Contracting Authority: European Union Represented by the European Commission EU-CHINA RESEARCH AND INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP

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1 Contracting Authority: European Union Represented by the European Commission EU-CHINA RESEARCH AND INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP Guidelines for grant applicants Budget line: Reference: Deadline for submission of Concept note: 23 May 2014

2 NOTICE This is a restricted Call for Proposals. In the first instance, only Concept Notes must be submitted for evaluation. Thereafter, applicants who have been pre-selected will be invited to submit a Full Application Form. After the evaluation of the Full Applications, an eligibility check will be performed for those which have been provisionally selected. Eligibility will be checked on the basis of the supporting documents requested by the Contracting Authority and the signed Declaration by the Applicant sent together with the application.

3 Table of contents 1. EU-CHINA RESEARCH AND INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP Background Objectives of the programme and priority issues Financial allocation provided by the contracting authority RULES FOR THIS CALL FOR PROPOSALS Eligibility criteria Eligibility of applicants (i.e. applicant and co-applicant(s)) Affiliated entities Associates and Contractors Eligible actions: actions for which an application may be made Eligibility of costs: costs that can be included How to apply and the procedures to follow Concept Note content Where and how to send Concept Notes Deadline for submission of Concept Notes Further information about Concept Notes Full Application forms Where and how to send Full Application forms Deadline for submission of Full Application forms Further information about Full Application forms Evaluation and selection of applications Submission of supporting documents for provisionally selected applications Notification of the Contracting Authority s decision Content of the decision Indicative timetable Conditions for implementation after the Contracting Authority s decision to award a grant Early warning system and central exclusion database LIST OF ANNEXES 24

4 1. EU-CHINA RESEARCH AND INNOVATION PARTNERSHIP 1.1. BACKGROUND China's economic growth since the country s accession to the WTO in 2001 has led to a fourfold increase in trade volume from USD 510 billion to USD 2.2 trillion and an increase in the inflow of FDI from USD 46.9 billion to USD 74.8 billion in Following the rapid expansion of the Chinese economy, EU-China trade is growing faster but is more unbalanced than any other bilateral trade relationship. In 2010 the EU China trade deficit reached EUR billion the largest trade deficit the EU has 1. Equally astonishing is China s rise as a Research and Innovation (RI) power with aspirations to excel on the world stage. National statistics show that China s financial input in Science and Technology (S&T) activities especially in RI activities is steadily increasing. In 2010, China s S&T expenditure reached RMB billion with a 27.6% growth against the year showed a further record high expenditure of RMB billion in Research, Development and Innovation (R,D&I) 21.7% higher than the year before. The share of industry on the total R, D &I expenditure is 73.4% 2. Besides, China is the world s second largest producer of scientific papers, and ranks 9th in world citations. The main European policy goals towards China in the RI fields are to encourage, develop and facilitate cooperative activities in fields of common interest. To this effect an EU-China S&T Partnership Agreement has been signed in 2009 whereby Europe and China seek a balanced scientific, technological and innovation partnership and a level-playing field in terms of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), standardisation, and ethics. The Strategic Forum for International Science and Technology Cooperation (SFIC) 3 endorses the development of a broader base for a more coherent strategic approach to European Union (EU) and EU Member States cooperation with China. Science and innovation (SI) cooperation towards and with China should be based on mutual interests, benefits and excellence. Through the SFIC, a coherent SI strategy will be co-ordinated and implemented with the EU Member States and other EU policies such as trade, industrial policy, and higher education to reinforce each other. Moreover, within the EU s strategy towards China people-to-people contacts are rapidly gaining importance and status. The EU-China High Level People-to-People Dialogue (HPPD), as key element of the Third Pillar in the EU China strategic partnership, shall contribute to enhancing mutual understanding and establishing closer links between European and Chinese universities, research centres, enterprises and societies at large. Issues such as the mobility of professors and students, and the recognition of qualifications, quality and excellence are priority areas for both Europe and China. The majority of the European RI policies and strategies outlined are in general welcomed and supported by the relevant Chinese national authorities, and are in line with China s own policy objectives as outlined in the 12th Five Year Plan. Chinese funding organizations are keen to attract foreign researchers and academics to come to China and have recently developed their own schemes with attractive grants. While these schemes are welcomed, an EU funded mobility scheme specifically targeted towards China would allow pursuing more specifically European strategic interests and priorities. 1 Source of all figures: DG TRADE 2 Joint report on China's S&T expenditure for 2010 by the Chinese National Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Science and Technology, and Ministry of Finance, 28th September Strategic Forum for International Science and Technology Cooperation is a dedicated configuration of the Scientific and Technical Research Committee CREST. Its objective is to facilitate the further development, implementation and monitoring of the international dimension of the European Research Area. SFIC is composed of high-level representatives of the EU Member States and the European Commission. Page 1 of 24

