How to participate in FP6

How to participate
in FP6
Department of Communications /
Administrative Staff
A practical guide for researchers, research
managers and administrators at the Vrije
Universiteit Amsterdam
Guido Leerdam
Department of Communications
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1091
1081 HV Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 4445652
[email protected]
Albert Groenendijk
Administrative Staff
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
+31 (0)20 4445654
[email protected]
1st edition September 2003
2nd edition January 2004
© 3rd revised edition, November 2004, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
All information in this guide is offered for use at the sole discretion and on the sole responsibility of the users
The authors cannot accept any responsibility or liability for the use made of this document or for any
consequences arising therefrom. Reproduction is NOT authorized without prior written agreement. Requests to
use or reproduce any of the contents of this guide should be directed to the authors.
Introductory notes
1. Background to the Framework Programmes
1.1. Introduction
1.2. Framework Programmes in perspective
1.3. The Sixth Framework Programme
1.4. FP6 priorities
1.5. New ERA for European research: combating fragmentation
1.6. Sharing skills and results
1.7. Training for better performance
2. FP6 in a nutshell
2.1. Specific programmes or sections
2.2. Sections and instruments
2.3. Other possibilities outside the FP
3. The FP6 instruments
3.1. Networks of Excellence (NoEs)
3.2. Integrated Projects (IPs)
3.3. Article 169
3.4. Specific Targeted Research Projects (STREPs)
3.5. Coordination Actions (CAs)
3.6. Specific Support Actions (SSAs)
3.6.1. Marie Curie Fellowships
The Rules for Participation
Contractual provisions
Financial provisions: cost models
Intellectual property rights (IPR)
5. How to write a competitive proposal in FP6
6. Proposal submission and evaluation
6.1. Proposal submission
6.2. Proposal evaluation
7. Contractual regulations
7.1. Contract negotiation
7.2. Contract signature
8. Project execution
8.1. Outline of collective responsibility
8.2. Cost models and VAT
8.3. Controls
8.4. Reporting
8.5. Payment modalities
9. Intellectual Property Rights issues
9.1. Definitions
9.2. IPR in the Consortium Agreement
10. Support and advice
1. Synopsis of RTD priorities, areas and actions in FP6
specific programmes
2. List of groups of target countries for specific measures
in support of INCO
3. Outline: what documentation is needed to prepare
an FP6 RTD proposal?
4. Examples of administrative forms A1, A2, A3
5. Basic contract outline
6. Memorandum of Agreement (example)
0. Introductory notes
Universities are becoming more and more dependent on external funding. The
Framework Programmes for research and technological development (RTD) of
the European Union form one of the most important sources in this field. During
the last decade, the Vrije Universiteit has gained a firm foothold in ‘Brussels’, as
we can see from the results of Framework 4 (1994-1998) and 5 (1998-2002). A
recent quick scan has shown that at least a few hundred of the RTD projects
from these programmes have been carried out on the VU premises. The VU and
the VU University Medical Center have featured prominently in major RTD
programmes covering topics such as quality of life, the information society,
energy and environment, sustainable development and, of course, the training
and mobility of researchers (fellowship programmes).
The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) is currently under way, covering the
period from 2003 to 2007. A vast amount of material giving information on the
programme’s contents, EU policy, the financial and contractual rules and much
more is being churned out at high speed. Both experienced researchers and
junior postdocs face the challenge of ploughing their way through this Internet
and paper jungle in a quick and efficient manner. The aim of this guide is
practical: to provide researchers, research managers, financial and
administrative officers at the faculties and institutes throughout the university,
the medical centre and its commercial affiliates with up-to-date information
about ‘how to participate’. We have tried to do this as concisely and as
systematically as possible. In the pages to come, you will read:
- how to understand the FP and the relevant EU policies;
- how to manage the enormous amount of information material concerning the
specific programmes in FP6 and the rules that govern them;
- where to find and how to use the advisory institutions that provide further
Of course, it is impossible for us to give an in-depth account of the contents of
the specific programmes – or to be more precise, the thematic priorities – in
FP6. Clearly, that is not our specialism but yours. But what we can do is
demystify the intricate process of nudging yourself into the complex and
challenging world of Brussels’ funding principles. It is our belief that if this is
done well, the university has a lot to gain in the coming four years!
Those of you who simply want to know where to obtain information material
and preliminary advice about EU research funding should turn to our ‘Support
and advice’ chapter at the back of this guide, and read the rest later.
Last but not least, we would like to thank Bart Crusius (VU University Medical
Center) and Anco Lankreijer (Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences) who have been
so kind as to read a preliminary version of the first edition of this guide and
submit critical comments; Fanneke Cnossen for the graphic design and Stefan
Martínez (both Communications Dept., Vrije Universiteit) for layout and
(web)navigational services, and finally the Taalcentrum-VU for correcting us in
our English endeavours.
Should you have any remarks or questions about the contents of this guide,
please do not hesitate to contact us!
Note: much of the information in this guide (addresses, telephone and fax
numbers, e-mail addresses, website URLs, reference numbers etc.) is subject to
change. The editing of the first edition of this text was rounded off in mid-July
2003. In preparing the second edition, we received valuable comments from Mr
Bert Bohlander (UNITE), which we have used to both your advantage and our
own. The third edition contains additions and corrections to various sections
throughout the guide, to keep all the information as up to date as possible. For
example, we have inserted a few lines about the upcoming new Framework
Programme (FP7) in view of the ongoing political preparations undertaken by the
Dutch EU Presidency and others. Of course, all suggestions regarding the guide
remain more than welcome.
1. Background to the Framework Programmes
1.1. Introduction
Since the launch of the First Framework Programme for Research and
Technological Development (RTD) in 1984, the institutions within the
European Union (EU) have played a leading role in initiating and organizing
multidisciplinary research and cooperation inside Europe and beyond. Yet,
while Europe leads the way in many important areas of scientific research, it
still finds it difficult to transform scientific breakthroughs into commercial
products and services which are both competitive and sustainable.
To create a coherent impact on EU research initiatives, the Sixth Framework
Programme will focus on high-quality research with a lasting or structuring
impact which also strengthens Europe’s science and technology foundations,
and on maximum ‘added value’ from transnational cooperation, ‘progressive
integration’ of relevant activities and participants, and on concentrating
Europe’s effort on fewer priorities.
1.2. Framework Programmes
in perspective
To understand the procedures and the rules for participation described in
this guide, it is important to take into account several basic principles
governing Framework Programmes.
1. The European Commission does not itself undertake or participate in
RTD projects (except via its Joint Research Centres), but does offer
financial support to carefully described work or research by private and
public research bodies, companies and institutions.
2. Generally, proposals for projects must be submitted in response to a
specific call for proposals or tenders published in the Official Journal of
the European Union, which can be found on the Community’s most
prominent website CORDIS.
3. The project’s content must fully correspond to objectives set out in one
of the programmes of the Framework Programme, while the partners
involved must satisfy all the eligibility criteria, and their proposal must
comply with the scientific, thematic and formal requirements of the call.
4. Proposals received in response to a call which satisfy the above
requirements are evaluated by a panel of independent experts in the
various fields concerned.
5. Projects are selected solely on the basis of their quality, measured by
specific criteria such as scientific and technical quality and socioeconomic impact, and on condition that they comply with the programme
objectives, within the limits of the budgets available. There are no
national quotas.
1.3. The Sixth Framework
Programme (FP6)
FP6 will be instrumental in achieving the March 2000 Lisbon European
Council goal of turning Europe into the world’s most competitive knowledgebased economy by 2010. It will also greatly contribute to the creation of the
European Research Area (ERA), a true European internal market for research
and knowledge, where EU and national R&D efforts are better integrated.
To reach the necessary critical mass at EU level and to pool together both
financial and intellectual resources, FP6 introduces new instruments, such as
Networks of Excellence (NoEs) and Integrated Projects (IPs).
In order to achieve this more effectively and, in turn, to contribute to both
the creation of the European Research Area (ERA) and to innovation, FP6 is
structured around three headings:
Focusing and integrating EU research (through specific and/or thematic
research projects);
- Structuring the European Research Area (through training, dissemination
and mobility);
- Strengthening the foundations of the European Research Area (by means
of coordination, networking and policy support).
See Chapter 2, and Section 2.1 in particular, for a detailed description and
breakdown of these headings.
The activities under these three headings will be instrumental in the
integration of research efforts and actions on a European scale, as well as
contributing to the structuring of the various dimensions of the European
Research Area.
FP6: a radical shift in approach to EU research funding
The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), while representing a radical shift in
approach to EU research funding, has also been designed to tie in with
previous Framework Programmes (FPs). Its objective continues to be the
development of a truly European scientific community equipped with the
best skills and know-how, and to support scientific and technical work of the
highest quality, conducted through transnational projects benefiting from
mobile researchers. But the success of past programmes needs to be
reinforced, in particular the networks and projects supported by the
European Union.
FP6 will distribute € 17.5 billion to the parties involved in European research
and technological development (RTD), but its aims go far beyond mere cofinancing of research projects. This programme provides a coherent and
ambitious pan-European framework for supporting RTD as part of EU
research policy to strengthen scientific and technology bases and the
competitiveness of European industry by means of a five-year strategic plan
for the period 2002-2006. During this period, it will stimulate transnational
collaboration in research, particularly between industry and universities,
and in the establishment of networks of excellence.
FP6 will also help to establish an environment in Europe that is conducive to
successful innovation. This means encouraging technology transfer,
ensuring the availability of venture capital, providing greater protection for
intellectual property rights and developing human resources. Increased
resources will also be devoted to encouraging SME participation in all the
Framework Programme activities.
FP6 represents the third largest operational budget line within the EU's
overall budget, after the Common Agricultural Policy and the Structural
Funds. This amounts to 3.9% of the EU’s overall 2001 budget (or 3.4% of
2002) and 5.4% of all 2001 public (non-military) research spending in
Principles of FP7
When FP6 was barely under way, its successor was already looming on the
horizon. The debate on FP7 started in September 2003 when the
Competitiveness Council invited the Commission and the Member States to
make more effective use of financing instruments, including the EU’s
Structural Funds, for R&D. On 18 November 2003 the EP unanimously
adopted a report written by German MEP Rolf Linkohr calling for the budget
of FP7 to be raised to 30 billion euros for the entire 4-year period. The
proposal on the Commission’s future budget between 2007 and 2013
(February 2004) claimed higher contributions from EU’s Member States for
research and innovation initiatives at EU level. In this proposal the
Commission highlights the following priorities for an enlarged EU:
sustainable growth, citizenship, freedom, security and justice; all
contributing towards strengthening the EU’s position as a global partner.
Research and innovation fall within the first priority.
At present, the stakeholders – governments, industry and universities –
share the view that FP7 must contribute to a highly productive and
competitive European knowledge society in which the aforementioned
priorities can be addressed and resolved. It is commonly felt that the
upcoming FP, more than its predecessors, must reflect a clear added value of
European policy over national research efforts, that it must foster real
excellence in research (both monodisciplinary and multidisciplinary) and that
it should help create a Europe for researchers (fulfilment of the ERA
promise). To this end, a varied portfolio of instruments should be created,
one that reflects the stakeholders’ needs. The debate about the exact look
and feel of thematic priorities and modalities has just begun, but will
eventually lead to important political decisions during the term of the Dutch
EU presidency, which spans the second half of 2004.
To keep abreast of the FP7 debate, check out:
1.4. FP6 priorities
The priorities covered by FP6 are listed in the budget table (see Chapter 2).
They include:
ƒ life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health;
ƒ information society technologies;
nanotechnologies and nanosciences, ‘intelligent’ materials, new
production processes and services;
ƒ aeronautics and space;
ƒ food quality and safety;
ƒ sustainable development, global change and ecosystems;
ƒ citizens and governance in a knowledge-based society;
ƒ other promising research areas, including support for participation of
small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
FP6 also addresses research and innovation, human resources and mobility,
research infrastructures, and science/society relationships. The Commission
respects fundamental ethical principles in implementing these priorities.
SMEs will be encouraged to participate in all areas of FP6, particularly in the
context of the activities carried out in the priority thematic areas. The SME
National Contact Points will be reinforced in order to provide appropriate
information and assistance to potential SME participants (informing,
awareness-raising, advising, assisting in partner search, training). SME
associations or ‘groupings’ will be allowed to participate in the projects on
behalf of their members.
International participation in these activities will be assured and will be open
to all countries having concluded association agreements with the EU to this
effect, including associated states and candidate countries. Other ‘third’
countries (like Switzerland) may participate in FP6 through bilateral
cooperation agreements.
Researchers and organizations from third countries may also take part in
projects on a case-by-case basis. The detailed conditions under which
entities from third countries and international organizations involved in
research activities may participate in FP6, including the financial
arrangements, are specified in the regulation which will be adopted pursuant
to Article 167 of the Treaty.
Participation in the activities of FP6 will be encouraged through publication
of the necessary information on content, conditions and procedures in a
timely and thorough manner to potential participants, including those from
the candidate and other associated countries.
1.5. New ERA for European
research: combating
Europe has a long-standing tradition of excellence in research and
innovation, and European teams continue to lead the way in many fields of
science and technology. However, its centres of excellence are scattered
across the Member States and all too often, their efforts fail to add up in the
absence of adequate networking and cooperation. In the past, collaborative
actions have been initiated at both European and EU level, but now is the
time to bring Europe’s endeavours together, to end the fragmentation of
research and to build a research and innovation structure equivalent to the
‘common’ market for goods and services. That structure is called the
European Research Area (ERA). It constitutes the regrouping of all EU support
for the better coordination of research activities and the convergence of
research and innovation policies at national and EU levels.
The ERA implements the European Union’s declared ambition of achieving a
genuine common research policy. This includes the indispensable and longawaited integration of Member States’ scientific and technological capacities.
1.6. Sharing skills and results
The basic idea underpinning the ERA is that the issues and challenges of the
future cannot be met without much greater integration of Europe’s research
efforts and capacities. The objective is to move into a new stage by
introducing a coherent and concerted approach at EU level from which
genuine joint strategies can be developed.
Without this political will, Europe is condemned to increasing
marginalization in a global world economy. With the ERA, on the other hand,
Europe is giving itself the resources to fully exploit its exceptional potential,
and thus to become – in the words of the Lisbon European Summit of March
2000 – ‘the world’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based
With often substantial resources at their disposal, national research
programmes are undertaken independently of one other, to a large extent.
This dispersion effect is definitely a key factor in Europe’s present
underperformance when compared with the world’s other research centres,
and is preventing Europe from fully exploiting the EU’s human and material
resources. The longer-term objective is therefore to achieve greater
cooperation between Member States’ research strategies and a mutual
‘opening up’ of national programmes.
