J-AGE II

J-AGE II, the Coordination Action for implementation and alignment activities of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) “More Years Better Lives – Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change”, will support and foster the overall management of the JPI, update the Strategic Research Agenda and support implementation through joint activities between Member States.
Furthermore, the work plan will include dissemination and information exchange with scientific and societal stakeholders, policy makers and research funders as well as an evaluation and monitoring exercise. Ultimately, the project and the JPI seek to stimulate the alignment of relevant national programmes and EU initiatives, strengthen the base of multi-disciplinary and holistic ageing research in Europe and to provide scientific evidence for policy responses to demographic change.

J-AGE II is funded by the European Commission in the course of Horizon2020 Programme, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

The Co-ordinator of J-AGEII is ZORGONDERZOEK NEDERLAND ZON.

J-AGEII has started at the 1st of March 2015 and will finish in the end of February 2018.

Brief description of the 6 Work Packages:

WP1 – Management  &  Coordination (ZON)
WP2 – Implementation (ISCIII)
WP3 – Alignment & Monitoring of research programs and policy (VDI/VDE-IT)
WP4 – Elaboration of the Strategic Research Agenda (THL)
WP5 – Communication, Dissemination & Relationship Management (UCSC)
WP6 – Monitoring and Evaluation (ESRC).

The J-AGEII Consortium is supported by all JPI Member States and consists of 9 Organisations:

  • ZORGONDERZOEK NEDERLAND ZON (The Netherlands)
  • VDI/VDE INNOVATION + TECHNIK GMBH (Germany)
  • TERVEYDEN JA HYVINVOINNIN LAITOS (Finland)
  • CANADIAN INSTITUTES OF HEALTH RESEARCH (Canada)
  • INSTITUTO DE SALUD CARLOS III (Spain)
  • FORSKINGSRADET FOR HALSA ARBETSLIVOCH VALFARD (Sweden)
  • ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (United Kingdom)
  • INSTITUT NATIONAL D’ETUDES DEMOGRAPHIQUES (France)
  • UNIVERSITA’ CATTOLICA DEL SACRO CUORE (Italy)
WP1 – Management  &  Coordination (ZON)
As the JPI and CSA are highly related but not congruent, this work package includes the management of the CSA and the interrelation with the JPI. The coordinator (ZonMw) is also acting as the JPI Secretariat and, as such, carries out organisational and administrative matters of the initiative and is involved in its key scientific tasks. The secretariat is the central service for the bodies of the JPI and supports them in building up decisions and in monitoring the progress and deliverables of initiated activities and processes.
WP2 – Implementation (ISCIII)
The funding of transnational collaborative research is the most important effective joint activity to enhance the cooperation between scientists working on ageing and demographic change in Europe and beyond and thus reduce the fragmentation of research in this field. Therefore, J-AGE II concentrates on the implementation of joint activities,especially focused on three joint calls that follow from the Strategic Research Agenda of JPI MYBL. During the previous EC funded project J-AGE a flexible model of joint calls and evaluation procedures has been established. The knowhow gained from the J-AGE Workshops (future operational structure and administrative/legal framework) and the pilot call will be used as a major input to design and implement the SRA of JPI MYBL.
WP3 – Alignment & Monitoring of research programs and policy (VDI/VDE-IT) 
Alignment of national research policies and programs on EU and national level is essential to implement a common European Research Area (ERA). Joint Programming Initiatives play a vital role in achieving this alignment by bringing together program owners, funding bodies and policymakers from both the European and the national level. An initial idea of Joint Programming Initiatives is to establish public-public-partnerships and to adjust relevant National/European research programs and institutional RTD-budgets in order to avoid duplication and lack of coordination.The ultimate goal of these alignment activities is the broad implementation of the SRA and the establishment of a multi-annual joint programming in the JPI MYBL, allowing for a long-term call schedule, including the widest range of Member States possible in the JPI, to address research questions that are not covered by other programs and therefore to generate “European added value”. In 2013, the JPI established a high-level Research Policy Group – under the auspices of the German Federal Ministry of Education and  Research (BMBF) – bringing together policymakers and decision-makers from the JPI Member States. Members of this  group are either involved in national programming and/or European research policy affairs. This well established group will serve as a starting point for bringing together decision makers representing all JPI Member States (and beyond) and their European equivalents.
WP4 – Elaboration of the Strategic Research Agenda (THL)
WP4 “Elaboration of the SRA” supports the bodies of JPI MYBL, including General Assembly, the advisory boards and other J-AGE2 workpackages, in the tasks of implementation and the updating of the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA).  The SRA is developed further as a “dynamic and living” document.  SRA must be responsive to new research, implementation experiences and societal events. The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and Societal Advisory Board (SOAB)  advice the General Assembly and the boards can also initiate their own activities. WP4 supports the boards by collecting suggestions, preparing activities and by running the day-to-day procedures. WP4 also supports implementation and updating of the SRA by systematic “knowledge management”. An integrated content strategy tool will describe the SRA content in a database of standardized templates. The tool can be used in in joint programming, e.g. for clustering themes in calls and for comparison of national programs. WP4 also aims to underpin the SRA by reference to empirical databases. In a JPI MYBL fast track activity a “data mapping” of 337 data sources  was  already compiled and made available. In J-AGE2 the information collected in the initial data project is unlocked and a report is compiled informing the updating and implementation of the SRA, the alignment of national policies from a data-driven perspective (WP3) and provide input for future calls within the JPI (WP2).
WP5 – Communication, Dissemination & Relationship Management (UCSC)
The main objective of this WP is to increase the visibility of the JPI MYBL and its activities with a special focus on the pragmatic outcome of the implementation of the SRA and its updating process as developed in WP2 and WP3. It is a natural continuation of the activities carried out in this context within J-AGE. This WP will have a continuous interaction with WP4 for the specific and focused harmonisation of the dual role of national policy and funding bodies as stakeholders in the synchronisation processes as well as members target audience of the JPI MYBL activities.A communication and dissemination plan will be generated as an early deliverable and maintained during the duration  of the project. Its continuous upgrade will reflect the roadmap of implementation activities around the SRA. The main tool this WP will generate is a JPI MYBL Relationship Management and Consensus Platform as a natural extension of the public relation activities developed in J-AGE. In particular this activity will move from the mere transfer of information to the direct engagement of the JPI MYBL community with its stakeholders and target audiences towards the generation of a marketing strategy of the JPI MYBL that will take root into the process of creating a “JPI MYBL Brand”.