5 With the signing on 20 September 2012 of a Joint Declaration on Innovation, the EU and China agreed to launch an Innovation Cooperation Dialogue. One of the key objectives of this new, and high-level partnership is to identify and address horizontal issues such as innovation in strategic emerging industries including with a view to facilitating SME internationalization on both sides. In addition, flagship initiatives are being developed in the areas of urbanization under the new EU-China Partnership on Sustainable Urbanization, and of food, agriculture and biotechnology. In order to succeed, people-to-people contacts, mobility, networking and partnerships have been identified by all stakeholders as key elements beside a shared interest in RI challenges. However, the following problems have been hereby identified which shall be partially tackled with this Call for Proposals: 1) Insufficient level of collaboration between European and Chinese higher education institutions and research institutes; Due to the lack of financial resources in many European universities and research institutes, as well as due to a certain level of ignorance about opportunities offered in China, the potential for cooperation between European and Chinese RI actors remains widely untapped. There are still too many jointly signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) between European and Chinese universities that are very ambitious on paper but produce no concrete outcomes or actual partnership-based projects. 2) Insufficient collaboration between European public and private sector stakeholders; There still exists a too strict separation between academic research at public institutions (universities) and private sector operators (companies, private R&D centres). However, it is more and more recognized that only a fruitful collaboration and cross-fertilization of both public and private sectors can lead to Europe truly fulfilling its innovative potential and eventually improve its competitiveness and growth, and capacity to adapt, or mitigate the risks or effects of, societal challenges. 3)Insufficient numbers of European researchers working in China; Even though mobility and people-to-people contacts are greatly acclaimed the actual flow of researchers and students from Europe to China remains at a very unsatisfactory level. Reasons for low mobility rate from Europe to China include: Low profile of China as a research destination and a lack of knowledge among European researchers of China s R&D hotspots and contacts; Common misperception that a research period in China is detrimental to a scientific career; Caution or fear to embark in an environment with distinctly different cultural and linguistic background; Ignorance about the real opportunities in natural, human, financial and infrastructure terms offered in China and about scientific excellence in certain fields. 4) Inability of existing schemes to encourage mobility to China. Established mobility programmes funded by the EU as well as EU Member States national schemes have not proven fully satisfactory in attracting a sufficient number of European researchers to China. Despite offering the financial support necessary for doing research in China they mostly fail to address the non-pecuniary obstacles for mobility or the application process proves to be discouraging. This Call for Proposals is designed to address these problems by providing the means for promoting networking and partnerships between higher education and research organisations in the EU and in China, by involving private sector actors, by addressing obstacles to mobility of researchers and research-related academics, and by using, more generally, the people-to-people approach as a tool to catalyze lasting partnerships and to exploit to the fullest extent possible their potential OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME AND PRIORITY ISSUES The global objective is for the EU to benefit from a sustained intensification of research, development and innovation networks, partnerships and other forms of RI interaction between the EU and China. Page 2 of 24

6 It is of genuine European strategic interest to take an active part in China s rising prominence in S&T and to build closer and more structured ties with China s RI actors. This will deliver to Europe new benefits and opportunities: to gain access to new knowledge and markets and contribute to re-balancing the EU China trade partnership; to tackle societal challenges that are global in nature, both with a local and an international perspective; to train a European academic generation which understands China, the functioning of its RI capabilities and to beneficially apply this knowledge. The specific objective is to create, strengthen and intensify the EU-China RI partnerships by supporting the mobility of EU researchers to China and strengthening people-to-people contacts, from both the public and private sectors, in strategic RI sectors. The proposed Action is to provide support to EU research community to establish or reinforce long-term research cooperation with Chinese research organisations through a coordinated and strategically targeted programme of exchange of researchers junior as well as senior for short or long periods. The expected results include: 1. Sustainable networks and partnerships between European and Chinese higher education institutions, research organisations and private sector research community, in particular European private sector actors have been created in strategic sectors and existing partnerships have been strengthened and intensified. 2. The number of European researchers, spending a significant amount of time on RI activities in China, has been increased significantly and additional private sector funding has been mobilised to bear the present and future costs thereof. 3. The number of European researchers returning to the EU and applying their China related and China acquired knowledge in public and private sector institutions to the benefit of the EU and the EU s relations with China has been increased. 4. Human resources and international cooperation capacity of research organisations in Europe with China has been further developed, and a stronger basis has been created for sustainable and growing cooperation between EU and Chinese research organisations. Complementary actions: The 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) had a duration of seven years from 2007 until 2013 with a total budget of over EUR 50 billion. The FP7 Marie Curie Actions have long been one of the most popular and appreciated features of the EU Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development. They have developed significantly in orientation over time, from a pure mobility fellowships programme to a programme dedicated to stimulating researchers' career development. The Marie Curie Actions have been particularly successful in responding to the needs of Europe's research and scientific community in terms of training, mobility and career development. Complementary actions also include Marie Curie s International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES). IRSES has the objective to help research organisations to set up or strengthen long-term cooperation with others, through a coordinated exchange programme for their staff. The EU Erasmus Mundus programme has proven very successful in encouraging academic exchanges between EU and China and has demonstrated the demand and interest from both sides in further exchanges. Sustainable collaborative research and other mutually beneficial activities have been established at the level of individuals and institutional partnerships enlarged and strengthened. Other complementary actions include the EU Member States National fellowship schemes and the Chinese grant schemes for foreign researchers (e.g. National Natural Science Foundation of China, Chinese Scholarship Council). Page 3 of 24

