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Environmental monitoring of wave and tidal devices - EASME/EMFF/2017/1.2.1.1
Deadline: 18 Jan 2018   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono EC - EASME

 Marine and Coast
 Maritime Affaires and Fisheries
 Energy Efficiency
 Intelligent Energy
 Eco-Innovation
 Renewable Energy
 Climate Sciences

1. INTRODUCTION – BACKGROUND

The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, hereafter referred to as "EASME", acting under the powers delegated by the European Commission (also referred as "the Commission"), is launching a call for proposals with a view to concluding grant agreements for projects in the field of environmental monitoring of wave and tidal devices.

1.1. Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

This call is launched in accordance with the 2017 Work Programme1 for the Implementation of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) (section 1.2.1.1 of the annex), on the basis of the objectives set out in the Regulation (EU) No 508/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund2, and in particular Article 82(c).

1.2. General information concerning the call for proposals

The action covered by this call for proposals forms part of the EMFF Work Programme, whose implementation is delegated to EASME.

According to the Act of Delegation, grant agreements will be signed by EASME.

1.3. Background

The development of an ocean energy industry in Europe fits into several of the EU's key priorities in terms of Energy Union and Climate, Jobs, Growth and Investment3.

As a renewable energy, it should contribute to the EU's goals for greenhouse gas emission reductions and support the EU's implementation plan for the COP21 Paris agreement. It can also contribute to the Atlantic Strategy objective of reducing the Atlantic region's carbon footprint.

The Commission adopted in 2014 a Communication on Blue Energy4, which recognised the immense potential of harnessing the power of our seas and oceans. Ocean energy could make a substantial contribution to providing clean, predictable, indigenous and reliable energy in the future.

 

It is also one of the sectors that were identified in the Commission's Blue Growth Communication5 as an area where EU action can complement initiatives by the Member States to help this nascent industry develop faster and establish a new industrial sector.

The EU is a worldwide frontrunner in this sector with over 50% of tidal and wave energy companies based in Europe. The deployment of the first demonstration arrays for tidal energy indicates that substantial technological progress has been achieved6.

The Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap “Building Ocean Energy for Europe” 7 published in November 2016 estimates that ocean energy could meet up to 10% of the EU's power demand by 2050, equivalent to cutting 276 million tonnes of CO2 every year. However, continuous support at EU and national level is needed to help the sector move to industrial phase and commercialisation. The deployment of wave and tidal devices, such as demonstration and pre-commercial devices, arrays and plants, is crucial for the further development of the sector.

The Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap identified de-risking environmental consenting as a key challenge. The development of fit-for-purpose, effective and efficient licensing systems for ocean energy projects across Member States is essential at this stage of development of the sector.

The European Technology & Innovation Platform for Ocean Energy (ETIP Ocean) recognises that whilst knowledge of positive impacts can be useful in improving public acceptance and investor appetite, study of potential negative impacts is vital to ensure that appropriate mitigation measures are put in place8.

Strategic planning is necessary to prevent future conflicts with other sea users and to ensure minimal impact of ocean energy deployment on the marine environment. Early and coordinated environmental assessment procedures under applicable environmental legislations (Directives on Strategic Environmental Assessment9, Environmental Impact Assessment10, Marine Strategy Framework11, Habitats12, Birds13, NATURA 200014 and Maritime Spatial Planning15) and the respective national legal rules are fundamental in ensuring compliance and stakeholders' involvement.

 

Developers’ application for consent requires a sound understanding of environmental assessment requirements and processes applied to ocean energy. However, deployments of ocean energy devices are without precedent, so there is not much existing empirical data that could inform the regulatory process. Obtaining consent for an emerging technology such as ocean energy can be time consuming and costly. Consenting processes, thus, need to be tailored and proportionate.

Close environmental monitoring and impact assessment and an early understanding of these aspects will benefit the current and future deployments of wave and tidal devices and the ocean energy sector as a whole, by putting in place a guiding framework within which to establish protocol for regulatory assessments, licensing, control and monitoring. This will help to steer the transition from research and development to commercial deployment of new technologies smoothly and efficiently.

 

2. OBJECTIVES – ACTIVITIES – OUTPUTS/IMPACTS

2.1. Objectives
General objectives
The general objectives of this call for proposals are:

  •   To contribute to increasing environmental data on the potential impact of wave and tidal devices;

  •   To contribute to reducing uncertainty in modelling potential impacts of future wave and tidal devices.

Information from the selected projects will be available for, and used by other developers and regulators to inform the consenting of ocean energy deployments.

Specific objectives:

Action Plan 4 of the Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap proposes an integrated programme of measures on planning and consenting processes, on knowledge gaps and environmental demonstration strategy to reduce the burden on early developers and inform consenting of future projects.

This call for proposals aims at supporting and implementing these recommendations. The specific objectives of this call are to:

  •   collect, process, analyse and share all environmental data and information on the positive, negative or absence of impacts of wave and tidal devices;

  •   initiate strategic research to address gaps in knowledge to improve modelling of potential impacts of future deployments and to development of mitigation measures;

  •   develop a more efficient planning and consenting procedure based on a risk-based approach to ocean energy licensing.

