in EASN to manage and lead a very sensitive but significant part of any FP7 research project. I hope we have managed to meet their expectations. In this context, I would like to share with you some comments received from the evaluators:

"Good dissemination plan and exploitation strategy. The partners in charge give a high confidence. Proper IP management."
"The project gives very high confidence in its ability to disseminate and exploit the results for maximal impact on the industry."
"Dissemination plan and process is adequate and supported by a specialized partner (EASN). Exploitation plan and IPR management are addresses."
"The incorporation of EASN is a good and central part of the dissemination strategy."
"This is a well written and detailed section" (referring to the section Appropriateness of measures for the dissemination and/or exploitation of project results, and management of Intellectual property).
"WP8 dedicated to Dissemination/Exploitation/IP and led by EASN appears to be a very good and well mastered activity. A good basis for managing IP has been presented together with a good explanation of the process."

From the 7 submitted projects, 6 were successful and scored well above the thresholds whereas 1 failed to reach one or more thresholds. Two managed to score high enough so as to be in the 13 L1 funded projects of the call.  

-    The global rate of funded L1 projects has been very low, as expected by the available budget (11%).
-    EASN quality assurance process has helped retaining acceptable success rates (86% compared to the global 77%). However, as 1 proposal failed to reach all thresholds, measures to avoid similar failures in future endorsed proposals shall be foreseen.
-    The ratio of submitted-to-funded of the EASN endorsed projects was significantly above average (29% compared to the overall 11%), but there is still room for improvement
-    Better and at an earlier stage coordination between EASN and the other stakeholders would allow for:
o    The EASN endorsed proposals to be even more in-line with the European strategic goals and research priorities
o    Increased degree of innovation
o    Even better quality proposals.
o    Academic support in proposals led by other stakeholders vice-versa

Michael Papadopoulos

Date posted: March 8, 2013, 11:08 am

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