On 19th and 20th October 2015 the training on synergies between ESIF and Horizon 2020 on WIDENING activities took place. The aim of the event was to deliver expertise to WIDENING NCPs on Synergies between H2020 and ESIF as regard the specialized issues of Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation, in particular the Teaming, Twinning and ERA Chairs measures as horizontal subjects of the Horizon 2020. During the training and during interactive exercises, the participants had the opportunity to exchange information and best practices on the issues related to national strategies on Teaming and on the key success factors and barriers on the Widespread activities with a view on smart specialization.

Several Widening NCPs took part in this event and were able to meet with the European Commission representatives from DG RTD: Mr. Dimitri Corpakis, who elaborated the issue on how to link Smart Specialisation Strategies and Widening activities; Mrs. Magdalena di Carli, who covered in detail one of the latest initiatives of the EC, namely the Seal of Excellence; Mr. Ciaran Dearle, who spoke about the current development of Smart Specialisation Strategies across the EU; and, last but not least, Mrs. Pia Laurila, who explained what we need to understand as Synergies between Horizon 2020 and Horizon 2020. After a very fruitful discussion and a Q&A session with the EC members, the second half of the training was dedicated to strategies on involvement in Teaming using synergies at the national level. Case studies from Poland, Portugal and Germany were presented. During the second day, which focused on practical issues regarding synergies with Widespread activities, the NCPs were presented with the elements for successful Teaming – the Polish case, as well as the analysis of the key success factors and barriers of Widening activities with a view on smart specialization, were brought up by Mr. Andre Conte from JRC IPTS.