 

2.2. Activities

Projects must undertake at least one, but preferably most of the following activities as part of the project implementation:

1. Research, data collection and analysis

To assess potential environmental impact of wave and tidal devices and support efficient decision-making, a strong baseline is needed with validated and consolidated empirical data.

There are various types and sizes of devices and installations, in different locations and local conditions. However, the combined and cumulative data generated by monitoring them can contribute to a better overall understanding of environmental impact and reducing uncertainty. This in turn can populate modelling on the level and significance of potential impacts of future wave and tidal devices (seabed, noise, collision, displacement...).

This activity should seek to generate and gather effectively data from as many deployed and tested devices as possible. In that context, use of private data from companies should be considered.

Work on data must at least include:

  •   a monitoring plan with data gap analysis;

  •   monitoring equipment, including research on optimisation or development of sensors, if relevant;

  •   detailed and operational data validation process based on existing, developed and agreed methodologies. Information and coordination with competent public authorities will be necessary in this context;

  •   development of a platform for sharing data;

  •   development of impact assessment methods;

  •   modelling of possible and cumulative impacts at larger scale.

    2. Environmental demonstration strategy This activity should:

  •   monitor the effects of ocean energy devices on the marine wildlife by deploying monitoring equipment around devices and arrays operating at sea. This should include different technologies and locations;

  •   establish a methodology to collect, process and disseminate data and monitoring information, including how such information will be shared, discussed and peer reviewed by public authorities, regulators, stakeholders, researchers and developers;

  •   develop a set of practical mitigation measures following the monitoring, taking into account site specificities and cumulative impacts;

  •  draw conclusions and recommendations for future devices and larger scale arrays taking into account different technologies and geographic considerations;

3. Consenting and planning

  •   This activity will be based on a review of existing practices and experience of consenting and licensing processes in EU Member States and elsewhere. It could include analysis of licencing strategies in other marine sectors (offshore wind, aquaculture...) and the potential efficiency of a ‘one stop shop’ approach. It should review the need for risk based consenting techniques to ocean energy licensing. Guidance manuals or tools to share best practices will be developed, building on existing work in Member States, Commission guidance on environmental assessments or outcomes of projects such as RiCore16 and MUSES17;

  •   By means of this activity guidance and recommendations shall be developed on how to apply maritime spatial planning to facilitate the selection of sites for deploying ocean energy devices and the provision of infrastructure, while ensuring compliance with environmental legislations and including stakeholders consultations.

Beneficiaries must give access to their results -on a royalty-free basis- to EU institutions, bodies, offices or agencies, for developing, implementing or monitoring EU policies or programmes.

Such access rights are limited to non-commercial and non-competitive use. This does not change the right to use any material, document or information received from the beneficiaries for communication and publicising activities.

Complementary activities

Projects may propose other activities complementary to the core activities set out above. Such complementary activities should contribute to realise the project objectives and be in line with the objectives of this call for proposals. Complementary activities could comprise for instance training activities, expert workshops, measures to seek complementarities and synergies with relevant projects funded under this call and other EU programmes as well as with other relevant initiatives or policies (e.g. sea-basin and macro-regional strategies), awareness raising and dissemination activities.

Networking with other projects

During the lifetime of the projects financed under this action, a number of meetings will be organised at EU level for the grant beneficiaries to facilitate the exchange of experience and good practices, to foster mutual learning and to enhance the European dimension of environmental monitoring. Project beneficiaries are expected to participate in these meetings, which will be held in Brussels or other relevant locations.

 

2.3. Geographical scope

The geographic area covered by the action includes the whole of the EU and, if relevant, devices deployed out of the EU.

2.4. Expected outputs

Projects under this action should achieve concrete outputs within the project duration. The proposal must clearly describe at application stage the specific outputs of the project in terms of:

  •   Improved environmental information on deployments of wave and tidal devices at sea condition;

  •   Covered gaps in knowledge in the area of consenting and licencing;

  •   Increased exchange of information on environmental status and impacts of wave and tidal energy devices between EU Member States consenting authorities;

  •   Increased awareness of and education in environmental monitoring, control and maritime spatial planning;

  •   Development of publicly available guidelines (for decision makers, developers, stakeholders, etc.), which will be used to improve and streamline processes and reduce duplication of efforts;

  •   Facilitate the identification and selection of sites as well as future consenting;

  •   Setting up of an environmental data platform aligned with relevant existing legislation and initiatives (e.g. EMODnet18, Inspire Directive19, Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Maritime Spatial Planning, etc.).

A list of relevant indicators (qualitative/quantitative) to measure the expected outputs and impacts of the project must be included in the proposal20.

 

3. TIMETABLE
3.1. Indicative timetable
The indicative timetable for this call for proposals is:

a) Publication of the call

16 October 2017

 

b) Deadline for submitting applications

19/01/2018 – 16:00 (Brussels time)

 

c) Evaluation period

February – April 2018

 

d) Information to applicants

May 2018

 

e) Preparation and signature of the grant agreement

June – August 2018

 

f) Starting date of the project

September 2018

 

g) Progress reports

Every 6 months

 

h) Interim report

Within 60 days of the end of first half of the project

 

i) Final report

Within 60 days of the end of the project

 

3.2. Implementation period

Projects should not exceed the duration of 36 months.

