Implementing an ERA-NET Cofund action

General and financial issues

In 2015 ERA-LEARN 2020 conducted a survey among the “First Round” ERA-NET Cofund projects, funded from the H2020 work programme 2014. The survey included an analysis of consortium agreements and call-documents and focused on financial management. The aim of the survey was to collect some first experiences with specific crucial issues in a cofunded call in order to make these experiences available to the P2P (Public-Public-Partnership) community. The findings were summarised in a report which is available for download.

The ERA-NET Cofund scheme is flexible regarding the use of the EC funding. The eligible costs form the basis for the funding but the use of the funding may differ from this funding basis. Generally this is referred to as a “black box”. In a survey ERA-LEARN has identified 4 main options which are in use by existing ERA-NET COFUND networks to cover the implementation costs. These 4 options are included in the template for an ERA-NET COFUND Consortium Agreement. The following slides provide an overview on these options.

The use of the unit cost funding is up to the consortium and should be fixed in the Consortium Agreement. It is important to consider that Union contribution to coordination costs should not exceed 20% of the total Union contribution to the action. More details are available in Calculating Unit Costs.

In an ERA-NET Cofund action the finally accepted eligible costs and the related EC contribution are only known at the end of action (after 60 months). As the use of the funding is up to the consortium there is a risk that something unforeseen happens during these 60 months which affects the eligible costs. It is therefore advisable to take into account that risk and think about risk mitigation. More details are available in Financial Risks and Risk Mitigation.

The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that entered into force on 25 May 2018 has several implications for the use of personal data within the context of implementing co-funded joint call for proposals and funding and managing co-funded projects. ERA-LEARN compiled FAQs to support the ERA-NET Cofund actions.

Executing the Cofunded Call

The central and compulsory task of an ERA-NET Cofund action is the implementation of the joint co-funded call. ERA-LEARN compiled lots of guidelines and templates for implementing joint calls. The manual is available here.

The manual is highlighting the specific requirements for ERA-NET Cofunds in each of the implementation phases. It is advisable to follow the manual as there are a lot of hints and recommendations as well as templates available, which can be used as basis for own documents.

A central question in a cofunded call is how to distribute the EC-funding. As the consortium is free to agree on the use of the funding it is important to find a mode meeting the needs of the consortium and to avoid gaps in the ranking list. ERA-LEARN provides explanation regarding this topic in a presentation.

Furthermore an Excel-File is provided to help the consortium to visualise different uses of the EC funding; for example the option to put the whole EC top-up in a balancing pot to fill the gaps in the ranking list. The tool is not using any Macros and can be adapted as required for own needs.

Reporting

The reporting requirements are defined in the Grant Agreement signed with the EC.

It is important to remember that the coordinator must submit the information on the call and its content at least 30 days before the expected date of publication of the joint call. Furthermore at the end of the selection, the information on each selected project (including data on each participant and abstracts of the project proposal, in a format specified by the EC) for publication and evaluation purposes must be delivered.

ERA-LEARN is providing a template for the information on each selected project.

Not all of the data collected in this template will be visible on the ERA-LEARN website. The data related to budgets and contact information will remain confidential and will be used for aggregated analysis for the annual report and for other specific analysis by the European Commission.

 The reporting towards the EC is done electronically via the Participant Portal.

The following deliverables are required under “Continuous Reporting”:

  • the ranking list(s) of the projects;
  • the observers’ report on the evaluation;
  • the joint selection list of the projects to be funded
  • Report on the cumulative spending

ERA-LEARN provides guidelines for the observer report, which cover among others a  typical template for the observer’s report Guidelines for Independent Observers

Furthermore and a template for the mandatory reporting of the cumulative expenditure incurred is provided.

After the reporting period ended a session for preparing and submitting the periodic report will open in the Participant Portal. The following documents are required under “Periodic Report”:

  • a periodic technical report = (Upload Technical Report Part B, Online-Form “Summary for Publication”)
  • Availability of funds (Online form which needs to be filled in by each beneficiary indicating the national/regional contributions, without Union contribution)
  • statement on the use of the first pre-financing instalment

For the final report a “Certificate on the Financial Statement” is required for each beneficiary who is eligible for more than 325.000 EURO EC funding. This is requirement is independent from the use of the EC funding as the consortium can agree how the funding is used (“Black Box”).

Related Files

Collection of project data from co-funded calls

Last Change: 28/06/2017
Publisher: ERA-LEARN

Template for the collection of project data from co-funded and follow on calls.

Category: Template

First experiences from ERA-NET Cofund networks

Last Change: 18/12/2015
Publisher: ERA-LEARN

Summary of the first experiences from ERA-NET Cofund networks.

Category: Report

ERA-NET Cofund: implementation costs

Last Change: 28/10/2016
Publisher: ERA-LEARN

Four ways to use EC contribution to cover the implementation costs.

Category: Slides, Manual

Calculating Unit Costs

Last Change: 28/10/2016
Publisher: ERA-LEARN

Explanation of calculation unit costs in ERA-NET Cofund initiatives.

Category: Slides, Manual

ERA-NET Cofund: financial risks & risk mitigation

Last Change: 28/10/2016
Publisher: ERA-LEARN

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Category: Slides, Manual

FAQ on data protection in ERA-NET Cofund projects

Last Change: 25/05/2018
Publisher: ERA-LEARN

The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that enters into force on 25 May has several implications for the use of personal data within the context of im ...

The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that enters into force on 25 May has several implications for the use of personal data within the context of implementing co-funded joint call for proposals and funding/managing co-funded projects as well as using mailing lists and sending newsletters. The GDPR applies to natural or legal persons, public authorities, agencies or other bodies processing personal data. It does therefore not apply to the consortium as such, not being a legal person, but to all composing individual institutions.

ERA-LEARN has compiled FAQ on data protection in ERA-NET Cofund projects in order to help the consortia to adapt to the GDPR.

More ... Less ...

Category: Good Practice

Guidelines for Independent Observers for the co-funded call

Last Change: 05/04/2016
Publisher: ERA-LEARN

The requirement to provide an independent observer’s report on the evaluation is mandatory for all EU co-funded joint calls including FP7 ERANET Plus projects, joint calls implemented under Article 185 initiatives and the main [co-funded] joint call of Horizon 2020 ERA-NET Co-fund projects.

Category: Manual

EC-TOP-UP Distribution (ERA-NET Cofund)

Last Change: 12/04/2017
Publisher: ERA-LEARN

A tool for distributing the EC-TOP-UP funding.

Category: Tool