These FAQ aim to clarify the scope of the calls, topics, and areas within topics. Opinion on the precise content of a draft proposal cannot be provided by the Commission services.

The FAQs are regularly updated. Please refer also to the general FAQ on Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe on the participant portal.

Disclaimer: The answers are carefully checked, but they do neither necessarily reflect the opinion of the Commission nor are they a guarantee for successful proposals.
Which calls are open to ESFRI to project only?

Only one topic, INFRADEV-2-2016, is restricted to projects in the ESFRI roadmap. Another topic of the same call, INFRADEV-3-2016-2017 is open only to ESFRI projects and other world class research infrastructure with in Europe, with established legal structure and international governance.

Can partners from different countries outside the EU participate in our project and receive EC funding?

Please refer to the Guide on Funding of applicants from non-EU countries & international organisations. Regarding the association status of Switzerland, please see the Note on Swiss participation in Horizon 2020.

What are Research Infrastructures (RIs)?

Research Infrastructures are facilities that provide resources and services for research communities to conduct research and foster innovation. They can be used beyond research e.g. for education or public services and they may be single-sited, distributed, or virtual. They include

  • major scientific equipment or sets of instruments;
  • collections, archives or scientific data;
  • computing systems and communication networks;
  • any other research and innovation infrastructure of a unique nature which is open to external users.
Which are the Initiatives, strategies and networks related to RIs?
  • European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI): ESFRI develops a strategic roadmap identifying investment priorities in European Research Infrastructures for the next 10-20 years. More about ESFRI;
  • European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC): A specific legal form that facilitates the establishment and operation of Research Infrastructures. More about ERIC;
  •  Group of Senior Officials (GSO): Global group of experts that takes stock of the existing situation of global Research Infrastructures and explores new collaboration opportunities. More about the GSO;
  • European Open Science Cloud (EOSC): Cloud database for research in Europe. More about EOSC;
  • EIROforum: Collaboration agreement to combine resources, facilities and expertise of its member organisations to support European science. More about EIROforum;
  • Association of European-Level Research Infrastructures Facilities (ERF-AISBL): A not-for-profit association promoting the development and visibility of European infrastructures providing access to external users. The ERF members are open at an international level and include national infrastructures as well as European networks and consortia of research infrastructures. Every year the ERF member organisations serve over 20,000 academic and industrial users from Europe and overseas. More about ERF-AISBL;
  • OECD Global Science Forum (GSF): The Commission is part of 2 working groups. More about the Global Science Forum:
    • GSF working group on Research Infrastructure sustainability – to ensure coherence and complementarity with the long term sustainability effort conducted at European level;
    • GSF working group on the socio-economic impact of Research Infrastructures which aims to reach an understanding at international level of the principles and processes to be followed when addressing the socioeconomic impact of any Research Infrastructure.
  • Long term sustainability of Research Infrastructures: The Commission supports setting-up long term sustainable infrastructures and has identified issues and measures in consultations, working documents and workshops to achieve this goal. Sustainable European Research Infrastructures;
How RIs are funded?

Funding opportunities in Research Infrastructures, include EU funding from:

Who should apply in Horizon Europe “Reforming European R&I”, in a RI call?
  • Universities, research centres;
  • NGOs, governmental organisations, civilian volunteer organisations, civil society organisations;
  • Citizens associations;

Every consortium must assign a project coordinator who will be the main contact for the European Research Executive Agency throughout the project.

As a general condition, any type of organisation can apply for Horizon Europe funding as long as they have the operational and financial capacity to carry out the tasks that they propose.

For most calls for proposals, you must apply as a team of at least 3 partner organisations from 3 different EU or associated countries. At least one of the 3 partners must be from an EU country. In addition to these 3 partners, organisations from other countries might be able to join your consortium. Please consult the Horizon Europe programme guide. Further details or exceptions are listed on the pages of the call topics in the Funding & tenders portal.

Some calls for proposals require a so-called multi-actor approach: this means your proposed project must involve a diverse set of stakeholders, in particular end-users and users of the project’s results.

Can you please elaborate on the novelty on descriptors? How will they be used during the evaluation? Will descriptors of funded projects be publicly known?

Descriptors will be used to better identifying the field of a submitted proposal and to better match the profile of expert evaluators who will assess it. This practise is borrowed from other actions of the framework programme with bottom-up approach such as, for example, the MSCA and the ERC actions. The different fields are publicly available in the system and can be selected at the initial step of the drafting of a proposal from a drop-down menu.

What is considered a large medical cohort in the framework of HORIZON-INFRA- 2023-DEV-01-01 (Concept development for a research infrastructure to manage, integrate and sustain large medical cohort studies)?

Main variables to be taken into consideration for defining the size of a medical cohort would be the number of data subjects, the duration of the study and the number and diversity of data types’ used, as well as the geographical scope of a study. There is good common understanding in the biomedical community when a cohort would be considered large, based on high scores in at least some of the aforementioned aspects.

Would a consortium with an ERIC be well received or this is not to be expected?