7 A crucial role is expected to be played by EURAXESS Links a networking tool for European researchers working outside Europe (i.e. USA, China, Japan, India, Singapore), initiated and funded by the European Commission. The objective of EURAXESS Links is to maintain the link of Europe with European researchers, scientists and scholars abroad, thus relying on them as an important resource for European research and for stimulating scientific cooperation between Europe and the host countries where they work. In particular, EURAXESS Links China the networking tool for European researchers working in China could offer an excellent platform for creating a horizontal link and a virtual place for contact and information sharing between the benefitting European researchers and professors in China stemming from the different partnerships. The new Erasmus + programme and the future mobility and collaboration schemes under Horizon 2020 programme are also regarded complementary to the Action. Horizon 2020, the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation , devotes a significant attention to SMEs, in particular in its industrial technologies component. Applicants' attention is drawn to ensure necessary synergy will be generated by the proposed Action with the above-mentioned actions. Cross-cutting issues: Proposals will need to explain how the requirements on transparency and equitable treatment will be applied in the implementation. Proposals will need also to show how the selection, organisation of the researchers' exchanges and supporting activities will tackle issues like gender-balance, environment sustainability and climate change in the areas of intervention FINANCIAL ALLOCATION PROVIDED BY THE CONTRACTING AUTHORITY The overall indicative amount made available under this Call for Proposals is EUR The Contracting Authority reserves the right not to award all available funds. The Call for Proposals is divided into five lots corresponding to five identified strategic areas. Indicative allocation of funds by lot: EUR Lot 1: Renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable energy solutions for cities; Lot 2: Sustainable urban development and urban planning, green urban mobility and transport; Lot 3: Health, public health and welfare policies life sciences; Lot 4: Information and communication technologies, smart cities; and Lot 5: Food, agriculture, bio-technologies and water. If the allocation indicated for a specific lot cannot be used due to insufficient quality or number of proposals received, the Contracting Authority reserves the right to reallocate the remaining funds to another lot. Size of grants Any grant requested under this Call for Proposals must fall between the following minimum and maximum amounts: minimum amount: EUR maximum amount: EUR Any grant requested under this Call for Proposals must not exceed the following maximum percentage of total eligible costs of the action: Maximum percentage: 80 % of the total eligible costs of the action (see also Section 2.1.4). Page 4 of 24

8 The balance (i.e. the difference between the total cost of the action and the amount requested from the Contracting Authority) must be financed from sources other than the European Union Budget or the European Development Fund RULES FOR THIS CALL FOR PROPOSALS These guidelines set out the rules for the submission, selection and implementation of the actions financed under this Call, in conformity with the Practical Guide to contract procedures for EU external actions, which is applicable to the present call (available on the Internet at this address: ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA There are three sets of eligibility criteria, relating to: (1) the actors: The applicant, i.e. the entity submitting the application form (2.1.1), if any, its co-applicant(s) (where it is not specified otherwise the applicant and its coapplicant(s) are hereinafter jointly referred as the "applicants") (2.1.1), and, if any, affiliated entity(ies) to the applicant and/or to a co-applicant(s). (2.1.2); (2) the actions: Actions for which a grant may be awarded (2.1.4); (3) the costs: types of cost that may be taken into account in setting the amount of the grant (2.1.5) Eligibility of applicants (i.e. applicant and co-applicant(s)) Applicant The action aims to set up new partnerships and to support and expand existing ones, in the target RI areas between the following types of European and Chinese organisations from public and private sector: universities higher education institutions research entities (1) In order to be eligible for a grant, the applicant must: be legal persons; and be organisations carrying out research activities from one of the EU Member States or Partner Countries 5. Entities that do not fulfil the above-mentioned criteria could be eligible as associates; and 4 Where a grant is financed by the European Development Fund, any mention of European Union financing must be understood as referring to European Development Fund financing. Page 5 of 24

9 be able to demonstrate their experience and capacity to manage activities corresponding in scale and complexity with the activities for which this grant is requested. This will include: - to provide evidence of experience in the management of similar activities as under (Types of activities). - To provide evidence of Quality Assurance. This should either be done through an official certificate issued by a certified body, or a valid licence of the field by competent authority and/or through an explanatory note on the quality assurance system of the concerned entities. - To have an adequate accounting system and establish a dedicated double-entry bookkeeping system for the project or ensure its sufficient segregation in the main accounting system; The above information must be submitted under section 2.4. Submission of supporting documents for provisionally selected applications of these guidelines. and be directly responsible for the preparation and management of the action with the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies), not acting as an intermediary. Participation of research organisations/entities from the European private sector is strongly desired. New partnerships and existing partnerships expanded with new members are strongly encouraged. (2) The potential applicant may not participate in calls for proposals or be awarded grants if it is in any of the situations listed in Section of the Practical Guide to contract procedures for EU external actions (available from the following Internet address: In Part A, section 3 of the grant application form ( Declaration by the applicant ), the applicant must declare that the applicant himself, the co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies) are not in any of these situations. The applicant must act with co-applicant(s) as specified hereafter. If awarded the Grant contract, the applicant will become the Beneficiary identified as the Coordinator in annex E3h1 (Special conditions). The Coordinator is the main interlocutor of the Contracting Authority. It represents and acts on behalf of any other co-beneficiary (if any) and coordinate the design and implementation of the Action. Co-applicant(s) A partnership in this Action must be composed of a minimum of two European organisations from two different EU Member States and a minimum of one Chinese organization. Co-applicant(s) participate in 5 As listed in Annex I of Council Regulation (EC) No 1934/2006 of 21 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for cooperation with industrialised and other high-income countries and territories and in Annex II of Regulation (EU) No 1338/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1934/2006 establishing a financing instrument for cooperation with industrialised and other high-income countries and territories in accordance with art. 7 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1934/2006. Page 6 of 24

