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Finance Helpdesk Newsletter #58

Upcoming Open Finance Helpdesk Workshops

Lump Sum Pilot Actions

Data Management Costs

The EIC Accelerator (replaced the SME Instrument)

Want the Finance Helpdesk as a partner?


Upcoming Open Finance Helpdesk Workshops:

Our Financial Workshops have been majorly updated, including an Introduction to Horizon Europe. Now, would be the time to come back for a refresher course.


03/02/2020          1 Day Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) Workshop

04/02/2020          1 Day Ethics in H2020 Workshop

05/02/2020          2 Day Financial Workshop in Vienna, Austria.

07/02/2020          1 Day Marie Curie Workshop in Vienna, Austria.


Please Remember: The Finance Helpdesk is happy to come to your premises and hold a Customised Workshop for your Organisation or Project. Please contact us here to find out more.


Want the Finance Helpdesk as a partner?

The Finance Helpdesk always have to have UpToDate perspective of the submission process and project workings.

In order to do this, we are looking to join a few proposals/projects.

We are able to assist with all the admin aspects of projects and some actual project work as well across many different subjects. If you are interested in working with us, please contact us here, providing a bit of background information, and we will be in touch.


Lump Sum Pilot Actions*


Q: What are the main budgetary rules in the framework of Lump Sum Pilot actions?

A: Costs actually incurred are not relevant in the framework of Lump Sum Pilot grants. Instead, the grant agreement sets out a breakdown of the lump sum, per work package and beneficiary. The estimated lump sum breakdown is used to determine:


the share of the lump sum to which each beneficiary would be entitled for each work package

the maximum amount for which each beneficiary is liable in case of improper implementation of a work package.


Q: Under the Lump Sum Pilot actions, how will the pre-financing be fixed?

A: The calculation of the pre-financing will follow the standard H2020 rules and will be fixed in the grant agreement. As in the General Model Grant Agreement, 5% of the lump sum will be retained as contribution to the Guarantee Fund. The coordinator will distribute the pre-financing in accordance with the consortium agreement.


Q: What are the rules on payment in the framework of Lump Sum Pilot actions?

A: The rules on payments are in principle the same as in the General Model Grant Agreement: one pre-financing payment, interim payments at the end of each reporting period, and a final payment of the balance. Interim payments pay the lump sum shares for work packages completed during the corresponding reporting periods. The payment of the balance reimburses the remaining lump sum shares for the implementation of the action.


There are however some specificities:


·          Step 1 (Calculation of the accepted EU contribution) does not apply the reimbursement rate to the eligible costs, but simply sums up the lump sum shares for the accepted work packages for the reporting period. The lump sum shares in Annex 2 already take into account the reimbursement rate, so there is no need to apply it again. Partial work packages will not be accepted; the entire work package (i.e. work of all beneficiaries) needs to be completed.

·          Step 2 (Limit to the maximum grant amount) and Step 3 (Calculation of receipts & deduction of profit) do not apply to Lump Sum Pilot grants.

·          Step 4 (Grant reductions) relates to grant reductions for breaches other than non-implementation (because non-implementation is already taken into account for Step 1).

Q: Under the Lump Sum Pilot actions, can a lump sum share be transferred?

A: The rules regarding, transfer of lump sum shares are different than in the General MGA.


Transfers are only possible via a formal amendment:


·          within the same work package (i.e. increasing the share of a beneficiary and decreasing the share of another)

·          between work packages (i.e. increasing the share allocated to a work package and decreasing the share of another). They can only be accepted in exceptional circumstances, if duly justified by the technical and scientific implementation of the project and after a project review. The project review must confirm that the transfer does not call into question the decision awarding the grant or breach the principle of equal treatment.

Transfers from or to a work package which the consortium has already declared as completed in a reporting period are not allowed.


Q: Under the Lump Sum Pilot actions, which documents should be presented in case of checks, reviews, audits or investigations controls?

A: In case of checks, reviews, audits or investigations, the beneficiaries must present adequate records and other supporting documentation to prove the proper implementation of the action, as detailed in Annex 1. They may consist of technical documents, publications, prototypes, deliverables, and explanations on who did what in the framework of the project… Records and other supporting documentation on the scientific and technical implementation of the action must be in line with the accepted standards in the respective field.


Timesheets, pay-slip, contracts, depreciation policy and invoices for costs actually incurred are not needed since Lump Sum Pilot grants do not apply the reimbursement rate to the eligible costs. However, we still encourage you to keep timesheets.


Q: Under the Lump Sum Pilot actions, what is happening if a technical audit rejects a work package?

A: If a technical audit rejects a work package, the part of the lump sum corresponding to that work package will be recovered from the beneficiaries in charge of that work package in accordance with the breakdown of the lump sum (Annex 2).

If only the work of one of the beneficiaries is rejected, the recovery will be only for that beneficiary and up to the amount set up for it in the lump sum breakdown for that work package (Annex 2).

If the rejection is partial but affecting all beneficiaries of that work package: the Commission will recover the amount rejected from the beneficiaries in proportion to their share in that work package according to the lump sum breakdown (Annex 2).


Q: What are the rules related to the suspension of payment in the framework of the Lump Sum Pilot actions?

A: The Commission/Agency may — at any moment — suspend the payment deadline if a request for payment cannot be approved because:


·          it does not comply with the provisions of the Agreement

·          the technical or financial report has not been submitted or is not complete or additional information is needed, or

·          there is doubt about amounts requested for payment (including the need for a grant reduction) and additional checks, reviews, audits or investigations are necessary.

The rules on the suspension of the payment deadline are in principle the same as in the General MGA (see Article 47 H2020 General MGA). The Lump Sum Pilot MGA has, however, some specificities. Since costs actually incurred are not relevant in the framework of lump sum pilot grants, there will never be doubts on the actual costs eligibility. Therefore, suspension ground targets more generally any kind of doubts about the amounts requested for payment (including doubts linked to work package implementation).


Data Management Costs

Costs related to data management and open access to research data are eligible for reimbursement during the Horizon 2020 project if they fulfil the general eligibility conditions specified in the Grant Agreement.


In the longer term, the European Open Science Cloud will be designed to offer inter alia the possibility for post-project curation and preservation of research data generated by Horizon 2020 projects.


The EIC Accelerator (replaced the SME Instrument)

The EIC Accelerator is the new instrument for SMEs that took over from the SME instrument. SME Instrument phase 1 has been phased-out and this funding is no longer available.


The EIC Accelerator is designed for and targets for-profit SMEs only, including young companies and start-ups, from any sector - there are no set topics.


The EIC Accelerator helps you develop your business concept further into a market-ready product, service or process aligned with your company's growth strategy. Activities could, for example, include trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real-world conditions, and market replication.

If the activity concerns a primarily technological innovation, a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6-8 is envisaged for projects requesting grants only.

Projects will receive between € 0.5 and € 2.5 million in the form of grants. They can request a higher or lower amount when applying but it needs to be duly justified.

Projects should normally take 12 to 24 months to complete, but could be longer in exceptional and well-justified cases.


From 5 June 2019 only single companies (as opposed to consortia) can apply for EIC Accelerator.


The EIC Accelerator offers blended finance in the form of an optional investment in equity in addition to the grant, to single for-profit SMEs. Grants will finance activities from TRL 6-8. Activities above TRL 8 will financed only through blended finance.


Applicants will be asked to indicate if they want blended finance and the amount requested for equity. The maximum of investment in the form of equity is € 15 million.



*Taken from the EU FAQs


The Finance Helpdesk Team.








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