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M-ERA.NET Call 2018
Deadline: 12 Jun 2018   CALL EXPIRED

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1. What is M-ERA.NET

M-ERA.NET is an EU funded network which has been established in 2012 to support and increase the coordination of European research and innovation programmes and related funding in materials science and engineering. Between 2016 and 2021, the M-ERA.NET consortium will continue to contribute to the restructuring of the European Research Area (ERA) by operating a single innovative and flexible network of national and regional funding organisations. M-ERA.NET contributes to EU policies and is complementary to funding schemes at regional, national and European levels, supporting the exploitation of knowledge along the whole innovation chain from basic research to applied research and innovation (TRL 1-8). By stimulating scientific excellence and the creation of a new innovation oriented economy, M-ERA.NET will deliver lasting impact and significant breakthroughs. M-ERA.NET aims to develop a long-term cooperation between funding organisations from countries and regions across Europe and beyond.

What we offer:

M-ERA.NET provides a central forum where substantial pan-European research funding programmes can be aligned to support the European RTD community. M-ERA.NET aims to address societal challenges and technological needs with an interdisciplinary approach, providing a flexible umbrella structure to cover emerging topics in materials research and innovation, including materials for low carbon energy technologies and related production technologies. As a core activity, a series of joint calls for transnational RTD projects will be implemented. These calls will offer the European RTD community an opportunity to access coordinated funding across Europe and to gain access to leading knowledge world-wide. Over five years, the M-ERA.NET consortium aims to mobilise substantial national and regional public funding as well as EU funding.

Why?

Advanced materials technologies have been classified as Key Enabling Technologies (KET) with a wide range of product applications such as developing low carbon energy technologies and improving energy and resource efficiency. They have huge potential to fuel economic growth and provide jobs. In recent years, significant efforts have been made to ensure industry can meet the challenges it currently faces, in terms of the new materials being introduced and the stronger integration of products and processes required. Europe has a wealth of academic and industrial expertise and to ensure it stays at the forefront of developments it is crucial to have a strategic programme that helps to develop projects with impact on a global scale.

Strategic impact

M-ERA.NET is a large network and a powerful tool to tackle European and global challenges in materials research. Improving the coordination and cooperation of national and regional programmes will reduce the fragmentation of public funding across Europe and align programme strategies for transnational collaboration, eliminating programme duplication and a wasteful use of resources. M-ERA.NET will enable collaboration between leading academic and industrial research partners from European and non-European countries and regions and will facilitate access to previously inaccessible new markets. The joint calls for transnational RTD cooperation will mobilise a critical mass of public funding to support key players in materials research to intensify pan-European partnerships and to encourage newcomers to transnational RTD cooperation to realise innovative RTD projects.

The M-ERA.NET Consortium

M-ERA.NET started in 2012 under the FP7 scheme and continues from 2016 to 2021 under the Horizon 2020 scheme as a network of more than 40 public funding organisations from around 30 different countries, including national, regional and non-European organisations. M-ERA.NET aims to identify further relevant materials research programmes and to establish cooperation with funding organisations from Europe and beyond.

(PICTURE NOT AVAILABLE)

Figure 1: M-ERA.NET 2 participants, see also https://www.era-learn.eu/network- information/networks/m-era-net-2/overview-participants

 

 

2. Structure of the M-ERA.NET Call 2018

The objective of the M-ERA.NET Call 2018 is to enable transnational R&D projects between partners receiving funding from regional/national programmes.
Fig. 2 shows the schematic workflow of the Call 2018. Benefits are combined in one approach: On the one hand the regional/national funding organisations apply their own well-established funding rules and procedures known to their applicants, and on the other hand the M-ERA.NET provides transnational coordination expertise:

  •   The announcement and dissemination activities of the call are performed by the M- ERA.NET network.

  •   The eligibility of funding applications will be checked by national/regional funding organisations according to the rules defined by their respective funding programmes, targeting a reasonable balance of requested and available national/regional budgets.
  • There will be a centralised evaluation performed by independent international evaluators that provide a ranking list.
  •  The final funding decision will be made by the national funding organisations.
  •  The coordination of the evaluation and funding decisions is performed by the M-ERA.NET

Steering Board at the Selection Meeting.