1.7. Training for better
Recognizing the importance of generating ‘new knowledge’ and ‘knowledge
transfer’, several programmes in FP6 include training components to
improve Europe’s overall research performance. To achieve this , the budget
for training schemes in FP6 has been substantially increased. Trainingrelated activities and awards made a valuable contribution to European
research in past Framework Programmes, especially by encouraging younger
researches and scientist to take up and pursue careers in science and
2. FP6 in a nutshell
2.1. Specific programmes
or sections
FP6 is divided into three specific programmes or ‘sections’*) that cover a
wide range of topics, thus integrating research priorities at EU level and
structuring and strengthening the foundations of the European Research
A graphical representation is shown below:
Section 1: Focusing and integrating Community research
Thematic priorities
Budget (E million)
1.1.1. Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health Advanced genomics and its applications for health Combating major diseases
1.1.2. Information society technologies
1.1.3. Nanotechnologies and nanosciences, knowledge-based
multifunctional materials and new production processes
and devices
1.1.4. Aeronautics and space
1.1.5. Food quality and safety
1.1.6. Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems Sustainable energy systems Sustainable surface transport Global change and ecosystems
2,255 mE
1.1.7. Citizens and governance in a knowledge-based society
Specific activities covering a wider field of research
Research for policy support
New and emerging science and technology (NEST)
Specific SME activities
Specific measures in support of international
cooperation (INCOs)
Section 2: Structuring the European Research Area (ERA)
Research and innovation
Human resources and mobility
Research infrastructures
Science and society
Section 3: Strengthening the foundations of the ERA
Coordination of research activities
Development of research/innovation policies
The EURATOM thematic programme, which has a budget of #E 1,230
million, is not included here.
All of the priority themes in Section 1 can be broken down according to
strategic objectives. For example, as you can see above, ‘1.1.1. Life sciences,
genomics and biotechnology for health’ is divided into ‘Advanced genomics
and its health applications’ and ‘Combating major diseases’. These, too, can
be broken down into subtopics, such as ‘Fundamental knowledge and basic
tools for functional genomics in all organisms’ and ‘Application-oriented
genomic approaches to medical technologies’. A summary of the most
important topics can be found in Annex 1.
2.2. Sections and instruments
Although a detailed description of all of the ‘operational’ or ‘financial’
instruments is given in Chapter 3, it is worth bearing in mind at this point
that not all sections are linked to all of the instruments. A general
impression is given below, together with the important acronyms:
• Section 1 (Focusing and integrating) – covers all instruments: Networks of
Excellence (NoEs), Integrated Projects (IPs), Specific Targeted Research
and Innovation Projects (STREPs), Coordination Actions (CAs) and Specific
Support Actions (SSAs);
• Section 2 (Structuring) – only includes a limited set of instruments, e.g.
Integrated Infrastructures Initiative (I3)*), and Specific Support Actions –
‘lump sum’ in the case of a training activity (fellowship);
• Section 3 (Strengthening) – only includes a limited set of instruments, like
Coordination Actions.
*) Explanatory note: the accompanying documentation for certain thematic
priorities mentions other instruments (e.g. the I3 instrument) in addition to
the five main instruments. Since the use of these instruments is extremely
limited and because we want to avoid confusion, we have decided not to
include them in our overview.
2.3. Other possibilities
outside the FP
The FP is not the only source of RTD funding. The Directorates-General that
assist the Commission are grouped around certain key themes, for instance
‘Economy and Society’, ‘International Affairs’ and ‘Institutional Affairs’. In
the first group, the DGs ‘Agriculture’, ‘Environment’ and ‘Research,
Development Technology and Innovation’ are considered to be among the
most important. In the second group, the same applies to ‘External
There are also a number of non-EU entities (international organizations
and/or programmes) that cover a wide range of RTD ventures, some of
which have links with the FP. Several (though by no means all) of these
organizations or possibilities are listed below:
ALβAN - European Union Programme of High Level Scholarships for
Latin America
a programme that covers courses for postgraduates (Master’s and Doctorate
degrees) as well as higher training for Latin American professionals/future
decision-makers in institutions or centres in the EU
Calls are issued before the start of each academic year.
More information:
- América Latina - Formación Académica
is a programme of cooperation between institutions of higher education in
the European Union and Latin America
More information:
AUNP - ASEAN European Union University Network Programme
This network programme builds on the long-standing, high-level political
dialogue between the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) and on a series of initiatives already undertaken by the EC to
increase mutual understanding between the two target regions. The
programme provides two different types of support: grant support and
network initiatives.
More information:
COST – European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technological
Founded in 1971, COST is an intergovernmental framework for European
Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research, allowing the
coordination of nationally funded research at European level. COST Actions cover
basic and pre-competitive research as well as public utility activities.
More information:
- European Science Foundation
The European Science Foundation promotes high quality science at a
European level. It acts as a catalyst for the development of science by
bringing together leading scientists and funding agencies to debate, plan
and implement pan-European initiatives.
More information:
Pan-European network for market-oriented, industrial R&D. EUREKA supports the
competitiveness of European companies through international collaboration, by
creating links and networks of innovation.
More information:
- Human Frontier Science Programme
The Human Frontier Science Programme (HFSP) supports basic research
focusing on complex mechanisms of living organisms through Research
Grants and (short and long-term) Fellowships. Considering the Community’s
interest in the HFSP and the commonality of objectives with this theme, a
contribution will be made available for 2003 and 2004 in the form of
subsidies, to provide non-G8 Member States with the possibility to fully
benefit from the programme. Subject to the Community’s continued interest,
this contribution may be made available for the following two years of the
Framework Programme.
More information:
INTAS - International Association for the promotion of cooperation
with scientists from the New Independent States of the former Soviet
Union (NIS)
Within the current Activities Plan 2003-2006, the INTAS organization
regularly issues calls for proposal for certain activities, like INTAS Young
Scientist Fellowships, Research Projects and Research Networks.
More information:
- Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
Postdoctoral positions in Japan lasting 12-24 months are continuously
available in a variety of research fields. Successful applicants have the
opportunity to conduct collaborative research activities at Japanese
universities or research institutes.
More information:
- Financial Instrument for the Environment
is one of the spearheads of the European Union's environmental policy. The
current programme, LIFE III (2000-2004) co-finances large scale projects in
three areas: LIFE Nature, LIFE-Environment and LIFE-Third Countries.
More information:
NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Association
The NATO Science Programme offers support for international collaboration
between scientists from countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
(EAPC). Scientists from Mediterranean Dialogue countries are also eligible for
support for collaborative activities. These goals are implemented by several
instruments, such as basic, advanced and senior science fellowships.
All information:
- National Institutes of Health, USA
Various National Institutes of Health in the USA publish calls for proposals
from foreign (e.g. European) researchers in biomedical disciplines, at
different stages of their career. Due to the time-consuming US citizenship
procedures, it is paramount that researchers wishing to take part in an NIH
fellowship scheme plan their participation well in advance.
More information:
Public Health
- Community action programmes on public health
The new programme is effective from 1 January 2003 and runs until 31
December 2008. It has three main areas of activity: improving health
information, responding rapidly to health threats and tackling health
determinants. Core issues are health promotion, health monitoring,
communicable diseases, cancer and rare diseases.
Calls for proposals are published annually and mostly close around mid-May.
The External Assistance funding programmes can be found on the EUROPA
For information on the Directorates-General within the European
Commission, their scope and budgets:
3. The FP6 instruments
Compared to FP5, FP6 contains a wider range of better differentiated
instruments to implement the priority themes within the specific
programmes mentioned in Section 1. The following instruments are
available, the first two of which are new to the field:
Networks of Excellence (NoEs);
Integrated projects (IPs);
Article 169 (for the joint implementation of national programmes);
Specific targeted research projects (STREPs);
Coordination Actions (CAs);
Specific Support Actions (SSAs).
The principles that guided the Commission in their design were
simplification and streamlining (e.g. minimizing the overheads of all parties
concerned at all stages of the process, including those of the Commission
itself), flexibility and adaptability (applicable throughout all of the priority
themes), increased management autonomy and the need to preserve public
accountability, thus increasing the interests of the European community.
How all this will work out in the end for both researchers and managers
involved, remains to be seen.
We will now take a closer look at the instruments listed above.
3.1. Networks of Excellence
The primary purpose of the Networks of Excellence (NoEs) is to address the
problem of fragmentation in European research. They are concerned with the
durable structuring and shaping of European research on a particular topic
in order to strengthen excellence in that area. Furthermore, by investing
money in a partnership of excellent teams, the networks can also be
expected to generate new knowledge (but not as a primary goal).
NoEs will be implemented through a Joint Programme of Activities (JPA),
consisting of at least three components:
1. A programme of research activities, notably of long-term character.
2. A set of integrating activities, aimed at creating a strong and lasting
integration among the participants in an NoE. These could involve the
coordinated programming of the partners’ activities; the sharing of
research facilities, tools and platforms; joint management of the
partners’ knowledge portfolio; staff mobility and exchanges; and the
reinforcement of electronic communication networks to support
interactive working between teams.
3. A set of activities designed to spread excellence beyond the boundaries
of the NoE partners. These could include innovation-related activities and
communication campaigns for disseminating results and raising public
Volume NoE comprised in Programme of Activities
In the figure, the vertical volume of integration activities binds the network
together; that’s the part that will receive Community financing. The
horizontal blocks represent the volume of activities which each party to the
network (here there are five) brings in for integration. The essence is that
every party is legally bound to bring into the network the whole volume as
shown, even though only a small part of the financing of that volume is
derived from Commission budgets.
Source: UNITE website, Appendix 1 to the UNECA
All the NoE’s exploits should be carried out within a coherent management
framework. The scale of the critical mass will vary from topic to topic. The
larger networks can be expected to involve many hundreds of researchers. A
typical NoE should be made up of at least three participants from three
different Member States or associated states but, as with IPs, the number is
likely to be significantly higher: 20 partners are not uncommon.
To ensure lasting integration, Community support could be needed for five
years, and if justified, longer – but not more than seven years. The financial
support from the EC will be in the form of a fixed ‘grant for integration’,
which takes into account the expected degree of integration in the network.
Each call for proposals contains a reference table converting the number of
researchers into the annual average grant to be allocated. By way of
illustration, an NoE with 200 researchers being supported over a five-year
period would be eligible to receive a fixed amount of € 17.5 million (plus any
supplementary bonuses for doctoral students, engaged in the network’s
research activities).
Because the contract contains a payment-by-result scheme, the Commission
will develop a robust output monitoring format that consists of an annual
independent review of an NoE’s progress and its plans for the next period
(possibly mid-term), and an end-of-term review, taking stock of its
Measuring integration
Several criteria will be used along the way to measure integration. For
instance, there must be mutual specialization and mutual complementarity,
as well as an increased sharing of common research infrastructures,
equipment and platforms. The research projects undertaken should be
executed jointly and partners should be encouraged to adopt interactive
modes of working. All these criteria are laid down in the proper evaluation
manuals (see also Chapter 6).
Evolution of the Consortium
In the project execution phase, it may be necessary to attract new partners.
To that end, an NoE may publish a competitive call for partners – without
additional funding (only according to the present contract). The Commission
may do the same, but this time with additional funding.
3.2. Integrated projects (IPs)
The main purpose of IPs is to support objective-driven research, where the
primary deliverable is new knowledge. As they mobilize a critical mass of
expertise, IPs should also have a structuring effect on the European research
fabric. Each project must contain a research component (from basic to
applied) and may contain technological development and demonstration
components (as appropriate), as well as a training element. Most projects are
expected to be multidisciplinary in nature. The participation of SMEs in IPs is
strongly encouraged.
The effective management of knowledge (which is also basically a task for
every partner), and its dissemination and transfer, are also essential features
of each IP, as well as the analysis and assessment of the technologies
developed and of the factors relating to their exploitation.
The value of the activities is expected to be somewhere in the range of €1525 million and probably more, but there is no minimum threshold. There
must be a minimum of three participants from three different Member States
or associated countries. In practice, however, there are likely to be
substantially more participants. On average, just as with NoEs, there will
probably be around 15 or 20 partners in a Consortium. IPs are expected to
have a typical duration of between 3 and 5 years.
Community support will take the form of a ‘grant to the budget’. The costs
must be shown to be both necessary and ‘economic’, and be properly
recorded in each of the participants’ accounts. Each participant must provide
a simplified annual cost statement, together with a cost certificate by an
independent auditor certifying the overall total costs incurred. A major
simplification compared to the FP5 regime is the absence of predefined cost
categories, although these do pop up in the guidance texts by way of
reference (see for instance the Financial Guidelines).
The contract will specify the maximum Community contribution, but not the
distribution of the grant among the participants, enabling the Consortium to
manage its own financial affairs – and eliminating the source of much of the
micromanagement associated with FP5 contracts. The project will liaise with
the Commission through a coordinator, and a simplified contract signature
procedure will allow the contract to enter into force sooner.
For both new instruments, a Consortium Agreement is mandatory.
Mid-term evaluation FP6
In July 2004, Ramon Marimon, former Spanish Secretary of State and
chairman of a high level expert panel charged with carrying out a mid-term
evaluation of the new instruments introduced for FP6, presented his panel’s
findings to the informal Competitiveness Council. The report contains a
number of recommendations on the Integrated Projects and the Networks of
Excellence, some of which may be implemented in FP6’s second term, and
some which may be introduced in FP7. One of the recommendations is
concerned with the misconception that projects that use the new
instruments should be very large. Critical mass depends on the topic, the
thematic area, the participants, the potential impact and the added value.
The concept of ‘one size fits all’ should not be applied across all thematic
areas and instruments. In a first reaction, the Commission seems to agree on
this: Achilleas Mitsos, Director-General of the EC’s Research DG, stressed
that the distinctive characteristic of each instrument is not its size, but its
scope. ‘Networks of Excellence, Integrated Projects and STREPs have
different objectives. They have different raisons d’être. (…) To give an
example, we must be able to have a STREP, that is bigger in size than an
Integrated Project’ (CORDIS News, 5-7-2004).
The panel found the costs and risks of participation in FP6 to be
‘unreasonably high’. For this reason, it proposes implementing a two-step
evaluation procedure. This would involve potential participants first
submitting a short proposal, which would be evaluated according to a
limited set of criteria, including adequacy and excellence. The envisaged
improvement in feedback on the proposal brought about by this change will
allow potential participants to learn from experience, as well as providing
guidance for contract negotiation where the successful proposals are
The full report (29 pages) can be downloaded from CORDIS at
In a communication and working document, the Commission responded to each
individual recommendation, often underlining that it is aware of problems and has
taken moves to tackle them. The paper also outlines correctives measures that are
already under way or planned for the future.
The communication from the Commission can be located at
3.3. Article 169
Article 169 instruments have been around for quite some time, in fact since
the Amsterdam Treaty was concluded in 1992. So far, however, they have
remained unused within the context of a Framework Programme. The Article
covers the EU’s participation in research programmes undertaken by several
Member States. As the decision to initiate Article-169 research proposals lies
with the Member States’ national programme committees, this article is
expected to be used sparsely during FP6. A pilot Article-169 project is
currently being run, in the form of the European and Developing Countries
Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCCTP), a joint venture to enable clinical trials
for drugs and vaccines against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The
EDCCTP issues its own calls for proposals. In the Netherlands, the NWO
(Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) is a key partner engaged
in setting up an ‘Article 169’ network. Preparations are currently under way
for an upcoming initiative on ocean drilling.
3.4. Specific Targeted Research
(or Innovation) Projects
Specific Targeted Research Projects (STREPs) are one of the traditional
instruments already available during FP5 in the guise of RTD projects and
RTD and demonstration projects. STREPs can be used in specified cases in
certain calls for proposal, involving several priority themes in the specific
programmes. Generally speaking, they address a research and technological
development theme or a demonstration project to prove the viability of new
technologies offering potential economic advantages to the (EU) Community.
When exploring, validating and disseminating new innovative concepts,
we’re speaking of STIPs. As with IPs and NoEs, projects need at least 3
participants in 3 different Member States. The value of the activities may
reach up to several million euros and the typical duration is 2 to 3 years.
3.5. Coordination Actions (CAs) Coordination Actions (CAs) were formerly known as ‘concerted actions’. They
represented R&D collaboration at its purest level, bringing researchers
together for meetings, and providing funding for travel and accommodation.