The project duration shall start on the first day of the month following the date on which the last of both parties signs the related grant agreement or at the date specified in the grant agreement.

 

4. BUDGET AVAILABLE

The total budget earmarked for this action is EUR 1.5 million.

This budget might be increased by maximum 20%.

The EU grant is limited to a maximum co-funding rate of 80% of eligible costs actually incurred.

It is estimated that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 400,000 and EUR 800,000 would allow the objectives of this call for proposals to be addressed appropriately. The amount requested should be consistent and proportional with the scope of the proposal (number of applicants, number of Member States involved, activities proposed, etc.). Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

EASME expects to fund 2 to 4 proposals.
EASME reserves the right not to distribute all the funds available.

 

 

 

5. ADMISSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications must be sent no later than the deadline for submitting applications referred to in section 3.

Applications must be submitted in writing (see section 15), using the application form provided in annex to this Call for Proposals.

Applications must be drafted in one the EU official languages. Submission in English is strongly encouraged and will facilitate the evaluation process.

Failure to comply with those requirements will lead to the rejection of the application.

 

6. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

6.1. Geographical eligibility

Applicants from all EU Member States are eligible22. Applicants established in third countries are not eligible.

6.2. Eligible applicants

1. Applicants must be legal entities. They can be public or private bodies. In the event of private bodies, they must be properly constituted and registered under national law. In the event of international organisations23, they must be constituted under international law.

Natural persons are not eligible as applicant for the purpose of the present call.

To be considered a public entity, the body in question must fulfil all of the following criteria:

  •   The body has been created by a public authority or is governed by private law with a public service mission;

  •   The public interest of the body must be explicitly mentioned in the relevant legal or administrative act(s);

  •   The body is financed totally or to a large extent (more than 50%) by public sources;

  •  In the event that the entity stops its activities, all rights and obligations including financial rights and obligations will be transferred to a public authority.

For bodies to be considered as public entity, proof of compliance with the above criteria should be provided together with the proposal.

2. Applicants must be active at least in one of the following fields: marine biology, renewable energy, marine energy, maritime spatial planning, marine engineering, offshore activities, environmental legislation, environment monitoring and consenting, or any other field if its relevance for the project is duly justified in the proposal.

3. Examples of potential applicants are (non-exhaustive list):

  •   Developers of wave and tidal energy devices and supply chain services;

  •   Licencing bodies, environmental authorities and/or agencies;

  •   Research and testing centres.

4. Legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants, which is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation, may take part in the action as affiliated entities24, and may declare eligible costs as specified in section 11.2. For that purpose, applicants shall identify such affiliated entities in the application form. The affiliated entities will have to comply with the eligibility and exclusion criteria.

5. Supporting documents: In order to assess the applicants' eligibility, the following supporting documents are requested for the coordinator and each of the partners:

  •   Public entity: copy of the resolution/law/decree/decision establishing the entity OR if not available, any other official document proving the establishment of the entity by the national authorities;

  •   Private entity: extract from the official journal, copy of articles of association, extract of trade or association register, VAT registration document;

  •   Affiliated entities: shall demonstrate their legal/capital link with the applicant.

6.3. Consortia

It is encouraged that proposals are submitted by a consortium (partnership) of organisations from at least two different EU Member States. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission of proposals by a sole applicant.

In the case of a consortium, one of these organisations must act as coordinator, while the others will act as partners.

All partners of the consortium will provide the coordinator with a power of attorney in writing through a mandate signed for that purpose25. The mandate shall fully empower the coordinator to act on the partners' behalf in the context of the grant agreement.

6.4. Observers

It is possible for other relevant parties to participate with an observer status e.g. from non EU Member States or other regional or international organisations active in the field of renewables and marine energy, environmental monitoring and related sectors.

However, these entities shall not be entitled to receive Union financial support. Thus participation in any project activity will be at the observer's own expenses. Moreover, these entities will not be taken into consideration for determining compliance with the eligibility conditions for consortia set out above.

6.5. Eligible activities

Eligible activities shall be those necessary to carry out the project and realise the intended outputs/results, in accordance with the objectives listed in section 2.

 

7. EXCLUSION CRITERIA

All applicants, including both the consortium coordinator and other partners, must provide a declaration of honour (see template in the annexed application form), signed and dated by an authorised representative, stating that they are not in one of the situations of exclusion listed in that declaration of honour.

EASME reserves the right to verify whether the successful applicants are in any of the situations of exclusion by requiring the supporting documents listed in the declaration of honour.

 

8. SELECTION CRITERIA

8.1. Financial capacity27

Applicants must have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out or the year for which the grant is awarded and to participate in its funding.

For public entities and international organisations:

On the basis of article 131(3) FR and given the eligibility criteria set for applicants under section 6 of this call for proposals, such applicants are considered to have stable and sufficient sources of funding to maintain their activity throughout the period during which the action is being carried out and to participate in its funding.

This type of applicants has to submit a declaration of honour that they have the financial capacity to carry out the project, but no additional supporting documents are requested.

