What makes a project memorable for you?

It’s been 20 years since we started working on our first EU-funded project.

Some of them were the fruit of our own ideas, others were on topics we had no idea about, a few dealt with issues close to our hearts, and others allowed us to see wonderful places around Europe and meet incredible people.

Whatever the reason, there have been projects which went beyond mere implementation and reporting. Gabriella could get her teeth into one of her passions: e-learning; Gabor could make a real difference, still visible today, to the land where he grew up; Krisztina could bring her connection with startups and SMEs to the next level, and Ömer pushed the call to the its limits and surprised the evaluators with a project focusing on environmental terrorism.

With over 300 proposals and winning projects, let’s see which ones our senior project managers and expert trainers still remember dearly.

OLAREX: Open Learning Approach with Remote Experiments Project

Coordinated by the University of Deusto in Spain, Olarex was an ICT-based educational project. Through Olarex, Gabriella managed to satisfy one of her passions: education. The project mainly targeted teachers, as it was them who had to use the e-learning tool (the main results of Olarex) to teach kids.

There seems to be nothing but good memories: partners were great, excellent coordination, beautiful locations for project meetings, and direct feedback from the end-user and the cooperation with Hungarian school was key to make OLAREX extremely valuable.

Continue reading

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3 minutes video about managing a consortium smoothly

“Managing a Horizon 2020 project is like balancing between dictatorship and democracy. It’s really like relying fully on your partner’s expertise….”

 

Our Managing Director, Gabriella Lovász sharing 𝟱 𝘁𝗶𝗽𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗶𝘂𝗺 𝘀𝗺𝗼𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗹𝘆 in this video.

 

TOP 5 TIPS TO SUCCEED AS A JUNIOR EU PROJECT MANAGER

 

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Imagine this: you have now been upgraded to junior project manager – congratulations! Now what? You are new to the job, the ways of the company and the programmes you will be working with. On top of that, like a baby thrown into the pool, you might already have to write proposals, represent your company in project meetings, deliver tasks and results… But we are not here to scare you (we’ll keep that for Halloween).

In the beginning, it might all seem a bit blurry, you might not be sure how to act, which decision is better, which tools to use… But do not worry, nobody is born with it, you need to figure it out and learn. So how does a junior project manager succeed in their new position and then grow into a more experienced project manager? Having passed through the struggle, let us share with you our top tips to succeed.

Push yourself and do not back out, even if what you have to do is out of your comfort zone 
We all found ourselves in this situation: a lot of times you do not feel comfortable stepping up your game and taking on tasks of greater responsibility. The good news is that the rush you get once you overcome yourself and do something new is priceless and often a pleasurable experience in retrospective. Not to mention that it will teach you a great deal about yourself and how to be better to succeed at your job. “Just do it”! So, what if you have to meet the “big guys” from other partners in a project meeting? Take a deep breath in, keep your humble self, and dare to ask questions – if you know your proposal and project very well – you’ll survive (we all did).

Continue reading the full post at our website.

 

UPS AND DOWNS OF MANAGING AN EU PROJECT

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Managing an EU funded project can be tricky. You need to be aware of all the rules and obligations, the different reporting schemes depending on each programme, be ready for checks, audits and reviews, know how to put together a deliverable, know-how amendments work, how to report the financial part of your project and so on. As overwhelming as this could sound, it is not so hard. If you are not learning while doing type of person, there are really good courses that teach you the ABC of EU projects. Instead of focusing on the administrative part, let-s think about the advantages and disadvantages of participating in EU projects.

ADVANTAGES

  1. The multidisciplinary approach projects have –Does your project involves both social and nature sciences, or a team where you need scientists and people with the skills to communicate science to the general public? Maybe you need an economist to make a cost-benefit analysis of your nature-based solutions, or someone with a business profile to scale up your ideas. The EU funded projects give the great opportunity of immersing in other areas that are not your own and learn from them.
  2. The international cooperation – Something that might be taken for granted and, in my opinion, is the top star of EU funded projects, is the international cooperation that EU funded projects push to achieve. The projects, measures, solutions, assessments, studies, and ideas applied to different regions, cultures, and ecosystems, enrich immensely both the brainstorming, the project itself, and mainly the results and impact that each project can achieve. In my opinion, coming from outside the EU, this level of cooperation is something to cherish, and is not so easily achievable in other parts of the world.
  3. The EU branding – H2020 statistics show half of the proposals they receive are considered high-quality. However, only 12.6% of the eligible proposals get funded, which means the competition is fierce! But it also means that if you are being funded, by using your right and obligation of saying that the EU supports your project, you are seen automatically as a high-quality project that can be trusted and will provide impactful results.

Continue reading about disadvantages at our website.

A BRAND NEW SLIMMED DOWN BUDGET FOR HORIZON EUROPE

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Have you heard the (sad) news?

Last Tuesday 21st July, EU leaders agreed on the final Horizon Europe budget. But instead of being the foreseen €94.4 billions it got slashed down to €80.9 billions.

This decision was made after an intense five-day marathon summit where EU leaders had to find a compromise. One of the reasons for not meeting the expectations is the great difference between EU countries which actually benefit from the research and innovation programme (mainly richer, northwestern countries) and those which don’t (mainly poorer countries). And to make the deal happen something had to be sacrificed.

But in the end, we all lose.

Read more about our opinion and experience at https://bit.ly/32untiW

FOUR STEPS CLOSER TO EU PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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Most of us have experienced the power of procrastination on our own skin. We’ve all been there: Yes, I will work on it tomorrow; I just need to review this task one more time or I simply can’t sit down and do this. This may happen because there are a million other things we’d rather be doing, or we simply don’t know where to get started.