10 designing and implementing the action, and the costs they incur are eligible in the same way as those incurred by the applicant. Co-applicant(s) must satisfy the eligibility criteria as applicable to the applicant himself. Co-applicant(s) must sign the Mandate in Part B section 4 of the grant application form. If awarded the Grant contract, the co-applicant(s) (if any) will become beneficiaries in the Action (together with the Coordinator) Affiliated entities Affiliated entity(ies) The applicant and its co-applicant(s) may act with affiliated entity(ies) Only the following entities may be considered as affiliated entities to the applicant and/or to coapplicant(s): (i) legal entities together forming one entity, including where it is specifically established for the purpose of implementing the action. In this case, the resulting entity may apply as a applicant or co-applicant whereas the other entities as its affiliated entity(ies); or (ii) legal entities having a link with the applicants, notably a legal or capital link, which is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation on the condition that they satisfy the eligibility and non-exclusion criteria of an applicant. If the applicants are awarded a contract, their affiliated entity(ies) will not be become Beneficiary(ies) of the Action and signatory(ies) of the Contract. However, they will participate in the design and in the implementation of the Action and the costs they incur (including those incurred for Implementation Contracts and Financial Support to third parties) may be accepted as eligible costs, provided they comply with all the relevant rules already applicable to the Beneficiary(ies) under the Grant Contract. Affiliated entity(ies) must satisfy respectively the eligibility criteria as applicable to the applicant and to the co-applicant(s). Affiliated entity(ies) must sign the affiliated entity(ies) statement in Part B section 5 of the grant application form Associates and Contractors The following entities are not applicant(s) nor affiliated entity(ies) and do not have to sign the "mandate" or "affiliated entities' statement": Associates Other organisations may be involved in the action. Such associates play a real role in the action but may not receive funding from the grant, with the exception of per diem or travel costs. Associates do not have to meet the eligibility criteria referred to in section Associates must be mentioned in Part B section 6 Associates of the Applicant participating in the Action of the Grant Application Form. Contractors The grant beneficiaries and their affiliated entities are permitted to award contracts. Associates or affiliated entity(ies) cannot be also contractors in the project. Contractors are subject to the procurement rules set out in Annex IV to the standard grant contract. Page 7 of 24

11 Redistribution of the grant The grant beneficiaries will award financial support for individual mobility to European Researchers. These are neither associates nor contractors. However, they are subject to the nationality and origin rules set in annex IV to the standard grant contract Eligible actions: actions for which an application may be made Definition: An action is composed of a set of activities. Duration The initial planned duration of an action may not be shorter than 36 months nor exceed 48 months. Sectors or themes Lot 1: Renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable energy solutions for cities; Lot 2: Sustainable urban development and urban planning, green urban mobility and transport; Lot 3: Health, public health and welfare policies life sciences; Lot 4: Information and communication technologies, smart cities; and Lot 5: Food, agriculture, bio-technologies and water. An action should specify under which Lot it is applying for support even if the action is also contributing to other core themes of the programme. An action is expected to deliver its main tangible(s) result(s) as defined under point 1.2, in the Lot category under which the action has been proposed. Location Actions must take place mainly in the People's Republic of China and in the EU Member States. Types of action The Action aims to set up new partnerships and to support and expand existing ones, in the targeted areas between European and Chinese research organizations (higher education, research entities from public and private sectors), by supporting the mobility of EU researchers to China. In order to implement the action the organizations will organize themselves in a balanced partnership. A partnership in this Action must be composed of at least two European organizations, from two different EU Member States and a minimum of one Chinese organization. Participation of research organizations from the European private sector is strongly desired. New partnerships and existing partnerships expanded with new members are strongly encouraged. A partnership agreement between the beneficiaries from EU MS and the Chinese participant organizations is mandatory. The following types of action are ineligible: Actions concerned only or mainly with individual sponsorships for participation in workshops, seminars, conferences and congresses Types of activity The activities shall complement expertise and strategic positions of the participants and create synergies between them. Page 8 of 24

