Preparing an FP7 proposal

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1 Preparing an FP7 proposal An A to Z guide for a successful proposal 18 th November 2008, Puebla, Mexico Epaminondas Christophilopoulos, INCO & TRANSPORT NCP

2 Presentation Outline Help-Forward Network From Idea to Contract FP7 structure Evaluation Criteria Proposal Idea Consortium Building Proposal Writing Management

3 Help-Forward (2) HELP-FORWARD: A distinct entity Autonomous but accountable to its founders Directed by a Steering Committee Hosted by the federations Financially administered by FORTH Non-profit, private status 2007: 15 people,1meuro p.a. Steering Committee Coordinator & Team of consultants MISSION Promotion of transnational technology transfer to Greek SMEs Utilisation and exploitation of RTD results Economic growth and employment through use of new technologies Strengthening the links between research, industry and finance Promotion of innovation in enterprises and enterpreneurship in RTOs

4 International support activities (1) Considerable experience and a long record providing special services to innovation organisations in third countries in assisting to set innovation related services. International Activities: HF focus South-Eastern Europe* Russia & NIS Global 2007

5 International support activities (2) personnel training schools in innovation issues e.g. EU Framework Programs, Technology Transfer, Spin-Off creation. Training in specific NCP operations eg. events organisation, partner search. Host Organisation re-engineering for improving their internal structure. Support for setting innovation services e.g. partner search, proposal drafting, help-desk. Stetting of NCP performance indicators and internal evaluation procedures EXAMPLES Advisor for the set-up and the operation of Innovation and Research Programmes Promotion Centres in Bulgaria ( ), Romania ( ) and Cyprus ( ). Advisor of the FP National Information Points in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaidjan under the INTAS ININ schemes ( ). 2003, series of seminars for the benefit of NIPs and researchers of all the NIS (in Moscow, Kiev, Tbilisi, Almaty) for their participation in FP6 (under INTAS projects). 2008, mentor of the NCPs in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (including assessment of their current operation, provision of advice to the NIPs and their customers, training).

6 Preparing an FP7 proposal

7 the way to Success THE RULE OF FOUR Follow the rules NCP guidance Work Program & Call info, Participation rules Partnership choose the correct partners Exploitation/management Proposal Abstract

8 Co-operation FP Specific Programmes Health Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology Information and Communication Technologies Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production Technologies Energy Environment (including Climate Change) Transport Socio-Economic Sciences and the Humanities Security and Space Capacities Research Infrastructures Research for the Benefit Of SMEs Regions of Knowledge Research Potential Science in Society Activities of International Co-operation Coherent Development of Policies Ideas European Research Council (ERC) Starting Independent Researcher Grants Advanced Investigator Grants People Marie Curie Initial Training of Researchers Lifelong Learning and Career Development Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways The International Dimension Specific Actions

9 Funding Schemes- Characteristics Funding Scheme Collaborative Projects General Description Consortia with participants from different countries New knowledge, technology, products or common resources for research Size, scope and internal organisation of projects can vary Networks of Excellence (NoE) Joint programmes by organisations integrating activities in a given field Longer term co-operation Formal commitment to integrate resources Coordination & Support Actions Networking, exchanges, trans-national access to research infrastructures, studies, conferences, etc.

10 Evaluation criteria FP6 IP/STREP Overall threshold 24 / 30 Relevance to the Programme Potential Impact S&T Excellence Consortium Quality Management Quality Mobilisation of Resources FP7 Relevance to the Programme?! EC to decide Potential Impact Excellence Implementation Overall threshold 10/ 15

11 We General are Timeline here Project idea decision on the main research/ business reasons for undertaking the work Official publication of Call for Proposals Abstract of project in accordance with Strategic Objectives Search for partners Forming of Consortium Break down of work - discussions Writing of proposal by coordinator approval by partners Submission of proposal Deadline Evaluation by external experts-project retained for negotiation Overall evaluation report to Programme Committee Evaluation Summary Reports to coordinator Contract negotiations between Project Officers and coordinator Project approved, signature of contract and entry into force Project start From idea to contract Initial payment to coordinator within 60 days of signature Time 0 (weeks)

12 Project Idea Consistent with the call and the workprogram!! Innovative! European dimension (think what interests Europe, not what interests you)! Check Cordis/web for already similar funded proposals Why bother? Which problem is solving? Is it important? Why do R&D and not buy a ready product or know-how? Why now?