An ERIC might be part of the consortium if it is necessary to carry out tasks under the project. This includes the case where the scope of the project is a major upgrade of the ERIC (equivalent to a new infrastructure concept) as well as the case where the ERIC is a technical partner necessary for the concept development of another infrastructure.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03 (Consolidation of the RI landscape – Individual support for evolution and long-term sustainability of pan-European research infrastructures), will established research infrastructures networks which are not ESFRI landmarks/ERICs but have sufficient support to afford the 20% share, be eligible to apply?

The main beneficiary of the proposed action can only be a pan-European RI recognised as ESFRI Landmark or an ERIC. At the same time, networks of research infrastructures or specific RIs in such a network can participate (with/without financial support) in the proposal led by the ESFRI Landmarks/ERIC, providing this participation contributes to the scope of the topic, notably: “to the strengthening, long-term sustainability, re-orientation or evolution of ESFRI Landmarks or other European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs)”.

For both topics HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03 and HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV- 01-04, can emerging research infrastructures (that are not yet part of the ESFRI Roadmap) be participants in a consortium?

For both topics, emerging infrastructures that are not part of ESFRI or ERICs are eligible to apply for funding in a given consortium if such participation can contribute to the objectives of the topics.
For HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03, the participation of emerging infrastructures should contribute “to the strengthening, long-term sustainability, reorientation or evolution of ESFRI Landmarks or other European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs)” e.g. by “enabling the RI to address new research or societal challenges and/or serve new user communities, increasing and improving service capacity and/or integrating new resources/facilities”. For HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-04, RIs not in the ESFRI Roadmap can be part of the consortium provided there are important synergies that can be explored/developed in particular for the support to the development of complementarities, synergies and/or integration between the ESFRI Landmarks and/or ERICs themselves.

Does topic HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03 provide for offering trans-national access to infrastructure services?

Topic HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03 does not have as objective providing trans-national access (on-site or remote) and/or virtual access to research infrastructures for user communities.
This topic’s objective is rather “the consolidation of the EU RI landscape through the support, together with member countries, to the strengthening, long-term sustainability, reorientation or evolution of ESFRI Landmarks or other European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs)”.In this context, it is important to clarify that support can also be provided “to the development of solutions helping the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic consequences on service provision, such as extension of remote and virtual access, or on the management of the infrastructure itself. Activities for reorientation or evolution should fill gaps in the RI landscape, enabling the RI to address new research or societal challenges and/or serve new user communities, increasing and improving service capacity and/or integrating new resources/facilities.”In the light of the above, limited access to research infrastructures could be included in the proposal only to the extent strictly necessary to develop/test/verify, including with targeted user communities, RI service offers proposed according to the paragraph above mentioned.Considering that access to research infrastructures is not a principal objective foreseen in the above-mentioned topic, (limited, e.g. piloted) access to RIs will be considered as a normal activity within the content of the call.As a consequence, access costs cannot be charged via unit of costs as set out in the relevant EC Decision. Costs can only be charged according to the general rules, as for any other activities of the project in compliance with the general and specific eligibility conditions set out in Article 6 GA.Finally, and for the same reasons explained above, it is not mandatory to comply with TNA/VA rules (eligibility of user groups, selection etc.) mentioned in the “Specific Features for Research Infrastructure in the Work Programme” (p. 140) and in Annex 5 to the GA . However, a proposal comprising the piloting of TNA may well include exploring the trans-national modes of RI service delivery.

What are the main differences between the two consolidation topics HORIZON- INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03 and HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-04?

There are differences between the two topics in terms of the overall objectives, scope of targeted beneficiaries and funding models. While the HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03 topic targets the strengthening of individual research infrastructures (one core beneficiary per proposal, e.g. one ESFRI Landmark or one ERIC), HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-04 envisages collaboration among research infrastructures, with at least two ESFRI Landmarks or ERICs developing joint activities with the view of increasing collaboration and synergies. In terms of funding, 80% of eligible costs are covered by EU funding in the case of HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03, and 100% for HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-04.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03, can the research infrastructures share of 20% be provided as in-kind contribution?

Any costs considered as eligible for EU funding can be part of the 20% share provided by the research infrastructure, e.g. personnel costs, which are salaries covered from a research infrastructure’s regular operating budget. It is important to bear in mind that the 20% share cannot be covered from any other EU funding source (as per the rule that prohibits double funding of same cost: see Art. 191 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/1046 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018).

For both topics HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03 and HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV- 01-04, can emerging research infrastructures (that are not yet part of the ESFRI Roadmap) be participants in a consortium?

For both topics, emerging infrastructures that are not part of ESFRI or ERICs are eligible to apply for funding in a given consortium if such participation can contribute to the objectives of the topics.
For HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03, the participation of emerging infrastructures should contribute “to the strengthening, long-term sustainability, reorientation or evolution of ESFRI Landmarks or other European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs)” e.g. by “enabling the RI to address new research or societal challenges and/or serve new user communities, increasing and improving service capacity and/or integrating new resources/facilities”. For HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-04, RIs not in the ESFRI Roadmap can be part of the consortium provided there are important synergies that can be explored/developed in particular for the support to the development of complementarities, synergies and/or integration between the ESFRI Landmarks and/or ERICs themselves.

