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Water JPI - 2017 JOINT CALL
Deadline: 11 Dec 2017   CALL EXPIRED

EU logo mono Water JPI

 Eco-Innovation
 Sustainable Development
 Water Resource Management

I. INTRODUCTION

The Water JPI 2017 Joint Call aims to enable transnational, collaborative research, development and innovation projects addressing questions relating to the water challenges faced by society with focus on Water Resource Management in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Information about the call is given below in the Call description.

The Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) are intergovernmental initiatives aiming at strengthening European leadership and competitiveness in Research and Innovation (R&I). In particular, the Water JPI responds to the grand challenge of “Achieving Sustainable Water Systems for a Sustainable Economy in Europe and Abroad”,

The Coordination and Support Action (CSA) International Cooperation for Water (IC4Water) responds to the Horizon 2020 (H2020) Societal Challenge 5 Call topic SC5- 11-2016 (page 40-41 of the hyperlink): Supporting international cooperation activities on water. It aims “to pool resources from the 18 participating research programme owners/managers of 17 European countries and from the Water Supply and Sanitation Technology Platform (WssTP), to implement Joint Activities in a dedicated effort to reinforce international cooperation in the area of water challenges, and to further support the implementation and the strategy of the Water JPI." This CSA builds on the efforts conducted up to now in the planning and implementation of Water JPI activities, and aims at i) increasing the scale and ambition of water research, development and innovation (RDI) activities beyond the level that would otherwise be sustainable, increasing the overall coherence and efficiency of the use of European resources and valorising European know-how on water solutions at global level in the context of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda; ii) making the Water JPI a privileged and attractive partner for global cooperation in research and innovation, and iii) a strengthened role of the Water JPI for underpinning knowledge and evidence for supporting the implementation of related international & EU policies, and for fostering the EU's position in global water-related negotiations and fora.

A total of 12 Funding Partner Organisations (FPOs) from 12 countries have agreed to launch a transnational and transdisciplinary call for research and innovation proposals on the topic “Water Resource Management in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”, in August 2017.

Water crises have been identified in 2015 by the World Economic Forum (nearly 900 experts took part in the Global Risk Perception Survey) as the Number One risk in terms of impacts on economy and society for the upcoming years. The water crises, associated with the failure of climate- change adaptation, are also perceived as more likely and

impactful than an average risk. Global water requirements are projected to be pushed 40% beyond sustainable water supplies by 2030. Decision-makers will be forced to make tough choices about allocations of water that will impact users across the economy. The situation will worsen further if more man-made environmental catastrophes happen (e.g. Fukushima power plant, Seveso chemical plant, Sidoarjo mud flow, Love Canal toxic waste deposit etc).

Since the early 2000's, concerns about water have been included in the UN Millennium Development Goals. Target 10 of Goal 7 was dedicated to "halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation". Given the scope of the challenge, the decade 2005- 2015 was even proclaimed International Decade for Action ' W ater for Life'. Within the ne w post-2015 development agenda, the place of water-related issues has been further strengthened. Indeed, water is an issue not only in Goal 6 to "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all", which is divided into seven specific targets, but in almost all of the 17 SDGs, either directly or indirectly. Under Goal 6, Target 6.a is dedicated to international cooperation ("By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies").

Since the adoption in September 2015 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the EC has defended the necessity for the EU to play a leading role at the global scale by fully integrating the SDGs in the framework of its internal and external policies. Considering that science, technology and innovation (STI) policies will particularly be decisive to achieve these goals, an Independent Expert Group was tasked by the EC to submit proposals. Several recommendations were made, among which the integration of the SDGs framework and language into the work programmes, the development of new integrated indicators to monitor progress towards SDGs and the development of "impact investments", as an instrument of sustainable transformations in the EU, as well as in developing countries in order to, for example, facilitate access to water and sanitation.

 

IMPORTANT

The information contained in this document does not replace or override any of the requirements set forth in the National/Regional Regulations and imposed under the EU Law. A thorough consultation of all information is crucial for a successful submission of your proposal. Each partner is advised to consult with the relevant Funding Partner Organisation (FPO), in order to ensure that his/her participation meets all of the National/Regional Eligibility Criteria.

 

 

II. CALL DESCRIPTION

II.1. Aim of the 2017 Joint Call

The aim of the 2017 Joint Call is to enable transnational, collaborative research, development and innovation projects addressing questions relating to the water challenges faced by society by targeting Water Resource Management in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Funding Partner Organisations (FPOs) particularly wish to i) promote trans-disciplinary research, ii) encourage proposals combining basic and applied approaches, iii) stimulate mobility of researchers within the consortia, iv) enhance collaborative research and innovation during the project’s lifespan and beyond, and v) promote international cooperation in the water area.