12 Each Action will be a combination of an identified number of individual mobility schemes complemented by supporting activities: A. Setting up and implementation of individual mobility schemes from Europe to China within the established partnerships. Partnerships must develop a mobility plan for European researchers going to China to conduct research in one of the above-mentioned five target areas. In order to organise the individual mobility schemes, the partnerships must: 1) Draw up a partnership agreement among the partners with the objective to reach sound management and long-term development of the partnership; a specific clause of IP agreement on the knowledge transfer is compulsory in the partnership agreement; 2) Develop a clear promotion, information dissemination and visibility strategy for the partnership; 3) Set up criteria for the selection and mobilisation of researchers to take part in the individual mobility schemes, as well as the expectations on the researchers benefitting from the mobility scheme; 4) Provide Chinese language training for the European researchers in need participating in the mobility scheme to ensure effective interaction and to mitigate linguistic and cultural obstacles during their stay in China; 5) Set up the support structure for the persons benefiting from the mobility scheme at both the sending organisation in Europe and the hosting partner organisation in China; 6) Incorporate in their RI proposal specific aspects that will contribute to address key societal and global issues such as affordable development, equal opportunities and sustainability. Private research centres or entities will be encouraged to participate in the programme and to support the creation and strengthening of partnerships subject to the non-profit making nature of the action itself. B. Providing support for catalysing the functioning of the partnerships 1) Organise networking opportunities (platform, seminars, workshops, conferences etc.) between the members of the partnership, and other existing R&I stakeholders, networks, consortia and RI players; Participation and sponsorship of RI actors from the European private sector are strongly desired; 2) Organise of short-term visits in the framework of networking opportunities. The short-term visits shall be conducted by professors, supervisors and high level management staff of the EU partners that have a decision-making and/or influential role to the sustainable development of partnerships. Chinese partners are encouraged to seek government funding for the visit of Chinese staff to the EU partners institutions; 3) Provide support to visibility, mutual understanding and awareness actions to facilitate EU-China RI cooperation. Financial support to third parties-mobility scheme for Individual EU researchers to China Under this Call, financial support to third parties is the primary aim of the action. The specific conditions or restrictions to apply to the persons or categories of persons eligible for financial support are the followings: 1) Individuals financially supported in the framework of the mobility scheme must be nationals from one of the EU Member States and shall not be already based in China or have previously spent an extended period undertaking research in China. Page 9 of 24

13 While in light of the nature of this action, the participation of EU and Chinese public or private research entities is compulsory, the mobility of Chinese researchers or Chinese visiting professors or travel / per diem for Chinese nationals is not eligible for funding. 2) Individuals eligible for mobility should be in one of the following categories: doctoral and post-doctoral students of the EU partner institutions as the main target group; research and academic staff of the EU partner institutions; engineers, innovation managers, RI personnel working in EU RI entities. 3) The duration of the individual mobility schemes will be for a minimum of 3 months to a maximum of 24 months and can be split into several exchange periods within the total duration of the contract. However the duration of exchanges for each researcher or technical/management staff will be for a maximum of 36 months. 4) The staff to be exchanged should be guaranteed full reintegration and the positive recognition of the mobility experience, thus maximising the benefit of this action for long term cooperation. 5) The minimum number of individual mobility in each partnership must be equivalent to 4 persons per project year. The Grant contract will be implemented by using Commission-approved flat rates. The contribution for funding the mobility scheme (financial support to third parties) will be based on flat rates 2,100 EUR per person per month of secondment to China as determined in the IRSES Commissionapproved 2013 Annual Work Programme. The maximum amount to be awarded to each individual researcher is estimated to be EUR based on the calculation of a maximum of (24 Months / EUR 2100). The flat rate is intended to contribute to the costs for the exchange. This amount might include travel and Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA), language training, networking activities, management cost and overheads directly related to the implementation of the exchange. The European sending organisations will continue to bear the cost of the researcher/staff s regular salary. Visibility Applicants must comply with the objectives and priorities and guarantee the visibility of the EU financing (see the Communication and Visibility Manual for EU external actions specified and published by the European Commission at Number of applications and grants per applicants The applicant may not submit more than 1 application under this Call for Proposals. The applicant may not be awarded more than 1 grant contract under this Call for Proposals The applicant may not be co-applicant or an affiliated entity in another application at the same time. A co-applicant may not submit more than 1 application under this Call for Proposals. A co-applicant may not be the applicant or an affiliated entity in another application at the same time. The affiliated entity(ies) may not take part in more than one application Eligibility of costs: costs that can be included to be revised by F&C Page 10 of 24

