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COMPETENCE - a Pan-European Network of Excellent Research Competence (COMPETENCE)
Start date: Jun 30, 2004, End date: Sep 29, 2007 PROJECT  FINISHED 

COMPETENCE aims to develop a Pan-European Network of Excellent Research Competence in the area of biotechnology. The idea is to create a joint Internet-based competence platform that helps to identify relevant competences within the partner universities and thus supports collaboration with industry and stimulate regional growth. Furthermore, the partners aim to improve existing tools for Competence Development Planning and implement them in the partner regions. The third and final objective is to develop a joint marketing strategy for the COMPETENCE Network. Achievements: Five activity lines have been persued in the operation: (1) Project management, (2) Development of a Competence Platform, (3) Improving tools for Competence Development Planning, (4) Joint Marketing Strategy, and (5) Dissemination of results. (1) Beyond day-to-day coordination, including reporting and the organisation of 7 Steering Group meetings, auditing routines have been set-up, a Consortium Agreement signed and Medinnova replaced by Medcoast as partner. Several activities were added to the original plan, but since routines have been established at each partner, project management has run smoothly and previous delays have been over-bridged. (2) The partners strive to achieve a systematic management of research information and make their competences in bioscience more accessible. This activity line has therefore served to develop a joint webbased system giving access to the research competences in the partner regions. COMPETENCE has served to leverage the partners' regional initiatives through exchange of experience and development of improved processes and tools for managing research information. Several workshops have been carried out with all partners to analyse their existing tools and processes. The key issue has been to access suitable research information from all partners to achieve a joint webbased platform giving access to research projects and publications for researchers in the partner regions. The solution consists in a combination of external databases with internal quality assurance processes. The Competence platform has been successfully developed, including user-friendly navigation, search possibilities and structuring of publication and project data. A joint policy has also been elaborated as a guideline for managing research information. The results have in over ten cases been applied by the partners to launch new activities and regional development initiatives. (3) Tools for bibliometric, competence and network analyses have been elaborated and integrated in the Competence platform to illustrate the partners' research strengths, research collaborations and key scientists in Neuroscience. A micro-site has been developed for one of the partners to improve the continuous quality assurance process and integration of the Competence platform in Rhône-Alpes as a proof-of-concept for one partner region. (4) A marketing strategy has been elaborated to position the network in Bioscience with a focus on Neuroscience. A brochure has been produced and a launch event for the network and the Competence platform has been carried out. (5) Continuously presentations have been held for the key stakeholders, the website been updated, presentation material revised and newsletters sent out. As a result the BioCompetence Network has become a proof-of-concept for managing research information which the partners apply in their local initiatives.
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