Friday, 1 December 2017
Monday, 30 October 2017
Monday, 2 October 2017
Tuesday, 5 September 2017
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
In the annexes to its “Interim evaluation of H2020”, the EC gives an estimate of how much difference the overheads make. Based on a comparison with organisations which claimed their real overheads in FP7, they calculated for large companies that H2020 grants cover 58% of their real costs. And for all types of organisation involved in IA (Innovation Actions) and RIA (Research and Innovation Actions), the grants cover 70% of their real costs.
This analysis addresses only overheads, and not the impact of normal accounting practices on personnel costs through the calculation of productive days. This might further reduce the real funding level!
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Luckily, the answer is no. The “History of Changes” at the front of 4.0.1, which usually includes “Other minor corrections and clarifications”, on this occasion mentions only an index. Wonderful, you might think: it is often difficult to find the many references within the document to a particular topic.
Sadly, this is not what they mean. The EC’s index is simply a reference added to the bottom of most pages to tell you which of the 58 articles in which of the 16 model grant agreements are currently under discussion. So if you don’t know which page you are reading, the index helps. But if you don’t know which page you should be reading, it is no help at all!
Friday, 26 May 2017
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Monday, 3 April 2017
Following lots of pressure from the research community, the EC has decided to accept the cost of internal invoices for the use of research facilities as an eligible cost. These invoices were eligible costs in FP7. But in H2020 the EC required that the consumption of each resource involved – such as the time of staff supporting the equipment, consumables and depreciation – be measured directly for each H2020 project using the facility.
Under the new version 4.0 of the grant agreement, the cost of internally invoiced goods and services used directly for an H2020 project can be claimed based on an average cost per unit of use (per hour, for example), called a “unit cost”. The unit cost must be based on actual costs of items directly linked to the production of the goods or services to be invoiced, excluding overheads.
Interestingly, the cost of support staff, consumables and depreciation of research facilities can potentially also be charged as direct costs under the EC’s LRI (Large Research Infrastructure) option. But the calculation method for this must be certified by the EC. And it is restricted to organisations with at least €20m of expensive equipment, which must represent at least 75% of their fixed assets. Last month we reported that the EC had issued only four LRI certificates during H2020. Will internal invoices allow H2020 participants to avoid the restrictions of LRI?
Tuesday, 28 February 2017
What happens if the UK and the EU disagree about these MFF payments? In public sessions in the UK parliament, lawyers are arguing which legal authority could decide. The conclusion - so far - is that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) would have jurisdiction on the interpretation of the relevant laws. However, since the UK will not be subject to these laws after leaving the EU, the ECJ could not enforce their implementation!
None of the discussions so far take into account the UK’s government’s proposed “Great Repeal Bill”, which will transfer much EU law into UK law when the UK leaves the EU. We look forward to many more hours of learned debate.
Tuesday, 31 January 2017
At the end of 2016, the Swiss government agreed to extend free movement of labour to Croatian citizens, at the same time initiating measures to prioritise Swiss job seekers when vacancies occur. As a result, Switzerland regained the status of Associated Country which it held during FP7.