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Project kick-off meeting for new Competitive Projects awarded in 2006

SP5 Leader Carmen de Vicente together with the 16 participants - the event marked a great start to the second round of GCP Competitive Projects. Photo credit: Anita Sanchez

August 2007

A major highlight on GCP's calendar this month was the Project kick-off meeting for new Competitive Projects awarded in 2006. The meeting was organised by Subprogramme 5 and held on 6–8 August 2007 at CIMMYT Headquarters, Mexico. It brought together 31 scientists from 16 different countries, among them Principal Investigators, Co-Principal Investigators and the primary users of the proposed research products—representatives of national research programmes in the South.

The purpose of the workshop was to prepare a delivery plan for each of the competitive projects, in alignment with the GCP Delivery Strategy which requires that all new projects have a clear delivery plan right from the start. After intense training sessions bringing together—for the first time—both project team members and potential product users, strategies were mapped to operationalise GCP’s renewed focus on product development and delivery. GCP scientists working on the six new projects now have a clearer understanding of two basic concepts along which to conduct their research: (i) the products to be created, and, (ii) the primary and secondary users of these products. “It’s important that everyone is engaged,” says Carmen de Vicente, the Subprogramme 5 Leader. “By integrating delivery into the planning, our national partners share in the feeling of ownership of the project and its outcomes.”

Another outcome of the workshop, which is also a major part of the delivery plan, was identifying and proposing solutions to potential problems or constraints that could occur along the product delivery chain. In this way, capacity-building can be undertaken to ensure products pass on to the intended users.

Participants will now finalise preliminary versions of their project delivery plan, and selected results will be presented at GCP's Annual Research Meeting in September 2007.

For their hard work in the day sessions, participants relaxed with social events in the evenings, where they sampled the rich Mexican cuisine, interacted, and talked about…GCP Competitive Projects!