The CSA IC4Water will be implemented through a Joint Call for transnational collaborative projects on research and innovation to support the implementation of water policies, in particular on “Water Resource Management in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals”, in order to increase knowledge and develop solutions.

Developing new governance and knowledge management approaches:

  •   Developing new approaches and tools for water management aimed at setting up innovative alternatives suitable for decision-making. These approaches should be ideally based on broad participation of stakeholders (including public supplementary monitoring), transdisciplinary research and development of scenarios to support decision-making in the short and long term.

  •   Envisaging education and communication initiatives to raise social awareness of consumption habits and water scarcity and to increase the levels of social acceptance and use of recycled water.

    The topics are organised around two scientific challenges.

    Proposals are expected to:

 Address one or both challenges;

  •   Address at least one of the entire sub-topics listed below (including sub-bullets) – Applicants are encouraged to integrate more than one sub-topic in their proposals;

  •   Address at least one of the UN SDG targets listed in the introduction chapter; i.e. how the project's outcome will contribute to its/their achievement.

  •   Go beyond the State of the Art by providing high quality research and innovation, and when appropriate, to make use of innovative technologies and approaches to do so;

  •   Propose case studies (e.g. implementation at local or regional level) in European and non-European regions;

  •   Connect to stakeholders needs (in particular involving

    them in the proposals);

  •   Consider the gender dimension in all proposed activities;

    and

  •   Encourage international participation in water

research and innovation in different environments (various climatic, hydrological and soil conditions).

Challenge-1) Multiple pressure effects on ecosystems and ecosystem services as well as effective mitigation – adaptation tools and assessments for implementing the water related targets of the UN SDGs

Sub-topic-1. a. Assessment of multiple pressures (hydromorphological changes, anthropogenic pollution, biological contamination, or/and natural hazards, etc.) effects on ecosystems and ecosystem services, including but not limited to:

  •   Assessing the vulnerability and resilience of ecosystems to multiple pressure factors.

  •   Assessing risks related to multiple pressures on ecosystems.

    Sub-topic-1.b. Tools and approaches for adapting and mitigating to multiple pressures.

  •   Developing innovative risk management approaches for new adaptation measures.

  •   Integrated eco-technological solutions for the remediation and mitigation of degraded water bodies and aquatic ecosystems.

  •   Improving knowledge on behaviour changes due to direct and indirect effects of climate change and climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Challenge-2) Developing accessible solutions for clean water management to address UN SDG6 targets and associated SDGs

Research and innovation for near future securement of clean drinking water for inhabitants in countries across the globe, linked to the UN SDG6:

 

Sub-topic-2. a. Developing systems for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all:

  •   Assessing the impact of water scarcity on safe drinking water in an increasing demography context:

  •   Developing low cost, low maintenance technology for the water management sector in developed and

    developing countries.

  •   Evaluating the resilience of water supply

    infrastructure to extreme hydro-climatic events, especially floods.

    Sub-topic-2.b. Wastewater treatment and recycling:

  •   Innovating on practical, low-cost sustainable technologies treating wastewater to produce resources that are safe for reuse in all sectors of societal water use.

  •   Developing and demonstrating water reuse and recycling concepts; recovering products and energy from treatment plants.

  •   Promoting societal acceptance of innovative technologies.

II.2. Scope of the 2017 Joint Call

The 2017 Joint Call will pool Research and Innovation (R&I) efforts from countries participating in the Water JPI. The scope of the Joint Call was defined in accordance with the principles of the Water JPI Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), as follows:

-Proposals may focus on transitional waters; those on marine systems will not be eligible;

-All societal forms of water use are within the scope of the call;

-All aquatic ecosystems subject to impacts as described under Challenge-1 are within the scope of the call.

II.3. Transdisciplinary approach & expected

impacts of the Joint Call

Tackling societal challenges always requires a transdisciplinary approach. Therefore, all proposals should emphasise the effective participation of stakeholders and end-users (including industry) in research, and innovation actions (participatory approaches).

In addition to contributing to the achievement of the SRIA, proposals should demonstrate the potential for scientific

and/or technological excellence as well as European/International added value, more specifically support for UN SDGs.

Consequently, the following statements should be considered when drafting proposals:

 Cross-cutting issues, such as socio-economic and/or capacity development aspects (contributions to standards and norms) constitute an added value to R&I in this field.

  •  Proposals should build on on-going research activities, i.e. the state-of-the-art at EU level and beyond providing synergies. They should describe opportunities and initiatives for cooperation with these activities.
  •   Participation of stakeholders (i.e. small and medium enterprises (SMEs), industries, authorities, public administrations, associations, as well as civil society organisations) is encouraged.

  •   International cooperation is encouraged.

  •   Communication to society (e.g. risk management measures) and dissemination to stakeholders for future implementation (e.g. best practice models) should

be explicitly addressed by applicants.