 

3. Call Announcement

3.1. Objectives and Topics

The aim is to fund ambitious transnational RTD projects addressing materials research and innovation including materials for low carbon energy technologies and related production technologies.

This call supports the following topics:

Topic 1: Multiscale modeling for materials engineering and processing (M3EP) Topic 2: Innovative surfaces, coatings and interfaces
Topic 3: High performance composites
Topic 4: Functional materials

Topic 5: New strategies for advanced material-based technologies in health applications
Topic 6: Materials for additive manufacturing

M-ERA.NET will support the research and innovation chain described through the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). A more detailed description of the topics is available in Annex 1. A description of the TRLs can be found in Annex 2.

The individual national/regional thematic programme focus and funding rules (3.2.) must be taken into account.

3.2. Funding rules

Each project partner has to apply individually for regional/national funding. For each project partner the funding rules of the respective regional/national programmes apply. This means that depending on the respective national/regional funding rules some project partners have to submit additional national/regional proposals or information on national/regional level.

To obtain detailed information about the specific funding rules and programme priorities we strongly recommend contacting the respective national/regional funding organisations (see Annex 3 for details).

 

3.3. Eligible project structure

Project consortia consisting of a minimum of 3 partners (all requesting funding) from at least 2 different countries (at least 1 EU member states or associated country1) participating in the M-ERA.NET Call 2018 can apply. Partners not asking for funding can participate in addition to the minimum consortium of 3 partners from 2 different countries. The consortia may involve as many partners as necessary.

  •   Coordinator belongs to a country/region participating in the M-ERA.NET Call 2018.

  •   Proposal addresses appropriate TRLs for selected M-ERA.NET Call 2018 topics
  • Proposal is recommended for Full-Proposal submission by M-ERA.NET after Pre- Proposal stage.
  • SMEs, large companies, academic research groups, universities, public research organisations or other research organisations may also participate according to their national/regional financing regulations.

Small to medium sized projects (4 or 5 partners on average per consortium) are expected. The roles of each partner within the consortium should clearly add value to the objectives of the proposed project. Depending on the nature of the project each partner in the consortium must demonstrate how it will exploit the expected results.

National/regional funding rules apply. Therefore in some cases only certain topics, TRLs or types of organisations are eligible (e.g. some national/regional programmes fund only industrial but no academic partners, low/high TRLs). It is highly recommended to contact the respective national/regional funding organisation before proposal submission (see Annex 3 for details).

A consortium agreement between the project partners is recommended for funded projects based on national/regional funding rules. However, the principles of the agreement should already be clear when submitting the proposal. The purpose of the consortium agreement is to clarify:

 the responsibilities of the partners; decision processes inside the project; management of any change of partners;

 how to exploit and/or commercialise the results (for each partner);  IPR issues.

A template for the consortium agreement can be found at: www.iprhelpdesk.eu

3.4. Project budget

No overall limits have been defined on M-ERA.NET level but national/regional limits regarding the available funding will apply.

3.5. Project duration

The maximum project duration cannot exceed 36 months. National/regional limits regarding the duration of projects will apply.

 

3.6. Dates and deadlines

13 March 2018
Launch of the Call 2018

 

12 June 2018 12:00 noon Brussels time
Deadline for submission of:
a) Pre-Proposals and
b) National/regional Funding Applications, if necessary*

Place
a) Online (via IT tool)
b) National/Regional funding organisations

 

Mid-September 2018
Feedback to applicants

 

8 November 2018 12:00 noon Brussels time
Deadline for submission of:
a) Full-Proposals and
b) National/regional Funding Applications, if necessary*

Place
a) Online (via IT tool)
b) National/Regional funding organisation

 

February 2019
M-ERA.NET feedback to applicants

 

March 2019
Contract negotiations for selected proposals on national/regional level National/Regional funding organisations

 

Spring 2019
Start of funded projects

 

4. Application process

The M-ERA.NET application process will be a 2-step procedure: Pre-Proposal and Full-Proposal.

  1. Before submitting a proposal, all project partners must contact their respective national/regional programme funding organisations in order to discuss the project line-up and the funding conditions.

  2. A Pre-Proposal is mandatory. It has to be submitted by the coordinator through an online application form available at www.m-era.net. At the same time national/regional funding applications must be submitted to each of the involved funding organisation according to their specific rules (if applicable).