13 General Timeline We are here Project idea decision on the main research/ business reasons for undertaking the work Official publication of Call for Proposals Abstract of project in accordance with Strategic Objectives Search for partners Forming of Consortium Break down of work - discussions Writing of proposal by coordinator approval by partners Submission of proposal Deadline Evaluation by external experts-project retained for negotiation Overall evaluation report to Programme Committee Evaluation Summary Reports to coordinator Contract negotiations between Project Officers and coordinator Project approved, signature of contract and entry into force Project start From idea to contract Initial payment to coordinator within 60 days of signature Time 0 (weeks)

14 Calls Each part of FP& is opened to proposals by publishing a Call Published in the EU Official Journal Also published on CORDIS website ( and in CORDIS Focus magazine Might get advance notice of topics in previous work programmes, EOIs, friends Indicative Call dates given in work programmes Identify opportunities Read published Calls and work programmes Brainstorm Look at what has been done before (CORDIS project database) Talk with possible end users or beneficiaries about their problems and what they need

15 Call abstract SUSTAINABLE SURFACE TRANSPORT Call title: FP7- SUSTAINABLE SURFACE TRANSPORT (SST) 2007 TREN 1 Call identifier: FP7- SST 2007 TREN 1 Date of publication44: 22 December 2006 Deadline: 3 May 2007 at 17.00h (Brussels local time) Total Indicative budget46: 60 M Topics called:

16 General Timeline We are here Project idea decision on the main research/ business reasons for undertaking the work Official publication of Call for Proposals Abstract of project in accordance with Strategic Objectives Search for partners Forming of Consortium Break down of work - discussions Writing of proposal by coordinator approval by partners Submission of proposal Deadline Evaluation by external experts-project retained for negotiation Overall evaluation report to Programme Committee Evaluation Summary Reports to coordinator Contract negotiations between Project Officers and coordinator Project approved, signature of contract and entry into force Project start From idea to contract Initial payment to coordinator within 60 days of signature Time 0 (weeks)

17 Build the consortium choose the right partners Prepare a proposal abstract (1 page maximum). Don t need and should not be extensive. Don t disclose critical information. Design your consortium in line with project objectives. If applicable, Choose an enthusiastic experienced co-ordinator, who has appropriate time and resources available! Choose partners motivated and committed to deliver Build a credible well balanced consortium - complementarity! Consider the geographical spread, expertise, type (eg SME) Check the reputation and resources of your partners! Consider the language barrier and cultural differences! Choose partners you would like to work with for years Develop mutual trust! Don t involve your direct competitor(s)!

18 Build the consortium/ Find partners check your own existing international contacts: business & academic contacts, conferences, fairs use bilateral agreements draw on the contacts of colleagues use the networks of NCPs, IRCs,... use the Internet, CORDIS Partners/Projects, EoI attend Information Days, Brokerage Events, etc. ensure that foreign colleagues can contact you: e.g. develop your profile, Internet homepage,...

19 Partner search, example Project proposal: Promotion of Short-term Biofuel Production Technologies for the Road Transport Sector in Associated Candidate Countries Through a Business Oriented Approach The proposed project aims at unveiling to (potential) biofuel players in CC-12 new business opportunities that have been created thanks to technological advances and the introduction of policy oriented initiatives and actions within the context of European Framework Programmes and not only. The ultimate goal of the proposed project is to enhance the production and use of biofuels (BF) for transport (in particular biodiesel (BD) and bioethanol (BE)) in CC-12. Therefore, the project s goes beyond awareness creation (where a significant number of relevant projects/ initiatives national and European have already pace the way) and aims mainly at encouraging and supporting (i) collaborations - networking among current and potential actors in the BF sector (both from the CC-12 and the EU-15) and (ii) transfer technology and good practices concerning BF production and use (from EU-15 to CC-12 and also within CC-12). PROMISE major objectives are: To bring advanced and most promising RTD results a step closer to commercial exploitation through networking and technology transfer activities. To activate new players in the BF sector (production and use) by targeting organisations SMEs particularly operating in fields of strategic importance for BF. To provide to interested parties with high-added value guidance and support. To encourage and facilitate the development of demonstration, RTD (e.g. technology optimisation or pilot implementation) multinational projects and generally technology exploitation projects..