For all other entities:
The applicants' financial capacity will be assessed on the basis of the following supporting documents to be submitted with the application:

 

A) Total grant value28 is ≤ EUR 60,000:
 a declaration of honour (to be provided by each of the applicants)

B) Total grant value is > EUR 60,000:

  •   a declaration of honour (to be provided by each of the applicants), AND the following additional supporting documents:

  •   the profit and loss accounts, as well as the balance sheets for the past 2 years for which the accounts were closed;

  •   the financial capacity table provided for in the application form, filled in with the relevant statutory accounting figures, in order to calculate the ratios as detailed in the form.

    For newly created entities, the business plan might replace the above documents. C) Grant value is ≥ EUR 750,000:

    •   In addition to the supporting documents required under B) above, applicants shall provide an audit report produced by an approved external auditor certifying the accounts for the last financial year available.

    •   In the event of an application grouping several applicants (consortium), the above threshold applies by applicant.

      If on the basis of the documents submitted, the financial capacity is not considered satisfactory, the EASME may:

  •   request further information;

  •   propose a grant agreement with a pre-financing covered by a bank guarantee (see section 11.4 below);

  •   where applicable, require the joint and several financial liability of all the co- beneficiaries;

  •   or reject the application.

8.2. Operational capacity29

Applicants must have the professional competencies, as well as appropriate qualifications necessary to complete the proposed project. In this respect, applicants have to submit a declaration on their honour, and the following supporting documents:

 Where appropriate, a description of the technical equipment, tools or facilities and patents at the disposal of the applicants30;

 

 For each applicant, a list of up to 3 activities (i.e. projects, publications, products, services and/or other achievements) relevant to the call content31.

However, on the basis of article 131(3) FR, and given the eligibility criteria set for applicants under section 6 of this Call for Proposals, public entities and international organisations are considered to have the professional competencies, as well as appropriate qualifications, necessary to complete the proposed project. In this respect, applicants have to submit a declaration of honour that they have the operational capacity to carry out the project.

The EASME may request further supporting documents to confirm the operational capacity of any applicant.

 

9. AWARD CRITERIA

The application will be assessed on the basis of the following award criteria.

A maximum of 100 points will be awarded for the quality of the proposal. The required minimum overall score required is 60 points and a minimum score of 50% is required for each criterion (see below).

Proposals will be ranked according to their total score.
The EASME may call upon external experts in support of the evaluation of the proposals.

 

1. Relevance and added value

Max. score – 30 points (minimum required 15 points)

Relevance and added value will be assessed on the following basis:

  • –  Relevance and scope of the proposal and its expected results to achieving the objectives of the action;

  • –  Added value of the proposal in terms of innovation, synergies/complementarity with other relevant initiatives or national and EU policies;

  • –  Capacity to involve and promote dialogue and cooperation with relevant stakeholders.

  • –  Involvement of different partners bringing a transnational dimension into the proposal.

 

2. Project implementation

Max. score – 30 points (minimum required 15 points)

Project implementation will be assessed on the following basis:

  • –  Effectiveness and coherence of the work plan;

  • –  Feasibility in terms of activities and timetable;

  • –  Appropriate and balanced allocation of tasks and human resources;

  • –  Appropriate project management set-up;

  • –  Complementarity of partners, where applicable;

  • –  Adequate risk management.

 

3. Budget and cost- effectiveness

Max. score – 20 points (minimum required 10 points)

Budget and cost-effectiveness will be assessed on the following basis:

– Clearly presented and appropriate budget representing cost- effective allocation of financial resources in relation to the planned activities and outputs.

 

4. Impact

Max. score – 20 points (minimum required 10 points)

Impact will be assessed on the following basis:

– Expected outputs and impact;

– Dissemination, sustainability and transferability of the expected results and potential multiplier effect.

 

10. LEGAL COMMITMENTS

In the event of a grant awarded by the EASME, a grant agreement, drawn up in euro and detailing the conditions and level of funding, will be sent to the coordinator as well as the procedure in view to formalise the obligations of the parties.

The 2 copies of the original agreement must be signed first by the beneficiary/ coordinator and returned to the EASME immediately. The EASME will sign it last.

Please note that the award of a grant does not establish an entitlement for further support after the end of the project.

 

11. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

11.1. General principles

a) Non-cumulative award34

An action may only receive one grant from the EU budget.

In no circumstances shall the same costs be financed twice by the Union budget. To ensure this, applicants shall indicate the sources and amounts of Union funding received or applied for the same action or part of the action or for its functioning during the same financial year, as well as any other funding received or applied for the same action.35

b) Non-retroactivity36

No grant may be awarded retrospectively for actions already completed.

A grant may be awarded for an action which has already begun only where the applicant can demonstrate the need to start the action before the grant agreement is signed or the grant decision is notified. In such cases, costs eligible for financing may not have been incurred prior to the date of submission of the grant application.

 

c) Co-financing37

Co-financing means that the resources which are necessary to carry out the action may not be entirely provided by the EU grant.

Co-financing of the action may take the form of:

  •   the beneficiary's and affiliated entities' own resources;

  •   income generated by the action;

  •   financial contributions from third parties.