They could also take the form of a thematic network. This modality will
basically play the same role in FP6 and so, compared to the weightier new
instruments, it represents a lighter touch in terms of facilitating research
collaboration around Europe or the rest of the world. The INCO programme
provides a prime example of an area in which the older instruments still play
a key role: it consists entirely of STREPs, CAs and SSAs.
3.6. Specific Support Actions
These are smaller instruments with a more modest financial scope and as
such they are the successors to the ‘accompanying measures’ used in FP5.
As their name suggests, they support certain thematic programme initiatives
through dissemination meetings, workshops, round tables and conferences.
The most prominent and well-known SSAs are the bursaries or Marie Curie
Fellowships, which – because of their enormous potential for impact on
research within the university – will be discussed in more detail in the next
3.6.1. Marie Curie Fellowships
The mobility of scientists is one of the most important pillars of FP6.
Mobility programmes have ranked among the more successful activities of
all the past FPs and have undergone frequent name changes: from ‘Science’
to ‘Human Capital and Mobility’, to ‘Training and Mobility of Researchers’
and (in its last incarnation in FP5) ‘Improving Human Potential’ (IHP). In the
IHP programme, the fellowships were named after Marie Curie (1867-1934),
the famous co-discoverer of radium as a high-energy applicant in surgery.
The new Human Resources and Mobility (HRM) programme has retained the
fellowship name, along with other aspects of the programme. It continues to
take a ‘bottom up’ approach, in which it is possible to propose fundamental
research projects outside the thematic priorities, but with an obvious focus
on training.
What has changed, however, is the scope of the mobility scheme. It is no
longer limited to doctoral students or postdocs, but is open to applicants
from ‘third’ countries as well. It aims to actively promote the return to
Europe of European scientists working in a third country in an effort to
counteract the brain drain. It also gives institutes the opportunity to apply
for funds to host researchers from abroad. This also applies to individual
scientists who wish to work in a lab or institute outside their country of
In general the HRM programme contains individual-driven and host-driven
actions (fellowships, but also training courses and conferences), and actions
for the promotion and recognition of excellence. (Recognition takes the form
of grants for outstanding teams, Marie Curie chairs and excellence awards,
none of which will be discussed further here. More information about these
possibilities can be obtained at the VU Liaison Office). The most important
fellowships are:
Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships (MC-EIF)
These fellowships are open to researchers of all ages from the EU and
associated states with at least 4 years’ professional experience or a
doctorate degree. The main purpose is to give them the financial means to
undergo advanced training through research or to acquire complementary
skills in a European organization or company that suits their professional
needs. These hosts must be willing to take on fellows for a 1 or 2-year stay.
Marie Curie Outgoing International Fellowships (MC-OIF)
These fellowships enable researchers from the EU and associated states to
broaden their international experience by working in research centres
outside the EU or associated states up to a period of 2 years, with a
reintegration phase of up to 1 year in the home institution.
Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowships (MC-IIF)
Incoming international fellowships target experienced researchers from
outside the EU or associated states who would like to come to Europe and
take part in some form of research training.
Marie Curie Research Training Networks (MC-RTN)
Other measures are also available to improve Europe’s mobility
attractiveness and research performance. The Marie Curie Research Training
Networks provide training and research experience for researchers of any
age or nationality by giving them the opportunity to spend between 3
months and 3 years in another country as part of an international highquality research project. The networks contribute to the transfer of
knowledge through the promotion of multidisciplinary research. They also
support the interaction and exchange of all research staff working on the
Marie Curie Fellowships for Early Stage Training (MC-EST)
In MC-EST, funding is available for universities, research institutes and
businesses in the EU or associated states to provide early-stage researchers
of any nationality or age with structured scientific or technological training
opportunities of between 3 months and 3 years. To apply for funding,
institutes must submit a proposal to the European Commission. The
Commission then selects the successful proposals and eventually signs a
contract with the institute. The successful institute is then free to select the
fellows directly. Researchers will be required to move to the country where
their host institute is based.
In FP6, the share of funds available for human resources and mobility has
increased by no less than 50% to € 1.58 billion. A truly astounding figure.
Behind this success story, however, lies the less encouraging truth about the
employment issues that surround an appointment as a Marie Curie fellow:
legal regulations regarding immigration, permits, labour relations, taxes and
so the list goes on. In the Dutch context, the tax department
(Belastingdienst) issued a policy document in May 2002, stating that the
fellows’ salaries are subject to income tax, since fellows are regarded as
employees according to income tax laws, not as bursary holders. At our
university, fellows are also seen as employees in the above sense (which
means that, although they do not build up pension in the ABP pension
scheme, they are insured under the Dutch Sickness Benefits Act (Ziektewet)
and Invalidity Insurance Act (Wet op de Arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering).
More information about this can be obtained at the Finance and Personnel
Department (Dienst Financiën en Personeel, see the Dutch text on the VU
website > Medewerkers > Werk > Regelingen personeel).
From 2002 on, a new problem could arise in the form of insufficient
reference rates for certain categories of researchers. The figures quoted in
the HRM work programme are based on a European survey of salaries
executed in 2002 in the context of the Mobility Strategy, without prior
consent from the Dutch Ministry of Education. The gross salaries have now
been renegotiated and ‘topped up’ to a reasonable level. Another round of
negotiations is expected in the near future. The Dutch Liaison Offices (united
in the NDLO) are fully aware of this problem; they can supply all additional
information about this issue (contact the VU EU Liaison Office about this).
In February 2003, the Commission issued the first Implementation Report (a
working paper) entitled A Mobility Strategy for the ERA. In this document,
the Commission set out its strategy to improve the environment for mobility,
in the form of a set of concrete instruments. In June 2004, EU Research
Commissioner Philippe Busquin launched the European Network of
Mobility Centres (ERA-MORE) in Paris. This network aims to offer a first
point of contact for researchers undertaking a mobility experience within the
EU. Researchers will receive help with a variety of issues, such as visas, work
permits, child care and language courses. The services are free at the point
of delivery.
More information available at:|1=4
A valuable source of additional information is provided by the website of the
Marie Curie Fellowship Association (MCFA). Past Marie Curie fellows / MCFA
members have written down their experiences of working abroad in a wide
range of EU countries. In their case histories, they focus upon local
administrative issues, social security, taxation, contractual problems,
accommodation and useful links and addresses. The MCFA Welcome Packs
can be found at:
Note: The Improving Human Potential website (the HRM programme’s name
during FP5) still publishes vacancies on the Internet for postdocs in research
training networks (RTN) at numerous host institutes all over the EU. More
information at:
Background information about the FP6 instruments can be found at:
For information on the Marie Curie actions go to:
The Commission’s Research Mobility Portal can be found at:
4. The Rules for Participation
The Rules for Participation are part of the FP legal framework, which means
they are subject to co-decision by the key players in the EU: the Council of
the European Union and the European Parliament. The rules govern the
practical implementation of all EU research activities under the FP and as
such, they set out provisions in relation to issues such as the country and
number of participating organizations, the type of financial instruments
used, the permitted funding modalities, evaluation principles, contract
regulations and dissemination of research results. The importance of the fact
that the Rules aren’t guidelines but represent European legislation (in other
words, they concern law) makes them worth examining in greater depth.
4.1. Participants
Participants have to be legal entities in Member States, associated candidate
countries, ‘third’ countries, Joint Research Centres or international European
interest organizations (e.g. European Economic Interest Groupings or other
entities whose composition meets the requirements). Legal entities from
‘third’ countries and international organizations – for example European
scientific cooperation organizations – may participate with EU funding in
certain cases, such as the Specific Programme 1 (the ‘integrating’ section)
and the INCO programme. For INCO countries, there is a budgetary limit to
participation (as stated in the work programme). For all other states,
participation including funding may be available when they are vital to the
realization of the project, as foreseen in the work programme and in the call.
A new element in FP6 is the opportunity given to Consortia to make changes
in partnerships. For NoEs and IPs, Consortia can also issue calls for
proposals themselves along the way, but always in strict accordance with the
Which countries can participate in FP6 without restriction (i.e. with
EU Member States
Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia,
Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom
Candidate Countries
Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Turkey
Associated Countries
Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland
Russia, the New Independent States, Mediterranean Countries, Western
Balkans and developing countries are subject to restrictions on participation
and funding.
For third countries with a cooperation agreement with the EU, like Argentina,
Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Africa,
Ukraine, USA (list Sept. 2002) funding has to be foreseen in the relevant
work programmes and in the call.
The EUROPA international scientific cooperation policy web pages contain an
up-to-date overview of all countries, together with the current status of their
agreements with the EU:
4.2. Instruments
All the instruments (except SSAs, like HRM ‘mobility’ actions) need at least 3
independent entities from 3 different Member States or associated states (or
2 Member States and 1 associated state) to constitute a project. In practice,
however, NoEs and IPs will be considerably larger, as noted above (8 to 10
participants or more in some cases). The rule of thumb ‘3 entities from 3
Member States’ finds its legal basis in the Rules for Participation. The
instruments are discussed in chapter 3.
4.3. Contractual provisions
Like the instruments, the contractual provisions have also been drastically
simplified for FP6. For one thing, there has been a significant reduction in
the number of contract types compared to FP5. The contracts that remain
have been incorporated into a collective approach, resulting in a skeleton
structure that can be adapted to fit the necessary project types according to
the instruments chosen. The contract always consists of a core section,
containing a standard text that is completed with project data, and 6
annexes, the first three of which are the most important. Annex I contains
the project description. Annex II sets out the General Conditions, including
the necessary definitions and the rules concerning the parties’ obligations,
consortium evolution, financial aspects (incl. reporting), intellectual property
rights and access rights. Annex III names the conditions specific to the
instrument in question, if applicable. This far-reaching simplification gives
the participants and the Commission greater flexibility and autonomy *).
A new development in this regard is the entering into force of the contract as
soon as it has been signed by the coordinator and the Commission. From
now on, it is the coordinator’s responsibility to acquire the other signatures
as soon as possible after this initial signing, but preferably in close contact
with his partners. This allows advance payments to be made to other
contractors. Furthermore, the project starts on the starting date stated in the
contract. The collective responsibility of the participants is twofold, and is of
a technical and a financial nature.
*) Note: for the Marie Curie actions, the Model Contract core text and the
Annexes have been slightly altered to suit mono and multi contractor
situations. There are contract text files for each of the Marie Curie action
types (EIF, EST, IIF, OIF, RTN, SCF/LCF, TOK etc.). See
Consortium Agreements
In most cases, and in any event with IPs and NoEs, the contract states that
the signatories are deemed to have concluded a Consortium Agreement,
which can be defined as the model contract’s ‘other half’. This agreement
regulates the internal operation and management of the Consortium,
including project management, financial management, any intellectual
property rights provisions and handling of pre-existing knowledge. It also
covers issues pertaining to the project’s governance, such as voting rights
and the relations between the Board of Directors and the other committees.
There are several kinds of templates for Consortium Agreements, taking
different approaches. These can be found on the websites of the European
Association of Research and Technology Organizations (EARTO) and the
Universities International Team of Experts (UNITE). UNITE consists of
European university negotiators, invited by the European Commission to
advise in their capacity as experts and members of what formerly was
IRDAC/ESTA, a prominent advisory body which prepared policy on the
modalities of European framework programmes for R&D. UNITE’s most
important deliverable for FP5 was the text of the Unified Consortium
Agreement (UCA). For FP6, a number of Consortium Agreement formats have
been prepared:
- UNITE and EARTO have joined efforts to produce their ‘own’ Integrated
Projects Consortium Agreement (EARTO_UNITE-IPCA). This CA includes
IPR clauses which are the most realistic and balanced for FP6, following
the CEC Rules;
- Industry and Academia have defined a ‘standard’ Consortium Agreement
for FP6 Integrated Projects, with the EICTA-IPCA as result. From the
university’s perspective, this format does not deal comprehensively
enough with IPR-related issues;
- Another Consortium Agreement for FP6 Integrated Projects has been
prepared by the French ANRT. This approach is more or less diametric to
the IPCA, but could serve in special academic circumstances;
- Helmholtz Gemeinschaft, KoWi and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (in close
cooperation with other German organizations and with members of
UNITE and EARTO) have devised a third Integrated Projects model;
- Lastly, a group of organizations (EARMA, EARTO, ANRT, UNITE) has
succeeded in producing a unified agreement for FP6 Networks of
Excellence, the UNECA.
All of these models, together with a wealth of valuable contextual
information, can be found and downloaded at
Although these formats have been extensively screened on legal issues, it is
stressed that the potential users always seek their legal counsel’s advice to
be sure that all their interests are covered and their rights are protected.
It is the coordinator’s responsibility to issue periodic progress reports on the
stage a project has reached, and also about its financial situation. The
Commission will perform scientific, technological and financial audits in the
course of the project, but there will be standard annual monitoring with help
from external experts, particularly in the case of IPs and NoEs.
Should financial irregularities be revealed, sanctions like exclusion from
further contract execution (and subsequent reimbursement of all
Commission payments) can be imposed upon the Consortium.
4.4. Financial provisions:
cost models
According to Annex III of the FP6 Decision and Art. 14, 1 and 2 of the Rules
of Participation, the EC financial contribution takes the form of
grants for integration (NoEs), grants to the budget (IPs) and lump sums
(scholarships, prizes, training actions such as MC fellowships).
The three cost models are:
- FC: a full-cost model in which all actual direct and actual indirect costs
may be charged to the contract;
- FCF: a simplified variant of the full-cost model, in which all actual direct
costs may be charged to the contract, together with a flat-rate of 20% of
all these direct costs, excluding subcontracts, which will be deemed to
cover all related indirect costs;
- AC: an additional cost model, covering all direct costs except for the
participant’s recurring costs (although recurring costs relating to
consortium management are eligible), together with a flat-rate of 20% of
all these direct costs, excluding subcontracts, which will be deemed to
cover all related non-recurring indirect costs.
From a legal perspective, the participant has to make a choice between these
different costing regimes. However, in practice the participant’s choices are
extremely limited. The FC model is open to all participants except
international organizations, physical persons and those public bodies
obliged to use the AC model. The FCF model is foremost available to SMEs.
The AC model is the most used model for entities like public non-profit
organizations, higher education institutes and universities (including
academic hospitals), which finance their research out of public (or
governmental) sources, and can therefore obtain a reimbursement of all the
supplementary (or additional) costs up to 100% from the Commission. For
the correct background to this principle, see Title VI Chapter 2, Article 109
of Regulation 1605/2002 (June): “The award of grants shall be subject to the
principles of transparency and equal treatment. They may not be cumulative
or awarded retrospectively and they must involve co-financing. [...] The grant
may not finance the entire costs of the action [...].”
Depending on the type of grant, the EU financing covers certain percentages
with regard to these models and the project type. The categories are given in
the table below.
Type of activity1
RTD activities (IP/STREP)
Demonstration activities (IP)
Innovation-related activities
Training activities
Consortium management
Maximum grant as % of full cost
(for participants applying the
FC or FCF model)
100% (up to a maximum
percentage of 7% of Community
Maximum grant as % of
additional cost (for participants
applying the AC model)
Up to 100%
Up to 100%
Up to 100%
Up to 100%
Up to 100% (up to a maximum
percentage of 7% of Community
It should be noted that for NoEs the grant for integration is calculated on a different
basis (see Chapter 3). For Marie Curie actions, fixed amounts are used (‘lump sum’).