14 Only eligible costs can be covered by a grant. The categories of costs that are eligible and non-eligible are indicated below. The budget is both a cost estimate and a ceiling for eligible costs. The reimbursement of eligible costs may be based on any or a combination of the following forms: actual costs incurred by the Beneficiary(ies) and affiliated entity(ies) simplified cost option for flat-rate financing. Simplified cost options will take the form foreseen in the Financing Decision related to this project, please refer to Financial support to third parties" in section of this Guidelines for the specific category of eligible costs and conditions. The EU contribution to the mobility scheme will be paid based on real costs borne by the Coordinator of the selected partnership in the framework of the financial support to third parties activity. Supporting documents should be kept by the grant beneficiary, following the accounting procedure and requirements of the grant contract. Proposals may involve partner organisations that are not eligible for funding, in which case the mobility must be financed by their own sources. Recommendations to award a grant are always subject to the condition that the checks preceding the signing of the contract do not reveal problems requiring changes to the budget (such as arithmetical errors, inaccuracies, unrealistic costs and ineligible costs). The checks may give rise to requests for clarification and may lead the Contracting Authority to impose modifications or reductions to address such mistakes or inaccuracies. It is not possible to increase the grant or the percentage of EU co-financing as a result of these corrections. It is therefore in the applicant s interest to provide a realistic and cost-effective budget. Eligible direct costs To be eligible under the Call for Proposals, costs must comply with the provisions of Article 14 of the General Conditions to the Standard Grant Contract (see Annex G of the Guidelines). The applicants (and where applicable its affiliated entities) agree that the expenditure verification(s) referred to in Article 15.7 of the General Conditions to the Standard Grant Contract (see Annex G of the Guidelines) will be carried out by the same entity for all applicants, to be proposed in the application. Taxes, including VAT will only be accepted as eligible costs when the Beneficiary (or, where applicable, its partners) can show it cannot reclaim them. Taxes shall in such case be included in the Budget of the Action under each heading. Contingency reserve The budget may include a contingency reserve not exceeding 5 % of the estimated direct eligible costs. It can only be used with the prior written authorisation of the Contracting Authority. Eligible indirect costs The indirect costs incurred in carrying out the action may be eligible for flat-rate funding, but the total must not exceed 7 % of the estimated total eligible direct costs. Indirect costs are eligible provided that they do not include costs assigned to another budget heading in the standard grant contract. The applicant may be asked to justify the percentage requested before the contract is signed. However, once the flat rate has been fixed in the special conditions of the standard grant contract, no supporting documents need to be provided. If any of the applicants or affiliated entity(ies) is in receipt of an operating grant financed by the EU, it may not claim indirect costs on its incurred costs within the proposed budget for the action. Contributions in kind Page 11 of 24

15 Contributions in kind mean the provision of goods or services to a Beneficiary(ies) or affiliated entity(ies) free of charge by a third party. As contributions in kind do not involve any expenditure for a Beneficiary(ies) or affiliated entity(ies), they are not eligible costs. Contributions in kind may not be treated as co-financing However, if the description of the action as proposed includes contributions in kind, the contributions have to be made. Ineligible costs The following costs are not eligible: debts and debt service charges (interest); provisions for losses or potential future liabilities; costs declared by the Beneficiary(ies) and financed by another action or work programme receiving a Union (including through EDF) grant; purchases of land or buildings, except where necessary for the direct implementation of the action, in which case ownership must be transferred to the final beneficiaries and/or local Beneficiary(ies),, at the latest at the end of the action; currency exchange losses; The mobility of Chinese researchers or Chinese visiting professors or travel / per diem for Chinese nationals HOW TO APPLY AND THE PROCEDURES TO FOLLOW Prior registration in PADOR for this Call for Proposals is obligatory Phase 1, concept note: Registration in PADOR is obligatory for an applicant applying for grants above Registration is optional though strongly recommended for: An applicant applying for grants of or less; co-applicant(s) and affiliated entity(ies). Phase 2, full proposal: Registration in PADOR is obligatory for all pre-selected applicant, coapplicant(s) and all their affiliated entity (ies). PADOR is an on-line database in which organisations register and update their data regularly, through the EuropeAid website: Before starting to register your organisation in PADOR, please read the Quick guide on the website. It explains the registration process. It is strongly recommended to register in PADOR when you start drafting your proposal and not to wait until just before the deadline of submission. On the paper version of the proposal you must give your EuropeAid ID (EID). To get this ID, your organisation must enter PADOR to register, save and sign certain obligatory data (the fields shown in orange on each screen) and the related documents (see section 2.4). Page 12 of 24

