Many exciting news came from the fifth POTEnT Project Management Group Meeting (PMG), held on Thursday 10 June. The team met online to wrap up the project's recent progress in semester 5, to align the budget with POTENT's future scenarios, and to discuss the possibility of in-person events in the coming months. The excitement of returning to the meeting in person was hard to hide.

Despite the wide range of possibilities that technology leaves us, face-to-face interaction undoubtedly has a more significant level of engagement than online calls. Finally, after nearly two years, the massive vaccination in continental Europe allows realistic predictions on coming back to physical eventsIn addition, the large underspending of the project, largely due to the travel restrictions, offers several options to project partners.

Brace yourself for this: in January 2022, the first real in-person event in POTEnT could happen (after one year and a half). It would be a three-day capacity-building workshop to confront and upgrade the final RAP version. The location is still uncertain, either in Germany (Ettlingen) or in Italy (Parma). However, the COVID-19 situation in the coming winter period will be critical to the final decision on the matter. So let's cross our fingers and wait for the next PMG meeting on September 14th, 2021 to set further details on the workshop.

Secondly, partners now need to be creative in finding ways to develop their RAP. The underspent budget indeed allows partners to identify and hire external experts for improving their interregional learning. For example, by creating workshop activities for a better stakeholder engagement. Likewise, Potenters can allocate these resources to the drafting of feasibility studies in line with their own RAP (to be accepted by the project secretariat). Thanks to these options, partners now have many ways to optimize their RAP, to be concluded by April 2022.

The following topic of the meeting concerned the GPR (Good Practice Register), the living product of POTEnT. In this regard, each partner is asked to identify new good practices in line with the learning needs of the PPs, and to add them to the register. A tree without roots cannot live and a RAP without new practices cannot evolve.

What percentage are you in developing your RAP map?

One by one, the PPs answered this thrilling question by showing that, on average, they are all at least 50% of their journey in developing the plan (except for a 49.2%, in fact). POTENT's progress is tangible as is the commitment of the partners. A new series of bilateral meetings between PPs and the project secretariat starts on June 14 until the end of the month. In this way, PPs can renew their RAP through fresh tailored-made feedback.

In conclusion, from the presentation of the communication team in the second part of the meeting, a brand new short video on POTENT was released. The audience cheered enthusiastically. As usual, the time has come to subtitle it and broadcast it in local countries.

Here we are now: Potenters have less than a year to complete the interregional learning phase, and it is time to play the best cards in the deck. This particular moment goes hand in hand with the worldwide recovery from an unforgettable health crisis. The POTENT renaissance is ready!