Cost categories
Earlier we stated that pre-defined cost categories would no longer be used in
FP6. The general rule is that costs must be actual, economic and necessary
to the project and be incurred during the project’s lifetime. They must also
be recorded in the contractors’ accounts, but this may be done according to
the participants’ own accounting principles. Costs cannot include indirect
taxes, duties, interests and bad debts, or costs that have already been
reimbursed in relation to another EU project.
However, the well-known cost categories personnel, travel and subsistence,
durable equipment, subcontracting costs and overheads are discussed in
reference material like for instance the FP6 Financial Guidelines, as wellknown examples of eligible costs. This is worth noting, as the Financial
Statements only mention ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ costs!
FAQs on financial issues
In 2003 and 2004, the Network of Dutch Liaison Officers (NDLO), of which
the VU Liaison Office is a member, organized various seminars to keep
researchers, faculty managers and administrators abreast of possible
solutions to FP6 financial and contractual problems. It is common knowledge
that the principles of FP6 financials can be interpreted in many different
ways, thus creating a lot of confusion. Questions that led to a lively
discussion included:
Is it possible to choose between two cost models within one institution?
What are the VAT provisions for FP6 grants?
How can we prepare for audits during the project?
Do we have to keep accounts of all costs in the AC system?
Can management costs be charged to the contract?
Can the costs of permanent staff be reimbursed under the AC regime?
How do we deal with the financials in the Consortium Agreement?
Of course, the answers discussed are largely dependent on the context; still,
a few answers that have already been given may also apply in other specific
cases. A standard list of the most FAQs is available at the Liaison Office.
4.5. Intellectual property
rights (IPR)
Intellectual property rights (IPR) mostly concern the rules for dissemination
and use, access rights, dealing with pre-existing knowledge and so on. In
Part B of the project proposal, the Consortium is already required to shed
some light on the implementation plan for the first 18 months of the project,
in which issues pertaining to intellectual property rights may arise. These
rights are dealt with exclusively in Chapter 9.
Regulation (EC) No. 2321/2002 [...] of 16 December 2002 concerning the
Rules for the Participation of undertakings, research centres and universities
in [...] the implementation of the European Community Sixth Framework
Programme (2002-2006)
Accessible through
Guide to financial issues relating to indirect actions of the Sixth Framework
Programmes (draft for discussion purposes, updated regularly)
Downloadable at
5. How to write a competitive proposal in FP6
Researchers who wish to participate in FP6 cannot do so without thorough
preparation. However true this may have been for the previous framework
programmes, it is paramount for FP6, especially for the new instruments NoE
and IP because of their magnitude and their hold on the infrastructure of the
research institute. But even the ‘old’ instruments Coordination Actions and
Specific Support Actions, require scientific and technological excellence,
while Marie Curie host institutes also have to live up to very high standards.
If you feel you know these golden rules by heart, you are, of course, free to
skip this chapter. Nevertheless, the following practical tips may come in
Start early
Timely study of all the relevant reference documents will prove invaluable.
These include the text of the call for proposals, the work programme of the
specific programme you wish to address, the guiding documents (Guide for
Proposers, Guide for Evaluators) and the policy documents (White Papers,
Commission legislation papers, forum discussion documents, all kinds of
factsheets). The VU Liaison Office can play an important role during this
phase. As the primary support desk for RTD and other programmes outside
FP6, it provides an early warning service for all faculties. Of course, there are
other sources and you may have to use more of these. The VU Liaison Office
is a small operation with an extremely limited number of staff and is
therefore only capable of playing a general role in this respect. The national
SENTER/EG Liaison Office, however, is a specialized office with advisors on
each RTD priority topic, and it is also able to deal with scientific,
management and legal aspects. It is more than capable of handling any
questions you may have concerning FP6.
As faithful followers of FP6 may have noticed, the draft texts of work
programmes and the minutes of Commission services’ sessions affecting
decision-making are often made available through liaison-group networks, of
which the VU Liaison Office is a member. Your own connections in your field
of work can serve as another useful source of information. Make good use of
all these networks! You can start by making an appointment with us (see
Chapter 10) and we’ll see what we can do for you.
Watch your WP
Due to intermediate project results and concurrent policy changes, Work
Programmes change constantly. Keep a close watch on updated versions of
WPs, which are often written as a complement to earlier documents. This
differs per thematic priority!
A concise table with an overview of all relevant documents per TP (including
call texts and their annexes, and Commission decisions) with download
possibilities can be found at:
Don’t try to force a square peg into a round hole
One of the fundamental principles of framework programmes is ‘matching’:
trying to fit the research subject into a specific programme topic or a set of
topics (Note: ‘matching’ can also mean putting pieces of the financial puzzle
together.) Our advice here, derived from extensive experience, is: it’s better
to work the other way round. See if there are possibilities in the current or
upcoming work programmes that might be of interest to you. Remember, it
is the European Commission that is launching a tender to acquire the
necessary expertise in the Community to help solve an economic, social,
technological or scientific problem, and it’s the Commission that sets the
standards (within reasonable parameters), not the research community (at
least, not in most ‘top down’ programmes). So, as a very experienced
colleague liaison officer of ours (see reference) always stresses: never go to
Brussels to only look for money for your research!
It is important to realize that if you find the relevant paragraph in a work
programme, but encounter some other criteria which cannot be easily met
(e.g. your proposal seems only to apply to the state of the art in your
research discipline and not to provide clear added value to the Community,
or you find yourself reluctant to take on managerial issues or innovation
aspects) then this basically means that you are not really prepared to live up
to the Commission’s expectations. It may sound a bit patronizing, but all
this should be a reason to strap yourself a bit more firmly into the seats at
the EU documents library. Simply paying lip service to the terms of the
proposal is not a viable option. Indeed, it might even turn into a breach of
Or you might want to try in another round of calls in FP6, or wait until FP7.
Find the right partners (or coordinator)
A good partner is someone you can trust blindly and completely. This isn’t
only true of personal relationships, but all the more in Consortia co-funded
by European Community budgets. With the advent of important new
instruments, it has become increasingly imperative that partners combine
their resources to provide added value on an RTD issue because of the
complementary skills that are needed to carry out the work successfully.
There is a strong chance that you will be a partner in one of the big
Consortia IPs or NoEs, so it’s in your best interests to hook up with a
coordinator who understands all the procedures and policy debates and who
is privy to a great deal of inside ‘Brussels’ information on the framework
programmes and instruments. Of course, it goes without saying that, when
you see fit to embark on an NoE, you, your other partners and your
coordinator should all excel in the field, all share a desire to end the
fragmentation of ‘your’ scientific discipline and all understand that the
Community money you are about to receive is to be used solely to carry out
a joint programme of activities (which covers a smaller portion of the
research agenda you are following). And you, as a partner, must be
absolutely sure that your coordinator has no tricks up his sleeve and is not
aiming to score at your expense. All this really is of the utmost importance!
At this moment (at the start of 2004), it is still not easy to make a reliable
forecast about the management of the big projects that will rarely be
executed with less than the minimum eligible partner count: eight or ten. But
no doubt it will take up a lot of the project manager’s time to see to all the
necessary tasks, to keep all communication channels open and to perform
adequate proposal engineering.
The Dutch Liaison Officers’ network and the SENTER/EG Liaison agency, can
offer help in drawing up partner profiles. Contact the VU Liaison Office about
this special service. A basic link is offered at
Read other applications
As a potential coordinator, you need to understand how others with proven
excellence (or benefits) in the field have done their work. Try to get hold of
as many applications as you can. There is no better way of studying the
‘tone of voice’ of a proposal before sitting down to compile your own project
concept. The same goes of course for partners that have to provide their
part of the project text.
How does all this work?
Let’s take a brief look at the first part of the liaison process. Either the VU
Liaison Office has traced a possible ‘match’ between your expertise and the
EU-RTD problem, or you have found out about it yourself (mostly thanks to a
tip-off from one of your colleagues). You are then free to explore the
preliminary process that can lead to the eventual submission of a proposal.
There is absolutely no need to obtain certain signatures from the university
authorities (at least, not at this stage – see later about the communication
within the faculty or institute). Faculties at the VU and the VUmc have
legislative and administrative powers to engage in contract preparation and
execution by themselves. They have been mandated to do so – up to a
certain level – by the VU Executive Board (College van Bestuur) or, in case of
the VU University Medical Center (VUmc), the Governing Board (Raad van
But experience of former FPs has taught that there are many advantages to
accumulating expertise at central university level. It is time-consuming
enough for researchers to keep up with developments in their own scientific
fields, without having to look up all the specific details needed to help turn a
scientific abstract or project description into an RTD proposal that will stand
out in an EU crowd. And that’s exactly where the Liaison Offices come in. It
is wise to forward a project idea to the ‘national’ SENTER/EG Liaison bureau,
where project advisors specialized in all the ins and outs of the thematic
priorities often act as National Contact Points for the EU’s research priorities.
The VU Liaison Office provides its clients with more general feedback and
services, for instance checking if the proposal is compliant with relevant EU
policy information or subjecting a handout containing some rough project
ideas to a first read-through.
The next step for the client who is aiming to be a coordinator and who is
seeking the VU Liaison Office’s expert advice, is to compose a first draft of
the proposal, taking the following criteria into account:
- title, acronym
- the relevant part of the specific programme(s) it addresses
- the instrument to be used
- a short summary, preferably no longer than five A4
- a statement of the main objectives
- a brief description of the state of the art and the contribution of the
proposed project to the state of the art
- an account of the EU dimension of the problem and the project’s
contribution to solving the problem
- description of the composition of the Consortium (who is the
coordinator? who are the partners and why were they chosen?)
- forecast of outcome/foreseen results
- usefulness of possible exploitation
- estimate of the time span in relation to the requested budget, as well as
the amount of funding requested from the EU.
It is advisable to write as concisely as possible; the recommended number of
pages is 5.
The Liaison Office will pass comment on the draft, and a second (or third)
opinion may be available from Brussels desk offices. In the meantime, the VU
Liaison Office will have gone through the regular channels to deliver the
necessary documents so that you can start composing the real thing (see the
first paragraph of this chapter).
It may be a good idea to participate in network meetings at which the future
partners collaborate by focusing on the task that lies ahead. The Dutch
European Community Liaison agency (EGL) organizes all kinds of
information, dissemination and brokerage events to assist in aligning EURTD processes. Keep a lookout for these by reading R&D in Europa (a
monthly publication) or by regularly checking the EGL web pages
In addition, there are all kinds of organizations that provide potentially
valuable training courses on aspects of FPs:
- Hyperion Ltd. (Ireland), in collaboration with the European Association of
Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA) regularly organizes
courses on writing a competitive proposal and negotiating and
administering an FP contract. Over the last few years, the VU has been a
frequent co-organizer of the Hyperion courses. Hyperion also issues
handbooks and brochures on different aspects of the Framework
Programmes. For a full overview, see;
- EARMA itself (in cooperation with the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe)
offers a series of training courses in research management each year,
including FP6 topics, see
- opportunities for training offered by SENTER/EG Liaison can be found at
the above-mentioned URL;
- PQ Consulting, a small consultancy firm in the Higher Education sector,
regularly holds preparatory FP6 workshops in London or Newcastle in
collaboration with Bluebell Research Ltd. The URL is;
- another UK firm, Singleimage Co., advises and assists companies,
universities, research organizations and administrative bodies who wish
to participate in the European Union's research programmes, especially
the IST priority. More info at
- the Network of Dutch University Liaison Officers has recently offered to
share the expertise of UNITE negotiators with clients from the universities
that participate in the network. To date, three informative meetings have
taken place, in June and August 2003 and in March 2004, dealing with the
day-to-day financial practice involved in executing an FP6 project. More
workshops of this kind (‘FP6 clinics’) are expected to follow, during which
case studies will be presented.
All of these preparations eventually culminate in a fully fledged proposal,
which is then sent to the European Commission. Whether the story ends here
or continues to the next phase, depends on a favourable evaluation (see the
next chapter).
Keep the management informed!
Unlike FP5, the procedural simplifications for FP6 mean that the
countersigning of application forms by the director of operations (‘directeur
bedrijfsvoering’) at a faculty or institute only takes place at a later stage.
However, regardless of the type of engagement (partner, coordinator) and
the type of FP6 RTD proposal, applying for participation is a time-consuming
business which also impacts on the department’s infrastructure if the
proposal is selected for funding. In cases where a department becomes a
leading light in several project proposals, the impact is even greater. With
this in mind, it is important to keep the management at the VU (or at your
faculty) informed about what is about to happen, even though there may be
no legal necessity to do so as yet, and even if the proposal never gets past
the initial phase. Make sure you talk to your director of operations (or at the
VUmc: your cluster manager) about the possibility of he or she being asked
to sign the forms at some point in the future. Always supply him or her with
copies of any proposals once they have been submitted. Also make sure that
your research policy officer (‘beleidsmedewerker onderzoek’) knows about
your EU ventures. Clear communication on such matters will be greatly
- R&D in Europa, a monthly publication (in Dutch) from SENTER/EG Liaison,
about Dutch research and technological development (free subscription
available at the SENTER/EG Liaison Office, PO Box 30732, 2500 GS The
- Research Europe, a bimonthly publication about all aspects of European
RTD (subscription rate: € 695 a year for 22 issues, at
[email protected])
- Research Europe Online: free trial available at [email protected] or
- CORDIS, the Community’s R&D server at
- the CORDIS FP6 glossary, for all background information on RTD topics:
How to Write a Competitive Proposal for Framework 6. A Research
Manager’s Handbook. By Sean McCarthy, Hyperion Ltd, Watergrasshill, CoCork, Ireland, 2003.
How to Negotiate, Manage, Administer and Finish Framework 5 and
Framework 6 Contracts. By Sean McCarthy, Hyperion Ltd, Watergrasshill, CoCork, Ireland, June 2004.
More information about these publications and the Hyperion portfolio at
6. The proposal submission and evaluation process
6.1. Proposal submission
The submission process starts off with the call for proposals, provided for in
the work programme (the ‘call fiche’) and published in the Official Journal of
the European Union (C series): calls may encompass a single or a two-stage
submission and evaluation procedure.
A call for proposals may be preceded by an invitation to submit Expressions
of Interest. This is the Commission’s way of consulting the research
community on the viability of ideas about certain well-described RTD topics.
Thousands of researchers are already familiar with this procedure because
they were engaged in the Expressions of Interest exercise to help the
Commission focus upon the research priorities of FP6, from March until June
Compared to FP5, the proposal submission stage has become much more
transparent. To begin with, the administrative forms for the proposal have
been simplified. Proposers now only have to fill in three ‘A’-forms instead of
• Form A1 contains general information about the proposal: title, abstract
(up to 1500 words) and keywords;
• Form A2 gives all the necessary data on the coordinator and the partners
(only 1 sheet per partner): organization name, address, legal status,
activity type (R&D, innovation, demonstration, training, management) and
telephone/fax/e-mail numbers and addresses;
• Form A3 is the cost breakdown by type of activity and per partner.
The work and Consortium description, which used to be known as Parts B
and C in FP5, are combined and the anonymity requirement for what used to
be Part C no longer applies (there is one exception, in the INCO thematic
Part B
Part B contains all the necessary technical information about the proposal.
The Guide for Proposers (available on CORDIS) gives a general outline of the
headers that have to be used, and the recommended length in pages.
