The “Project Angels” network in Latin America is a distinctive contribution of the PRO-IDEAL project that set up a mechanism to train experts (“Angels”) in the understanding of the ICT programme and EU funding rules, thus being able to help potential partners from their countries to become part of a cooperation project. It is an innovative approach to the diversity of online and offline activities necessary in order to effectively promote an increase in cooperation between the EU and Latin America. Project Angels form a community of mutually inspiring research and development leaders and are also the source of competence building for those willing to become the future leaders of ICT research and policy dialogue initiatives, able to drive innovation on a transcultural and global basis in European-Latin American agendas.
Following the coaching courses and awareness raising events held in the PRO-IDEAL and PRO-IDEAL PLUS target countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and Cuba – More than 100 candidates to Project Angels have been recruited and coached so as to attain the “Project Angel” certification.Alejandra Davidziuk receives the Project Angels diploma award during the ICT 2010 networking session
The Brazilian performance has significantly increased as a result of the policy dialogue, which led to co-sponsorship of the Project Angels hub by the National Social and Economic Development Bank (BNDES). Along with the integration of the Project Angels initiative into the university extension framework (as part of the “Audiovisual Management for Local Development Program” led by the City of Knowledge Research Group), the supporting action involved coaching and successful participation in the submission of projects to the National Research Council (CNPq), São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP) and the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee Research Center (CETIC.br). Private sponsors from the ICT community have also joined the network, such as the Volkswagen Foundation in Brazil.
The reason for the success of the Project Angels methodology is its direct connection to both business and research cultures: the formation of a community supported by the PRO-IDEAL consortium becomes not only an inspirational and testimonial sphere, but conveys a sense of security and confidence that is a necessary condition in order to pro-actively respond to entrepreneurial needs when it comes to copyright, innovation and consortium building challenges and issues.