  3. National/regional funding organisations will carry out assessments of Pre-Proposals and respective national/regional funding applications. The Pre-Proposal stage will be used to ensure that only high quality proposals which are in line with national requirements are invited to the Full-Proposal stage. Applicants will be provided with feedback after the review of their Pre-Proposal, including a recommendation to submit (or not) a Full-Proposal.

  4. A proposal has to be recommended for Full-Proposal submission by M-ERA.NET after Pre-Proposal stage to be eligible.

  5. A Full-Proposal (including Annex 1) must be submitted by the project coordinator through an online application form available at www.m-era.net. At the same time national/regional funding applications must be submitted to each of the involved funding organisation according to their specific rules.

  6. In the second stage Full-Proposals will be subject to a central evaluation performed by independent international evaluators which will result in a ranking list. At the M- ERA.NET selection meeting parties will agree on the projects that are going to be financed based on the ranking list and the available nation/regional finance resources.

  7. M-ERA.NET recommends the funding of projects to the respective funding organisations. The regional/national funding organisations make the final funding decision.

 

4.1. Stage 1: M-ERA.NET Pre-Proposal

The Pre-Proposal gives an overview on the whole project. It is mandatory and has to be submitted in English by the project coordinator through an online application form available at www.m-era.net. In addition to the Pre-Proposal (online submission) the corresponding national/regional funding application form may be requested by the respective funding organisation according to their respective programme rules.

After eligibility check and evaluation of Pre-Proposals M-ERA.NET gives advice to the project coordinators and recommends/does not recommend the submission of Full-Proposals.

4.2. Stage 2: M-ERA.NET Full-Proposal (and national/regional funding applications)

The Full-Proposal gives an overview of the whole project and describes all national project parts. To receive funding, the national parts of the project must fulfil their national/regional criteria. This will create different submission and financing situations for partners from different countries.

 

  •  Project objectives stated in the Pre-Proposal cannot be changed.
  •  Other changes from Pre- to Full-Proposal should be avoided. In any case, changes from Pre-to Full-Proposal stage have to be coordinated with all involved funding organisations by the consortium leader! It is not possible to add new countries to the consortium, i.e. only new partners from countries already participating in the proposal can be added after the Pre-Proposal stage.

This means that changes regarding partners, content, costs, funding or consortium have to be communicated toall involved funding organisations. The consortium leader is responsible to coordinate and ensure the acceptance of these changes by the involved funding organisations.

 

5. Evaluation

M-ERA.NET aims at providing a transparent, fast and straight forward assessment of the submitted project proposals.

5.1. Pre-Proposal:
5.1.1 Eligibility check and evaluation criteria:

At M-ERA.NET level:

  •   Pre-Proposal submitted on or before deadline.

  •   Presence of requested M-ERA.NET Pre-Proposal form in English.

    • o Minimum of 3 partners (all requesting funding) from at least 2 different countries (at least 1 EU member states or associated country2) participating in the M-ERA.NET Call 2018.
    • o Partners not asking for funding can participate in addition to the minimum consortium of 3 partners from 2 different countries.
  •   Coordinator belongs to a country/region participating in the M-ERA.NET Call 2018.

  •   TRLs are in line with the call topic.

  •   Maximum project duration of 3 years.

  •   Pre-Proposal is recommended for submission for a Full-Proposal by at least 2 funding organisations from the countries/regions involved.

At national/regional level:

  •   Presence of requested national/regional Pre-Proposal forms (if applicable).

  •   Minimum number of eligible, independent partners (if applicable, criteria of involved funding programmes apply).

  •   Relevance to funding programme (if applicable, criteria of involved funding programmes apply).

  •   Financial status of applicants, especially industrial applicants.

     

5.1.2. Result of Pre-Proposal assessment:

At national/ regional level the assessment of Pre-Proposal results in one of the recommendations, to be communicated to the applicants:

  •   Recommended for submitting the Full-Proposal (including requirements and/or potential comments for improvement).

  •   Not recommended (motivated - mandatory comments).

5.2. Full-Proposal:
5.2.1 Eligibility check:
Eligibility checks of the Full-Proposal are done before the central evaluation.