Although the outline differs per programme and per instrument, a general
structure is the following:
- Front page (full title, acronym, date of preparation, type of instrument)
- Contents page
- Proposal summary page (full title, acronym, objectives addressed, proposal
- Scientific and technological objectives of the project/state of the art
- Relevance to the objectives of the programme
- Potential impact
- Workplan (work planning, graphical presentation, work package list and
- Deliverables list
- Project management
Mostly some preformatted forms follow in the Guide, like a ‘Project Effort
Form’, ‘Work package list’ and ‘Work package description’ forms. Lastly, the
‘Ethical rules annex’ has to be filled in, as well as ‘Integrating the gender
dimension annex’
The proposer can choose between four means of submission:
- preparation offline, submission online;
- preparation online, submission online;
- preparation offline, submission on CD or diskette (with a paper backup);
- preparation offline, submission on paper (only one copy required).
Electronic submission only!
For some calls – for instance: Marie Curie - , proposals for RTD actions are
‘invited’ to be submitted only as an electronic proposal. However, a
coordinator may request permission from the Commission to submit on
paper in advance of a deadline. If this is the case, it is mentioned explicitly in
the ‘core’ call text (i.e. before the Annex).
Pre-registration and pre-proposal check
Proposers are encouraged to pre-register their proposals electronically –
preferably weeks before the deadline! - through CORDIS
( The form is to be filled in only
once by the proposal coordinator – it is essential that he has all of the details
concerning the proposal (e.g. proposal details, call identifier, instrument,
activity codes, participant details, etc.) at hand in order to complete the
Some – but not all! - programmes offer pre-proposal checks. To this end, the
Commission services supply coordinators with a standardized checklist, to
help them assess whether their proposal appears to be within the scope of
the call. This list is then sent to the relevant Directorate-General for
examination. The submission of a pre-proposal, however, is not obligatory
and the feedback provided by Commission staff does not commit the
Commission to select the proposal. Nor does it oblige the proposer to
submit or withdraw the proposal.
New electronic submission system
The successor to the FP5 PROTOOL instrument is called EPSS (Electronic
Proposal Submission System). The system, basically an IT infrastructure in
itself, is composed of the following components:
- the Electronic Proposal Tool (EPT), an application that enables the offline
preparation and submission of electronic proposals. Proposal coordinators
use EPT for preparation purposes, to edit forms and to submit the
proposal, while proposal partners use EPT to edit forms;
- the Evaluation Service Provider (ESP), designed to assist the people
engaged in the evaluation and selection of project proposals, by hosting a
proposal/results database;
- EXSIS: EXperts Sub-Information System, with an experts database;
- the Proposal Management System/Contract Generation and Project
Management Tool (PMS/CGPM), which will store all documentation about
proposal ranking and the reports that are used by the Commission in
deciding whether to reject or fund proposals, as well as the model
contracts and project management formats. This subsystem can also be
used for the contract deliverables during the project execution phase.
EPSS is accessible on the Internet (CORDIS,, and can also be used offline as a download
instrument. One of the most important modifications compared to PROTOOL
is the standardizing of text formats. Since text files processed in Word are
highly susceptible to computer viruses, the EPSS tool is equipped to make up
the texts in RTF and PDF, which are relatively free of virus contamination.
Minimum installation requirements are Pentium II 166 MHz or faster (350
MHz is recommended), and Windows 98/NT/2000/XP, Linux 2.4.x or any
other Java compatible platform. Adobe Acrobat is needed in order to view
and print the PDFs generated. Free software can be downloaded at
Deadline for reception
To be eligible, proposals MUST be received by the Commission services
before or on the deadline at the address that is given in the call.
Once a proposal has been received and registered by the Commission, an
Acknowledgement of receipt will be either returned electronically in case of
electronic submission, or sent to the co-ordinator in case of paper
submission (CD-rom/diskette).
6.2. Proposal evaluation
The evaluation is governed by a number of well-established principles:
proposals must have highly developed scientific, technical and managerial
qualities, the decision-making process with regard to evaluation and funding
must be transparent and be available to any interested party, proposals must
be treated equally and impartially and the whole process must be handled
efficiently and quickly.
Immediately after the project proposal has reached its destination
(electronically or by regular post), the packages are opened for the purpose
of registering the administrative details and to permit acknowledgement of
receipt. The file contents of electronically prepared proposals are entered
into the Commission’s database. Next, all proposals are archived under
secure conditions. The following information is also noted as part of these
standard eligibility checks:
- date and time of receipt of the proposal on or before the deadline;
- the required minimum number of eligible, independent partners in the
Consortium (as set out in the work programme and the call text);
- the completeness of the proposal (are all the necessary administrative
forms present?);
- other requirements stated in the call text.
The acknowledgement of receipt is sent to the prime proposer by e-mail,
fax, or post. This contains the proposal title, acronym and unique proposal
identifier (proposal number), the name of the programme, the thematic
priority and – if relevant – the call identifier to which the proposal is
addressed and, lastly, date and time of receipt at the Commission’s entry
The next step is the individual reading by 3 or more evaluators (depending
on the instrument: IPs and NoEs will have 5 or probably more). These are
high-ranking scientists in various fields who are generally considered to have
the appropriate skills to judge the incoming proposals, thanks to their high
level of professional experience in the public or private sector within areas
related to the FP. Before starting their work, the evaluators are all briefed indepth by the Commission about the evaluation process and the criteria to be
applied. To ensure impartiality, the evaluators sign a confidentiality and
‘conflict of interest’ declaration. A new feature in FP6 is the possibility for
evaluators to do the work from a distance (e.g. at their office or at home,
using the EPSS). They are no longer required to be present at a venue in
Marks and comments for each block of criteria (examples can be found in
the next paragraph) are given on a standard individual evaluation form.
Criteria may vary between the different areas and instruments. The same is
true of weighting and thresholds. Bonus marks may be awarded in cases
where a proposal addresses issues relating to gender or science and society
in a particularly effective way. The form used at this stage is called the
individual assessment report form (IAR).
Important criteria
Undoubtedly, most of the evaluation criteria used for judging an FP6
proposal will look familiar to FP veterans. Nevertheless, a short enumeration
of the most relevant topics may prove useful. For IPs and NoEs, the main
common criteria are:
- relevance of the objectives of the specific programme;
- the potential impact of the project on the state of the art in the research
discipline in question and the potential impact on the Community;
- organization and management of the Consortium, both of which are
required to be of outstanding quality.
In addition, the criterion of scientific and technological excellence is of
particular significance for IPs, while for NoEs, the excellence of the
participants and the quality of the integration have been written into the
project. After all, NoEs try to tackle fragmentation in a scientific discipline by
bringing about a deep and durable integration of the partner institutes that
is expected to continue beyond the period of Community support.
The Guides for Proposers contain basic sets of criteria per instrument, i.e.
IPs, NoEs, STREPs, CAs, SSAs, HRM actions and specific research projects for
SMEs. Where STREPs are concerned, there has to be a satisfactory plan for
the management of knowledge, intellectual property and other innovationrelated activities. Meanwhile, for HRM projects, particular attention has to be
given to European needs and demands for training and knowledge transfer
in the specified research area. The excellent quality and capacity of either
host or fellow also have to be addressed explicitly.
Proposal marking
The evaluators give a general mark for each evaluation criterion on a scale
from 0 to 5. The scores indicate the following:
0 = the proposal fails to address the issue under examination due to
missing or incomplete information
1 = poor
2 = fair
3 = good
4 = very good
5 = excellent
A consensus is arrived at on the basis of all these individual assessments.
There must be general agreement on consensus marks and comments for
each of the criteria blocks. To mark the end of the administrative process, an
overall consensus report is drawn up for a concluding panel meeting, at
which final marks for each proposal are given, as well as suggestions for the
priority order on the shortlist, for the possible clustering of proposals,
amendments and so on.
During this process, panels may convene hearings at which proposal
representatives are given the opportunity to clarify certain points of their
proposal and answer evaluators’ questions. These hearings are not designed
to give proposers an opportunity to present their proposal! In cases where
proposals receive the same marks following the initial examination, the
panel will call a re-examination with a view to placing them in order of
priority, if possible and relevant.
The final panel report is always signed by the panel rapporteur and the panel
chairperson. This report represents the evaluators’ advice to the
Commission. Proposers will receive an Evaluation Summary Report (ESR),
based on this document. At a minimum, the ESR reflects the panel’s views
for each block of criteria and lists the overall comments and a final overall
score, as well as the consensus arguments.
At this stage, the Commission services take care of the follow-up by issuing
the final ranking lists and the ESR to the coordinators, accompanied by a
‘quick info letter’. All this information is also sent to the Programme
Committee, which plays an advisory role. Finally, the Commission decides
whether to select or reject each proposal, and initiates the contract
negotiation phase for those selected (see Chapter 7).
The coordinators of the rejected proposals are informed in a personal letter
(not an e-mail) explaining the reasons why their proposal was not selected.
The Commission reserves the right to draw up a reserve list of proposals
that have been involved in contract negotiation without agreement on
funding, or proposals for which funding was previously unavailable (for
instance in case of an open call submission or when budget reallocations
have occurred).
Evaluation of two-stage proposals
In a two-stage proposal submission procedure, the evaluation of the short
proposal (composed of only 10-15 pages) is based on the full proposal
process described above. Submitters who pass all the thresholds are
subsequently invited to complete the text within a given time frame. The
invitation to do so is sent to the coordinator, together with the consensus
report on the short text.
Guidelines on Proposal Evaluation and Selection Procedures (COM
C/2003/883; 27.03.2003)
Guidance Notes for Evaluators (these vary per call identifier)
Both documents can be accessed through the calls page on the CORDIS
7. Contractual regulations
7.1. Contract negotiation
For proposals selected for funding, the European Commission will start
negotiation meetings with the Consortium to establish a contract. Before the
talks start, the proposers receive the Evaluation Summary Report, informing
them of the evaluation results and the changes that have to be effected. The
letter in which the Commission invites the proposers to enter into
negotiations, also outlines the ‘Framework for Negotiation’ in which the
suggestions for emendations in the project proposal are laid down. The
letter also includes a time schedule and location for the meetings (usually
Brussels or, in some IST cases, Luxembourg), the name of the project officer
(sometimes assisted by one or more members of the Administrative Staff),
who will represent the Commission during the negotiations and who is
responsible for the project throughout its duration and the so-called
‘negotiation mandate’: the framework of the EC financial contribution for
this particular project.
By way of preparation for the negotiation talks, the project officer asks the
coordinator to fill in Contract Preparation Forms (CPF). There are CPFs for
each instrument. They are designed to be as compatible as possible with the
proposal submission forms, so that the information can be directly
transferred. Duly completed CPFs must be received at least five working days
prior to the first negotiation meeting. The final agreed version of the CPFs
must be submitted to the project officer in two unbound copies on white
paper with original signatures, and in electronic format using either the
Word version or (preferably) the CPF editor application. Required supporting
documentation (if any) should also be provided in duplicate. Partners also
have to fill in their share of CPFs: normally only forms A2a, A2b and A2c
(dependent on the instrument).
The coordinator normally attends the negotiation meetings. The other
members of the Consortium are not required to be present. However, it is of
importance to take along at least one other key partner (or the financial
manager from the Administrative Support Team – for details, see Chapter 8)
to keep the negotiation teams on both sides in balance. Although standard
negotiation procedure mentions two meetings, in some cases the PO may
decide to restrict the talks to a single session. On the other hand, more than
two meetings may be necessary.
CPF guidance
The Liaison Office has prepared a small guideline to facilitate the filling in of
CPFs – the administrative forms (part A), with standard answers to questions
about legalities (address, legal status, cost model). Call the LO for this
Negotiation is no guarantee for funding
At first sight, there doesn’t seem to be a cloud in the sky when the
Commission’s negotiation offer is delivered to the coordinator: what could
possibly go wrong at this stage? To put it bluntly: everything. To start with,
the consortia may have asked more money for their projects than there is to
spend, so budget cuts will be proposed. The level of funding offered at
negotiations may be unacceptable to the project participants, taking account
of the often proposed changes in the work packages. Then, individual
participants may wish to withdraw during the course of negotiations due to
budget distribution problems. If the Commission thinks that the withdrawal
of one proposer has removed a significant justification for doing the work,
or a vital necessary resource, it may terminate further negotiation talks or
suspend them, until the partners have come up with a solution that is
acceptable to both sides. And potential signatories may be subject to a
financial check, which could result in problems discovered concerning the
legal and/or financial status or lack of certification. And lastly, funding must
be committed promptly (i.e. in the budget year for which the call is
published). The slowing down of the negotiation process could endanger
that in a serious manner. The letter of invitation mostly specifies the time
limit for negotiations for ‘your’ specific project.
7.2. Contract signature
Assuming that the negotiations proceed favourably, the Commission draws
up a contract establishing the rights and obligations of all participants. In
particular, these include provisions for scientific, technological and financial
monitoring, procedures for the updating of objectives, changes in
Consortium membership, payment of the Community’s financial contribution
and rules for dissemination and use of knowledge. The contract is concluded
between the European Commission and the coordinator on behalf of the
The conclusion of a Consortium Agreement is obligatory for most actions in
order to fix the conditions and modalities of cooperation between partners.
For NoEs and IPs, the Consortium Agreement has to be signed before the
contract. The EC is not party to Coordination Actions and does not therefore
have to give its approval in such cases.
As already mentioned in Chapter 4, the contract has been simplified
considerably. In FP5, there were 32 model contracts, one for each
instrument. In FP6, there is only one, with a variable annex per instrument. It
consists of a single core and 6 annexes, which form an integral part of the
- Annex I: The description of the work
- Annex II: General Conditions
- Annex III: Specific provisions related to the instrument
- Annex IV: Form A – consent of contractors to accede to the contract
- Annex V: Form B – accession of new legal entities of the contract
- Annex VI: Form C – financial statement per instrument
In Annex 3 of this guide, a contract outline is given by way of reference.
The core contract is made with the coordinator, as stated above, who then
signs it on behalf of the Consortium. The Consortium members must accede
within a given number of days (mostly between 45 and 90). Mandates, as
used in FP5, have disappeared. Failure to accede may result in termination of
the contract by the Commission. The areas dealt with in the core contract
- the maximum financial contribution by the Commission; (This is the only
figure in the contract; all other financial decisions, like the distribution of
funds, originate from the Consortium.)
- the reports, due within 45 days of the end of the period; (The Commission
is required to respond within 60 days or the reports are deemed to be
- the payment modalities, according to the specified reporting periods.
The contract is drawn up under Belgian law, which means that it is guided by
the principle of ‘good faith’.
Annex II contains the definitions of all categories: knowledge, pre-existing
know-how, use, access rights, and many other background concepts like
financial provisions (including audit certificates) and provisions in the event
of contract breach. Of course, the general legal and administrative rules are
also included, like for instance the Consortium’s obligations. The
Consortium must take all necessary and reasonable measures to obtain the
intended results and to ensure efficient implementation. Furthermore, the
Commission has to be informed of changes that might affect the project’s
implementation and the rights of the Community. To that end, detailed data
must be provided. The coordinator plays a leading intermediary role. He is
the primary communicator within the Consortium and he receives and
distributes all payments made by the Commission (‘postman and banker’).