    Co-financing may also take the form of in-kind contributions from third parties, i.e. non- financial resources made available free of charge by third parties to the beneficiary.38

d) Balanced budget39

The estimated budget of the action is to be attached to the application form. It must have revenue and expenditure in balance. A model of a budget overview can be found in Annex of the application form.

The budget must be drawn up in euros.

Applicants who expect that costs will not be incurred in euros, shall use the exchange rate published on the Infor-euro website available at http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/inforeuro/inforeuro_en.cfm.

e) Implementation contracts/sub-contracting40

Where the implementation of the action requires the award of procurement contracts (implementation contracts), the beneficiary must award the contract to the bid offering best value for money or the lowest price (as appropriate), avoiding conflicts of interests and retain the documentation for the event of an audit.

Entities acting in their capacity of contracting authorities in the meaning of Directive 2004/18/EC41 or contracting entities in the meaning of Directive 2004/17/EC42 shall abide by the applicable national public procurement rules.

Sub-contracting, i.e. the externalisation of specific tasks or activities which form part of the action as described in the proposal must satisfy the conditions applicable to any implementation contract (as specified above) and in addition to them the following conditions:

  • it may only cover the implementation of a limited part of the action;
  • it must be justified having regard to the nature of the action and what is necessary for its implementation;

 

 it must be clearly stated in the proposal.
The grant beneficiary has the possibility to award contracts to provide services or to

assist in the implementation of certain limited activities.

The term “subcontracts” is applied to expenses paid by the beneficiary on the basis of:

  •   Contracts, and

  •   Invoices/requests for reimbursement to external service providers who carry out certain tasks or assist in the implementation of certain limited activities for the project because the beneficiary lacks the resources or expertise to carry them out.

    N.B. The model grant agreement imposes additional requirements where the value of the contracts necessary for the implementation of the action or subcontracting of tasks forming part of the action exceeds EUR 130.000.

f) Financial support to third parties
Financial support to third parties is not an eligible expenditure.

11.2. Form of funding43

Funding takes the form of mixed financing.

Mixed financing grants are calculated on the basis of a detailed estimated budget indicating clearly the costs that are eligible for EU funding. The grant amount may neither exceed the eligible costs nor the amount requested. Amounts are indicated in euros.

 Maximum amount requested
The EU grant is limited to a maximum co-funding rate of 80% of eligible costs actually incurred.

Consequently, part of the total eligible expenses entered in the estimated budget must be financed from sources other than the EU grant (see section 11.1c).

 Contributions in kind44
The external co-financing may be made up of contributions in kind in order to cover

other costs necessary to carry out the project. Such contributions must not exceed:

  • -  either the costs actually borne and duly supported by accounting documents;

  • -  or, in the absence of such documents, the costs generally accepted on the market in question.

In-kind contributions shall be presented separately in the estimated budget to reflect the total resources allocated to the action. Their unit value is evaluated in the provisional budget and shall not be subject to subsequent changes.

In-kind contributions shall comply with national tax and social security rules.

 

 Eligible costs45
Eligible costs are costs actually incurred by the beneficiary of a grant which meet all the

following criteria:

  1. a)  they are incurred during the duration of the action, with the exception of costs relating to final reports;

  2. b)  the period of eligibility of costs will be defined in the grant agreement. If a beneficiary can demonstrate the need to start the action before the agreement is signed, expenditure may be authorised before the grant is awarded. Under no circumstances can the eligibility period start before the date of submission of the grant application (see section 11.1b);

  3. c)  they are indicated in the estimated budget of the action;

  4. d)  they are necessary for the implementation of the action;

  5. e)  they are identifiable and verifiable, in particular being recorded in the accounting records of the beneficiary and determined according to the applicable accounting standards of the country where the beneficiary is established and according to the usual cost accounting practices of the beneficiary;

  6. f)  they comply with the requirements of applicable tax and social legislation;

  7. g)  they are reasonable, justified, and comply with the requirements of sound financial management, in particular regarding economy and efficiency.

The beneficiary's internal accounting and auditing procedures must permit direct reconciliation of the costs and revenue declared in respect of the action/project with the corresponding accounting statements and supporting documents.

The same criteria apply to the affiliated entities.

Eligible direct costs

The eligible direct costs for the action are those costs which, with due regard for the conditions of eligibility set out above, are identifiable as specific costs directly linked to the performance of the action and which can therefore be booked to it directly:

  •   the costs of personnel working under an employment contract with the applicant or equivalent appointing act and assigned to the action, comprising actual salaries plus social security contributions and other statutory costs included in the remuneration, provided that these costs are in line with the applicant's usual policy on remuneration. Those costs may include additional remuneration, including payments on the basis of supplementary contracts regardless of their nature, provided that it is paid in a consistent manner whenever the same kind of work or expertise is required and independently from the source of funding used. For the calculation of costs of personnel, the calculation sheet is available in the dedicated EASME EMFF website46;

  •   costs of the personnel of national administrations to the extent that they relate to the cost of activities which the relevant public authority would not carry out if the project concerned were not undertaken;

  •   subsistence allowances (for meetings, including kick-off meetings where applicable, conferences etc.) provided that these costs are in line with the beneficiary's usual practices;

