The first four years of the development of "this support mechanism" are supported by the EKLIPSE project, funded by the European commission under the Horizon2020 funding stream.
EKLIPSE is an unusual project in several ways, particularly:
- The project is funded for four years to develop a sustainable mechanism that will be in place for many years to come.
- The development of the support mechanism through the project is facilitated by project partners.Their role is to facilitate linkages between science, policy and society, through different actions, such as knowledge synthesis, identifying research priorities, and building the Network of Networks that will support the other actions. [View the project partners]
- A large part of the budget of the EKLIPSE project will be made available to the wider community through open calls .
- The project, and the developing mechanism, is reactive. Most 3-5 year projects predict what will be important, or make an assumption on what policy and society actors should be interested in. We look at this from the end-users' perspective. This is why we have an open call for requests, so that policy-makers and societal actors can tell us what they need, and can discuss with us how we can best meet their needs. Our first request came from the European Commission, and was on nature-based solutions in cities. The Expert Working Group selected to work on this request released a report and peer-reviewed article in 2017. More information on this first request can be found under ongoing activities.
- The governance of the mechanism- how it will be run, by who, with what funding etc- is really important to get right, so we can ensure the mechanism is self-sustaining and long-term. So, we have put in place several key components:
- The Secretariat (Juliette Young, Jorge Ventocilla and Marie Vandewalle): for the day to day activities, including communication between all relevant people.
- The Strategic Advisory Board: the "ambassadors" of our project, who can advise on our direction, our budgets etc .
- The Knowledge Coordination Body: (KCB, not to be confused with KGB...), responsible for working with requesters on what they need, and how they need it. They also decide on whom to appoint and fund - all in a transparent and clear way.
- The Business Plan Group: responsible for developing the Business plan for the mechanism.
- We don't know whether these components are the right ones, or whether they will work in the best possible way, so we have an internal evaluation that will run throughout the next 4 years, evaluating all the ways in which we do things, and improving all our processes as we go along, so that the end product - the mechanism - will be really effective.