And that’s ok.

Habits and routines grow on us. We need to segment them into smaller goals and make them measurable. Humans can adapt, no big deal.

Having said this, I would be incredibly happy if you told me you have been postponing brushing up topics related to EU project management. Why? Because I can offer you something that should come in handy for you and will leave NO room for procrastination.

At Europa Media we’re working to democratise some key knowledge related to EU-funded projects. There are concepts which you simply need to get started in this field, and others which are just convenient to revise. And what better way is there to learn than with a video which you can watch at your own pace?

Continue reading at our website.

THE EU4OCEAN PLATFORM, FOCUSED ON OCEAN LITERACY, KICKED-OFF

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And Geonardois a proud founding member!

On June 8th, the World’s Ocean Day, the EU4Ocean Coalition on Ocean Literacy was officially launched during the first Virtual Ocean Literacy Summit, together with Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, and IOC-UNESCO. The coalition is composed by three parts:

Following the coalition, the first meeting on the EU4Ocean Platform took place on the 18 June 2020 with more than 90 participants from different sectors and backgrounds.

The aim?

To be a focal point for organizations and initiatives to connect, collaborate and mobilize efforts on ocean literacy!

After this information session, on last July 2nd it was announced the final list of founding members, which includes Geonardo, covering together 20 EU Member States, (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden) & 3 Associated countries (Monaco, Norway, UK)

The EU4Ocean Platform founding members will work in Working Groups (WGs) to focus on particular themes/topics, including: Climate and OceanFood from the Ocean and Healthy and Clean Ocean. As we plan for EU4Ocean events in September 2020, you can in the meantime take part on the #EU4Ocean platform by becoming a member of the platform.

Why ocean literacy? 

CAN TARGET AUDIENCE BE A COMPASS FOR YOUR EU PROJECT?

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In European funded projects, the journey begins with proposal writing. Based on their expertise and knowledge, partners try to submit a competitive proposal with a high impact and meaningful contribution to the challenges and political priorities of the Union.

In the work package for Dissemination and Communication (D&C) every project builds its short, medium and long-term strategy showing to the EC that indeed the consortium is ready to win the battle: their results will be beneficial for Europe and its citizens and the overall project will be able to transfer this knowledge and achievements to other future projects, initiatives and regions.

In short, the project must secure its sustainability and long-lasting impact in order to be funded. And how do we do this? By doing something which is often underrated: clearly defining the project’s target audience.

What is the target audience?

As we mentioned before, an EU-funded project should focus on the main priorities of the EC but also benefit the EU citizens as a whole or a specific group of people. One of the jobs of the D&C Work Package leader is first to identify who those citizens or groups are. That will be the target audience of the project.

Let’s discover what this term means.

A target audience is a group of people defined by certain demographics and behaviour. Often, businesses use what they know about their target audience to create user personas. Read more here.

HOW TO DECIPHER THE EC’S EXPECTATIONS

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Repeat with us: “My idea has to match the work programme topic requirements. My idea has to match the work programme topic requirements. My idea has to match the work programme topic requirements”. If you are wondering “what is this woman blabbing about” and the notion of call analysis does not ring any bell, then you are definitely at the right place my dear readers.

An accurate analysis of the topic requirements is considered step 0, the pillar of a sound proposal. For this reason, Ömer and I will deliver a 2-hour webinar on call analysis on the 12th of June, where theory will be coupled with a hands-on exercise.

We will practice on an existing call LC-SC3-EC-1-2018-2019-2020: The role of consumers in changing the market through informed decision and collective actions, and regardless of your domain of interest, this methodology can be applied to any other topic.

According to the Interim Evaluation of Horizon 2020 published in 2017, it is estimated that it costs Horizon 2020 applicants between EUR 1,908.9 million and EUR 636 million annually to write proposals. Of these costs, it is estimated that EUR 1.7 billion would be spent on writing proposals that do not get funded, including EUR 643.0 million for non-funded high-quality proposals alone.

Especially interesting for the seasoned FP7 applicants is the evidence that, despite a reduced bureaucracy and streamlined processes in Horizon 2020 compared to FP7, the effort of writing winning proposals has almost doubled since FP7 calls, creating overall higher costs of participation to Horizon 2020. Continue reading

WHEN YOU ARE THROWN IN AT THE DEEP END…

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Another month has passed in a blink of an eye.

As part of our 20th Anniversary campaign, we decided to talk to Gabor about GEONARDO’s very first project: OMENTIN. Here GEONARDO not only participated, but coordinated. Just like that.

Ready? Let’s go back to May 2001.

Was GEONARDO the coordinator in OMENTIN?

Yes, it was. It was actually not only the first project we wrote but also the first one we took part in. We had just finished our university studies when our geology professor approached us and asked us: “How do you feel about getting involved in an EU project?”. “Why not?”, so we put together a consortium and submitted OMENTIN.

What was OMENTIN about?

OMENTIN´s purpose was to raise awareness on special ore mining technologies and methods. At the time, the information available on the topic wasn’t really accurate and it was easily manipulated. This led to a huge resistance to mining in Europe. As geologists, we wanted to clarify certain issues concerning mining´s real impact and give truthful information to people. It is only with actual facts that it is possible to formulate judgments.

We know there are risks in mining, but they are mostly caused by human failure. That’s why there needs to be more and better control from the technical side.

OMENTIN is a peculiar name… What’s the story behind it?