20 General Timeline We are here Project idea decision on the main research/ business reasons for undertaking the work Official publication of Call for Proposals Abstract of project in accordance with Strategic Objectives Search for partners Forming of Consortium Break down of work - discussions Writing of proposal by coordinator approval by partners Submission of proposal Deadline Evaluation by external experts-project retained for negotiation Overall evaluation report to Programme Committee Evaluation Summary Reports to coordinator Contract negotiations between Project Officers and coordinator Project approved, signature of contract and entry into force Project start From idea to contract Initial payment to coordinator within 60 days of signature Time 0 (weeks)

21 Proposal Writing (1) Keep in mind evaluators are from industry, universities,non-university research organisations, others (diverse profiles) first, 3 to 6 evaluators evaluate each proposal individually, then they prepare a summary report, the evaluators are in seclusion for several days under "spartan" conditions... they have to evaluate 3-5 proposals per day the evaluators may not be the ultimate experts in the field of your proposal... Keep it clear and simple without loosing quality

22 Proposal Writing (2) Keep in mind a strong title, acronym an interesting project summary (objectives, results, R&D- approach, partnership, utility of results, exploitation) convincing techn. background and state of the art clear objectives, methods, results and deliverables well designed work plan (work packages, milestones, deliverables; diagrams; Gantt & PERT diagram) appropriate management structures & procedures (project steering and control, decision making, technical management, implementation management,...) implementation & exploitation of results, users! realistic costs that lie within the budget of the Call convincing consortium (roles, qualifications)

23 Proposal Writing Plan Appoint proposal writer Write a 1-2 page proposal Circulate for comments Consortium meeting if necessary (distribution of work) Workpackages management Exploitation, etc. Compile proposal Submit proposal Review by experts

24 Proposal Writing Plan - appoint writer Appoint proposal writer Appoint proposal writer Consortium meeting if necessary (distribution of work) Workpackages management Exploitation, etc. Compile proposal Submit proposal Circulate for comments Many people and partners will be involved in the proposal writing and Write a 1-2 page will contribute with material but proposal only one should have the overall responsibility and: check proposal conformity and consistency make necessary adjustments submit the proposal And loose his sleep over the proposal Review by experts

25 Proposal Writing Plan write 1 page Write a one page proposal Appoint proposal writer Consortium meeting if necessary Circulate for comments The 1-page proposal is a working document, it describes and Write a 1-2 page explains in text the whole proposal idea that until that time was only in the mind of the coordinator. This document will clearly explain the logic/vison behind the (distribution of work) proposal and the overall aim. It will also describe the mechanism for achieving the proposal targets. Workpackages management Exploitation, etc. Clarify issues related to management, workpackages, exploitation, etc Compile proposal Guide you through the final proposal writing Review by experts Gives the opportunity to Submit the other proposal partners or colleagues to comment on the proposal and suggest improvements.

26 Proposal Writing Plan Appoint proposal writer Write a 1-2 page proposal Circulate for comments Consortium meeting if necessary (distribution of work) Workpackages management Exploitation, etc. Compile proposal Submit proposal Review by experts

27 Proposal Writing: Appearance The appearance (evaluator-friendly) of the proposal is crucially important for the overall success : It helps evaluators to easily understand the content. (remember that the evaluators have limited time to spend for each proposal) Several good proposals were buried due to poor presentation. Poor presentation also demonstrates low commitment/effort/capacity. So Use concise standard English! Make the text clear, well structured, easy to read, not wordy: add a Table of Contents use short paragraphs use bullet points to break up lists highlight key points in italics Include only relevant information Make your proposal visually attractive and inviting, using graphic devices proposal has to present a high quality product!

