Early into 2004 the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) initiated efforts aimed at creating an office based in Brussels that would support the participation of Polish science in the European Research Area. The final shape of the new PAS foreign unit was agreed at the end of 2004. Consequently, Polish Science Contact Agency (PolSCA) started its activities in March 2005.
For a transitional year 2005 and the first quarter 2006 PolSCA Office functioned as a section of the PAS Scientific Centre in Paris. Since April 2006, PolSCA has been operating in Brussels as an independent foreign PAS unit parallel to the other PAS centers in Paris, Rome, Vienna, Berlin, Moscow and Kiev. PolSCA is a subsidiary scientific establishment created on the basis of Art. 58 of the Statutory Act of the PAS and has a legal personality in Belgium. PolSCA is supervised and funded by the Polish Academy of Sciences. It represents all Polish scientific institutions and communities and acts for their benefit. The mission of PolSCA is to promote, facilitate and foster participation of the Polish R&D community in European projects and initiatives and in particular to reinforce Polands position in the EU framework programs.
Our basic activities include:
- close monitoring of EU R&D policy formulation and implementation, advising and assisting in the process of preparation and presentation of important R&D projects that feature Polish participation,
- providing relevant information and assistance in Brussels to visitors, Polish members of respective EU institutions and advisory bodies, politicians interested in Polish science development,
- co-operation with offices representing the R&D sector from countries participating in EU framework programmes, maintaining working relations with respective contacts and administration bodies of the European Commission (EC) and the European Parliament (EP),
- participating in the activities of advisory bodies to the EC, suggesting candidates to those bodies, and upon request representing their Polish members,
- co-operation with the Minister responsible for science in the Polish government, National Contact Point for Research Programmes of the EU and other relevant national bodies, institutions and organizations acting in or for the R&D sector,
- organization of meetings and seminars in Brussels that support the fulfilment of the Office’s mission; participating in events key to the promotion of Polish science in the European Research Area.
At its premises (Rue du Trone 98 in Brussels), Polish Science Contact Agency PolSCA of the Polish Academy of Sciences organizes a series of thematic, working meetings aimed at preparing for the Horizon 2020. The meetings should contribute to enhanced, satisfactory participation of Poland in the H2020. Participants of the meetings are invited EU experts, generally from the European Commission, outstanding scientists, and other stakeholders from Poland who are interested in participating in H2020. Foreign partners of Polish scientific teams are welcomed and encouraged to take part in the meetings as well.
During the presentations and follow-up discussions, emphasis should be put on the exchange of information:
- from the Polish side – mainly on the state of Polish research in a particular thematic area and on research priorities, which in their opinion should be included in the H2020 work plans and programmes,
- from the Commission side – mainly on the current state of preparation of the H2020 thematic content, evaluation criteria and rules of participation.
The meetings are expected to bring the following important direct and long-term (indirect) benefits:
- Acknowledgement of Polish competences and research potential in respective scientific areas.
- Increase of Polish participants’ practical knowledge on how to achieve successful participation in the FP: on the right choice and formulation of the project subject, on the preparation of the proposal and the evaluation of its chances in the competition, on the most important elements of the proposal and most common mistakes.
- Acknowledgement of the communication skills of the Polish participants – the ability to convey well selected, concise and clear information, to choose arguments that will be convincing to discussion partners.
- Taking into consideration Polish opinions, in particular concerning research priorities at a crucial stage of formulation of the detailed FP documents.
- Increasing the success rate of Polish applications to the FP – preparing better projects, joining more important consortia, avoiding mistakes in the proposals.
- Involving more Polish experts (candidatures being submitted according to Commission procedures) as evaluators or participants of the expert panels.
- Invited Polish experts would act as information multipliers upon their return to home institutions.
Polish Science Contact Agency PolSCA organizes or co-organizes, on the premises of different hosting institutions, seminars aimed at fostering European co-operation of the Polish R&D community, and in particular – the increasing participation in the EU framework programmes. Polish speakers invited to the seminars are mainly outstanding scientists, but the invitation is also extended to high-ranked individuals responsible for the country’s R&D policy formulation and implementation. The seminars’ audience includes: individuals representing local Belgian science circles, European Union institutions, international scientific organizations and networks of such organizations based in Brussels.
Seminars deal with particular topics or scientific fields of great importance to European research and economy, in which Poland enjoys a world-wide success. Types of scientific presentations range from rather popular to purely scientific – depending on the type of audience foreseen. Topics relating to Polish scientific policy are presented with the world and European research policy as background. They take into account best practices developed in different countries. The main aim of PolSCA Seminars is to encourage participants to establish new lines of scientific cooperation and to develop those already existent, relating in particular to instruments laid down in European Union framework programs. Their goal is also to disseminate information relating to national research and achievements in the field of science, as well as to principles, instruments and the implementation of Polish scientific policy.