Step 1: "Anticipate and prepare" for Horizon Europe
This particular period, punctuated by numerous communications on the 2021-2027 programmes, the wait for the first publications of calls for Horizon Europe proposals, is ultimately an important period for project leaders. It is precisely at this time that it is necessary and possible to anticipate your financing needs for future projects, to prepare with your teams the work to be done to apply for funds, to organize yourself, to plan and secure all aspects of the process.
Here we give you a couple of tips to optimize this period and get ready for the new opportunities.
Learn about the new EU guidelines for Horizon Europe programme and monitor the adoption of the texts
New information is communicated almost every day by the different Managing Agencies! We encourage you to set up a regular watch on the launch of the 2021-2027 programme. Remember to subscribe to social network pages (Facebook, LinkedIn), to newsletters, to the representative offices of the Regions in Brussels and call the National Contact Points of your Countries and do a little Googling to look for published draft Work Programmes.
Anticipate by defining your project in line with European priorities
The analysis of European texts and new strategies (SDG, …) will allow you to learn about the priorities for the use of funds and verify that an adequacy exists with your project. Indeed, each program supports different types of actions, structures, and objectives.
To facilitate this analytical work, it is essential to define the scope of your Horizon Europe project and to give a synthetic description: objectives, actions, schedule, target audience, territory, budget are key. This working-tool will then allow you to contact the funders to clearly present your project and the existing suitability for the fund.
On this basis, it will also be easier to look for matching calls and topics and start contacting potential partners.
2021 is a crucial year: new programs, new opportunities… take advantage of the few months before the opening of the calls to prepare!
Step 2: Start setting-up a competitive consortium
The time required to create a consortium varies greatly depending on the number and range of partners involved. However, it is worth planning for a period of between six months and a year to set up the Horizon Europe project’s general architecture and refine its position with regard to different calls for proposals. The creation of a well-structured consortium is the first key to a promising project.
Tip 1: Take into account the objectives of the project, the expected impacts of the call and the program’s criteria. Identify the tasks that you will be able to carry on your own, and those where you will need help. Partners should have a specific role and bring a real added value.
Tip 2: You need to ensure that your consortium is composed of organizations that already have experience in European or international projects. They will be driving forces. Having a consortium with different profiles, both novice and experienced, ensures a balance.
Tip 3: Consortium diversity is increasingly expected to represent the whole value chain. Think intersectorality and interdisciplinarity!
Tip 4: The balance must also be geographical. The consortium must best represent the diversity of the Union. All Member States, as well as the candidate countries or partner countries, should not be neglected. Don’t forget to check the adjusted eligibility rules of Horizon Europe for international collaborations which is extended to strengthen the international cooperation and open science policy.
Tip 5: Finally, tools for collaborative work and clear rules for decision-making between the different members must be defined upstream. The question, for example, of intellectual property must be clarified upstream in order to avoid any dispute during and after the project, and the appropriate agreements must be signed (NDA...).
Whilst the best way of creating a consortium is to surround yourself with your own network, there are various ways of finding partners:
- Professional networks, and project networks (COST, EEN, EIT…)
- Representative offices in Brussels
- Online partner searching services on the funding and tender portal
- And National Contact Points Brokerage Events!