How to Prepare for Horizon Europe

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The first Horizon Europe calls will be soon open for accepting proposals. Is your organisation ready for it? We are all waiting for the new programme to come out with the improve guidelines.  Meanwhile, you can take some actions to prepare your organisations’ strategy for submitting high-quality proposals. The best time to prepare your organisation for Horizon Europe is now! Here are the steps you can take today:

1. Get Familiar with the Horizon Europe Missions

The Horizon Europe programme has one main purpose, to solve the most challenging global problems the World and Europe are facing,  such as cancer, climate change, and so on. Get familiar with each of these missions and find the one that suits your organisation’s expertise the best. Read more about the Horizon Europe missions.

2. Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were defined in 2015. The EU wants to have a positive impact and contribute to the development of the 2030 Agenda. It means when writing your project application, you have to keep in mind these very important goals and foresee how your team/your project will contribute to the achievement of these goals. Read more about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

3. Conduct Research Now

You can do your homework in advance. For example, collect all the necessary data, all the previous research and all the previous project results and findings. You could also conduct stakeholder surveys or interviews in order to gather data that will support your proposal. This will allow you to have valuable information in advance so you would be able to focus on overcoming challenges and contributing to the impact stated in the specific work programme.

4. Project Management for Coordinator

If your organisation envisages coordinating a project, you need to establish your project’s coordination procedures in advance. As a project coordinator, you will need to lead both the proposal writing process, as well as the project implementation. Thus, plan in advance how you will lead your team in the writing process and the implementation stage so your team will be able to collaborate effectively. You might want to create a short roadmap to explain the project management structure to your team that includes both the project preparation (proposal writing and submission) phase and project implementation phase.

5. Think of Internal Communication

General statistics suggest that 57% of all type of projects face difficulties during the implementation stage due to poor internal communication between the team members. In projects where team members from several countries are working together, clear and well-defined communication standards are very important since you will be dealing with different cultural backgrounds, work ethics and so on. Establish these internal communication standards by creating a simple, easy understand and follow the roadmap. Explain how you expect the internal communication between the consortium partners to flow. If you have had previous positive or negative experiences, learn from them!  Adapt strategies that have worked in the past and leave out things that did not work. For example, having short 30-minute weekly meetings will allow consortium members to update each other about their progress. These meeting will help you to be better collaborators, spot potential risks in advance, overcome challenges and meet deadlines.

6. Communication

Invest time in planning potential communication activities in advance. There are plenty of things you can do right now. For example, you can collect information about different target groups, their interests and needs. You can also explore the most effective communication channels to reach them. Look for and compare global communication trends.  Digital communication tools are evolving rapidly, so you should explore all possible avenues. Create contact lists, establish communication procedures and brief everyone about communication strategies. This will help you to save a lot of effort and time. You will not need to start everything from scratch as you will be able to build on previously established guidelines. Why is this so important?  Better communication is one of the TOP priorities for most of the Horizon Europe funded projects.

Horizon Europe Useful information

7. Dissemination of Project Results

Non-confidential project results should be easily available for researchers and other stakeholders. Thus, you might explore a new, more effective way to disseminate your project results. The European Commission has put in place new tools to help disseminate the results of projects. Do not wait! Explore the various dissemination tools and methods before you need them. This will allow you to utilize the tools more effectively.

8. Learn from Others

Create a list of case studies in your sector that you have spotted. Follow other projects and organisations to explore how they engage with the public, how they communicate and how they disseminate the project results. You will probably discover some great ideas and new opportunities. Also, check out some successful commercial communication campaigns. As mentioned before, you have to keep in mind that the bases of communication are the same in research, innovation and/or commercial sectors. Sure, there are many things that vary, however, exploring the best practices in the commercial sectors will help you to become more creative, effective and successful in implementing the communication for your project.

Get ready for Horizon Europe! Good preparation can help to lead to a successful project!

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