He must ensure there are no conflicts of interest within the team which
might jeopardize the course of the project. Contractors have their own
obligations, like upholding certain ethical principles and safeguarding equal
As far as reporting is concerned, scientific reports are due every 12 months,
providing a Consortium-level overview of the activities carried out by the
partners during the designated period, a description of the progress made
towards scientific and technological objectives and possible innovationrelated activities. A periodic management report must also be prepared,
including a justification of the resources deployed by the contractors. A
summary financial report is also required, bringing together the costs
incurred by all of the contractors in an aggregate form, on the basis of the
financial statements they fill in. Sixty days at the latest after the end of the
certification period, each contractor has to submit an audit certificate,
stating the correctness of the information given in the financial statement.
Background documents
The Research Directorate-Generals set up a Model Contract Working Group
to work on the drafting of model contracts for the new instruments for FP6.
The working group was mandated to hold regular meetings with
representatives of Member States and associated states. Most of the
available material can be found on the following website (as well as on the
relevant CORDIS pages):
Legal documents about the VU
During FP5, Brussels regularly contacted contractors asking them for
documentation regarding the legal status of the Vrije Universiteit. In most
cases, the officials at the Directorate-General accepted excerpts from the
Chamber of Commerce register or a copy of the VU statutes or the university
Before negotiations – in the CPF phase – all participants must be able to
provide, upon request, up-to-date copies of the legal documents establishing
the organization (i.e. certification of registration and or articles of
association. The legal existence of this material must pre-date the contract
signature (coordinator) or the accession to the contract (the other partners).
So, in addition to the material that was mentioned earlier, the following
documentation has been prepared at the central university level:
a statement, signed by the chairperson and the vice chairperson of the
Executive Board, certifying that the VU, as a legal body governed by
public law, is an institution for higher education established under the
Higher Education and Research Act, and as such is fully funded by the
Dutch Government;
an organization chart depicting the structure of the VU and VU University
Medical Center (in Dutch and English);
for financial purposes, selected sections of the most recent Annual
Report (with the audit report) are available.
All of these documents can be obtained at the VU Liaison Office; on the VU
website ( the following can be downloaded:
• the organization chart, at ‘English’ > ‘Organization’ > ‘Organization
chart’ (or Dutch: ‘Organisatie’ > ‘Over de VU’ > ‘Organogram VU’). Hard
copies (full colour) are available at the Department of Communications
(tel. 45666), e-mail [email protected]
• the Annual Report, at ‘Organisatie’ > ‘Over de VU’ > ‘Jaarverslag VU’
(Dutch only)
• the ‘Statuut VU’, ‘Universiteitsreglement’ and ‘Statuten VU-Vereniging’ at
‘Organisatie’ > Reglementen
8. Project execution
The participants’ main obligations are to carry out the project within a set
time limit, within the objectives of the work programme, and to use and
disseminate the results. For its part, the Commission undertakes to make a
financial contribution towards the execution of the project, usually by
reimbursing a percentage of the project costs.
The Commission gives a full account of its interests once the contract has
been signed. Since it shares responsibility for the content and the impact of
the project, it is very much in the Commission's interests that the project be
successful. To this end, the Commission assigns a project officer to each
project. The project officer monitors the project to ensure that it develops in
accordance with the contract (in terms of deliverables, milestones and
finance). This individual is an important counterpart to the project
coordinator. The project officer should be contacted if any problems,
unexpected situations or irregularities occur during project implementation.
The contract comes into force on the day it is signed by the coordinator and
the Commission.
8.1. Outline of collective
In the event of problems or failure on the part of one or more participants,
Consortia are bound to take all necessary measures at management,
scientific and technical level to fulfil the objectives of an operation. Noncompliance with the stated planning and objectives by one or more partners
should be addressed immediately and with a high degree of professionalism.
Furthermore, solutions should be based on the principle of mutual support.
Should one or more partners fail to comply with the planning and objectives,
their role will be taken over by other partners (or new partners).
Aside from this purely technical responsibility, there is also a collective
financial responsibility. However, this does not apply to public sector bodies,
nor to private non-profit organizations acting as public bodies. This means
the university is excluded from collective financial responsibility.
Since the Consortium is responsible for the successful progress of the
project, strong and decisive internal and external management is a must.
This is especially true with regard to FP6, in which the Consortium is
required to provide nearly all internal and external management. To this
end, the Consortium has to establish a mechanism for decision-making,
budgeting control and reporting. Depending on the type of instrument
involved, this requires a more formal management system than those used
in previous framework programmes. This is particularly the case with the
new instruments, within which this management task takes on enormous
The following three-layered, practical model can be quite easily adapted to
fit all Commission projects.
1. The top decision-making level and high-level advice
2. The management level
3. The work level
Source: UNITE website, Appendix 1 to the UNECA
The Assembly consists of fully authorized representatives from all parties.
These are the decision-makers. The Assembly's decisions have an enormous
impact on all parties and are binding for all parties.
The coordinator's two basic tasks with respect to the Commission are those
of ‘banker’ and ‘postman’. In most cases, the coordinator also has more
extensive tasks. He chairs the Assembly, to ensure the effective
dissemination of information within the Consortium, and is a member of the
Executive Committee.
Executive Committee
The Executive Committee forms the managerial heart of the Consortium. It
consists of the coordinator and the head of the Task Forces. While the
Assembly exercises decision-making power in all main areas, the Executive
Committee is responsible for the supervision and guidance of all Consortium
planning, reporting and archiving. It budgets, plans and performs typical
management and coordination tasks. Given the enormous workload
involved, especially in the larger projects, it is advisable for the Executive
Committee to set up an Administrative Support Team.
Administrative Support Team
The Administrative Support Team is made up of professionals, normally
supplied by the partners. Its task is to handle the bulk of the Consortium's
administrative workload, on behalf of the Executive Committee.
Task Forces
The Task Forces consist of representatives from all of the partners. They
perform all the real work for the Consortium. Each Task Force carries out a
given task or activity. The Task Forces are bound by decisions made in the
Scientific Advisory Board
This board's role is to monitor the Consortium's scientific activities and to
provide advice, either in response to a request or on its own initiative. The
status and credibility of its membership must be such that its advice will
always be taken seriously.
The nomenclature may differ; for example, in some projects, the Assembly is
called ‘Network Steering Committee’. This is up to the consortium; it is
therefore important that the consortium agreement text uses the names that
reflect this project’s situation.
8.2. Cost models and VAT
Universities and other non-profit organizations usually charge 100% of the
additional costs. As mentioned before, this practice is governed by the
additional cost model (AC), which involves charging all eligible, direct
additional costs and a flat rate for indirect costs. The flat rate is equivalent
to 20% of all direct additional costs, minus the cost of subcontracts. As we
have seen in Chapter 4, there are two other active models for participants in
typical research operations. These are full cost with actual indirect costs
(FC), and full cost with indirect flat rate costs (FCF). The Vrije Universiteit –
including the VUmc – only uses the additional cost system (AC), since the
university's financial accounting practices do not fulfil the conditions for
FC and FCF.
As FP6's entire financial regime is based on participants using their own
standard financial regime, there is no difficulty in applying any costs
incurred to the permitted costing system. The cost categories used for FP6
are a subset of (= derived from) the university’s own categories. They are a
subset since they have to meet the definition of eligible costs mentioned in
the contract (see the Model Contract and the FP6 Financial Guidelines).
These cost models are applicable to all FP6 instruments, where the
Community's contribution takes the form of an integration grant (NoEs) or a
budget grant (IPs, STREPs, specific SME actions, I3, CAs and certain SSAs).
They do not apply to those instruments where the Community's financial
contribution takes the form of a lump sum grant (certain Specific Support
Actions and certain actions promoting Human Resources and Mobility).
Value Added Tax
In FP5, research carried out on the Community's behalf was zero-rated for
value added tax (VAT). This implied that any VAT charged could be
reclaimed from the national inland revenue department.
In FP6, however, these services are untaxed (due to a recent change in
national tax rules interpretations). This means that VAT charged cannot be
reclaimed any more from the above mentioned department. For universities
in The Netherlands, this is a very unfavourable development. Since paid VAT
cannot be included in the Commission’s contribution to the project, any VAT
charged to Consortium partners in The Netherlands is at their own
Note: additional information on VAT can be obtained from the VU's
Administrative department for finance and personnel (Dienst Financiën en
8.3. Controls
Two kinds of controls are used: ex-ante controls (before the contract has
been signed) and ex-post controls (during implementation of the project and
following its completion).
Ex-ante controls
The purpose of ex-ante controls is to verify the participants' financial
capacity. The financial capacity of public bodies (such as the VU) does not
generally have to be verified, regardless of the type of instrument in which
they are involved.
Ex-post controls
The Commission may arrange for audits to be carried out at any time during
the contract and up to five years after the end of the project.
The audits, which are always carried out on a confidential basis, may cover:
• scientific aspects;
• technological aspects;
• ethical aspects;
• financial aspects (relating to costs);
• any other aspects (financial accounting and management principles).
8.4. Reporting
An instrument may have one single reporting period or several reporting
periods, depending on its type. This is established in the second paragraph
of Article 8 and mentioned in Article 6 of the core contract of the FP6 model
contract. Information on the procedure and the reporting period is clearly
stated in the Financial Guidelines for Indirect Actions of the Sixth Framework
Programmes (draft version).
The coordinator must submit the following periodic reports to the
Commission on behalf of the Consortium, by electronic means and by post,
within 45 calendar days of the end of each reporting period (as stated in
Article 6 of the core contract). These periodic reports are covered in the first
paragraph of Article 7 of the core contract and the first, second and fifth
paragraphs of Article II.7 of Annex II (General Conditions) to the FP6 MC:
• a periodic activity report containing an overview of the activities carried
out by the Consortium during the period in question, a description of the
progress towards the objectives of the project, a description of the
progress towards the milestones and deliverables foreseen, the
identification of any problems encountered and corrective action taken. An
updated plan for using and disseminating the knowledge is included as a
separate part of this report;
• a periodic management report for the period in question, including a
justification of the resources deployed by each contractor, linking them
to the activities implemented and justifying their necessity.
Contractors, like universities, using the additional cost model must identify
all the resources employed on the project and provide a global estimate of
all their costs (not just the additional eligible costs which are reported in the
financial statement, but also their non-additional or recurring costs). The FP6
Financial Guidelines give extensive and useful information on cost allocation,
reporting modalities and fund distribution within the Consortium, together
with examples, as an extra service to the participants.
How to deal with the financial and contractual rules at the work place
Inevitably, the truth about the implementation of financial and contractual
procedures in FP6 can be found in legal documents such as the ‘Financial
Regulation of the European Communities’, the ‘Rules for participation and
dissemination of the results of the Sixth Framework Programme’ (both
adopted in 2002). However, these papers appear unreadable to the general
public. To help sort out the basics and their effect on everyday practical life,
a few guiding documents have been prepared. The most prominent of these
is the Guide to Financial Issues relating to Indirect Actions of the Sixth
Framework Programmes (continuously updated since 2003). This contains
various sample calculations that highlight the relevant principles of the
current reimbursement schemes and the contractual backgrounds. One very
useful feature is that the footnotes to the main text contain the most
relevant references to the legal documents (for instance, references to the
Model Contract).
But even this guide is unable to translate the rules and regulations into
procedures for a particular workplace, i.e. your faculty or institute. It is
therefore worth remembering that many financial departments within the
university have had ample experience of EU project administration, derived
from best practices in FP4 or FP5. Generally speaking, this can make a sound
basis for coping with FP6 actions, especially with regard to the subjective
terms for eligibility of costs that are required to be current, economic,
necessary and in accordance with the usual accounting practices. For some
workplaces, it is advisable to update the faculty or institution protocols for
project management (‘projectbeheer’), the set of procedures for producing a
consistent project file (with copies of the legal and financial documents, the
annexes and employee forms, including invoices and reimbursement forms)
and have them pre-checked by the Audit Department or the internal auditor
(within the VU or the VUmc, this is the ‘Accountantsdienst’. This facilitates
discussion of the best accounting treatment within the faculty and results in
the consistency demanded by the EU.
8.5. Payment modalities
The scheduled payments and pre-financing for the FP6 instrument and
actions are made to the coordinator on a periodic basis, in accordance with
the financial statements and relevant reports submitted by the Consortium
on the activities carried out in the same period as indicated in Annex II and
where applicable in Annex III of the contract. The contract specifies the
maximum EU contribution to a Consortium, but does not specify the
distribution of the funds among participants, enabling the Consortium to
manage its own financial affairs. The coordinator opens an account to
receive the Commission’s contribution, and distributes the contractors’
share without unjustified delays, on the basis of an autonomous decision by
the Consortium (as handled in the Consortium Agreement).
Professional capacities
In order to meet all these demands the coordinator must have the
professionalism and the capacity to carry out the necessary financial
administration of the project. Alternatively he can outsource this task to a
financial auditor or another financial expert, while retaining final
Project schedule
The evolution of the project is articulated in terms of a number of periods.
At the end of each period, the Consortium is required to provide the
Commission with the relevant reports and certificates. The Consortium
establishes these periods in detail in Annex I to the contract. The contract
itself also contains clear references to these periods.
Pre-financing and payments
All funds transferred to the coordinator by the Commission are treated as
pre-financing. They are only considered to be payment if the financial
statement covering a specific period of the project (intermediate or final) has
been certified by an independent, external auditor and if the Commission
deems the costs to be ‘reasonable’ based on the analysis of the periodic
activity reports and deliverables. The project pre-financing mechanism (initial
or intermediate) covers many options depending on the situation at hand.
Those options take many factors into account: whether or not the instrument
is subject to ‘collective responsibility’, the number of reporting periods, and
the number and timing of the auditing certificates.
Instruments without ‘collective responsibility’ are entitled to receive
maximum pre-financing of 80% (85% in exceptional cases) of the estimated
EU financial contribution over the period indicated in Annex I. Instruments
with ‘collective responsibility’ are entitled to receive maximum pre-financing
of 85% of the estimated EU financial contribution over the period indicated in
Annex I.
The projects receive the pre-financing within 45 days of the entry into force
of the project. Payments made by the Commission are in euros. Contractors
not using the European currency, are required to use the exchange rate of
the month in which the financial statements are prepared.
Payment schedule
The project payment mechanism includes many options depending on the
instruments and situations which apply. The Commission expects periodic
reports from the Consortium outlining the previous activities, accompanied
by a financial report with a management-level justification of the costs
incurred over the period in question. Once the Commission has accepted the
financial report, an amount equivalent to the advance payment for the period
will be converted into an accepted payment.
Final payment
The final Community contribution is paid after the coordinator has
submitted the following documentation to the Commission on behalf of the
Consortium, within 45 calendar days of the end of the reporting period, by
electronic means or by post: a final activity report covering all the work,
objectives, results and so on, and a final management report covering the
full duration of the project, including a justification of the resources
deployed, forms, audit certificates and so on.
The Commission evaluates the documentation submitted. The evaluation is
normally completed within 45 calendar days of the receipt of the requested
reports. However, the Commission services may continue to review the
reports up to 90 days after receipt. If the reports are approved, the
Community financial contribution is paid in accordance with the rules for
payment, and according to the type of instrument concerned.
The payment of the Community financial contribution is considered final,
subject to the results of a possible audit or review, which may be carried out
up to five years after the end of the project.
Financial accounting
All organizations, including universities and other public institutions, must
keep proper books of account and supporting documentation to justify the
eligible costs they charge. The relevant information must be kept for a
period of five years after the end of action.
The contractor is free to choose its own auditor providing that the necessary
professional requirements are met. This may be the contractor’s current
auditor. The auditor must be independent of the contractor and must be
qualified to carry out statutory audits of accounting documents. A private
auditor is required to be a member of the profession’s national organization.