Two conferences targeting the JPI MYBL Relationship Management and Consensus Platform will be organised by this WP in conjunction with the calendar of the JPI MYBL governance and J-AGE II consortium meetings. These will be used to discuss and get consensus around, specifically, the implementation activities of the JPI MYBL SRA as well as to generate the framework and content of the JPI MYBL marketing strategy towards a “JPI MYBL Brand”. As an overarching activity the website will be updated towards a communication and dissemination tool and, as well, set to provide the technical environment needed to support the joint activities and the relationship management functions among the JPI MYBL extended community.

WP6 – Monitoring and Evaluation (ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL)
Joint Programming is a new way of performing research on the European level. This Work Package will undertake a series of activities to assess the progress of the JPI towards its aims and objectives including monitoring the existing indicators of success and an external evaluation:

  • Continue to monitor progress of the JPI against its success indicators;
  • Gather evidence on the impact of the JPI to inform ongoing work and to feed into the external evaluation;
  • Conduct an external evaluation which draws on the evidence gathered throughout the life of the JPI and informs the future  direction of the JPI.

Background
Monitoring and evaluation was a constituent work package in the initial J-AGE project. This work package therefore builds on the work of J-AGE and continues it over the next 36 months of the life of the JPI. J-AGE II will build on the following activities established under J-AGE:

  • An independent external expert group has been established to advise on the monitoring and evaluation work within JAGE. The membership is drawn both from expertise in demographic change but also expertise in impact evaluation;
  • Two types of indicators have been developed: Type A indicators: Focus on the effect of the JPI on European and national research programming, research policy
    and funding i.e. these indicators are focussed on the ‘research system(s)’ which are at the core of JPI activities.
    Type B indicators: Monitor progress towards the societal and scientific impact of the implementation of the SRA work program i.e. thinking beyond impact on the research system to impact on wider society. -Data has been collected to monitor progress against these indicators at months 12 and 24 of the original J-AGE grant.

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