1.  General Questions for Proposal Development

The deadlines for the Call 2021 are the following:

Precall: Open February 24th, closing April 6th
Call: Open April 21st, closing May 22nd

The ‘pre-call’ must be submitted by groups of partners (through a nominated lead partner) who intend to submit a project proposal for the later full call. The purpose of this pre-call is to get an overview about the developing portfolio of projects and to help manage potential duplications, strategic gaps and overlaps by allowing early feedback to partners. The proposals will be analysed by the functional directors but there will be no in depth scoring or relative quality assessment at this stage – that formal evaluation will be carried out by an external reviewer panel at the next formal call stage.

The submission will be done using the software platform ‘Promise Suite’, which is being used by other KICs successfully. There will be two set of webinars offered to all partners to explain the tool and the usage: in early March with the focus for Task and Activity Leaders, and a second set end of April/early May to specifically focus on budget, cost categories, and budget justifications, for Activity Leaders and financial contacts of partners. Recordings will be made available.

Yes, guidelines for the Pre-Call are made available in this intranet. An updated version of the document will be published for the Main Call describing further aspects relevant for the submission of full proposals for the main call.

The EIT Manufacturing Interim Management Team is not in a position to give input on the scientific or innovative quality of project proposal beyond the information in the overall Call Guidelines. This contains information on what is expected from good proposals.

For the Call 2020, the four flagship topics are defined and selectable in the submission system. For information on flagships, see the Strategic Agenda and the Call Guidelines document. Each proposal should choose the flagship topic that it is most closely associated with. Should the proposal also address further flagship topics, please describe this in the Activity Purpose field of the submission template.

For the Match-Making event, there will be a pitching section especially created to find the missing competences needed in a project. Alternatively there will be a face to face section especially created to get to know potential partners in a more private form. Finally, the EIT Manufacturing IMT (Interim Management Team) will suport partners with this issue.
For the Call 2021, interested organisations that are not yet partners can express their interest to collaborate. The information about those organisations and their competencies and specific interest will be published and regularly updated on the intranet.

In principle a team with EIT Manufacturing partners only from academia is not eligible for innovation Activities. Please check the Call Guidelines for guidelines for team composition.

No, EIT funding rules for the eligibility of co-funding apply. Example: A partner would like to contribute KAVA co-funding of 1 FTE for €100k direct personnel costs and €80k indirect costs as of its internal overhead rules. According to EIT rules only €125k (25% indirect costs) (rather than €180k) will be reimbursed as eligible KAVA costs by EIT. The remaining €55 can not be reimbursed and also not be counted as co-funding.

Yes, based on the rules of Horizon 2020, these costs can be eligible when they are directly related to the implementation of the Activity.

Multi annual activities should be planned and structured in a way so that relevant deliverables and KPI can be assessed already during the first year of implementation. It will be necessary to submit a follow-up proposal for the second year describing the activities, budgets, and deliverables planned for the following year.

H2020 rules apply unless otherwise specified in the annual Specific Grant Agreement and EIT financial rules. The timing of audits is the same as for other H2020 projects, i.e. the EIT periodically (typically within three months of the KIC Report) undertakes ex-post on-spot verifications on the KIC Legal Entity and KIC Partners. KIC Partners or their Linked Third Parties that receive EIT funding have to provide a Certified Financial Statement (CFS) provided by an external auditor. Note that Horizon Europe regulations can introduce changes that impact the current Call. These will be published as they become available.

2.  Questions related to KCAs

In the previous year, an EIT Manufacturing Activity consisted of a KAVA (KIC added value activity) and one or more KCAs (KIC complementary activities). These are activities or (parts of) projects undertaken by EIT Manufacturing partners which have a quantifiable cost, a link with at least one KAVA and which are not already financed from the EIT contribution. Typically a KAVA used results of a KCA and added additional value in line with the EIT Manufacturing strategy.
For the Call 2021, EIT removed the requirement to define KCAs for Activities.

