Fostering research excellence
in EU Outermost Regions
At the end of Forward’s achievement, the joint strategy and regional orientations were thought to be updated through the four operational WPs’ outputs: thematic working groups (WP3), capacity building and training (WP4), networking actions (WP5) and connecting research and policy making (WP6).
1- Due to Covid, the Forward consortium had to adapt. Thanks to the use of digital video-conferencing platforms and digital collaboration platforms, namely, brainstorming, sticky-notes, voting, mind-mapping, among others, the objectives have been reached
– in this sense, the scope of any training and capacity building action extends to the entire territory, eliminating territorial and border barriers, reaching a greater number of agents of the regional ecosystem of each OR, and there is even the participation of other regions in various actions.
2- Concerning WP3, TWG1 and TWG8 have submitted 3 proposals, TWG8 has 2 proposals in draft, and TWG5 has prepared 5 abstracts with the potential to be prepared. Also, more than 60 meetings have taken place, involving nearly 250 people. This WP also represents an amazing opportunity to matchmaking several actors and organizations concerning a specific thematic.
3- All Forward partners in each ORs led training actions on Horizon Europe program, writing proposals, implementation of calls and monitoring a Horizon Europe project (administrative and financial part).
4-Within the WP6, a huge step has been realized with the written declaration of the XXVII OR presidents conference confirming their will to continue Forward and promote OR-izon network.
All this resulted in a roadmap with concrete priority actions and perspectives such as:
– the sustainability of thematic working group to enhance the visibility of ORs added value,
– groups dedicated to the alignment of the regions in the RIS3 network
– the creation of a concept note about OR-izon network and the letter of support from the regional governments.
The next steps are the creation of regional contact point like the National Contact Point for Horizon Europe but at a regional level. The Forward consortium has also a big challenge to define what will be the chosen image for next years. It has to switch and valorize the ORs as particular and different region, European living labs with great assets.