Due to the novelty of the TNP concept, it was initially nontrivial for us to make clear to our partners what the objectives and methods of the project were. Even though our partners were enthousiastic about the theme, many had no good grip on how a TNP diffess from other SOCRATES actions. In order to counter false expectations, we had to provide a lot of information both via the web (see e.g. our FAQ), by brochures and posters, and by personal contact. We felt that only after about a year of 'running in', the network as a whole obtained a sufficient understanding of the proper scope and function of a TNP.
It proved difficult to manage a very large project with limited means. Although our many partners were enthousiastic from the start about the innovative and important theme to be tackled by ACO*HUM, many were disappointed by the limited funding available. This manifested itself most clearly with respect to potential partners who were inelegible for funding even though they had relevant contributions to the project, such as, in our case, libraries, museums, and archives. The project coordinator should have access to a staff of at least two full-time persons, but this was not possible within the grant provided.
It was discovered that many possible synergies exist with other TNPs as well as between our TNP and other projects, including curriculum development initiatives within SOCRATES but also networks initiated in other DGs of the EC. This seems to indicate that there is a real need for what ACO*HUM is doing and suggests that ACO*HUM could play an even more useful role if joint activities were started. Such extended activities could however only be properly managed by a nontrivial increase in the budget.
It is felt that the TNP is acting like a catalyst in the field, such that our attention becomes focused on important issues for humanities in the next century. However, the TNP typically points to more problems than it can bring solutions. If the recommendations produced by the TNP are not taken up by further actions within SOCRATES, the work will have been for nothing. We expect therefore that a more direct cooperation with other actions could prove fruitful.