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FP7 Participation Rules

11/07/2006 - Latest Commission "FP7 Rules of Participation"

Minimum conditions for participation
Submission and Evaluation
Grant agreement
Community financial contribution
Reimbursement of eligible costs
Lump sum and flat rate financing
Maximum funding rates
Intellectual Property Provisions

Minimum conditions for participation:

General Rules:
· 3 independent participants from 3 different Member States (MS) or Associated Countries (AC);
· Natural persons may participate;
· JRC may participate and is deemed to be from a different MS or AC (same principles for international European interest organisations and entities established under Community law);
· Additional conditions can be established by the work programme (WP) or specific programme (SP) (e.g. number or type of participant, place of establishment);
· Sole participants composed of members that meet the criteria above can participate.

Specific Rules:
· Frontier research actions (ERC): – at least 1 legal entity established in a MS or AC;
· Coordination and support actions and actions in favour of training and career development of researchers – minimum of 1 legal entity (except actions to coordinate);
· Collaborative projects addressing the participation of international cooperation partner countries (INCO) – minimum is 4 participants of which 2 in MS or AC and 2 in INCO countries;
· Participation of international organisations and participants from third countries if in addition to minimal.

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Submission and Evaluation:

Calls for proposals always except:
· Coordination and support actions where the beneficiary has been identified in the SP or in the WP where this is foreseen by the SP;
· Coordination and support actions for the purchase of goods or services by the Community;
· Coordination and support actions for the appointment of independent experts;
· Other actions where provided by the Financial Regulation or its implementing rules.

Other Rules
· Commission to adopt and publish rules on procedures for proposal submission, evaluation, selection and award
- Including two-stage submission and two-step evaluation
· Commission to adopt and publish rules to ensure consistent verification of the legal status and financial capacity of participants;
· Evaluation criteria established in SP and WP;
· Irregularity and violation of fundamental ethical principles are grounds for exclusion from evaluation and selection;
· Transparent, fair and impartial evaluation procedures with help of independent experts.

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· Participants implement work jointly and severally towards the Community and carry out work of a defaulting partner unless the Commission relieves them of that obligation (≠ FP6 financial collective responsibility);
· Commission to assess risk of default and may establish a mechanism to cover financial loss;
· If implementation of the project is impossible or participants fail to implement it, the Commission shall ensure termination;
· Consortium agreements obligatory unless exempted by call for proposals;
· Changes in consortium membership possible.

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Grant agreement:
Model grant agreement to be drawn up:
· to establish rights and obligations of participants (including submission of reports, termination etc);
· identify whether and what part of EC financial contribution is based on reimbursement of eligible costs, lump sums or flat rates;
· Identify which changes in the consortium require prior publication of competitive call;
· shall reflect principles of the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers
· specific provisions for certain types of actions (IPR particularly)
· grant agreement comes into force upon signature by coordinator and Commission and applies to each participant that accedes

Community financial contribution:

Eligibility for Funding:
1. Legal entities from MS and AC or created under Community law (and JRC)
2. International European interest organisations
3. Legal entities established in INCO countries
International organisations, third countries other than INCO, if provided for in SP or WP; or essential for carrying out action; or provision for funding is provided for in a bilateral agreement between Community and the third country

Basis for Funding:
1. Reimbursement of eligible costs
2. Flat rates, including scale of unit costs
3. Lump sum amounts

* Cost reporting models eliminated

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Reimbursement of eligible costs:
• Co-financing, no profit;
• May be combined with lump sums and/or flat rates for certain items of a project ;
• Participants charge direct and indirect costs (flat rate always option);
• Costs must be actual; incurred during the project; determined according to usual accounting and management principles/practices and used only to achieve project objectives, and consistent with principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness; recorded in accounts (or the accounts of third parties) and paid; exclusive of non-eligible costs;
Average personnel costs may be used if consistent with above and do not differ significantly from actual;
• Audit certificates continued but rationalised.

Lump sum and flat rate financing:

• Lump sum and/or flat rate financing (scale of unit costs) could be used for the whole action, or;
• Flat-rates/lump sums for certain costs can be combined with reimbursement of eligible costs;
• A specific lump sum is identified for Networks of Excellence (NoEs) (unless otherwise provided for in WP),
– calculated according to the number of researchers to be integrated
(€ 23,500 / year / researcher);
payment of which is based on attainment of progress;
• Lump sums and flat rates do not require justification of eligible costs.

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Maximum funding rates:

• Research and technological activities – 50% of eligible costs except that for:
- Public bodies – 75%;
- Secondary and higher education establishments – 75%;
- Research organisations (non-profit) – 75%;
- SMEs – 75%.
• Demonstration activities – 50% of eligible costs;
• Other activities – 100% of eligible costs;
Frontier research actions – 100%;
• Coordination and support actions – 100%;
• Training and career development of researchers actions – 100%.

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Intellectual Property Provisions:

Pre-existing know-how (FP6) becomes background which is:

• held by participants prior to their accession to the EC grant agreement (no sideground);
• which is needed for carrying out the project or for using its results;
no need to exclude from access.

Knowledge (FP6) becomes foreground.

Ownership: each participant owns the foreground it generates

Joint ownership (in absence of specific agreement
default joint ownership regime applies):
any owner can grant non-exclusive licenses to third parties, subject to prior notification and fair and reasonable compensation to the other owner(s) with no right to sub-licence.

Transfer of ownership of foreground
Prior notification only to the other participants who may waive their rights to be notified regarding specific third parties (requirement to notify Commission may be in grant agreement, Commission may object to transfers or exclusive licenses to third countries if contrary to ethical or competitiveness principles)

Protection, use, dissemination, publication
• Foreground capable of industrial or commercial application shall be protected;
• Owner of foreground may transfer to another participant or to the Commission if it does not wish to protect;
• Foreground to be used and disseminated ;
• Notice of dissemination (including publication) to be given to other participants (not Commission);
• Publications and patent applications must indicate the Community financial assistance.

Access rights
• Participants define the background they need and may exclude but notnecessarily prior to signature of EC grant agreement;
• Requests for access rights within 1 year or other period to be agreed by participants;
• Possible to grant exclusive licenses if other participants waive their rights;
Commission no longer informed of granting of access rights to legal entities in third countries ;
• Special provisions for certain types of actions e.g. frontier research, research for the benefit of specific groups, security research.

FP7 Instruments

The 7th EU Research Framework Program main instruments are:

  • R&D Collaborative Projects - (IPs and STREPS become one),
  • Networks of Excellence,
  • Co-ordination andSupport Actions.