Entrevista a Claudia Romano, Punto Nacional Coordinador de Contacto del programa Horizonte 2020.
Based on an interview with Claudia Romano, Direction of International Relations and Projects, Ministry for Education and Culture Uruguay (MEC)
ALCUE NET has contributed significantly to further developing the system of Latin American and Caribbean National Contact Points (NCPs). National NCP systems in LAC were at very different stages when ALCUE NET started. In countries where no NCP system existed, like El Salvador or Bolivia, ALCUE NET supported the initiation, design and construction of such systems or the appointment of first national NCPs. In other cases, like Peru, ALCUE NET gave advise for the upgrade of the NCP system in order to make it fit for new requirements and standards under H2020. How was this achieved? By working closely together with Latin American and Caribbean Ministers and High Authorities in Science, Technology and Innovation and informing them about the role, duties and ideal profile of potential NCPs. Historically, NCPs in LAC were perceived mainly as institutional-political contact persons and only in some cases as driving forces who actively push cooperation initiatives, diffuse information, give advice and motivate researchers to cooperate. The situation is different today.
In concrete terms, ALCUE NET has organized yearly NCP meetings in different countries (more than 400 persons have participated), NCP trainings in 11 countries (with more than 1100 participants) and video conferences. The main objective of these events was to raise awareness on and inform about H2020, and equip NCPs with useful and updated skills for STI cooperation under H2020. A travel grant scheme for NCPs and representatives of countries from outside of the ALCUE NET consortium allowed expanding and democratizing participation in these events.
In parallel a virtual NCP platform was established on the ALCUE NET website that now allows efficient exchange of good practice and relevant information between European and LAC NCPs. The platform is a major improvement what regards communication between national NCPs from both regions.
As trainings and seminars were developing in the framework of ALCUE NET, it got evident that NCPs wished for content which was more specific to sub-regional needs. In order to respond to this need, ALCUE NET thematic workshops were designed in a way that region and sub-region specific priority topics could be jointly discussed. Results were then communicated to high authorities of the biregional political dialogue with the objective to be included in future H2020 calls for proposals. Better coordination of common strategies to work on specific themes (e.g. between Caribbean islands) was another important outcome of the networking activities.
One of the main outcomes of ALCUE NET NCP work was to reach out to countries which had no NCPs in place. Since the implementation of ALCUE NET, the following eleven countries established NCPs: Aruba, Bolivia, Curaçao, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guadalupe, Guatemala, Jamaica, Peru, Panamá and Saint Maarten. Others (like Barbados, Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Paraguay) have designated referents which still need to be officially nominated. ALCUE NET established a monitoring system of all LAC NCPs which updates changes in designations and the introduction of new authorities and therefore makes the system more transparent. Up to now, 27 countries in LAC managed to designate 248 NCPs in different areas in the region.
In short, we can say that ALCUENET has managed to work with all countries in the region, spreading knowledge on H2020, and contributing to Latin American and Caribbean capabilities to increase the participation of researchers, companies and NGOs.
Ver más aquí: http://alcuenet.eu/impact.php?id=50
La iniciativa consiste en recoger historias de alto impacto mediante entrevistas a personas que se encuentren vinculadas a ALCUE –NET de diversas maneras.
La misma tiene como fin la tarea de monitoreo y la posibilidad de contextualizar, mostrando el proyecto desde una perspectiva personal. Estas historias en conjunto además servirán de testimonio sobre la cooperación internacional y ALCUE-NET mediante un posterior análisis del impacto global del proyecto.
Bajo esta premisa se le realizó la siguiente entrevista a Eduardo J. Trigo, Director de Grupo CEO en Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Shall we keep your answers anonymous?
How did you become involved in ALCUE NET and what is your current involvement?
I became involved as part of my responsibilities in MINCYT in the area of European Projects and have participated since the preparation of the proposal. At this time my involved is (i) as a supporting resource to the Project Coordination, and (ii) a co-coordinator of WP4 (bioeconomy) where Argentina shares responsibilities with CIRAD.
For you personally, did your involvement in ALCUE NET bring any benefits?
I see the benefits as institutional, in the sense that the project is a relevant instrument for the advancement of CELAC – European cooperation in key areas. Beyond that, I have a particular profesional interest in the area of the bioeconomy, and ALCUENET is proving to be an effective instrument to advance the consolidation of bioeconomy concepts and strategies in our region.
Since ALCUE NET started, what do you think was a significant result or change that the project achieved (for your institution, for people you know or for your environment)?
I think that the project is contributing to set RTI cooperation in a broader political context and that is good, particularly because it helps to increase resource commitments on the part of the LAC countries. In the area of the bioeconomy we are evolving to discuss policy issues that are very important for the consolidation of the sector and this is very much a result of the fact that WP4 is a continuation of earlier discussions initiated during a preceding project (ALCUE-KBBE).
In your point of view, did ALCUE NET bring any significant change for the quality or the state of the art of the scientific cooperation between EU and Latin America and the Caribbean?
Definitely, is on the way to become more strategic. This may not be evident at this time, but the way that the project link cooperation to the political process is a big step forward over the previous case-by-case approach. Of course that it will take time for this evolution to show-up on concrete results, but my feeling is that we are on the way and the final outcome will depend on how successful we are in building up a relevant agenda for the future SOMs
Why is this significant?
This is significant because real impact is not to be achieved through individual projects, but only if we build program convergence. LAC countries have large investments in RTI, so individual projects maybe important for the groups involved, but not to the whole. The real impact will come on program convergence on issues of common interest, and to that ALCUENET can make a significant contribution.
Could any of these results or changes be measured or tracked?
Any result can me measured and tracked is a matter of coming up with the right indicators, and we have to work on that.
Can you think of anybody else who we should interview?
Guy Henry from CIRAD would be a good candidate. He also has an extended experience in the different types of projects and can put ALCUENET in perspective. Paulo Egler from Brazil is also a good candidate.
Would you be available for a follow-up interview?