3.  Questions related to Education Projects

The EIT Manufacturing Master/Phd Program is EIT Manufacturing Flagship 2-year Master Program (3-4 years PhD Program) to provide students with a Master/PhD degree (from various disciplines) with a systems background in the manufactruring arena. Compared to other educational programs, the curriculum will be developed jointly with all educational institutes that would like to contribute to ensure European Master’s/PhD degree conformity. Curriculum development will begin in 2020. In the start-up phase of the program, EIT Manufacturing will elaborate the common framework. Once established, EIT Manufacturing will cover primarily student mobility and some development cost for modules and offerings – as has been the case for degree programs supported by other KICs. Ideas will be collected within the Education team. Academic partners will be invited for a one-day workshop to start the development process in March 2019.

The Guided Learning Platform (GLP) will be the place where to turn if you want to learn about latest technologies or processes, concepts, methodologies and tools related to Manufacturing. The content on the platform can be consumed with different devices (PC, tablet, smartphone) and will be organized in short units called nuggets, which deliver a certain competency and can be consumed within some minutes. This will support workforce directly on their workplace, and students and other target users anywhere.
The platform will be open to everybody and access to the learning nuggets might be free, however other services (e.g. certificates) might be charged to ensure a long term sustainability of this activity.

Nuggets are short (≤ 30 min) learning content delivered online via our Guided Learning Platform. Each nugget adresses at least one competency and may have different formats (pdf, video, html, simulation,etc.). Nuggets can be combined to courses. Nuggets can be created as a funded activity, as a by product of other activities (e.g. Master or innovation programs) or could be contributed by partners. Nuggets will be part of our first Call for proposals.

Nuggets may also be designed with a more in-depth and professionally oriented tutored chain of Nuggets in mind (see below) to provide synergies. A link with one of the innovation flagship programs is highly desirable to make sure there is a good integration of pillar activities (e.g. it may be useful for an innovation project yielding a new technology to then provide background information to the public via a Nugget). Altough the nuggets might be initially offered free of charge to everybody additional charged offers might be based on them. A sustainable business model will be derived which shares the revenues between the partners contributing and the EIT.

Teaching and Learning Factories are two different methods and tools for education. The first consist in enabling a collaboration between factories and students with the double objective of solving industria problems and increse the competencies of the students. The teaching factory provides practical problems for the students to be solved.
The second consists in reality-conforming production environments to be used as a learning environment in which students can do hands-on experience. In EIT manufacturing we aim at building a network of teaching and learning factories to enhance academic programs and into the Guded Learning Platform (GLP).

4.  Questions related to Third Party involvement

Yes, organisations from outside of EIT Manufacturing can participate as so-called Activity Partners. For information how, please see the EIT Manufacturing Internet pages, under the top menu item “Activities” (http://eitmanufacturing.eu/activities/call-for-activity-proposals/).

Another option is to involve organisations as “sub-contractors” or “sub-grantees”. Sub-contracting is preferred over sub-granting, as the eligibility requirements of sub-granting costs are very restrictive. Of course, external organisations should provide capabilities which are essential for the success of a project and not available within the partner network of EIT Manufacturing. For the sub-contracting model, the procurement policies of the sub-contracting partner need to be followed, in which a best-value for money analysis is mandatory. The total budget a sub-grantee or sub-contractor may receive from EIT Manufacturing for all Activities he is involved in during a year is limited to 60,000€.

You need to describe the criteria to select sub-grantees and/or subcontractors in the budget justification field of the respective cost positions (Tab 5 of the submission template, available in the final Call). Please do not mention any sub-contractor names, unless they have already been selected by a proper procurement process

The rules of Horizon 2020 apply (http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/amga/h2020-amga_en.pdf). Affiliated entities or third parties with a legal link to the main KIC partner can be considered “linked third parties” and can participate in KAVAs.