  •   costs of travel (for meetings, including kick-off meetings where applicable, conferences etc.), provided that these costs are in line with the beneficiary's usual practices on travel;

  •   depreciation cost of equipment (new or second-hand): only the portion of the equipment's depreciation corresponding to the duration of the action/project and the rate of actual use for the purposes of the action may be taken into account;

  •   costs entailed by subcontracting awarded by the beneficiaries for the purposes of carrying out the action/project, provided that the conditions laid down in the grant agreement are met;

  •   costs arising directly from requirements linked to the implementation of the action/project (dissemination of information, specific evaluation of the action, translations, reproduction);

  •   contributions in-kind: if necessary to implement the action, the beneficiaries may use in-kind contributions provided by third parties whether against payment or free of charge. If the in-kind contribution is provided against payment, the beneficiaries may declare costs related to the payment of in-kind contributions as eligible, up to the third parties’ costs for the seconded persons, contributed equipment, infrastructure or other assets or other contributed goods and services. If the in-kind contribution is provided free of charge, the beneficiaries may declare costs incurred by the third parties for the seconded persons, contributed equipment, infrastructure or other assets or other contributed goods and services as eligible. The third parties and their contributions must be set out in Annex 1. The beneficiaries must ensure that the Agency, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) can exercise their rights.

  •   value added tax (VAT) in relation to eligible direct costs where it is not recoverable/deductible by the beneficiary.

    N.B. Applicants must include in the budget proposal the cost of participation of maximum two representatives of the beneficiary (including at least one representative of the coordinating organisation in case of a consortium) to two project meetings organised at EU level during the project lifetime.

    Eligible indirect costs (overheads)

 A flat-rate amount of 7% of the total eligible direct costs of the action is eligible under indirect costs, representing the beneficiary's general administrative costs which can be regarded as chargeable to the action/project.

Indirect costs may not include costs entered under another budget heading.

 Ineligible costs

  •   return on capital;

  •   debt and debt service charges;

  •   provisions for losses or debts;

  •   interest owed;

  •   doubtful debts;

  •   exchange losses;

  •   costs of transfers charged by the bank of a beneficiary;

  •   costs declared by a beneficiary and covered by another action receiving a European Union grant. In particular, indirect costs shall not be eligible under a grant for an action awarded to a beneficiary who already receives an operating grant financed from the Union budget during the period in question;

  •   excessive or reckless expenditure;

  •   deductible VAT (N.B. VAT is eligible where provided by the relevant articles of the

FR47).

 Calculation of the final grant amount

The final amount of the grant to be awarded to the beneficiary is established after completion of the action, upon approval of the request for payment containing the following documents48, including relevant supporting documents where appropriate:

  •   a final report providing details of the implementation and results of the action;

  •   a final financial statement of costs actually incurred;

  •   where applicable, a certificate on the financial statements of the action for each beneficiary.

EU grants may not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit within the framework of the action of the beneficiary. Profit shall be defined as a surplus of the receipts over the eligible costs incurred by the beneficiary, when the request is made for payment of the balance. In this respect, where a profit is made, the EASME shall be entitled to recover the percentage of the profit corresponding to the Union contribution to the eligible costs actually incurred by the beneficiary to carry out the action.

11.3. Payment arrangements49

11.3.1. Pre-financing payment

A pre-financing payment50 corresponding to 40% of the maximum grant amount will be transferred to the beneficiary within 30 days51 of the date when the last of the two parties signs the grant agreement or from the date stipulated in the grant agreement.

11.3.2. Interim payment

An interim payment52 of maximum 40% of the grant amount will be made within 60 days of receipt and approval by the EASME of an interim report on the project implementation including a financial statement and payment claim.

11.3.3. Final payment

A balance payment will be made within 60 days of receipt and approval by the EASME of the final report on the project implementation including a final technical report, a final financial statement and a payment claim, as well as all other supporting documents that may be requested in accordance with the grant agreement.

The amount of the final payment to be made to the beneficiary will be established on the basis of the calculation of the final grant amount. If the total of earlier payments received is higher than the final grant amount, the beneficiary will be required to reimburse the amount paid in excess through a recovery order53.

11.4. Pre-financing guarantee54

In the event that the beneficiary is a private entity and its financial capacity is not sufficient, a pre-financing guarantee for up to the same amount as the pre-financing may be requested in order to limit the financial risks linked to the pre-financing payment. This is not necessary where the amount of the pre-financing is up to EUR 60.000 included.

The guarantee may be replaced by a joint and several guarantee by a third party or by a joint guarantee of the beneficiaries of an action who are parties to the same grant agreement.

The guarantee shall be released as the pre-financing is cleared as the payments of balances to the beneficiary, in accordance with the conditions laid down in the grant agreement.

11.5. Reporting requirements  Reporting periods

The coordinator shall submit the following reports to the EASME:

  •   six-monthly technical progress reports;

  •   1 interim technical implementation report and interim financial statement;

  •   1 final technical implementation report and final financial statement.

Progress reports shall be submitted to the EASME within 15 calendar days of the end of the periods in question. To avoid overlaps with the interim report, a progress report will not be required when its due date is within two months before or after the end of the first half of the project.