II.4. Open Access and Open Data

The optimisation of the impact of publicly-funded scientific research is of fundamental importance to improve conditions to i) minimise the time spent searching for information and accessing it, ii) be able to speed up scientific progress, and iii) make it easier to cooperate across and beyond the EU.

Open Access requirements for all scientific publications produced by the projects funded by the co-funded call will support both Green Open Access (immediate or delayed open access provided through self-archiving), and Gold Open Access (immediate open access provided by a publisher). In the case of Green Open Access, partners will (as soon as possible and at the latest on publication) deposit a machine-readable electronic copy of the published version or final peer- reviewed manuscript accepted for publication in a repository for scientific publications. In addition, partners will ensure open access to the deposited publication and bibliographic metadata.

In case of any IPR issue, the consortium may decide to go for Opt Out Option and covers this within the project consortium agreement.

In relation to Open Data, the funded projects will be requested to submit metadata on all the data resources directly generated by the project, as well as additional information on how these data will be exploited, if and how data will be made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved. Metadata and additional information will be made publicly available via the Water JPI website. The Contact Point on Open Access and Open Data will be disseminated on Water JPI website, alongside specific information and procedures to follow.

 

III. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

ALL partners within a consortium MUST comply with all the Eligibility Criteria, as described in the two sections below:

  1. General Eligibility Criteria;

  2. National Eligibility Criteria.

III.1. General Eligibility Criteria

All proposals must conform to all of the general eligibility criteria listed below:

  •   Only proposals submitted by transnational consortia will

    be eligible;

  •   Each consortium must be composed of at least a minimum

    of three eligible partners that request funding from participating Funding Partner Organisations from three different countries (see Table 1V.I);

  •   Proposals must be submitted by Universities and other higher education institutions, public research institutions, private non-profit organisations, and private companies, according to National Regulations (Section III.5 – National/Regional Regulations). The relevant National/Regional participation rules apply to each partner in relation to the corresponding Funding Partner Organisation (FPO).

  •   Proposals must be received before the deadlines;

  •   Proposals must meet all the formal criteria (submitted electronically, respect page limits and number/type of

    attachments allowed, written in English language);

  •   Topics of the proposals must be fully relevant to the scope

    of the call;

  •   The requested total budget cannot exceed 1.5 M€ (per

    proposal);

  •   Duration of projects must range between 24 to 36 months;

  •   A participant in a proposal is defined as i) a principal

    investigator that requests funds on behalf of his/her applicant organisation/institution/company or ii) a principal investigator that contributes with own funds to the proposal;

  •   A Consortium Coordinator can only participate in the proposal he/she is coordinating (i.e. if the principal investigator is the coordinator of a proposal, he/she cannot participate in any other proposal, neither as a coordinator nor as a partner);

  •   The Consortium Coordinator must be eligible to be funded by one of the Funding Partner Organisations;

  •   Researchers from the Funding Partner Organisations cannot apply to this call.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Researchers from i) Water JPI partner countries, ii) Water JPI observer countries, or iii) third countries, not funding this call, can participate in the consortia at their own expense.

III.2. National/Regional Eligibility Criteria

In addition, each partner is ADVISED to contact their National/Regional Contact Point (see Table III.5) and comply fully with the National/Regional Eligibility Criteria, as described in the National/Regional Regulations. They must ensure that his/her contribution to the overall project conforms to:

  •   Where applicable, relevance of the topic(s)/subtopic(s) of the proposals to national/regional programmes and strategies;

  •   Compliance with national/regional funding criteria and regulations;

  •   Compliance with limits to budget requests or others.

 

IMPORTANT

Please note that proposals which are not meeting all 2017 Joint Call eligibility criteria or national/regional eligibility criteria and requirements will be declined without further review. Non-eligibility of a partner in a proposal may lead to the rejection of the entire proposal without further review. The Consortium Coordinator before submitting an application should verify that all partners of the consortium have read their corresponding National/Regional Regulations (Section III.5) and/or contacted their National Contact Points (Table III.5) to confirm eligibility issues.

III.3. Eligibility of international research institutions

III.3.1 As the Joint Research Centre (JRC) is a European Commission in-house science service, funded by the European's Framework Programme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020, the JRC can apply to a call launched by the Water JPI following the rules below:

  •   The JRC can participate in a proposal as a partner. Coordinating the proposal is not possible, since they do not “belong” to any Funding Partner Organisation (FPO) country;

  •   They will have to participate at their own expenses (as in Framework Programmes and Horizon 2020) (they are not, as stated above, an eligible institution for any of the FPOs);

  •   They will not count in the "three different organisations" rule from three different FPO countries for eligibility purposes.

III. 3. 2 Partners from countries not participating in the call may join consortia (as non-coordinator), but participation will be at the institutions' own expense. Moreover, such partners will have to demonstrate in the proposal that they will achieve the related tasks.

