The establishment of the EOSC Partnership under the new Horizon Europe framework programme is an important milestone. It marks the transition from the design phase to the implementation phase of EOSC and it provides the EOSC Association, its members, and the broader stakeholder community with the opportunity to actively shape the up-coming open calls. The European Commission has committed to allocate up to 490 MEUR over the next 7 years to EOSC-related activities. However, these rights come with a set of obligations for the EOSC Association and its members.
All Partnerships must formulate their own monitoring framework based on the general, specific, and operational objectives at programme level, allowing progress towards achieving the respective Partnership goals to be tracked.
Such monitoring frameworks should focus on Partnership-specific objectives and indicators, represent low burden and be comparable in terms of standards and methodology. The proposed frameworks should allow for an assessment over time of achievements, impacts and potential needs for corrective measures.
Accordingly, the monitoring of European Partnerships needs to track progress towards specific policy objectives, deliverables, and key performance indicators (KPIs).
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) established between the EOSC Association and the European Commission, together with the associated Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, describe an initial set of KPIs for the EOSC Partnership.
Performance against these KPIs will need to be reported with input from EOSC Association members. This will place a requirement on members to complete surveys and/or questionnaires as appropriate.
The EOSC Association Board continues to refine these KPIs with the EC, but we anticipate that this data collection requirement of members will commence in the very near future.
The monitoring framework can continue to be developed until October 2021 and this will be discussed with the EOSC Association membership. It should be further noted that the Partnership Board will approve the monitoring framework.
The input of EOSC Association Members in informing progress against this set of KPIs will be a crucial ongoing requirement.
Additional Activities Plan (AAP)
In monitoring EOSC-related advancements, it is important to note that “Partners other than the Union” (ref. MoU) can contribute to co-programmed European Partnerships in two ways:
- In-kind contributions to the Actions funded by the Union (consisting of eligible costs in accordance with the Horizon Europe rules minus the Union contribution); and
- In-kind contributions generated by additional activities.
And while in-kind contributions to the actions funded by the Union are captured automatically through the European Commission’s Horizon Europe reporting systems, a dedicated methodology and tool is being developed for reporting additional activities that do not receive Union funding.
The foreseen additional activities shall be agreed as part of an annual Additional Activities Plan (AAP) linking activities to the projects and objectives of the Partnership to illustrate their added value.
Again, in a similar manner to reporting against the KPIs to the EOSC Partnership, it is fundamental that we capture and measure those additional activities that members (and MS/AC countries) invest independently in but which also progress the EOSC Partnership objectives.
Tracking progress against the annual AAP timeline places a further and continued reporting obligation on EOSC Association members.
Success stories that evidence impact created through the EOSC Partnership approach are also desirable, especially to support the interim evaluation of Horizon Europe.
The EOSC Association is fully aware that the EOSC Future project includes activities that will develop indicators for monitoring the EOSC readiness of MS/AC countries, noting that there is a project objective to build an online dashboard to collect and report progress via specific indicators.
The EOSC Future project will liaise with the EOSC Association Board and the EOSC Steering Board with the objective of identifying synergies and efficiencies, and aiming to reduce the burden of data collection on EOSC Association members and MS/AC countries alike.
The EOSC Association looks forward to collaborating with you on successfully fulfilling our monitoring and performance obligations under the EOSC Partnership and, ultimately, delivering on the EOSC vision.