The GÉANT Innovation Programme is a unique opportunity to enable initial development, establish a proof of concept or testing of new ideas, with lightweight, administrative constraints.
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GÉANT Innovation Programme guidance for applicants
Proposals may be submitted by a single organisation or by a small consortium. Given the small amount of funding available and the corresponding project size, large consortiums are not expected to submit proposals. However, only the lead partner organisation will receive funding and will be responsible for assigning a budget to any other partners within their project. GÉANT will not ask for a detailed declaration of expenditure, however, participants should be able to provide this information in the event of an audit, so will need to maintain the project’s supporting documentation.
Proposals may be submitted at any time – there are no fixed closing dates. Evaluations will be quickly carried out following a simple, two-stage process: a first report prepared by a group of subject experts, and final evaluation by the evaluation committee. The GÉANT Association will sign an agreement with a successful applicant, which will outline the work to be done, the likely outcomes and results, as well as the conditions under which their projects will be carried out. Work should not start until this agreement is signed.
The legal entity representing a successful project will be paid upon the completion of the work. Due to the innovative nature of the work performed, we understand that not all projects will achieve their expected result. However, a project report produced by all projects will be used as the basis of the final evaluation to ensure value for money, efficiency and that the proof of concept activities were completed.
This section provides a list of points against which applicants are advised to check their proposals prior to submission.
Is your organisation eligible?
If in doubt, please check either with your local NREN or the Innovation Fund co-ordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the proposal eligible?
Applicants must submit a complete proposal, using the Indico submission system. Any proposal not meeting the eligibility requirements will be considered ineligible and will not be evaluated.
Is the proposal complete?
Proposals must comprise a Part A, containing the administrative information on standard forms, and a Part B, containing the description of the applicant’s proposal as described in this Guide. A proposal that does not contain both parts will be considered ineligible and will not be evaluated.
Do you need further advice and support?
For further information and help please email email@example.com. Answers to your question may be included in an FAQ section available on the Innovation Fund web page on the GÉANT website.
Support to Applicants
For further information and help, please consult the FAQs below. If the information you require is not on the website, please contact:
What is the maximum award one organisation can be granted?
A single, eligible legal entity will be awarded up to EUR30,000 per project. One organisation can submit multiple applications, since each project will be judged separately on its merits.
What costs are eligible?
Costs that are directly associated with undertaking the project are eligible, for example, manpower, travel, etc.
Should project participants be located in an EU country? Does geographical location also apply to team members (EU nationals) and subcontractors?
Project participants should be registered in a country where a GÉANT Association NREN is located. There are no restrictions on the nationality of team members, but they should be employed by a participant organisation. Similarly, there is no restriction on the nationality or location of subcontractors. Subcontracting needs to be explained in the application (purpose of subcontractor, input to the project, etc.).
Is match funding needed?
Projects that provide matching funding will be scored more highly than those without. Match funding may come either from internal funds of the organisation or external funding. In the latter case it is important to indicate the source, e.g. national or regional public funding, external investor, bank loan, etc.
Are large/small companies eligible beneficiaries?
The single legal entity applying should be part of the research and education community and have services provided to them by their local NREN. Therefore, it is unlikely that large or small businesses will be eligible to apply (except in circumstances where there is a clear link to the local NREN).
For a two-partner project, is all payment/justification handled via the lead partner?
Payments will be made to the lead partner only.
How will the funding be paid? Do milestones/deliverables justify the payment or is a detailed declaration of expenditures needed?
GÉANT Association will provide a final payment at the end of the project, based on the acceptance of the final report. Interim payments will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. A detailed declaration of expenditure is not required, however, in the event of an audit, the lead partner should be able to prove project spend, so it is necessary to maintain a full set of supporting documents.
Does GÉANT pay any overhead (e.g. 25% as in H2020 calls/programmes) for costs that cannot be identified and calculated by the beneficiary as directly attributed to the project?
The funding is provided as a lump sum contribution, there are no set rules for how organisations design their budget. The aim of the budget in the proposal is to demonstrate to the evaluators that the requested funding is consistent with the effort invested in producing the outcome the project aims to achieve. It should give GÉANT a ‘value for money’ perspective on the project.
Is it possible to attach support letters e.g. from the local NREN?
Letters of support may be included as part of the proposal in so far as they are relevant.
Can universities have a system supplier as one of their partners?
The “lead partner” will choose the best partners to deliver the objectives of the project. The GÉANT association will sign an agreement with the lead partner only.
Can a not-for-profit association be a partner?
Yes, as long as it is a legal entity and it is a “connected institution” of a GÉANT association NREN. Only “connected institutions” can be a leading partner.
Can one institution have more applications?
What would be the criteria, that the proposal will be evaluated by?
What about adaptations of previous EC work – are they eligible?
Adaptation of previous EC work is eligible - as long as the benefit is for the R&E community and it is genuinely innovation and useful.
Regarding the Eligibility criteria what do you mean by ‘connected institutions’ to the National Members?
We mean organisations which are users of GEANT Association member NRENs.
It was mentioned that projects can last up to 9 months, but work needs to be completed before Dec 2021 - that seems to be a contradiction, especially if the first projects start only later this year - can anyone clarify please?
Funding will be assigned on a first come first served basis – so projects funded earlier will have the possibility of lasting 9 months. However, we expect the majority of projects to last between 3-6 months only. 9 months is the absolute maximum and project must be completed no later than the end of December 2021.
Would it be possible to form a consortium (e.g. 2 partners both members of GEANT Association)?
Yes of course – but only the “lead partner” will sign an agreement with GÉANT and invoices will only be paid to the lead partner. The lead partner is wholly responsible for any additional assignment of funding between other partners in a small consortium.
GÉANT ran an Open Call programme before – is this the same? Are these “Open Calls”?
No. The Innovation Programme is not a grant funding programme and no EC guidelines or regulations (usually associated with a formal funding mechanism like for example an “Open Call”) apply here. The GÉANT Innovation Programme is a lightweight and agile scheme to support new ideas and innovative concepts from the GÉANT Community.
Is there a list of previous successful projects on the web?
Is there a list of connected institutions of NRENs so that I can find partners?
Some NRENs provide such a list on their web sites, others don’t. If in doubt you can contact your local NREN
Can we present the idea that we want to test to someone prior to writing the application and get the feedback if it is worth trying?
There will be regular “drop in” sessions, held the first Monday of the month, starting 5 April 2021. Check the GÉANT event calendar
to stay up to date.
For the project, do we have to demonstrate the costs (financial report) or is the payment modality a lump sum?
The payment modality will be a lump sum paid to the lead partner after the end of the project and submission of the final report.
What is the expected TRL (Technology Readiness Level) for the proposals?
We do not work with TRL levels. We focus on the levels of innovation and benefits to the Research and Education community. No need to reach any TRL to be eligible
Are SMEs eligible applicants for the Innovation Programme?
No. However SMEs can be partners of an eligible applicant.
Are legal entities not belonging to the GEANT community eligible applicants for the Innovation Programme, for example non-European institutions?
No. However they can be partners of an eligible applicant.
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