III.3.3 International institutions, e.g. UN institutions, need to investigate their respective national eligibility guidelines for national and/or global funding.

III.4. Eligibility of the Water JPI Advisory

Boards Members in the Call

The Water JPI Management Board is assisted in its work by two groups of advisors: a Scientific and Technological Board (STB) and a Stakeholders Advisory Group (SAG). The STB is composed of pre-eminent scientists from any part of the world who are international experts in some aspects of water quantity or quality and who contribute with scientific advice to the Water JPI activities. The SAG is made up of nominees from water industry, water users, non-governmental organisations and local or national authorities and they provide a user perspective of the work of the JPI. The list of the members of the Advisory Boards can be found in the Water JPI website.

Members of the Advisory Boards can apply to a call launched by the Water JPI as participant in a project for funding, but not as a project coordinator. The direct involvement of Advisory Board members in proposals in joint calls launched by the Water JPI will limit their potential role as advisors to the JPI activities related to the Joint calls.

Therefore, the participation of Advisory Board members and their institutions in Water JPI calls and activities will be properly tracked and monitored.

 

III.5. Synthesis Table of the key eligibility National / Regional Regulations

The table below describes important restrictions related to each National/Regional Regulations.

An empty cell means that no specific rules apply to this criterion. ATTENTION!!: means that you need to check the corresponding National/Regional Regulations available in the 2017 Joint Call Official webpage.

 

(TABLE NOT AVAILABLE)

 

III.6. Eligibility Check

The Call Secretariat (CS) will examine all proposals to ensure that they meet all the 2017 Joint Call general criteria. In parallel, the CS will forward the proposals to the FPOs, which will perform a formal check of compliance with their National/Regional Regulations. Proposals that fail to meet one or more eligibility criteria will be rejected and not proceed for evaluation. Proposals passing the eligibility check will be forwarded to the evaluators for assessment. The CS, on behalf of the Call Steering Committee (CSC), will communicate the results of the eligibility check and the decisions taken to the coordinator of each consortium.

 

IV. FINANCIAL COMMITMENT

A total of € 8.55 million (Table IV.1) has been provisionally allocated for this call by the FPOs. These funds will be used for R&I activities carried out by project partners according to the funding rules and legal frameworks of their respective FPOs.

A virtual common pot funding model will be applied to the call.

Partners applying in a consortium cannot request more than their respective FPO commitment to the call, as listed in Table IV.1 (and comply with National/Regional Regulations listed in Table III.5).

REMINDER: Eligible proposals have to be composed of at least a minimum of three eligible partners that request funding from participating Funding Partner Organisations from three different countries (see Table IV.1). The requested budget per proposal (the sum of the individual requested budget from each of the partners involved in the proposal) cannot exceed 1.5 M€.

 

(TABLE NOT AVAILABLE)

 

V. APPLICATION PROCEDURES

V.1. General Considerations

The success of a proposal is inextricably linked to the careful reading of all the support documentation provided. Thus, applicants will have to be aware of the critical information contained in the National/Regional Regulations and in all sections of this document. When writing a proposal, applicants should take into consideration the following general rules of the call:

  •   A two-step application procedure will be used in this Joint Call. Pre-proposals and Full Proposals must be submitted electronically via a specifically designed web platform;

  •   All FPOs participating in this Joint Call have been informed about the submission requirements and procedures and will provide assistance to their national/regional applicants in case of questions/doubts. For this purpose, each FPO will appoint a National/Regional Contact Point (NCP);

  •   The recipient entities and the Consortium Coordinator have to comply with the applicable national and EU rules, for instance as regards competition and EU State aid rules, environment, utilisation of genetic resources, equal opportunity and gender, and public contracting whenever applicable;

  •   Ethical issues will be taken into account in the scientific evaluation of proposals and when making the funding decisions. Applicants shall always describe any relevant ethical aspects in their research plans. If a research permit or a statement by an ethics committee or another relevant document (i.e. Access and Benefit Sharing of genetic resources) is required for the implementation of the project, applicants shall provide information on the permits or permit proposals;

  •   The non-fulfilment of a single eligibility criterion will be cause for the disqualification of a partner and, possibly, the disqualification of the entire Consortium. A thorough consultation of all general and national/regional eligibility criteria detailed in this document and in the National Regulations is, therefore, mandatory and vital.

