On Thursday 2 April 2015 the 15th bi-annual meeting of EUPMAN (EU Project Managers Association Netherlands) was held in Groningen. The meeting was organised by the Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen in collaboration with the UMCG, Hanze University and Energy Valley and brought together over 90 EU Project Managers and other experts involved in EU project funding from the Netherlands.
EUPMAN is an association that has evolved over the years as an important network for EU Project Managers working in Dutch Universities, University Medical Centres, NGOs and other organisations that participate in research projects funded by the European Union. EUPMAN currently has over 400 members in the Netherlands and has since 2014 also members in Belgium. Several members of staff of the University of Groningen and the UMCG have been involved in EUPMAN in the past few years. This has led to organising EUPMAN’s 15th Bi-annual meeting in Groningen for the first time since EUPMAN started in 2007.
The meeting consisted of two main parts namely the ‘local sessions’ in the morning and the more general ‘Project Management sessions’ in the afternoon. The ‘local sessions’ focused on three thematic sessions that followed the 3 strategic themes of the RUG/UMCG being; Sustainable Society, Sustainable Energy and Healthy Ageing. The sessions were introduced and moderated by the RUG/UMCG Liaison Officer Govert Buijs. The first thematic session was called ‘Lobbying in Brussels for Societal Programmes’ and was presented by Sharon Smit, Director of Sustainable Society. This session was followed by the thematic session ‘
Partnerships and network building in Sustainable Energy’
presented by Paulien Kooistra of Energy Valley. The third thematic session was presented by Jaap Koot of the UMCG, who is the project coordinator of the IROHLA project. He presented this project as ‘Best Practices; involving society in Healthy Ageing’. The morning sessions were concluded with a presentation by Alma Erenstein, Grants Officer of the Hanze University, explaining ‘The
practical challenges for uni-versities of applied sciences to participate in programmes like the 7th Framework Programme and Horizon 2020’.
After a networking lunch the meeting continued with three EU ‘Project Manage-ment sessions’ covering the very topical themes of ‘Open Access and Data Management plans in Horizon 2020’, ‘Ethical issues in H2020 proposals and projects’ and a presentation on the COST network BESTPRAC by the three Workings Groups; Administration, Finance and Legal’.
The session on Open Access and Data Management in Horizon 2020 was presented by the RUG Data Management expert Esther Hoorn who also brought with her a number of colleagues of the Dutch Data Management experts’ network in which she is actively involved. Data Management is a very topical issue especially in Horizon 2020 projects that should be looked into at the early stage of developing proposals. Esther Hoorn called upon the EU Project Managers to support researchers with involving institutional experts on Data Management in EU proposals and projects from an early stage. This call was echoed by Jeanne Mifsud Bonnici, Rosalind Franklin Fellow RUG and Chair in European Technology Law and Human Rights, during her presentation on Ethical issues in Horizon 2020. Jeanne Mifsud Bonnici shared some hands on experience with Ethical Issues at proposal stage but also in the stage leading to the preparation of Grant Agreements in Horizon 2020. The main messages vocalized by Mifsud Bonnici is ‘Do not leave Ethical Issues up to the last minute!’.
The meeting was concluded by the call from the EUPMAN Board to the members to share ideas for topics for the EUPMAN autumn meeting that will be held in Amsterdam. The EUPMAN Board and the local organization team look back on a very successful EUPMAN meeting in Groningen!
For more information on EUPMAN please visit the website via http://www.eupman.eu
Text: Bettina Zijlstra, EUPMAN member, RUG
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