In case of public legal entities (like universities), the contractor concerned
may opt for a competent public officer/public auditor, providing it can
demonstrate the independence thereof.
At the start of FP6, the Commission clearly states that it will carry out regular
and strict controls on the costs claimed by the Consortium. The Consortium
or the contractor is obliged to reimburse the Commission for any amount
unduly paid to a contractor. This repayment must be made according to the
terms and by the date stipulated by the Commission.
This situation may occur, for example, where:
• the total pre-financing is greater than the total accepted Community
financial contribution at the end of a project;
• a contractor has overstated expenditure and has consequently received an
unjustified financial contribution from the Community.
The Community is entitled to claim liquidated damages from a contractor
who is found to have overestimated expenditure and who has consequently
received an unjustified financial contribution from the Community. In
addition to liquidated damages, any contractor declared to be in breach of
its contractual obligations will be liable to financial penalties.
Any participant who has committed an irregularity in the implementation of
an FP6 indirect action may lose all its rights to submit a proposal within the
FP6. According to the seriousness of the irregularity noted, either a part of
the legal entity (e.g. a service, a centre, a department) or the whole legal
entity (e.g. the whole university) may be excluded.
In the event of an irregularity, therefore, a contractor can be excluded not
only from the contract where the irregularity has been noted or has
occurred, but also from other current contracts with the Commission in
which it is involved.
Programmes (draft for discussion purposes, updated regularly)
Downloadable at
An outline of possible NoE management systems is given on the UNITE
website, where a number of very valuable documents can be downloaded
concerning the management structures in large NoE projects, as a legal
structure sketch, the formal management system, planning schedules,
financial forms: see > Consortium Agreements
9. Intellectual Property Rights issues
The Rules for Participation state that, in executing an RTD project under FP6,
the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR) and the use and
dissemination of research results should be ensured, as well as the partners’
mutual access to pre-existing know-how and to knowledge arising from
research work.
When it comes to implementation, the Rules for Participation allow the
participants to agree among themselves on the most suitable arrangements
for the exploitation of their knowledge. These agreements form part of the
Consortium Agreement. Thus in the model contract, IPR is only dealt with in
general terms - in Part C of Annex II in the Model Contract, General
Conditions. The details are laid down in the Consortium Agreement.
Generally speaking, the Model Contract sets out the standards and the
Consortium Agreement fills in the specifics. On the whole, the Model
Contract provides adequate and effective protection in standard RTD
projects, even those which involve industrial or commercial applications. But
in the Consortium Agreement it is possible for the partners to agree upon
other specified arrangements. For example, a partner is granted the right to
explicitly exclude certain pre-existing know-how before signing the
Consortium Agreement, or to establish a regime of economic access rights
different from those specified in the Model Contract. The key concept behind
all this is that intellectual property rights and all IPR-related issues must be
actively managed. Accordingly, if confidentiality is required with regard to
any part of the project results, the partner has to stipulate this.
9.1. Definitions
Key definition: intellectual property rights include - besides copyright patents, trade secrets, trademarks (or brand names) and design right.
Patents protect an invention for a limited period of time; a patent provides
the owner (i.e. the inventor) with a monopoly right on an application. The
duration of patents varies from country to country but lasts usually no
longer than 20 years. A patent must be registered and the costs of the
application may be high. Application for patents are handled by the
Intellectual Property Desk (Bureau voor de Industriële Eigendom or BIE), an
independent agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Before tackling the issues surrounding IPR, it is useful to get acquainted with
the most important concepts, and the way in which they are defined and
handled in FP6.
The table below gives a concise (non-exhaustive) listing:
Pre-existing know-how (PEK) The information which is held by participants
prior to the conclusion of the contract
(‘background’) or acquired in parallel to it
• PEK brought into the project always
remains the property of the partner in
Access rights
Licences and user rights to pre-existing
knowledge and/or to knowledge
• Access rights are granted on request (not
• Access rights to PEK are granted on a
royalty-free basis, unless otherwise agreed
before signing the contract with the EC,
and under fair and non-discriminatory
• Access rights to Knowledge are granted on
a royalty-free basis for Knowledge needed
in order to carry out one’s own work and
Knowledge needed to make use of one’s
own Knowledge, unless other financial
conditions are greed before signing the
contract with the EC
The results of the project, including
information, whether or not they can be
protected by IPR, as well as the rights
associated with them
Direct or indirect utilization of Knowledge in
research activities or for developing, creating
and marketing a product or process or for
creating and providing a service
Source: IPR Helpdesk 2003
9.2. IPR in the Consortium
The UNITE website features very valuable comments concerning the IPR
issues in each of the Consortium Agreement models.
The EARTO-UNITE (full-text) model for an Integrated Projects FP6 Consortium
Agreement includes IPR clauses which are considered to be the most realistic
and balanced for FP6, in accordance with the Community rules. The same
applies to the UNECA text (Networks of Excellence). As far as the other
models (Helmholtz, ANRT) are concerned, it may prove useful to check the
UNITE website before signing a text based on one of these models, provided
you are a potential partner in a Consortium. The correct model is normally
selected following the Consortium’s meetings to discuss all the technical,
commercial, organizational, financial and legal aspects of a project. But if
these meetings were electronic, always check with the coordinator.
The IPR Helpdesk in Brussels is a special project of the Enterprise
Directorate-General, co-financed with the FP5 budget. This is another
valuable source of information on the necessary steps for safeguarding IPR
and related topics, like patents. A lot of documentary information is
available, both on the Internet and at the Helpdesk’s offices in Brussels (see
address list). For an overview, visit
The UNITE and IPR office desks – manned by representatives of EU academia
and research institutes – can answer any questions by e-mail. And, of course,
the VU Liaison Office can access the national Network of Dutch University
Liaison Officers for intricate and delicate matters. In UNITE circles it is
stressed that failure to properly discuss IPR issues can seriously damage
otherwise healthy working relations within the Consortium when it comes to
dissemination and use. Many researchers turn a blind eye to the ‘hard core’
legalities because the impact of non-arrangement is not always clear.
European Patent Organization (EPO)
Established by the Convention on the Grant of European Patents (EPC) signed
in Munich 1973, the EPO is the outcome of the European countries’ collective
political determination to establish a uniform patent system in Europe. It is a
centralized patent grant system administered by the European Patent Office
on behalf of all contracting states, and a model of successful cooperation in
Europe. The EPO’s task is to grant European patents for inventions, on the
basis of a centralized procedure. For more information, see ‘References’
IPR Helpdesk, The new IPR regime under FP6,
European Patent Office,
Guide to Intellectual Property Rights for FP6 projects:
The EC’s IPR portal can be found on the EUROPA website:
The Bureau voor de Industriële Eigendom (BIE) website address:
The various Consortium Agreement models can be accessed through > Consortium Agreements
10. Support and advice
The VU Liaison Office provides all the necessary links between the university
and the European Union. It gives researchers at the VU a useful supplement
to their ties with national and international bodies and with the European
Commission. It also continuously monitors development within existing RTD
programmes and provides VU researchers with up-to-the-minute information
on these programmes, both within the FP and outside it (i.e. the
programmes and projects administered by External Assistance DirectorateGeneral).
The role of the VU office is a predominantly informal one, concentrating on
those tasks for which its proximity to VU researchers and contacts in
Brussels provide special advantages in the form of early, informal
information-gathering and personal contacts.
It also maintains formal links. The office participates in several national
advisory boards to EU’s programmes. These include the international
Santander Sectorial Group of Research Liaison Officers, the European
Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA), the Network
of Dutch Liaison Officers (NDLO), UNITE and NEST.
The VU office provides advice and information free of charge. This takes the
form of a general monitoring system and news services, like a monthly email and Internet newsletter, and regular newsflashes. Additional services
are provided to VU faculties that participate in the office’s annual
contribution system (more details on this system can be obtained from the
office). These additional services include:
- up-to-date information on developments within RTD programmes
(including ‘early warning’);
- advice on general and specific questions regarding research promoted by
the EU;
- document delivery;
- fact-finding in relation to research proposals and project management;
- informal contacts with European Commission staff;
- advice on financial aspects and contract negotiations;
- troubleshooting (i.e. in the project execution phase);
- organizing seminars, workshops and meetings at the VU and in Brussels.
Cooperation with Administrative Staff
Due to recent policy developments within the VU, the Liaison Office now
works in close cooperation with the senior subsidies advisor in the
Administrative Staff for Education and Research (Bestuursstaf Onderwijs en
Onderzoek). See the authors’ details on page 4 for names and addresses.
Furthermore, it is evident that the LO could not do the work without its
contacts with the research desk office(r)s and with the researchers and
financial managers at the faculties.
Special note: the VU Liaison Office also provides services (information and
advice) of a general nature with regard to national funding (i.e. NWO, KNAW,
SENTER and the charity funds). In addition, the office advises on the fiscal
‘S&O’ instrument (from SENTER), which has proved highly beneficial to the
VU in recent years. Information about these services is available at our
address (see page 4).
Annex 1. Synopsis of RTD priorities, areas and actions in
FP6 specific programmes
Preliminary remark: the priorities, areas and actions are given according to
the most recent version of the Work Programmes of the thematic priorities.
Because Work Programmes are often updated during FP6’s life cycle, check
back regularly on the CORDIS services to find out the last state of affairs.
EURATOM (Nuclear energy) has been excluded from this synopsis.
1. Integrating and
strengthening the
European Research
Area (ERA)
Thematic areas
1.1.1. Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health
Research priorities:
i) Advanced genomics and its applications for health
a. Fundamental knowledge and basic tools for functional genomics in all
• Gene expression and proteomics
• Structural genomics
• Comparative genomics and population genetics
• Bioinformatics
• Multidisciplinary functional genomics approaches to basic biological
b. Application of knowledge and technologies in the field of genomics
and biotechnology for health
• Rational and accelerated development of new, safer, more effective
drugs including pharmacogenomics approaches
• Development of new diagnostics
• Development of new in vitro tests to replace animal experimentation
• Development and testing of new preventive and therapeutic tools,
such as somatic gene and cell therapies (in particular stem cell
therapies), for example those on neurological and neuromuscular
disorders and immunotherapies
• Innovative research in post-genomics, which has high potential for
ii) Combating major diseases
a. Applications-oriented genomic approaches to medical knowledge and
• Combating cardiovascular disease, diabetes and rare diseases
• Combating resistance to antibiotics and other drugs
• Studying the brain and combating diseases of the nervous system
• Studying human development and the ageing process
b. Combating cancer
c. Confronting the major communicable diseases linked to poverty
(AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis)
• Post-genomic research and clinical trials to combat AIDS, malaria and
1.1.2. Information society technologies
Strategic objectives:
- Pushing the limits of CMOS and preparing for post-CMOS
- Micro and nanosystems
- Broadband for all
- Mobile and wireless systems beyond 3G
- Towards a global dependability and security framework
- Multimodal interfaces
- Semantic-based knowledge systems
- Networked audiovisual systems and home platforms
- Networked businesses and governments
- e-Safety for road and air transport
- e-Health
- Technology-enhanced learning and access to cultural heritage
- Advanced displays
- Optical, opto-electronic, and photonic functional components
- Open development platforms for software and services
- Cognitive systems
Embedded systems
Applications and services for the mobile user and worker
Cross-media content for leisure and entertainment
GRID-based systems for solving complex problems
Improving risk management
Products and services engineering 2010
Future and emerging technologies (FET)
FET Open
Proactive initiatives
Research networking test-beds
General accompanying actions
1.1.3. Nanotechnology and nanosciences, knowledge-based
multifunctional materials, new production processes and devices
Research priorities:
i) Nanotechnologies and nanosciences
- Long-term interdisciplinary research into understanding phenomena,
mastering processes and developing research tools
- Nano-biotechnologies
- Nanometre-scale engineering techniques to create materials and
- Development of handling and control devices and instruments
- Applications in areas such as health and medical systems, chemistry,
energy, optics, food and the environment
ii) Knowledge-based multifunctional materials
- Development of fundamental knowledge
- Technologies associated with the production, transformation and
processing of knowledge-based multifunctional materials
- Engineering support for materials development
iii) New production processes and devices
- Development of new processes and flexible & intelligent
manufacturing systems
- Systems research and hazard control
- Optimizing the life-cycle of industrial systems, products and services
iv) Integration of nanotechnologies, new materials, and new production
technologies for improved construction, chemicals and surface transport
Human-friendly, safe and efficient construction
New generation of multifunctional materials and technologies for
surface transport
Mastering chemicals and creating new eco-efficient processes and
synthesis routes
1.1.4. Aeronautics and space
Research priorities:
i) Aeronautics
- Open upstream research
- Integrated focused downstream research
- Networking European aeronautics research
ii) Space
- Galileo
- Satellite telecommunications
1.1.5. Food quality and safety
Research areas:
- Total food chain
- Epidemiology of food-related diseases and allergies
- Impact of food on health
- ‘Traceability’ processes along the production chain
- Methods of analysis, detection and control
- Safer and environmentally friendly production methods and technologies
and healthier food stuffs
- Impact of animal feed on human health
- Environmental health risks
1.1.6. Sustainable development, global change and ecosystems
52 Sustainable energy systems
Research activities having an impact in the short and medium term:
- Clean energy, in particular renewable energy sources and their integration
in the energy system, including storage, distribution and use
- Energy savings and energy efficiency, including those to be achieved
through the use of renewable raw materials
- Alternative motor fuels
Research activities having an impact in the medium and longer term:
- Fuel cells, including their applications
- New technologies for energy carriers/transport and storage, in particular
- New and advanced concepts in renewable energy technologies
- Capture and sequestration of CO2, associated with cleaner fossil fuel plants
- Socio-economic tools and concepts for energy strategy Sustainable surface transport
Research priorities:
- New technologies and concepts for all surface transport modes (road, rail
and waterborne)
- Advanced design and production techniques
- Re-balancing and integrating different transport modes
- Increasing road, rail and waterborne safety and avoiding traffic congestion Global change and ecosystems
Research priorities:
- Impact and mechanisms of greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric
pollutants on climate, ozone depletion and carbon sinks
- Water cycle, including soil-related aspects
- Biodiversity and ecosystems
- Mechanisms of desertification and natural disasters
- Strategies for sustainable land management, including coastal zones,
agricultural land and forests
- Operational forecasting and modelling including global climatic change
observation systems
- Complementary research
- Cross-cutting issue: sustainable development concepts and tools
- Specific support actions
1.1.7. Citizens and governance in a knowledge-based society
Research priorities
i) Knowledge-based society and cohesion
- Improving the generation, distribution and use of knowledge and its
impact on economic and social development
- Options and choices for the development of a knowledge-based
- The variety of paths towards a knowledge society
ii) Citizenship, democracy and new forms of governance
- The implications of European integration and enlargement for
governance and the citizen
- Articulation of areas of responsibility and new forms of governance
- Issues connected with the resolution of conflicts and restoration of
peace and justice
- New forms of citizenship and cultural identities
Specific activities covering a wider field of research (‘Crosscutting activities’)
i) Research for policy support
ii) New and emerging science and technology (NEST)
- Adventure projects
- Insight projects
- Pathfinder initiatives
- NEST support
iii) Specific SME activities
- Cooperative research (CRAFT)
- Collective research
iv) Specific measures in support of international cooperation (INCO)
helping to open up the ERA to the rest of the world
Cooperation with third countries (Developing Countries;
Mediterranean Partner Countries; Western Balkan Countries; Russia
and the other New Independent States)
Multilateral coordination of national RTD policies and activities
v) Joint Research Centre activities
2. Structuring the European
Research Area
Research and innovation
i) Networking the players and encouraging interaction
ii) Encouraging regional innovation policies and transregional cooperation
iii) Experimenting with new tools and approaches
iv) Putting services in place and consolidating them
v) Analysing and evaluating innovation in Community research projects
vi) Stepping up economic and technological intelligence
Human resources and mobility (‘Marie Curie Actions’)
i) Host-driven actions
- Marie Curie Research training networks
- Marie Curie Host fellowships for early stage training
- Marie Curie Host fellowships for transfer of knowledge
- Conferences and training courses
ii) Individual-driven actions
- Marie Curie Intra-European fellowships
- Marie Curie Outgoing international fellowships
- Marie Curie Incoming international fellowships
iii) Excellence promotion and recognition
- Marie Curie Excellence grants
- Marie Curie Excellence awards
- Marie Curie Chairs
iv) Return and reintegration mechanisms
Research infrastructures
i) Transnational access to major research infrastructures
ii) Integrating activities
iii) Communication network development
iv) Design studies
v) Construction of new research infrastructures
Science and society
i) Bringing research closer to society
ii) Responsible research and application of science and technology
iii) Stepping up the science-society dialogue and women in science
3. Strengthening the
foundations of the
European Research Area
Support for coordination of research activities
i) Coordination of national activities
- The ERA-NET scheme
- Activities undertaken through European cooperation frameworks
- Development of an integrated information system (ERAWATCH)
ii) Coordination at European level
- Scientific and technological cooperation activities carried out in COST
- Strengthened coordination with EUREKA
- Collaboration and joint initiatives of specialized European scientific
cooperation organizations such as CERN, ESA, ESO, ENO, EMBL, ESRF
and ILL
Development of research/innovation policies
Framework for various activities:
- Analyses and studies: work relating to foresight, statistics and science and
technology indicators
- Benchmarking of research and innovation policies at national, regional and
European level
- Mapping of scientific and technological activities and excellence in Europe
- Improving the regulatory and administrative environment for research and
Annex 2. List of groups of target countries for specific
measures in support of international cooperation
A. Developing countries (ACP, Asia, Latin America)
A.1. ACP
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Congo (Republic)
Congo (Democratic Rep. of)
Côte d’Ivoire
Equatorial Guinea
Sao Tome and Principe
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Antigua and Barbuda
Belize *
Cuba *
Dominican Rep.