    Applicants should also take into consideration the following advice:

  •   It is the responsibility of the Consortium Coordinator to submit the proposal. For that he/she should seek agreement for the inclusion of other partner organisations in the Consortium and obtain the necessary information for writing the proposal;

  •   The preparation of the application should bear in mind the competitive nature of this transnational call and the necessity to go beyond the current state-of-the-art;

  •   Consider the evaluation criteria described, and elaborate the proposal accordingly;

  •   Plan and complete the application process as soon as possible in order to avoid an eventual overload of the system by the deadline and ensure the opportune support by the CS in case of need;

  •   CVs are generally considered too long by reviewers, which make it difficult finding the most relevant information. It is mandatory that Consortia Coordinators and Partners are brief and succinct when preparing their CVs. Only one- page CVs will be considered;

  •   Choose the keywords of the proposal carefully (there is a dedicated space in the electronic submission platform), in view of their importance to the identification of areas/topics of interest and in the allocation of reviewers;

  •   The financial plan and allocation of resources (table available in the electronic submission system and filled in by the Consortium Coordinator following the instructions given by all Partners) should be coherent with the work plan proposed. Funding requests, which are not adequately justified, may penalise the score given to the proposal.

V.2. Ethical Issues

Ethical issues are taken into account in the scientific evaluation of proposals and when making the funding decisions. Applicants should always describe any relevant ethical aspects in their research plans. If a research permit or a statement by an ethics committee is required for the implementation of the project, applicants shall provide information on the permits or permit proposals.

V.3. Online Submission System

Pre-proposals and Full-proposals to the 2017 Joint Call have to be submitted via a specially designed web platform. The link will be made available soon in the official 2017 Joint Call webpage at the 2017 Joint Call Official webpage.

There are three parts to be completed:

  •   Part A: sections of the submission platform that are filled in online. Contains the factsheet of the consortium.

  •   Part B: pre-proposal template to be uploaded in the submission platform as a pdf file.

  •   Part C: full proposal template to be uploaded in the submission platform as a pdf file.

The proposal submission procedure comprises the following actions:

STEP 1 (Pre-Proposal stage)

  • Download of the Pre-Proposal template (Part B), which includes the instructions to elaborate the document according to the Call requirements. Part B needs to be uploaded as a pdf file. The document has a specific format and must be used as it is (page layout and font must not be modified);

  • Until the deadline of the call, the pre-proposals will be able to be edited by the CC. Only the last version (at the deadline) will be considered.

STEP 2 (Full Proposal stage)

All rules mentioned in the pre-proposal stage apply for this stage as well. Below is described the important steps that need to be considered by the CC and the Consortium Partners.

  • Update of the information filled in online (Part A) by the Consortia Coordinators;

  • Download of the Full Proposal Instructions file. This document includes instructions on how to complete the full proposal template (Part C);

  • Completion of the full proposal template and upload of the document in pdf format in the submission system.

  • When applying, keep in mind that the submission system will close at 17H CEST of the deadline date established for both STEP 1 and STEP 2. However, the CS can only ensure responses to email support requests up to 13H CEST. A help desk will be provided by the CS and NCPs, and the respective email contacts are listed in this document (Section III.5).

1. Registration in the system. All applicants need to register (Consortia Coordinators (CC) and Principal Investigators (PI) of the Consortium Partners). The CC will have to fill in most of the information contained in Part A;

 

IMPORTANT

It may be required for some of the partners to submit also an application directly to their respective national/regional FPOs, justifying funding requests and describing the work they propose to develop within a Consortium. For further details about these procedures and schedule, please consult the National/Regional Regulations and/or your NCP. Failure to do so will result in disqualifying the partner in question and will invalidate the full proposal submission.

 

V.4. Evaluation of Proposals

Pre-Proposals will be evaluated based on two criteria: Scientific Excellence and Impact. Full Proposals will be evaluated based on three criteria: Scientific Excellence, Impact and Quality and Efficiency of the Implementation.

V.4.1. Evaluation Criteria

If the pre-proposal or full proposal is within the scope of the call, the following scoring system should be applied. The evaluation is based on the following award review criteria:

1. SCIENTIFIC EXCELLENCE

  •   Clarity and pertinence of the objectives;

  •   Credibility of the proposed approach;

  •   Soundness of the concept, including trans-disciplinary

    considerations, where relevant;

  •   Extent that proposed work is ambitious, has innovation

    potential, and is beyond the state of the art (e.g. ground-breaking objectives, novel concepts and approaches).

  •   Added-value of the consortium for achieving the call objectives.

2. IMPACT

  •   The expected impacts listed in the H2020 Societal Challenge 5, Call topic SC5-11-2016;

  •   Producing knowledge and innovative solutions to support the achievement of the UN SDGs

  •   Enhancing innovation capacity and integration of new knowledge;

  •   Strengthening the competitiveness and growth of companies by developing innovations meeting the needs of European and global markets, and where relevant, by delivering such innovations to the public and private markets, including public administrators (public executive bodies) and civil society organisations;

  •   Any other environmental and socially important impacts;

  •   Effectiveness of the proposed measures to exploit and disseminate the project results (including management of IPR), to communicate the project in accordance to  Open Data and Open Access JPI rules (cf. II.4), and to manage research data where relevant;
  •  Support the development of technological solutions and services for the implementation of EU water policy.

