Eurada News nº402 - July 2020

Looking back on a successful EURADA Summer Course 2020

As every Summer, EURADA organised on the first three days of this month its Sumnmer Course. Read about how it was carried out, the main results and where to find the relevant information about the event.

Despite the coronavirus throwing a spanner in the works, the EURADA secretariat managed to host a successful 2020 Summer Course from the 1st until the 3rd of July. In cooperation with our member ADR Nord-Est, we decided to overhaul the organisation and format to ensure that this annual event, geared towards young professionals working in the field of regional economic development, could still take place, albeit online. During these three days we gathered over 120 participants, thereby breaking the record of attendance at previous editions of the Summer Course. Participants were clearly keen to learn the ins and outs of successful European proposal writing and project implementation from experienced project managers. 

 The first day of the Summer Course was led by ARD Nord-Est’s Brussels Office representatives Andra Costin and Bogdan Chelariu. Andra shared her extensive knowledge regarding the importance of soft skills while working on EU projects, ranging from creative thinking to conflict resolution, while Bogdan looked in-depth at why projects need both managers and leaders and the importance of organisational culture for successful project implementation. 

 The second day of the Course looked into different aspects of project management through the lens of social innovation. David Jepson, member of EURADA’s Eminence Grise Club, explained the differences between social innovation, social enterprises, and social change to the attendees. Paula Santarén of ACCIÓ shared her insights on how to lead a project, from the conceptual phase to the actual implementation. Zdeněk Hanzal of RERA shared very valuable tips and tricks on how to be part of a consortium, the importance of a good network, and where to find the correct information on calls for proposals. The day was concluded with a practical exercise lead by Esteban Pelayo, who illustrated through a mock proposal how to identify the main elements of a proposal, how to spot potential pitfalls and how to analyse a specific proposal in terms of deliverables and work packages. 

The Summer Course’s third and final day looked into calls, tenders and other opportunities. Marina Martínez of CDTI-SOST stressed the importance of sound data management and the treatment thereof, and the part of the proposal that touches upon ethics (e.g. gender equality). Tamás Gyulai of MIÉNK explored the role of Digital Innovation Hubs and industrial clusters for the digital transformation of SMEs. EURADA staff members then offered the participants a set of very practical tips: Roser Torres touched upon the importance of Infodays, newsletters, and the network of National Contact Points and its portal when searching for information about calls for proposals; Estefanía López explained why tenders are an opportunity that RDAs should look into and Ivana Rae Almora ran a practical exercise illustrating best practice selection in Interreg Europe projects. Our final speaker, DG Regio’s Agnès Monfret, closed the day by stressing the importance of communication in European projects, more precisely communication through a process of involving citizens in debate, rather than via a top-down approach. 

Did you miss out on EURADA’s Summer Course 2020? No need to panic. The secretariat has gathered all the information (recordings, supporting documents, presentations) on one very handy webpage

 We hope to see you in the next edition of the Summer Course, which will be held from the 29th of June to the 1st of July 2021. If you would like to present your experiences in next year’s Summer Course or you have suggestions for us (i.e. specific topics you’d like to see covered), don’t hesitate to get in touch with Tessa Anné and let her know. 

Written by Tessa Anné, Manager at EURADA