Tips to manage your H2020 project during the coronavirus pandemic
On 13 March 2020, 133,860 cases of coronavirus have been reported worldwide, 28,297 in the EU/EEA and the UK. Events are cancelled, countries close their borders and people are advised to stay home. In such a situation, how does that affect the implementation of your EU funded R&D project and how can you manage your collaboration with partners across Europe in the best possible way? Here are some information and tips for H2020 project coordinators and partners.
As a project coordinator you should ensure you project stays on track and mitigate risks as usual.
- Communicate internally proactively about the pandemic.
- Discuss with all partner how it will impact your research and your work plan.
Many universities and companies have introduced regulations for their staff that prevent meetings: travel ban, closed buildings and obligation to work from home. Most face-to-face meetings in the coming weeks will have to be cancelled.
- Communicate proactively about upcoming meetings, whether they will take place or not.
- Offer a web conference as an alternative
Several countries including Switzerland and France do no longer allow events with more than 100 people; other countries such as Italy are on complete lock down. Most H2020 and project related events have already been cancelled.
- Discuss if you have to cancel your event or if you can postpone it
- Inform proactively participants who have registered
- If possible, offer an online version of the event
Meetings with the EC
Project review meetings with the Project Officers have also been cancelled. The EC employees are under a travel ban and buildings are closed to visitors as to our knowledge.
- Communicate with your consortium any information coming from your Project Officer
- Try to reschedule your project review meeting that is planned for the next months already now
How do we at accelopment handle this situation?
With motivation and positive spirit, accelopment is currently involved as a partner for project management and communications in about 20 EU funded projects. COVID-19 is having a strong impact also on our activities as some of our main tasks include the organisation of project meetings, events and both internal and external communication. We already decided to cancel several project meetings to take place in March and April. We organised a one-day web conference instead and adapted the planned agenda accordingly. All our project partners are glad that their collaboration can continue and the joint research can be progressed.
Additionally, we are now in final discussions with the Steering Group of th COST Action CA16116 – Wearable Robots for Augmentation, Assistance or Substitution of Human Motor Functions on whether to cancel or postpone Exoskeletons and Wearable Robots event in Bilbao at the end of April.
To conclude, we are proactively communicating within our collaborators and towards the EC at all times. We are also ensuring our staff stays healthy and avoids the propagation of the virus with some mitigation measures. You can check them out in our recent blog post H2020 proposal writing during the coronavirus pandemic.
For more information on the current situation and effective ways to protect yourself and others, check out the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control website.