3. QUALITY AND EFFICIENCY OF THE IMPLEMENTATION

  •   Coherence and effectiveness of the work plan,

    including appropriateness of the allocation of tasks and resources, need for a balance between partners in terms of budget;

  •   Complementarity of the participants within the consortium (when relevant);

  •   Appropriateness of the management structures and procedures, including risk and innovation management.

V.4.2. Scoring System

The 2017 Joint Call scoring system uses a 1-6 point scale (no half-marks allowed).

If the pre-proposal or full proposal is within the scope of the call, the following scoring system should be applied:

LIMITED (scoring value = 1).The proposal fails to address the criterion or cannot be assessed due to missing or incomplete information.

ADEQUATE (scoring value = 2). The criterion is insufficiently addressed or there are serious inherent weaknesses.

SIGNIFICANT (scoring value = 3). The proposal broadly addresses the criterion, but there are relevant weaknesses.

GOOD (scoring value = 4). The proposal addresses the criterion well, but a number of shortcomings are present.

VERY GOOD (scoring value = 5). The proposal addresses the criterion very well, but a small number of shortcomings are present.

EXCELLENT (scoring value = 6). The proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion. The expected results should give a competitive advantage to the targeted end-users.

The threshold will be defined by the CSC in view of the results of the evaluation.

Evaluators have to identify strengths and weaknesses (if any) for each criterion and should provide context for their comments based on the application, i.e., evaluators will be asked to score proposals as they were submitted, rather than on their potential if certain changes were to be made. When an evaluator identifies substantial shortcomings, he/she must reflect this by awarding a lower score for the criterion concerned. There should be consistency between the numerical scores and written comments.

 

 

The following approach will be applied for every group of proposals with the same scoring, and which require prioritisation:

  •   Precedence of criteria: The scores in the criterion “Excellence” take precedence over “Impact” and this over “Quality and Efficiency of the Implementation”.

  •   If a distinction still cannot be made, the CSC may decide to approve additional factors. These factors will be documented in the Evaluation Report.

NOTE: No appeal can be brought to challenge the evaluation results or decisions of the CSC.

V.5. Evaluation Procedures

V.5.1. STEP 1: Pre-Proposals

All eligible pre-proposals will be subject to a scientific evaluation by external evaluators based on two criteria - ‘Excellence’ and ‘Impact’. A ranked list of pre-proposals will be produced based on the final scores.

The objective of this first step is to identify the best proposals to proceed to Step 2, and ensure the balance between the requested and available funds at the national level. For this purpose, the FPOs will consider setting a value ratio of about 3 as a standard between requested and available funding.

V.5.2. External Evaluators

The external evaluators involved in the pre-proposal step will be selected taking into consideration the number of applications for each topic/subtopic, a good gender balance, a fair geographic and institutional distribution, an open nationality policy (part of the evaluators may come from countries not participating in the call to allow for additional flexibility in case of conflicting interests), and a diversified professional experience/background in R&I (e.g. policy, academia, industry, etc.).

Role of the External Evaluators

  •   Submit written individual evaluation reports of the pre- proposal(s) assigned to them on the online evaluation portal before the CSC meeting;

  •   Inform in advance the CS of any potential or disqualifying conflicts of interest;

    V.5.3. STEP 2: Full Proposals

    All full proposals will be subject to an international peer review by an Evaluation Panel based on three criteria - ‘Excellence’, ‘Impact’ and ‘Quality and Efficiency of Implementation’. A ranked list of proposals will be produced based on the final scores given to the aforementioned criteria.

V.5.4. Evaluation Panel

The constitution of the Evaluation Panel will take into consideration the number of applications for each topic/subtopic, a good gender balance, a fair geographic and institutional distribution of evaluators, an open nationality policy (part of the Evaluation Panel members may come from countries not participating in the call to allow for additional flexibility in case of conflicting interests) and a diversified professional experience/background in R&I (e.g. policy, academia, industry, etc.).

The proposals will be distributed among the Evaluation Panel members according to their expertise. The Evaluation Panel will be headed by a Chair. The Panel Chair will be a regular member of the panel with the added duties of moderating the panel meeting and conveying the results of the discussions to the CSC.

Each proposal will be evaluated with the assistance of at least three Panel members: 1st Reader and Rapporteur, 2nd Reviewer , and 3rd Reviewer .

The composition of the Evaluation Panel (as a group and not per individual proposal) will be made public once the CSC has made their final funding decisions and published on the Water JPI webpage and on the 2017 Joint Call Funding Partner Organisations’ webpages.