An interim report is due within 60 days of the end of the first half of the project. A final report is due within 60 days of the end of the project.

 Reporting format

Progress reports shall be submitted to the EASME in electronic format. They shall explain the progress made on the milestones provided for by the grant agreement. Progress reports are requested for project monitoring purposes and do not result in any 

payment. Deliverables due for the corresponding period should be submitted with the progress reports.

The interim and final reports are to be sent to the EASME both electronically as well as in paper form.

The interim report shall detail the work progress and achievements, as well as assessment of the budget implementation during the reporting period, the outputs delivered, and provide a forecast for the second half of project implementation. Deliverables due for the corresponding period should be submitted with the interim report.

The final report shall include an executive summary and shall detail all the actions done, the outputs delivered and the final results achieved. All final deliverables should be submitted with the final report.

Reports must be submitted by the coordinator in English, using the available reporting templates.

In case deliverables are not available in English, the applicant should provide a short summary in English (max 2 pages) together with the corresponding deliverable.

 

12. PUBLICITY

12.1. By the beneficiary

The Beneficiary and its affiliated entities must clearly acknowledge the European Union’s contribution in all publications or in conjunction with activities for which the grant is used.

In this respect, the beneficiary and its affiliated entities are required to give prominence to the name and emblem of the European Commission and EASME on all their publications, posters, programmes and other products realised under the co-financed project.

If this requirement is not fully complied with, the grant may be reduced in accordance with the provisions of the grant agreement.

12.2. By the EASME

With the exception of scholarships paid to natural persons and other direct support paid to natural persons in most need, all information relating to grants awarded in the course of a financial year shall be published on an internet site of the European Union institutions no later than the 30 June of the year following the financial year in which the grants were awarded.

The EASME will publish the following information:

  •   name of the beneficiary;

  •   address of the beneficiary when the latter is a legal person, region when the beneficiary is a natural person, as defined on NUTS 2 level55 if he/she is domiciled within EU or equivalent if domiciled outside EU;

  •  subject of the grant;

  •  amount awarded.

Upon a reasoned and duly substantiated request by the beneficiary, the publication shall be waived if such disclosure risks threatening the rights and freedoms of individuals concerned as protected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union or harm the commercial interests of the beneficiaries.

 

13. DATA PROTECTION

The reply to any call involves the recording and processing of personal data (such as name, address and Curriculum Vitae). Such data will be processed pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the EU institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. Unless indicated otherwise, the questions and any personal data requested are required to evaluate the application in accordance with the specifications of the call and will be processed solely for that purpose by EASME. Details concerning the processing of personal data are available on the privacy statement at: http://ec.europa.eu/easme/sites/easme-site/files/privacy-statement-calls-EASME.pdf

Personal data may be registered in the Early Detection and Exclusion System (EDES)56 by the Commission, should the beneficiary be in one of the situations mentioned in Article 106(1) and 107 of the Financial Regulation 966/2012: (for more information see the Privacy Statement on:

http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/explained/management/protecting/privacy_statement_e des_en.pdf

 

14. PROCEDURE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW

14.1. Evaluation Review procedure

Unsuccessful applicants may request the review of the evaluation procedure of their proposals within one month after the dispatch of the communication to the applicants of the evaluation results. In case of proposals submitted on behalf of a consortium of applicants, the request must be raised by the coordinator.

The scope of the review will be limited to procedural aspects of the evaluation which includes procedural errors, factual errors, and manifest errors of assessment of the evaluation.

An internal Review Committee will be convened to examine each case. It is out of the scope of the Committee to review the merits of the proposal. The role of the Committee is neither to call into question the judgement of appropriately qualified experts and therefore it does not cover assessment by these experts with relation to the evaluation criteria.

The Committee provides specialist opinions on the implementation of the evaluation process on the basis of all the available information related to the proposal and its evaluation in the form of a report with recommendations on line of action for each request. In the light of its review, the Committee will recommend a course of action to the responsible authorising officer. Three recommendations are foreseen: (i) that the complaint is rejected as unfounded; (ii) that the complaint is upheld but the problem concerned did not jeopardise the decision whether or not to fund the proposal; (iii) that the complaint is upheld and a re-evaluation is recommended.

In all cases, a reply will be sent to the applicant within two weeks (ten working days) of the date of reception of the request for review. The Committee shall inform the applicant about the result of the evaluation review at the latest 2 months after the meeting of the Committee.

14.2. Admissibility and Eligibility Review procedure

Any unsuccessful applicant may request a review within 30 days from the date of the rejection letter by the Agency. The rejection letter shall indicate the means for submission of the request for review.

Complaints on failed submission proposals due to an online submission system fault have to be submitted through the IT Helpdesk within 4 calendar days from the call closure date.

The scope of the review will be limited to assess the fulfilment of either admissibility or eligibility criteria as laid down in the call for proposals.

An internal Admissibility and Eligibility Review Committee will be convened to examine each case. The Committee provides specialist opinions in the form of a report with recommendations on line of action for each request. In the light of its review, the Committee will recommend a course of action to the responsible authorising officer. Three recommendations are foreseen: (i) that the complaint is not eligible for admissibility/eligibility review; (ii) that the complaint is rejected as unfounded: (iii) that the complaint is founded, which may lead to the evaluation of the proposals/the participation in the action.