16 However, if it is impossible for the organisation to register in PADOR, it must submit a justification proving that this impossibility is general and beyond the control of the applicants and/or its affiliated entity(ies). In such cases, the applicants and/or affiliated entity(ies).concerned must complete the PADOR off-line form 6 attached to these Guidelines and send it by the submission deadline, together with the application, to the address indicated in sections and The registration in PADOR will then be carried out by the European Commission service in charge of the CfP. If, at a later stage, the organisation wishes to update its data itself, it will have to send an access request to the PADOR helpdesk. All questions related to registration in PADOR should be addressed to the PADOR helpdesk at: Concept Note content Applications must be submitted in accordance with the Concept Note instructions in the Grant Application Form annexed to these Guidelines (Annex A). Applicants must apply in English. In the Concept Note, applicants must only provide an estimate of the amount of contribution requested from the Contracting Authority and an indicative percentage of that contribution in relation to the total amount of the Action. Only the applicant invited to submit a full application in the second phase will be required to present a detailed budget. The elements outlined in the Concept Note may not be modified by the applicant in the full application form. The EU contribution may not vary from the initial estimate by more than 20 %. Applicants are free to adapt the percentage of co-financing required within the minimum and maximum amount and percentages of co-financing, as laid down in these Guidelines in section 1.3. Own contributions by the applicants can be replaced by other donors' contributions at any time. Any error or major discrepancy related to the points listed in the Concept Note instructions may lead to the rejection of the Concept Note. Clarifications will only be requested when information provided is unclear and thus prevents the Contracting Authority from conducting an objective assessment. Hand-written Concept Notes will not be accepted. Please note that only the Concept Note form will be evaluated. It is therefore of utmost importance that this document contain ALL relevant information concerning the action. No additional annexes should be sent Where and how to send Concept Notes The Concept Note together with the Checklist for the Concept Note (Part A section 2 of the grant application form) and the Declaration by the applicant for the Concept Note (Part A section 3 of the grant application form) must be submitted in one original and 5 copies in A4 size, each bound. An electronic version of the Concept Note must also be submitted. A CD-Rom with the Concept Note in electronic format will be included, along with the paper version, in a sealed envelope as described below. The electronic file must contain exactly the same application as the paper version enclosed. Where applicants send several different Concept Notes (if allowed to do so by the Guidelines of the Call), each one must be sent separately. The outer envelope must bear the reference number and the title of the call for proposals, together with the lot number and title the full name and address of the applicant, and the words Not to be opened before the opening session and ' 开 标 会 议 之 前 不 得 打 开 '. 6 Which corresponds to Sections 3 and 4 of Part B of the application form. Page 13 of 24

17 Concept Notes must be submitted in a sealed envelope by registered mail, private courier service or by handdelivery (a signed and dated certificate of receipt will be given to the deliverer) to the address below: Postal address EU Delegation to China and Mongolia Finance, Contracts and Audit Section No. 15 Dongzhimenwai Dajie Beijing P.R. China Concept Notes sent by any other means (e.g. by fax or by ) or delivered to other addresses will be rejected. Applicants must verify that their Concept Note is complete using the Checklist for Concept Note (Part A section 2 of the grant application form). Incomplete concept notes may be rejected Deadline for submission of Concept Notes The deadline for the submission of Concept Notes is 23 May 2014 as evidenced by the date of dispatch, the postmark or the date of the deposit slip. In the case of hand-deliveries, the deadline for receipt is at 16:00 Beijing time as evidenced by the signed and dated receipt. Any Concept Note submitted after the deadline will be rejected. However, for reasons of administrative efficiency, the Contracting Authority may reject any Concept Note sent in due time but received after the effective date of approval of the Concept Note evaluation (see indicative calendar under section 2.5.2) Further information about Concept Notes Questions may be sent by no later than 21 days before the deadline for the submission of concept notes to the address(es) below, indicating clearly the reference of the Call for Proposals: address: The Contracting Authority has no obligation to provide clarifications to questions received after this date. Replies will be given no later than 11 days before the deadline for submission of Concept Notes. To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the Contracting Authority cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of applicants, or affiliated entity(ies), an action or specific activities. Questions that may be relevant to other applicants, together with answers and other important notices in the course of the evaluation procedure, will be published on the EuropeAid website https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome, as the need arises. It is therefore advisable to consult the abovementioned website regularly in order to be informed of the questions and answers published. All questions related to PADOR registration should be addressed to the PADOR help desk: Full Application forms An applicant invited to submit a full application form following pre-selection of their Concept Note must do so using Part B of the application form annexed to these Guidelines (Annex A). Applicants should then keep strictly to the format of the application form and fill in the paragraphs and pages in order. Page 14 of 24

18 The elements outlined in the Concept Note cannot be modified by the applicant in the full application form. The EU contribution may not vary from the initial estimate by more than 20 %, although applicants are free to adapt the percentage of co-financing required within the minimum and maximum amount and percentages of co-financing, as laid down in these Guidelines under section 1.3. Applicants must submit their applications in the same language as their Concept Note. Please complete the full application form carefully and as clearly as possible so that it can be assessed properly. Any error related to the points listed in the Checklist (Part B, Section 7 of the Grant Application form) or any major inconsistency in the full application form (e.g. if the amounts in the budget worksheets are inconsistent) may lead to the rejection of the application. Clarifications will only be requested when information provided is unclear and thus prevents the Contracting Authority from conducting an objective assessment. Hand-written applications will not be accepted. Please note that only the full application form and the published annexes which have to be filled in (budget, logical framework) will be transmitted to the evaluators (and assessors, if used). It is therefore of utmost importance that these documents contain ALL the relevant information concerning the action. No supplementary annexes should be sent Where and how to send Full Application forms Applications must be submitted in a sealed envelope by registered mail, private courier service or by handdelivery (a signed and dated certificate of receipt will be given to the deliverer) to the address below: Postal address EU Delegation to China and Mongolia Finance, Contracts and Audit Section No. 15 Dongzhimenwai Dajie Beijing P.R. China Applications sent by any other means (e.g. by fax or by ) or delivered to other addresses will be rejected. Applications must be submitted in one original and 5 copies in A4 size, each bound. The full application form, budget and logical framework must also be supplied in electronic format (CD-Rom) in a separate and single file (i.e. the full application form must not be split into several different files). The electronic file must contain exactly the same application as the paper version. The Checklist (Section 7 of Part B of the grant application form) and the Declaration by the applicant (Section 8 of Part B of the grant application form) must be stapled separately and enclosed in the envelope Where applicants send several different applications (if allowed to do so by the Guidelines of the Call), each one must be sent separately. The outer envelope must bear the reference number and the title of the Call for Proposals, together with the number and title of the lot, the full name and address of the applicant, and the words Not to be opened before the opening session and 开 标 会 议 之 前 不 得 打 开 '. Applicants must verify that their application is complete using the checklist (Section 7 of Part B of the grant application form). Incomplete applications may be rejected Deadline for submission of Full Application forms Page 15 of 24