28 Proposal Writing: Title, Acronym Select a Self-Explanatory but also Nice & Catchy proposal Title & proposal Acronym! Examples of proposal acronyms: NEA-TASHA: Novel Evolutionary and Agent-based Techniques for Automated Safety and Hazard Analysis ADAM: Adaptation And Mitigation Strategies: Supporting European climate policy ALARM: Assessing LArge-scale environmental Risks with tested Methods AMEDEUS: Accelerate MEmbrane DEvelopment for Urban Sewage purification

29 Parts Content of a proposal Part A: FORMS A1: General info on proposal (Title, abstract, keywords, etc.) A2: Info on the coordinator and the other partners (one form per partner) Part B: CONTENT Front page Contents page proposal summary project description A3: Cost breakdown (one sheet for the whole consortium; one line per partner with information on costs and funding requests per activity

30 Structure of a Proposal Title and Contents page + Summary Scientific and Technical Objectives Innovation (above the state of the art) Project Work plan and Methodology Deliverables Table Contribution to Objectives Dissemination and Exploitation of Results Project Management Consortium + Partners Roles and Background

31 Background Educate the Evaluator! First tell the evaluator WHY you are doing the work! Then tell the evaluator how you are doing it. This should include facts and figures from policy documents. Ask: Why Bother? The evaluators have no (or poor) internet access during the evaluation

32 Objective/Aim A short clear description of the proposed work There should be no question after this paragraph

33 Deliverables A clear statement on what will come out of the project. The deliverable must be expressed in the words of the user.

34 Examples of Deliverables Reports: contractual, policy statements, guidelines, handbooks, draft standards, procedures, R&D strategy, etc. Prototypes: Technical Prototypes, Commercial Prototypes Data: Statistics, Data in databases, Trends, Indicators, etc. Software: Algorithm, code, database, integrated system, etc.

35 Examples of Deliverables IPR: Patent, copyright, trademark, registered design, etc. Educational: Lecture material, course material, CD, etc. Meetings: Workshop, seminar, conference, etc. Media: Website, Video, CD, etc. Publications: Scientific Journal, Newsletter, proceedings, etc.

36 Phases of the work This should show a logical, planned approach Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3

37 Roles of Partners Define who will be involved in the work and their role Organisations Contact Country Role

38 Expected costs + duration Total Cost of the proposed work EU Contribution xx xx Duration (in months) xx

39 Project Management How to write it

40 Evaluation Criteria (Management) Quality of Management The Project Management Approach The Quality of the Partnership The Appropriateness of the Resources

41 Project Management PERT Chart: Work Flow Diagram GANTT Chart: Work package Time Bar chart Work Package Description: Table per work package Deliverables Table Breakdown of Work Per Partner

42 How to write the Project Management part Aim is to write well-structured project management, well matched to the complexity or simplicity of the project satisfactory plan for management of knowledge, of intellectual property and other innovation related activities By Adapting general project management procedures in the specific project needs Identifying the suitable individuals with the knowhow and experience to run the project management tasks.

43 Project Management issues Contractual issues Financial issues Legal issues Ensure the prompt and proper accomplishment of project deliverables and milestones (Annual reviews, Mid-term reviews, Final review) Financial project management (underspending/overspending), Justification of costs, Summary certified statement, Payement and distribution of money to the partners. Project core contract + model contract, consortium agreement, collective responsibility, consortium changes General management issues Other issues Workflow and Work Scheduling. Communication between partners and EC. Management of conflicts. Reporting. Exploitation & dissemination of results, other innovation activities, IPR, Gender & Equality issues, ethical issues.

44 Consortium Management Structure Governing Assembly ( ames ( ames of of Individuals) -Senior -Senior Partner Partner Representatives Representatives -External -External Experts Experts -European -European Commission Commission Representatives Representatives -Funding -Funding Agency s Agency s Representatives Representatives Only for IPs/NoEs Scientific Committee (Individuals) -Scientific -Scientific representatives representatives from from partners partners Management Group Group (Individuals) -Consortium -Consortium Manager Manager -Workpackage -Workpackagemanagers Partner Partner Consortium (Organizations) Partner Partner

45 Consortium Management Structure Project council Management board Coordinator, SP coordinators & Liaison Officer, Chairpersons of Committees Project Coordinator Scientific Advisory Committee Theory Working Group Models Working Group SP2 Coordinator Subproject 2 Animal Imaging Whole animal Imaging Embryo Imaging SP1 Coordinator Subproject 1 Probe development SP Liaison Officer SP3 Coordinator Subproject 3 Cell Imaging Microscopic Imaging Nano-scale Imaging Operational Project management Biological Applications Biological Applications Theory and Experiments Theory and Experiments Training Committee Innovation Committee

