How are coordination costs for additional activities reimbursed?

The principle of Horizon 2020 to apply a single reimbursement rate per action does not allow any longer reimbursing fully the coordination costs for ERA-NET actions. A 33% reimbursement rate of actual coordination was considered not feasible. After stakeholder consultation on the different options in 2012 the unit costs for coordination costs of additional activities was identified as the preferred option against the background of simplification and feasibility. The use of unit costs has to be authorised by a Commission Decision, supported by e.g. identification of the costs or categories of costs; description of the methods for determining the amounts, on the basis of statistical data or similar objective means. The unit costs for ERA-NET Cofund has been determined on the basis of historical data of a representative sample (around 30%) of the 71 ERA-NET projects under FP6 (Coordination costs declared and approved for the final payment).

On that basis the unit cost for eligible direct coordination costs of additional activities per beneficiary per year is fixed at EUR 29 000, to which the flat rate of 25% for indirect costs under Horizon 2020 is to be applied, as well as the reimbursement rate applicable to ERA-NET actions. As a consequence, the maximum reimbursement of direct and indirect costs of coordination of additional activities per beneficiary per year will be EUR 11 962,50.

The consequence for the consortia is that they have to find new arrangements for financing the action. The majority will be able to participate on the basis of the unit costs. Core participants (coordinator, WP leaders) will have to be financed by using part of the Union Contribution for the co-funding of the call to pay for central costs, and the consortium will have to replace the amounts jointly with additional national funding.

The ERA-NET partners have to plan and report the number of years in which they take part in additional activities. The unit costs will be paid on the basis of the number of years in which a partner took part in the activities (no financial reporting), with flexibility for the consortia to decide which partners use the coordination costs in which years. Important boundary condition: Beneficiaries that carry out trans-national projects partially or fully themselves cannot declare coordination costs for additional activities.

In-Kind/ Institutional ERA-NET-COFUND-Projects

The total amount that can be allocated to coordination costs is limited. The Annex to the Work Programme specifies that the Union contribution to coordination costs should not exceed 20% of the total Union contribution to the action.

Practical information on calculating Unit Costs can be found in: Calculating Unit Costs

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