Start your Horizon 2020 project by analysing the grant call as this will be the most important guideline for creating your first outline for H2020 proposal. Even though H2020 call texts are broader than previous Framework Programmes, setting out and identifying all requirements from H2020 call text is the first, essential step. Strictly focusing on what’s really asked in H2020 call will help you and your partners to write a successful H2020 proposal.
While it’s important to build strong relationships and maintain good connections, the decision to include partners in your consortium should be based on their experience and success rate with specific tasks. Even building a consortium of partners who hardly know each other but are highly qualified for the tasks they will perform will ensure greater success for your Horizon 2020 project.
The time and effort made to establish and maintain trust between consortium partners throughout Horizon 2020 project will foster new connections and relationships. However, just like our personal relationships, professional ones can also not work out. According to the study on Assessing the Research Management Performance of Framework Programmes Projects, about one third of all consortia change at least one partner over the course of Horizon 2020 project. Take appropriate measures and ensure that all partners are kept up to date, can easily share information and stay connected via a common communication space such as EMDESK, which allows all collaborators from around the globe to share, communicate and meet in real time in a secure, cloud-based platform. Even when partners leave your Horizon 2020 project and new ones join, it will be easy for you to get the new partners on board quickly.
The same study indicates that one of the highest reasons for partners to leave the consortium are issues with Intellectual Property (IP) rights. It’s vital that IP agreements meet the needs of all the partners in the consortium. Different partners, business, and research institutions will each have their own IP interests, which might not always match the general Horizon 2020 IP guidelines. During the execution phase, you may find that high-level IP agreements are insufficient. It’s best to agree on an IP strategy with the legal departments or representatives for all consortium partners early in the grant application process. This detailed and specifically tailored IP agreement should be included in the European Commission Grant Agreement.