Role of the Evaluation Panel

  •   Submit written individual evaluation reports of the proposal(s) assigned to them on the online evaluation portal before the panel meeting;

  •   Inform in advance the CS of any potential or disqualifying conflicts of interest;

  •   Inform in advance the CS of the need to obtain additional external evaluations (to provide knowledge in a particular field);

  •   Prepare the evaluation meeting through a careful reading of all proposals and respective individual evaluations reports. The proposals and respective individual evaluation reports will be made available to all panel members about two weeks before the panel meeting;

  •   Commonly discuss all full-proposals during the panel meeting, taking into account the individual evaluation reports produced by the external experts and EP members, and decide its final ratings and the comments to be transmitted to the applicants; if there is a lack of consensus in the panel for one proposal, the Chair or an additional external expert will add their opinion to the discussion and to the comments.

  •   Submit in the online evaluation system a written Consensus Report (CR) for each application explaining the Panel final decision to the applicants and to the CSC; the final decision is thus based on individual reviews and the discussion during the panel meeting;

  •   Produce the final ranked list of applications. This will be achieved using the final evaluation scores given (based on evaluation criteria scores and threshold levels); the threshold levels will be influenced by the available funding in the Call, and

  •   Produce a Panel Meeting Report with a summary of the meeting and comments regarding the evaluation process (namely, the working methodology adopted by the panel, the identification of potential conflict of interest (CoI) issues and their resolution and recommendations that might help to improve procedures in future calls). This report should be signed by all evaluation panel members.

Panel Evaluation Meeting

All proposals will be commonly discussed by the EP, barring conflicts of interest, and their relative merit assessed. Discussions on each proposal will be led by the first reviewers or rapporteurs and should take into account all individual evaluation reports produced by the reviewers and EP members. Panel members will then reach an agreement on the proposal’s final rates and the comments to be transmitted to the applicants.

Advice may also be requested about the relative importance of each partner’s contribution to the collaborative proposal.

The CS will be the contact point for the reviewers throughout the evaluation period and will assist the panel during the panel evaluation meeting.

V.5.5. Confidentiality and Conflicts of Interest

Confidentiality

Research plans (pre-proposals and proposals), abstracts, and evaluation statements are confidential documents. Proposal documents are therefore handled and stored with due care and confidentiality.

All Evaluators involved in the evaluation are asked not to disclose any information concerning the proposal documents or their evaluation to outsiders, during and after the evaluation process has been concluded. In addition, Evaluators should not copy, quote or otherwise use material contained in the applications for anybody’s benefit or disadvantage.

In case of doubts/questions about the proposal documents or evaluations, Evaluators are advised to contact the CS.

Once the evaluation has been completed, External Evaluators or Evaluation Panel members are required to destroy all proposal documents and any copies made of them or return them to the CS.

Conflicts of Interest (CoI)

Representatives of the 2017 Joint Call Funding Partner Organisations (CSC, CS, NCP’s) and Evaluators are required to declare any actual or potential conflicts of interest towards the proposals submitted under the 2017 Joint Call.

 

Evaluators that have submitted any applications to the present Call, both as Consortium Coordinator, Principal Investigator or Research Team Member, have to decline participating in the evaluation process.

Circumstances that could be interpreted as a disqualifying Conflict of Interest are laid down in the following criteria:

  1. First-degree relationship, marriage, life partnership, domestic partnership;

  2. Personal interest in the application's success or financial interest by persons listed under no.1;

  3. Current or planned close scientific cooperation;

  4. Dependent employment relationship or supervisory relationship (e.g. teacher-student relationship up to and including the postdoctoral phase) extending five years

    beyond the conclusion of the relationship;

  5. The affiliation or pending transfer to the applying

    institutes/organisations;

  6. Researchers who are active in a council or similar

    supervisory board of the applying institution are excluded from participating in the review and decision-making process for applications originating from this institution;

A potential CoI may exist, even in cases not covered by the clear disqualifying conflicts indicated above, in the following circumstances:

  1. Relationships that do not fall under no. 1, other personal

    ties or conflicts;

  2. Financial interests of persons listed under no.7

  3. Participation in university bodies other than those listed

    under no. 6, e.g. in scientific advisory committees in the

    research environment;

  4. Research cooperation within the last three years, e.g. joint

    publications;

  5. 11.Preparation of an application or implementation of a project with a closely related research topic (competition);and

  6. 12.Participating in an on-going scientific or inter-personal conflict with the applicant(s).

The individual Evaluator will not be able to proceed in case of a disqualifying CoI. In this case the individual Evaluator is required to inform the CS of the situation, for project re- allocation.

The potential CoIs declared will be analysed by the CS in Step 1 and by the CS and the EP Chair in Step 2. Should a CoI emerge for any panel member, the Chair should solve it supported by the CS and make an explicit mention of it on the Panel Meeting Report. The reviewer concerned must leave the meeting room during the proposal discussion.