Affiliates: (Clause 2, par. 1, p.2 in connection with Clause 8, par. 2 Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013): Affiliated entity means a legal entity
* that is under the direct or indirect control of a participant, or
* that is under the same direct or indirect control as the participant, or
* that is directly or indirectly controlling a participant
Control may take either of the following terms:
a) The direct or indirect holing of more than 50% of the nominal value of the issued share capital in the legal entity concerned or of a majority of the voting rights of the shareholders or associates of that entity, or
b) The direct or indirect holding, in fact or in law, of decision-making powers in the legal entity concerned. Affiliated entities subsume not only the case of parent companies or holdings and their daughter companies or subsidiaries and vice-versa, but also the case of affiliates between themselves (e.g. entities controlled by the same entity).

Third party with a legal link to a beneficiary: Any legal entity which has a legal link to the beneficiary implying collaboration that is not limited to the action. The established legal relationship should refer to an
a) relationship (between the third party and the beneficiary), which is broad and not specifically created for to the work in the Grant Agreement, and
b) a legal relationship, in the sense that it might refer to a legal structure (e.g. the relationship between an association and its member) or which is established through an agreement that is not limited to the action (e.g. a collaboration agreement for research in a particular field).

In total, not more than three (3) linked third parties of a Partner organization can receive EIT funding (in all proposals).
The total maximum EIT funding per year for a Partner organization AND its linked third parties will be EUR 1,000,000 (for all of the funded proposals of the Partner organization and its linked third parties)

The main question(s) to be asked is whether the SME will have a major role / task in the activity and whether it will own the results:
==> If yes: SMEs should become Activity Partners (see question “Can companies or academia from outside of EIT Manufacturing participate in projects?” above.
==> If no: sub-contracting should be chosen.

Sub-granting is only to be used if the benefit of the Activity is clearly for the sub-grantee and the other Activity Partners do not benefit from the involvement of the sub-grantee. The key example for this are prizes or stipends. In the past years, the EIT has taken a critical view on sub-granting, so it needs to be very well justified.

Further aspects to be taken into consideration are:
(1) If the SME is subcontracted, the selection of the subcontractor must be based on the principle of “best value for money” and documented accordingly.
(2) subcontracting can be based on market prices, while sub-granting must be based on actual cost rates.

Particpants that choose to participate as an Activity Partner will have to register their organisation with EIT Manufacturing before being able to be a partner in an Activity consortium, and then have full access to the EIT Manufacturing intranet and the submission system. Sub-contractors and Sub-grantees will not get access to the intranet.

The Activity Partner concept allows external organisations to better participate in EIT Manufacturing Activities.

  • Participation of Activity Partners will be activity-based, therefore limited to the duration of the respective involvement (usually 1 year).
  • The sub-contracting / sub-grantee funding cap of EUR 60,000 per year does NOT apply to this participation model, however the total EIT funding for an Activity Partner is EUR 300,000.
  • Activity Partners will have to accede to the Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA).
  • After the end of the activity they participate, they may apply to become regular members of EIT Manufacturing. Alternatively, they can keep an “inactive” status during the year(s) they are not engaged in any activity / project. For the “inactive” year(s), many of the obligations under the FPA and SGA (e.g. implementation, deliverables, technical and financial reporting, keeping of supporting documents, financial or technical audits or reviews, IPR results, access to background and results of others, etc.) will not be applicable. Alternatively they may exit the FPA.
  • Activity Partners will not need to (and cannot) become members of the EIT Manufacturing legal entity (LE) and therefore do not get any decision making power in the KIC governance structure. They do not have voting rights in the General Assembly, but they can participate as Observers.
  • Institutions collaborating through this model will pay a reduced fee of 7.5% of the funding received, capped at EUR 50,000.

EIT Manufacturing recommends proposers to engage Activity Partners in their proposals only if they bring significant added-value to the proposals and have an important role that can be clearly justified.

For the process of becoming Activity Partners see the the question “Can companies or academia from outside of EIT Manufacturing participate in projects?” above.

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