ITEA 2 opened its fifth Call for projects with a Project Outline (PO) Preparation Days event on 1 and 2 February at the Meliã hotel in Berlin, Germany.
Participation was higher again this year, with 30% increase over 2009. Some 280 people attended from 20 different countries. As expected, there was a strong presence from Germany, but there were also numerous participants from Finland, France, the Netherlands and Spain. The relatively ’new’ ITEA 2 countries such as Egypt, Lithuania and Turkey were also well represented. The increase in participation shows the strong interest in funded research during the continuing economic crisis.
The interest in ITEA 2 Call 5 was not only shown by the higher number of participants in Berlin. Before the event even started, 66 project ideas had already been uploaded to the restricted PO Days website and 81 initial project idea presentations were sent in for the first group session presentations. Furthermore, over 40 posters were presented during the poster session. After discussions, this resulted in a total of 30 project ideas.
The event was highly appreciated and a lot of positive feedback was received from participants during the event. This appreciation was confirmed by responses to the on-line questionnaire sent out to all attendees. 40% of attendees responded and rated the event 4.0 on a 5-point scale. Particularly points highlighted included the usefulness of the group sessions with a high rate of 4.4 on a 5-point scale – this compares with 4.0 last year and clearly shows the value of the networking and brainstorm possibilities during the event.