Monday, 2 September 2013

Outsourcing Horizon 2020

The European Commission proposes to outsource parts of Horizon 2020 through Joint Technology Initiatives. Here we describe another group of activities through which the EC is outsourcing H2020. These are the Public-public Partnerships (P2Ps), which establish separate administrative bodies to develop Workprogrammes, organise calls for proposals and administer EU grants to fund selected projects. In P2Ps, national administrations are the EC’s partners, and provide at least half of the funding. Features of the proposed P2Ps are summarised below.

During FP7, the Eurostars programme supported research intensive SMEs to carry out near to market cross border collaborative research projects on any topic. The programme is administered by Eureka, a non-EU intergovernmental body. National governments could opt to join the programme, through their National Funding Bodies (NFBs). Rules for participating and funding were set by each country for its participants, and so could – and did - vary between countries. National funding for high ranked proposals sometimes did not materialise or was delayed.
Eurostars-2 is configured similarly, but with obligations on the States to fund their participants in at least half of the top ranked proposals. It also commits to increasingly align the various national rules. A first step is that financial viability appraisals will all be conducted by the Eureka administrators, not the NFBs. Also, the minimum number of participants in a consortium will be three, in line with H2020 rules, rather than two, which was the Eurostars rule in FP7.

Active and Assisted Living (AAL-2) succeeds the FP7 Ambient Assisted Living programme. It is similar to Eurostars with participation and funding rules varying by country. In contrast to Eurostars, there is no obligation for the NFBs to fund a defined proportion of the top ranked proposals, nor to align the various national rules. And AAL-2 will not adopt the H2020 IPR rules. So chaos as usual!

The European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) is successor to the FP7 EMRP. It mainly funds National Metrology Institutes (NMI) or Designated Institutes (DI), chosen by governments to carry out metrology functions, though 15% of funding is open to any organisation. It will work to H2020 rules, except that EU funding for NMI/DI overheads will be 5% of direct costs, rather than the standard 25%.

European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Platform (EDCTP-2) is successor to a Framework Programme Six (2002-2006) public-public partnership. It addresses poverty-related diseases including HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. Projects funded through EDCTP-2 will work to H2020 rules.

Singleimage - FP7 Training Workshops and Advice