 

V.5.6. Funding recommendation

Based on the ranking of the full proposals described above, projects will be recommended for national/organisational funding by the CSC. The outcome of this process will be communicated by the Call Secretariat to the proposal coordinators, who will then have to inform the Principal Investigators of the Consortium Partners.

Formal funding decisions are made by the participating funding organisations. The funding recommendation is irrevocable and therefore no redress procedure is possible.

After a positive funding recommendation, the project partners must directly contact their NCP in order to start the contract negotiation and accomplish the remaining steps until the research project can start. The Consortium Coordinator is responsible for synchronising the project start with his/her partners.

V.5.7. Evaluation process observer

A minimum of one appointed observer from one or more of the involved funding agencies will attend step I CSC meeting, and step II Evaluation Panel and CSC meetings, where the funding recommendations for national funding partners are decided. She/He will gather independent information on the External Evaluation process of the first stage through relevant reports and data and through the individual interviews of evaluators realized by the observer during the central evaluations.

Role of the Observer

  •   To attend all the discussions of the panels and to follow the entire procedure.

  •   To give independent advice to the CSC on the conduct and fairness of all phases of the evaluation sessions.

  •   To verify the degree of transparency applied by the evaluators, the respect of the established evaluation criteria and identified best practices for improving the evaluation procedures.

  •   To verify the conformity of the evaluation processes witnessed with the published evaluation procedures.

  •   To enter into informal discussions with the CSC Members involved in the evaluation sessions and to suggest any possible improvements that could be put into practice immediately.

  •   To assess the efficiency and speed of the evaluation procedures as well as the quality of the Joint Call evaluation processes compared to national and/or other international research funding schemes.

  •   To provide remarks and overall recommendations in order to improve the evaluation processes.

 

VI. PROJECT FUNDING & REPORTING

VI.1. General Considerations

Please note that the project will be submitted to a two-level funding contractualisation and reporting.

On behalf of the whole consortium, and according to the 2017 Joint Call procedures, the Consortium Coordinator will be required to submit a mid-term progress report and a final report on the 2017 Joint Call funded project to the CSC.

In addition, each project partner must comply with the reporting requirements of its respective national FPOs. The Consortium Coordinator or his/her representative should attend a minimum of 3 meetings organised by the Water JPI (e.g. kick-off, mid-term and final review meetings).

Funding recipients must ensure that all outcomes (publications, etc.) of transnational 2017 Joint Call projects include a proper acknowledgement of Water JPI, the European Commission, and the respective FPO.

The optimisation of the impact of publicly-funded scientific research is of fundamental importance to improve conditions to i) minimise the time spent searching for information and accessing it, ii) be able to speed up scientific progress, and iii) make it easier to cooperate across and beyond the EU. Please consult section II.4 on Open Access and Open Data.

The consortium partner organisations of the projects selected for funding must fix a common project start date, which will be the reference date for mid-term and final reports.

VI.2. Funded Project Consortium Agreement
The project consortium partners of the selected project should sign a Consortium Agreement (CA) for cooperation before the official project start date, which must address the points given in this document. Upon request, this consortium agreement must be made available to the concerned funding organisations.

The purpose of this document will be:

  •   To underpin the research partners’ collaboration and provide the research partners with mutual assurance on project management structures and procedures, and their rights and obligations towards one another;

  •   To assure the FPOs that the research consortium has a satisfactory decision making capability and is able to work together in a synergistic manner.

    Models for Consortium Agreements can be obtained from the EC IPR Helpdesk: http://www.ipr-helpdesk.org. In any case, applicants are free to define their Consortium Agreement as long as the following subjects (as a minimum) are addressed by the CA:

  •   Purpose of and definitions used in the CA;

  •   Names of organisations involved;

 

  •   Common start date of the research project;

  •   Project structure and project management;

  •   Role and responsibilities of the research consortium

    coordinator and the research partners: person in charge,

    their obligations and key tasks, conditions for their change;

  •   Deliverables (transnational reports and if relevant requirements for national reports where coordination is

    required);

  •   Resources and funding;

  •   Confidentiality and the rules for publishing;

  •   Intellectual Property Rights (how this issue will be handled

    between research partners);

  •   Dissemination and exploitation strategy;

  •   Decision making within the consortium;

  •   Handling of internal disputes; and

  •   The liabilities of the research partners towards one another (including the handling of default of contract).

 

VII. TIME SCHEDULE OF THE CALL

Table VII.1: IC4Water Call Schedule

Step 1
Pre-Announcement
29 June 2017

Pre- Proposals
Call Opening 
10 Oct. 2017

Submission Deadline
11 December 2017

Notification of Outcomes
Mid-April 2018

Step 2
Full Proposals
Submission Deadline
Notifications of Outcomes and Funding Decisions
27 June 2018 September 2018

Kick-off
Expected start of funded projects
November 2018



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