At M-ERA.NET level:

  •   Full Proposal submitted on or before deadline.

  •   Presence of requested M-ERA.NET Full-Proposal form and Annex 1 to the Full- Proposal form in English.

  •   Minimum of 3 partners (all requesting funding) from at least 2 different countries (at least 1 EU member states or associated country3) participating in the M-ERA.NET Call 2018.

  •   Partners not asking for funding can participate in addition to the minimum consortium of 3 partners from 2 different countries.

  •   Coordinator belongs to a country/region participating in the M-ERA.NET Call 2018.

  •   TRLs are in line with the call topic.

  •   Maximum project duration of 3 years.

  •   Only in exceptional cases changes from Pre-Proposal to Full-Proposal are allowed.

  •   Proposal is recommended for funding by at least 2 funding organisations from the countries/regions involved after the Pre-Proposal assessment.

At National/regional level:

  •  Recommendations given in the Pre-Proposal stage are fulfilled.

 

5.2.2. Result of Full-Proposal eligibility check:

At national/regional level the eligibility check of Full-Proposals results in a preliminary commitment to the Full-Proposal, depending the outcome of the central evaluation.

5.2.3. Evaluation of Full-Proposal:

The Full-Proposal evaluation is carried out as a central evaluation by independent experts.

The M-ERA.NET Call 2018 Evaluation Procedure:

  •   Individual written assessments: 3 individual and independent written assessments including scoring for each Full-Proposal provided by selected and agreed experts.

  •   Compilation of individual assessments: 3 individual assessments are compiled by one of the 3 experts (= rapporteur). The compilation consists of peer review report and scoring. All experts who provided individual written assessments confirm the compilation and consistency of peer review report and scoring.

  •   A ranking list of recommended projects is based on the scoring.

  •   All of the involved funding organisations meet for a selection meeting to assemble and commit themselves to the final list of selected proposals (selection list).The selection is based on the M-ERA.NET ranking list and the available national/regional finance resources..

  •   If there are big differences in the Full-Proposal compared to the recommended Pre- Proposal and/or the eligibility criteria are not fulfilled the Full-Proposal may be rejected without evaluation.

  •   The names of the independent experts will be kept confidential.

The M-ERA.NET Call 2018 Evaluation Criteria for Full-Proposal:

The Full-Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

 Excellence
 Impact
 Quality and efficiency of the implementation

Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex 4.

 

 

6. Decision
6.1. Decision process

The M-ERA.NET selection meeting results in the M-ERA.NET recommendation for funding decisions at national/regional level. The recommended selection list will be forwarded to the involved programme owners who will be in charge of the final funding decisions.

6.2. Funding

6.2.1. Contract

Funding contracts are signed directly between the project partners and their national/regional funding organisations.

6.2.2. Payments and Start of projects

Depending on the national/regional regulations, a pre-condition for transferring the first funding instalments might be the existence of a consortium agreement that also includes IPR related issues.

It is highly recommended that the project starting and finishing dates are the same for all project parties. As the national funding contracts may not all become effective at the same time, the project parties:

• Usually do not receive the instalments at the same time,
• Usually are not reviewed/monitored on national/regional level at exactly the same time however, the M-ERA.NET consortium will help to minimise these gaps.

 

7. Monitoring
7.1. National/regional project review

The progress of each individual contract will be monitored by the respective national/regional funding organisation through specific project review processes.

7.2. M-ERA.NET reporting

Apart from the national/regional project review, the transnational cooperation aspects will be monitored on M-ERA.NET level, e.g. by using online questionnaires.

 

7.3. Change in active projects

Any substantial change in an on-going project must be reported immediately to the involved funding organisations. The project partners should be aware that changes may affect their funding.

 

8. Dissemination

A reference to M-ERA.NET is requested in publications, exhibitions, lectures and press information concerning results of the projects.

 

9. Support

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are listed in the website (www.m-era.net). In addition, all Funding Organisations participating in the call will provide assistance to project proposers in the case of any questions.

4.3. Confidentiality

Proposals and any information relating to them (including the names of the evaluators) will be kept confidential and only be accessible to the organisations involved in the funding. Proposals will not be used for any purpose other than the evaluation of the applications, making funding decisions and monitoring of the project. International experts are required to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to evaluating proposals.



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