End of October, the European Commission presented the Horizon 2020 Work Programme for the last three years, with 30 billion EUR to invest in projects. The new features include measures to support market-creating innovation, highly integrated activities called focus areas, emphasis on better dissemination of results and a focus on open access to data.
Market creating innovation is the name for a first phase European Innovation Council, grouping together measures such as the SME instrument and Fast Track to Innovation, for enterprises, with a dedicated budget of 2.7 billion EUR. The SME instrument is now fully bottom-up, i.e. no thematic constraints. For phase 2 proposal, a hearing is foreseen, if the proposals pass a first stage.
The environment, the Digital Single Market, as well as the “Security Union” are among the priorities, so-called focus areas.
There is one interesting feature, labelled “second simplification”: Lump-sum pilots.
This new feature refers to a lump sum for the entire project, either pre-defined by the EC (option 1), or calculated as a budget and accepted by the EC (option 2). The beauty of it is: All is dependent on performance, no paperwork. While these 2 options are currently only available for 2 action lines (1 for each), this may be the solution for the future – and the successor R&I programme: Partners can focus on real work and forget about timesheets, proof of payment and the Damocles sword of financial audits (with rules sometimes unilaterally interpreted!). The EC should be commended on this initiative!
Call for proposals are accessible from the Participants Portal
A list of all calls (also old ones) according to acronyms is available here
The latest version of the annotated model grant agreement shows all explanations – but needs some patience: it has by now 750 pages. Maybe this was one of the reasons why Lump-Sum Pilots were created…
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