46 Project Management/ Work breakdown Describes the division of the project into workpackages (or even into sub-projects in the case of Integrated Projects) Project Acronym Project Title Co-ordinator: Partner #x WP1 Partner #x WP2 Partner #x WP3 Partner #x WP4 Partner #x WP5 Partner #x WP6 Partner #x WP7 Partner #x Task 1.1 Task 2.1 Task 3.1 Task 4.1 Task 6.1 Task 7.1 Task 1.2 Task 2.2 Task 3.2 Task 4.2 Task 6.2 Task 7.2 Task 6.3

47 Project Management/ Work breakdown Integrating Activities etworking activities? Exchange of personnel? Training courses? Workshops? Studies? Title Title Title Title Title Title Title Title Title Title Leader Leader Partners Partners Leader Leader Partners Partners Leader Leader Partners Partners Leader Leader Partners Partners Leader Leader Partners Partners

48 Project Management/ Pert Chart The PERT (Programme Evaluation and Review Techniques) Chart describes the links between the different workpackages. The division of the work must be logical. It must demonstrate that the focus of the management is on the prompt and proper accomplishment of the workpackages and deliverables. It is good idea to have one workpackage for Coordination and Management It is also usual to have a separate workpackage for the project management Be careful Do not include all the partners in all the workpackages. This is sign of poor planning and organisation. Do not involve a partner in all the workpackages. Every partner has specific competencies and should be involved in specific tasks. Every partner in the project should have specific responsibilities for justifying their role in the proposal.

49 PERT CHART (Example) PERT CHART (Example) WP1 WP1 Co-ordination Co-ordination and and Project Project Management Management Workpackage Workpackage Leader: Leader: 11 Partners: Partners: All All WP2 WP2 Title: Title: Sensor Sensor Development Development Workpackage Workpackage Leader: Leader: 33 Partners:1,2,7 Partners:1,2,7 WP3 WP3 Title: Title: Hardware Hardware development development Workpackage Workpackage Leader: Leader: 22 Partners:3,6,5 Partners:3,6,5 WP4 WP4 Title: Title: Software Software Development Development Workpackage Workpackage Leader:6 Leader:6 Partners: Partners: 4,5 4,5 WP5 WP5 Title: Title: Integration Integration Workpackage Workpackage Leader:1 Leader:1 Partners:,6,7,1 Partners:,6,7,1 WP6 WP6 Exploitation Exploitation Plan Plan Workpackage Workpackage Leader:4 Leader:4 Partners: Partners: All All

50 PERT CHART (Example) PERT CHART (Example)

51 Project Management/ Gantt Chart WORKPACKAGE / PERSON POWER BARCHART Workpackage descriptions Partners' Person Days Duration / critical path 1st year 2nd year 3rd year : see milestone list Workpackage 1: Title Task 1.1 Title Task 1.2 " Workpackage 2: Title Task 2.1 " Task 2.2 " Workpackage 3: Title Task 3.1 Title Task 3.2 " Workpackage 4: Title Task 4.1 Title Task 4.2 " Workpackage 5: Title Workpackage 6: Title Task 6.1 Title Task 6.2 " Task 6.3 " Workpackage 7: Title Task 7.1 Management Task 7.2 Exploitation TOTAL MANDAYS: In year 1 In year 2 In year m 12 m Mid-term 24 m 30 m Final Reporting Periods

52 Project Management/ Work package description Sub-project no: Start date: Cost: Sub-project title: Partner no: Person-months per partner Cost per partner Lead partner Other partners with major involvement Objectives Description of work Deliverables Milestones and expected results

53 Project Management/ Deliverables List umber Task Deliverable Time D.SP Preliminary cost analysis for full-scale production of module concepts of interest Month 16 D.SP Simulation of production lines in 3D for module concepts of interest Month 16 D.SP Machinery for all specified production steps has been developed to pilot line level (4 modules of 50 cm x 50 cm per day) and is delivered to INAP D.SP Design of production line for 10 MW peak /year (1 module of 50 cm x 50 cm per minute) Month 28 Month 36 D.SP Final cost analysis Month 36

54 Project Management/ Breakdown of work per partner Lead partner Other partners with major involvement Partner no: IVF INAP ECN Leclan ché Person-months per partner Task Cost per partner Task Task Task Task Task Task Total

55 Good-luck Epaminondas Christofilopoulos

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