The BiodivERsA ERA-net (WP4: linkages with developing countries) had a goal of developing a common or joint research call with a theme relevant to biodiversity research in (and in cooperation with) selected developing countries. Call development began in the spring 2006. In January 2009 3-4 MEUR had been allocated to the call, less than the agreed minimum budget of 10 MEUR. On March 25, 2009 it was decided by the BiodivERsA Management Team that the call should not be launched. This report describes the the development of the call incl. theme and scope, the collection of funds, the difficulties experienced and the lessons learned. \ud \ud Important conclusions:\ud \ud • In the period 2006 to 2008 BiodivERsA was preparing two research calls (a European call and the Developing Country call). The two parallel processes were found to compete for resources; in terms of time, effort, personnel and budget allocated from the partner agencies. Through careful coordination and planning this should be avoided in the future.\ud • The difficulties encountered do NOT indicate that a joint or common research call targeting DC research communities is problematic. Rather it emphasises that the mandates and limitations (administrative, thematic, geographical and financial) of the funding agencies must be carefully matched and understood from the beginning of call development.\ud • To ensure core funding of a call it is important to engage the relevant partners as part of the BiodivERsA to avoid the difficult task of motivating and negotiating with external partners.\ud • Describe limitations stemming from the priorities and mandate of partners as early as possible (geography, ecosystem etc.). Clarifying any limitations in call theme and scope for partner agencies will likely be easier when /if these are made part of the BiodivERsA ERA-net.\ud • Ensure that ERA-net partners have the possibility and the intension to allocate significant funds to make up a “core” for the call budget. This may need preparation far in advance of the call. This should make it easier for other donors external to the ERA-net to join. \ud • Different expectations among partners on the number and quality of proposals (the response from the research community) relative to the scope of the call must be clarified and some common grounds identified.\ud • The added value of a call relative to EU and national initiatives needs to be analysed, documented and clearly communicated. This is crucial particularly for the motivation of partners external to the BiodivERsA ERA-net. Elements of added value are to build and extend networks and to offer to participating agencies the opportunity for a concerted action on a priority-issue. The added value will be closely linked to the aims of a call.\ud • Responsibility for all stages of the call should possibly be allocated to one agency to ensure progression and management through all stages. This will include the capture, analyses and prioritizing of thematic and other input incl. the overall aims of a call.\ud • To make funding of DC partners possible partner agencies must be prepared to consider some form of “common pot” – model and / or flexible rules for sub-contracting. To achieve a high efficiency in funding the balance among countries as well as “common-pot” options should be discussed. \u
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