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Our colleague Marta Serrano was selected to participate in the 2-months training programme for European Project Managers, organised by the Spanish Office for Science and Technology (SOST), which is the CDTI representation office in Brussels. Together with other 8 project managers from different Spanish companies and public institutions, she spent two months in Brussels. There follows a short account of her experience:
During the months of October and November, I had the chance to participate in a specialisation programme for European project managers. This course has been going on since 2009 and it is intended to support personnel from Spanish institutions (both public and private) involved in the application, development or management of European projects, mainly under H2020 initiative.
The two-month stay alternates formative sessions, attendance to relevant events and free time to allow each participant to schedule his/her own agenda.
The course organisers adapt the formative sessions to the profile of the participants. More than 40 presentations, made mainly during the first two weeks, helped us to look further into the European structures related to support for innovation, not a mere trifle!
National Contact Points, personnel from the European Commission and executive agencies (EASME, REA…), research and technology organizations and the personnel itself from SOST gave their views on the structure and functioning of the responsible bodies for preparation of work programmes, evaluation, implementation and follow-up of the innovation and research projects.
Besides from the formative sessions, the stay is also aimed at strengthening the participation of Spanish institutions on European projects. Each participant was responsible for his own agenda, so that we could attend events related to our field of interest. Every relevant company, research or technological institute, university, technology platform, consortium… has presence in Brussels, to a greater or lesser extent. And this also translates to the vast number of events taking place every week: conferences, brokerage events, information days, lecturers… One must learn how to correctly choose those occasions that may be of interest. Not an easy task at the beginning, but one learns before it is expected.
I would strongly encourage the participation in this course. It is extremely useful for those who deal with European projects. To look at the big picture is essential to locate the opportunities.
The course participants came from different sectors, and this heterogeneity further enhanced the richness of the stay. I want to emphasize the great life experience that it has meant. The participants, all the trainers and speakers and the SOST personnel contributed to make it even more constructive.