 

15. PROCEDURE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS

The proposal must be submitted in accordance with the formal requirements and by the deadline set out in sections 3.1.

No modification to the application is allowed once the deadline for submission has elapsed. However, if there is a need to clarify certain aspects or for the correction of clerical mistakes, the EASME may contact the applicant for this purpose during the evaluation process57.

Applicants will be informed in writing about the result of the selection process58. The application form, annexes and relevant documents can be found at: https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/european-maritime-and-fisheries-fund

 Submission
Applicants are requested to send their complete application according to the procedure below.

The application must contain the following documents:

1. Grant application form (including declaration on honour); 2. Estimated budget of the action (budget form);
3. Information on the applicants:

  • –  supporting documents as specified in section 8.1

  • –  a Legal Entity Form and supporting documents (section 6.2.5) for all applicants

    and affiliated entities

  • –  a Financial Identification Form (only by the coordinator of the consortium)

The paper version of the application will legally constitute the application. The paper version must include the completed grant application form including the declarations of honour (see point 1 above) and the estimated budget of the action (see point 2 above). The documents providing further information on the applicants (see point 3 above) shall be provided only in electronic format at application stage; a paper version of these documents may be requested later in the award process.

The application shall be submitted using the correct forms and shall be duly completed, dated, showing a balanced budget (revenue/expenditure), submitted in 1 original copy, signed by the person authorised to enter into legally binding commitments on behalf of the coordinating applicant organisation. Before submission, please make sure to carefully check the last page of the application form, which provides the checklist of all documents to be submitted with the application.

The envelope of the paper version must clearly state the reference of the Call (EASME/EMFF/2017/1.2.1.1). It must be submitted in a sealed envelope and must be either59:

– sent by registered mail, posted or dispatched no later than 19/01/2018 to the address indicated below:

European Commission
EASME
Ref.: EASME/EMFF/2017/1.2.1.1 (Environmental monitoring of wave and tidal

devices) Unit A3 – EMFF

Place Charles Rogier, 16 B-1210 - Brussels

In this case, the evidence of the date of dispatch shall be constituted by the postmark.

– delivered by hand (by the applicant in person or by an agent), or sent by courier service/express mail, posted or dispatched no later than 19/01/2018 at 12:00 (Brussels time) to the address indicated below:

European Commission
EASME
Mail Service
Ref. EASME/EMFF2017/1.2.1.1 (Environmental monitoring of wave and tidal

devices) Avenue du Bourget 1 B-1140 Brussels

In case of submission by courier service, the evidence of the date of dispatch shall be constituted by the date of dispatch on the deposit slip.

In case of hand delivery by the applicant, a receipt must be obtained as proof of submission, signed and dated by the official in the Commission's central mail department who takes delivery. The department is open from 08.00 to 17.00 from Monday to Thursday, and from 8.00 to 16.00 on Fridays. It is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Commission holidays.

Applications sent by fax will not be accepted.

 Electronic copy

In addition to the submission on paper, the applicant is requested to submit an electronic copy of the proposal (i.e. the grant application including the declarations of honour and the estimated budget) and all its annexes (see point 3 above) on a CD-ROM or USB-stick in the same envelope as the paper version.

 Contacts

Requests for further information shall be sent exclusively by e-mail to EASME-EMFF- calls@ec.europa.eu no later than 11/01/2018 indicating as subject title "Call for Proposals EASME/EMFF/2017/1.2.1.1".

Such questions, together with their answers, if of a general interest, will be published at:

https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/european-maritime-and-fisheries-fund

In addition, important information for the applicants may, if need be, be published on this website. Applicants are thus strongly recommended to consult this website regularly.

 Annexes to this Call for Proposals

  •   Application form60 (with checklist of documents to be provided)

  •   Financial capacity table

  •   Model Grant Agreement for mono and multi-beneficiary projects including:

    • -  Special conditions

    • -  General Conditions (hereinafter referred to as “the General Conditions”) (Annex II to the GA)

  •   Estimated budget of the action (Annex III to the GA)

 Templates to be downloaded and completed:  Legal entity form

All applicants (Coordinator and partner(s)) must fill in the "Legal entity form" available at the following address:

60
authority.

The application will become Annex I of the Grant Agreement once approved by the contracting

27

http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/legal_entities/legal_entitie s_en.cfm

 Financial identification form
The "Financial identification form" available at the following address shall be

completed only by the coordinator of the consortium: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/financial_id/financial_id_

en.cfm

 Templates to be downloaded and used during project implementation:

  •   Mandate61 (Annex IV to the GA)

  •   Model technical reports (Annex V to the GA): progress report, interim report and final report

  •   Model financial statement (Annex VI to the GA)

  •   Model terms of reference for the certificate on the financial statements (Annex

    VII to the GA)

  •   Model Report on the Distribution of the EU Final Financial Contribution (Annex IX to the GA)

  •   Form for calculation of staff costs

    These templates can be downloaded by applicants for reference at the following address:

    https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/european-maritime-and-fisheries-fund

    ____________________



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