Guyana *
The Caribbean
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and Grenadines
Suriname *
Trinidad and Tobago
Cook Islands
East Timor1 **
Marshall Islands
Papua New Guinea **
Solomon Islands
Western Samoa
A.2. Asia
China ***
India ***
Lao (People’s Democratic Republic of)
Sri Lanka
A.3. Latin America
Costa Rica
El Salvador
B. Mediterranean partner countries
Israel 2
Syrian Arab Republic
West Bank and Gaza Strip
C. Russia and the other New Independent States
Russia ***
D. Western Balkan countries
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
Serbia and Montenegro 3
In association process to ACP/EU Cotonou agreement
When this country becomes associated with FP6, that status will take precedence
Incl. Kosovo as defined by UNSC Resolution 1244 of 10 June 1999
For participation in INCO, these countries can be considered to be both in ACP and
LA regions
** For participation in INCO, these countries can be considered to be both in ACP and
Asian regions
*** For participation in INCO, China, India and Russia may each be considered as a
region in their own right. However, in this case, at least 3 different provinces or
states within China, India or Russia must be involved.
Annex 3
1. What documentation is needed to prepare an RTD proposal for FP6?
You will need the following documents to properly submit an RTD proposal:
• the relevant call for proposals as issued in the Official Journal of the
European Union;
• the Guide for Proposers (issued per thematic priority and per call) that is
part of the call;
• the appropriate Proposal Submission Forms (Parts A and B) or access to the
EPSS system for electronic submission;
• the work programme for the relevant thematic priority or priorities within
the Specific Programme(s);
• the appropriate CA model (if required).
The following are mandatory reference materials:
• the Manual for Evaluating Proposals in FP6;
• Model contract formats;
• The Rules for Participation;
• Policy documents related to the RTD field the proposal is addressing.
All these documents are available at CORDIS, the Commission’s RTD web
server, at or at the VU Liaison Office.
Note: Always be sure to download the latest documents from the Internet.
Work programmes, for example, are regularly updated each time a proposal
is subject to an intermediate evaluation round.
2. What does an FP6-RTD proposal look like?
A typical FP6 proposal - for the sake of clarity, a paper proposal is being
referred to here - consists of the following elements:
• Administrative proposal forms, Part A (preformatted):
- A1: General information on the proposal (title, abstract, keywords etc.)
- A2: Info on the coordinator and other partners (one form per partner)
- A3: Cost breakdown (one sheet for the whole Consortium)
• Technical information or content description, Part B (guideline):
The Guide for Proposers gives guidelines for the structuring of the content
section, which is not preformatted. Sections B.1 to B.8 provide an overall
description of the project, as well as a rough outline plan for the full project
period. Section B.9 gives a more detailed work plan broken down into work
packages in the first 18 months of the project.
Note: For IPs, a preformatted IP Project Effort Form is enclosed, in which
person-months for all partner activities have to be noted.
Note 2: For Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowships, Part B contains one
preformatted form, the ‘Confidential Referee’s Assessment of the
Contrary to FP5, anonymity is no longer a requirement!
Of all these parts, only one unbound copy has to be submitted.
3. How is a call for proposal structured?
A call for proposal text is published in the ‘C’ series (in the ‘Notices’ section)
in the Official Journal.
Since FP6, the introductory information is published in the main section (e.g.
the correspondence addresses at the Commission and the legislative
framework for the current call), while the specific conditions are put in
separate Annexes. These are structured as follows (examples are given
between brackets):
- Name of the specific programme (Integrating and Strengthening the ERA)
- Activity (‘Life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health’)
- Call title (thematic call in the area of ‘Life sciences, genomics and
biotechnology for health’)
- Call identifier (FP6-2002-LIFESCIHEALTH)
- Date of publication (17 December 2002)
- Closure date(s) (25 March 2003 at 17.00 Brussels local time)
- Total indicative budget (€ 513m, with breakdown over IP, NoE, STREP, CA,
- Areas called and instruments (topics from work programmes indicated by
short titles, linked to various instruments)
- Minimum number of participants (per instrument)
- Restriction on participation (usually none; only in a few cases are
partners required to be SMEs or European Industrial Association/Grouping)
- Consortium Agreement necessary (yes or no)
- Evaluation procedure (single-stage or two-step)
- Evaluation criteria (about certain weightings and thresholds)
- Indicative evaluation and contractual timetable (availability of evaluation
results and contract signature)
Annex 4
Examples of administrative forms: A1, A2, A3
[Note: filled in examples are available on request at the Liaison Office]
Annex 5
Basic contract outline
The model contract generally consists of two main parts:
(I) the core contract;
(II) the annexes.
1. Scope - identification of the project, establishment of the Consortium and
the identification of its members
2. Contribution of the Consortium
3. Duration (date of entry into force, starting date of project)
4. Maximum EU financial contribution
5. Reporting – scientific, financial (periodic)
6. Payment modalities
7. Special clauses (specific to the project)
For instance: - exemption from financial audit
- participation by the Joint Research Centre (JRC)
- all complementary provisions
- sublicensing of software
- signature of Consortium Agreement
8. Amendments
9. Communication
10.Annexes (forming an integral part of the contract)
11.Applicable law (Belgian or Luxembourg)
13. Signature and language in which the contract is drawn up
I. TECHNICAL ANNEX (description of work)
Part A: Legal and administrative provisions
II.1. Definitions
II.2. Performance obligations (of the Consortium, the individual contractors,
the coordinator, the Commission)
II.3. Responsibility (technical and financial, of EC and contractors)
II.4. Force majeure
II.5. Prolongation and suspension of the project
II.6. Amendments
II.7. Termination of the contract
II.8. Confidentiality
II.9. Publicity
II.10. Communication of data for evaluation purposes
II.11. Subcontracting
II.12. Assignment
Part B: Intellectual property rights provisions
II.13. Ownership of knowledge
II.14. Protection of knowledge
II.15. Use and dissemination
II.16. Access rights
II.17. Incompatible or restrictive commitments
Part C: Financial provisions
II.18. Reporting
II.19. Eligible costs
II.20. Cost models
II.21. Justification and reimbursements of eligible costs
II.22. General provisions on payments
II.23. Reimbursement to the Commission
II.24. Controls and audits
II.25. Compensatory measures and penalties
Specific provisions for the instrument
(to be determined)
Annex 6
This Memorandum of Agreement is jointly made by all legal representatives of the
organizations hereafter listed, involved in the preparation of the Network of Excellence called
to be proposed under the 6th Framework Programme of the European Community.
Organization legal name and registered address:
Partners in the Consortium [...]
Organization legal name and registered address (one page per partner)
Depending on the context, the organizations listed above are individually called Party or
jointly called Parties and, alternatively the Disclosing Party or the Receiving Party or
together the Parties.
The terms in italics have the same meaning as in the Model Contract of the European
Commission, its annexes, the guidelines to proposers published by the European Commission
and the Consortium Agreement under preparation.
WHEREAS, the Parties intend to submit a competitive proposal for integrating knowledge
and resources in the Network of Excellence called [INSERT NAME (ACRONYM)] which is
meant to set up a Joint Programme of Activities between Parties in the framework of the Call
identifier [INSERT NAME] and call title [INSERT NAME]
WHEREAS it is necessary for the Parties to disclose to each other certain of their proprietary
information pertaining to the Joint Programme of Activities for which all intellectual property
rights, copyrights and ownership protection may be later claimed as Pre-existing Knowledge.
WHEREAS the Parties intend to jointly establish the principles regarding the preparation of a
proposal, the negotiation with the Commission and the preparation of the Consortium
1. The Parties agree to supply all necessary, relevant information for preparing the proposal.
2. The receiving Parties shall keep the information received from a disclosing Party
confidential during and after the proposal preparation and use it strictly for the purpose of
preparing the proposal.
The obligation mentioned above shall not apply to any information which:
a. was in the possession of the receiving Party prior to disclosure by the disclosing Party and
which was not previously obtained, either directly or indirectly, from the disclosing Party
under confidentiality restrictions;
b. was as the time of its disclosure to the receiving Party, part of the public domain by
publication or otherwise, or hereafter becomes generally available to the public through no act
or failure of the receiving Party;
c. was furnished to the receiving Party by any third Party as a matter of right without
restriction on disclosure.
3. The receiving Party shall limit access to the disclosed information to personnel directly
involved in the proposal preparation.
4. The Parties must disclose participation in any other projects within the same thematic
priority of the 6th FP.
5. Nothing in this Memorandum of Agreement shall be construed as compelling a Party to
disclose any Confidential Information to the others.
6. The Confidential Information, all copies thereof and all rights thereto, shall remain the
exclusive property of the Disclosing Party. All Confidential Information, whether original or
copies thereof, shall be promptly returned to the Disclosing Party on receipt of a written
request of the Disclosing Party.
7. The Receiving Party undertakes during the term of this Memorandum of Agreement and for
a period of 5 years after the date if its expiry or termination to take reasonable precautions to
protect such Confidential Information. Such precautions shall be at least the same degree of
care and precaution that the Receiving Parties customarily use to protect its own Confidential
8. Nothing contained in this Memorandum of Agreement shall be construed as granting or
conferring upon the Receiving Party, whether expressly or implicitly, any right by license or
otherwise under any proprietary or statutory right of the Disclosing Party existing prior – to
or coming into existence after – the effective date of this Memorandum of Agreement.
9. The Parties commit to inform the Coordinator of the Network of Excellence [INSERT
NAME OR ACRONYM] in writing of their participation in any identical or similar competitive
Network of Excellence or Integrated Project for the same call for proposals under [INSERT
10. Each Party shall, within its respective scope of supplies and services for the Network of
Excellence [INSERT NAME OR ACRONYM], make all reasonable efforts to concur in a
competitive proposal through the preparation of all needed documents. To support this goal,
each Party shall support and assist the Coordinator in finalizing the proposal, in the form and
according to the schedule necessary for the Coordinator to submit the proposal in due time to
the Commission. The Parties shall provide the Coordinator with all pertinent technical and
cost data, which they or a Party deem necessary for the preparation of the proposal as well as
all technical support or such other support as may be mutually agreed upon.
11. The Coordinator shall not modify the technical and cost data supplied by the other Parties
without their respective consent and shall make available to each Party a copy of all
significant letters, e-mails, faxes or documents relating to the proposal sent to – or received
from the Commission before and after the submission of the proposal.
12. Each Party is fully aware that the financial contribution of the Commission is under a cost
share basis and thus covers only a part of the expenses that have to be made for implementing
the Network of Excellence [INSERT NAME OR ACRONYM]. Each Party will find and
identify its own resources to cover the non-funded part of the expenses and will respectively
bear its own costs involved in the preparation of the proposal.
13. In the course of the proposal preparation period, procedure, management rules and quality
control to be used will be the ones prevailing in the activity sector.
14. Partners declare that they will contribute and participate in the following Programme of
Organization legal name and registered address (one page per partner):
List of Programme of Activities:
[summing up of WPs with tasks to be addressed]
15. The Coordinator shall be responsible for the submission of the proposal and the conduct
of the negotiations of the proposal with the Commission. Each Party shall be kept fully
informed of the progress of any negotiations and, as far as its part of the work is concerned,
shall attend and participate in the negotiations of the Contract upon request from the
15. The Coordinator shall copy to the Parties, all significant letters, e-mails, faxes or
documents relating to the negotiations. The Coordinator shall actively keep each Contractor
informed of all modifications relevant to its activities and provisional budget and shall not
accept the said modifications without the prior written agreement of the Contractor until the
signature of the Contract.
17. Each Party shall provide the Coordinator with all relevant information, which he/she
deems necessary for the preparation of a Consortium Agreement, and at least:
- the complete legal information on its organization, to which the Party may want to grant
Access Rights to Knowledge generated by the project;
- the resources the Party intends to allocate to its contribution to the Joint Programme of
Activities defined in the Contract and its annexes;
- the Pre-existing Know-How the Party wants to exclude from Access Rights;
- the names of the researchers and doctoral students contributing to the Joint Programme of
Activities defined in the Contract and its annexes;
- the cost share model used by the Party;
- the identity of the bank account of the Party.
18. The Parties commit to negotiate and to sign a Consortium Agreement with the intent to
sign the Contract on the basis of the proposal furnished by the Coordinator.
19. This Memorandum of Agreement shall become effective when duly signed by the Parties
and shall remain valid for twelve (12) months and shall then terminate unless it is renewed by
mutual consent in writing.
20. If necessary for the purpose of preparing the proposal or during the negotiations with the
Commission, the same Memorandum of Agreement may be extended to a new Party provided
the said new Party is agreed upon by all the Parties having signed this Memorandum of
21. Disputes that might arise concerning this Memorandum of Agreement shall be settled
amicably. In case of disputes for which no amicable solution is possible, settlement will
exclusively take place by the competent court of [INSERT NAME OF COUNTRY]. This
Memorandum of Agreement and its effects are subject to and shall be construed and enforced
in accordance with Belgian law.
IN WITNESS THEREOF, the Parties have signed this Letter of Intent on the respective dates
entered below.
SIGNATURE PAGE (one page per partner)