19 The deadline for the submission of applications will be indicated in the letter sent to the applicants whose application has been pre-selected. However, for reasons of administrative efficiency, the Contracting Authority may reject any application sent in due time but received after the date of approval of evaluation report for full applications (see indicative calendar under Section 2.5.2) Further information about Full Application forms Questions may be sent by [or by fax] no later than 21 days before the deadline for the submission of applications to the addresses listed below, indicating clearly the reference of the Call for Proposals: address: The Contracting Authority has no obligation to provide clarifications to questions received after this date. Replies will be given no later than 11 days before the deadline for the submission of applications. To ensure equal treatment of applicants, the Contracting Authority cannot give a prior opinion on the eligibility of applicants, affiliated entity(ies), or an action. No individual replies will be given to questions. All questions and answers as well as other important notices to applicants during the course of the evaluation procedure, will be published on the website https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome. It is therefore advisable to consult the abovementioned website regularly in order to be informed of the the questions and answers published. All questions related to PADOR registration should be addressed to the PADOR helpdesk: 2.3. EVALUATION AND SELECTION OF APPLICATIONS Applications will be examined and evaluated by the Contracting Authority with the possible assistance of external assessors. All actions submitted by applicants will be assessed according to the following steps and criteria. If the examination of the application reveals that the proposed action does not meet the eligibility criteria stated in paragraph 2.1, the application will be rejected on this sole basis. (1) STEP 1: OPENING & ADMINISTRATIVE CHECKS AND CONCEPT NOTE EVALUATION The following will be assessed: Compliance with the submission deadline. If the deadline has not been met, the application will automatically be rejected. The Concept Note satisfies all the criteria specified in points 1-5 of the Checklist (Section 2 of Part A of the grant application form). If any of the requested information is missing or is incorrect, the application may be rejected on that sole basis and the application will not be evaluated further. The Concept Notes that pass the first administrative check will be evaluated on the relevance and design of the proposed action. The Concept Note will receive an overall score out of 50 using the breakdown in the evaluation grid below. The evaluation will also check on compliance with the instructions on the Concept Note, which can be found in Part A of the Application Form. The evaluation criteria are divided into headings and subheadings. Each subheading will be given a score between 1 and 5 as follows: 1 = very poor; 2 = poor; 3 = adequate; 4 = good; 5 = very good. Page 16 of 24

20 Scores 1. Relevance of the action Sub-score How relevant is the proposal to the objectives and priorities of the Call for Proposals? 5x2** 1.2 How relevant to the particular needs and constraints of the target country(ies) or region(s) is the proposal (including synergy with other EU initiatives and avoidance of duplication)? 1.3 How clearly defined and strategically chosen are those involved (final beneficiaries, target groups)? Have their needs been clearly defined and does the proposal address them appropriately? 1.4 Does the proposal contain specific added-value elements, such as environmental issues, promotion of gender equality and equal opportunities, needs of disabled people, rights of minorities and rights of indigenous peoples, or innovation and best practices and good governance? 5x2* Design of the action Sub-score How coherent is the overall design of the action? 5x2** In particular, does it reflect the analysis of the problems involved, take into account external factors and relevant stakeholders? 2.2 Is the action feasible and consistent in relation to the objectives and expected results? 5x2** **these scores are multiplied by 2 because of their importance TOTAL SCORE 50 Once all Concept Notes have been assessed, a list will be drawn up with the proposed actions ranked according to their total score. First, only the Concept Notes with a score of at least 30 will be considered for pre-selection. Secondly, the number of Concept Notes will be reduced, taking account of the ranking, to the number of Concept Notes whose total aggregate amount of requested contributions is equal to 200% of the available budget for this Call for Proposals. The amount of requested contributions of each concept note will be based on the indicative financial envelopes for each lot. After the evaluation of Concept Notes, the Contracting Authority will send letters to all applicants, indicating whether their application was submitted by the deadline, informing them of the reference number they have been allocated, whether the Concept Note was evaluated and the results of that evaluation. The pre-selected applicants will subsequently be invited to submit full applications. (2) STEP 2: EVALUATION OF THE FULL APPLICATION First, the following will be assessed: Page 17 of 24

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