What are the main differences between the two consolidation topics HORIZON- INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03 and HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-04?

There are differences between the two topics in terms of the overall objectives, scope of targeted beneficiaries and funding models. While the HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03 topic targets the strengthening of individual research infrastructures (one core beneficiary per proposal, e.g. one ESFRI Landmark or one ERIC), HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-04 envisages collaboration among research infrastructures, with at least two ESFRI Landmarks or ERICs developing joint activities with the view of increasing collaboration and synergies. In terms of funding, 80% of eligible costs are covered by EU funding in the case of HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-03, and 100% for HORIZON-INFRA-2023-DEV-01-04.

HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01 foresees third parties support through open calls for cross-RI/cross-domain science projects and services. Is there any indication of what is meant by “reasonable administrative and management costs” for such open calls?

Experience gained through ERA-NETs in H2020 and co-funded European Partnerships in Horizon Europe shows that administrative and management costs for open calls to third parties, in general do not exceed 10% of the share of the Union contribution allocated to these calls.

Can administrative tasks and costs generated from FSTP procedures be eligible? Can they be considered as action tasks, and as such be undertaken by beneficiaries of the grant or alternatively by subcontractors?

Indeed, the handling of FSTP calls would be considered as an action task. Yet, for those costs to be eligible, they must comply with both the general costs eligibility conditions set out in Article 6.1 of the HE Model Grant Agreement and the applicable specific costs eligibility conditions set out in Articles 6.2 onwards (for instance, Article 6.2.A.1 for personnel costs of employees and Article 6.2.C.3 for purchase of goods, works and services).

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01, are cascading grants foreseen to encourage under-represented research communities, especially those in the long- tail of research to be engaged in this call?

Cascading grants resulting from open calls is a means to financially support third parties from less-engaged, less-structured communities and involve them as users of and/or providers to the staged implementation and expansion of the EOSC federation. This instrument is used in several topic calls of the INFRAEOSC destination as a way to reach out beyond the usual community involved thus far in the development and prototyping of EOSC services, tools, policies and guidelines.

Will there be consultation and/or co-design mechanisms with the users of the EOSC tools/services projects from non-IT scientific domains?

Each proposal needs to decide on the best approach. It is recommended though that EOSC Core components and services are co-designed with the targeted user communities in order to ensure the necessary buy-in and eventual uptake.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01, what is the role of university associations and learned societies?

The role of University Associations or Learned Societies is to trigger engagement of the wider research community in responding to the foreseen open calls for cross-RI and/or cross-domain open science projects and services. They can help as multipliers to promote those open calls to make them also known by small research teams and the long tail of science beyond the usual INFRAEOSC community.

For Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/cascade funding) calls, will there be templates for the agreements to be signed between the consortium and the recipients of FSTP?

There are no templates provided by the Commission, since FSTP agreements concern the relationship between the beneficiaries and third parties. We recommend however that the agreements refer, as a minimum, to the different types of activity that qualify for financial support, to the appropriate regulatory framework (including on ethics, safety, etc.) and on the relevant provisions of the Horizon Europe grant agreement including the specific feature for research infrastructures (e.g. access which will be provided, categories of users that may have access, selection procedures).

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01, at the end of the topic description, there is a section on synergies / complementarities to be developed with other topics, and notably to “HORIZON-INFRA-2022-EOSC-01-06”. Is there such a topic in the RI WP 2021-2022?

The respective reference to a 2022 topic is a chronological typo. The correct reference is to a 2021 topic, namely to the HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EOSC-01-06: “FAIR and open data sharing in support of cancer research”.

For Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/ cascade funding) calls, should the coordinator or the respective beneficiary be responsible for organising such calls? Or should the consortium decide on its own approach?

As a general rule, and unless specific conditions are mentioned in the call conditions, it is up to the consortium to describe in their proposal who amongst themselves will be responsible for organising FSTP calls.

Are industrial partners encouraged or expected in EOSC calls or is this destination mainly dedicated to academic partners?

For all the HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC calls managed by CNECT (HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-04, HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-05 and HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-06), we encourage industrial partners to partner up with the academic community and submit joint proposals. This also applies for the open calls for cross-RI and/or cross-domain open science projects and services which are foreseen in topic HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01 and will be implemented through cascaded grants as a support to third parties.

Should the Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/Cascade funding) calls - under the responsibility of the beneficiaries issuing such calls - be published through the F&T Portal or through the consortia’s specific web platforms?

Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP or so-called cascade funding) calls will have to be published both on the Funding & Tenders Portal and on the beneficiaries’ websites.

In this respect, the General Annexes of the HE ‘main’ Work Programme 2023-2024 set out that (see page 16): “all calls for third parties and all calls that are implemented by third parties must be published on the Funding & Tenders Portal, and on the beneficiaries’ websites.”

For 2023 calls, FSTP/cascade funding is only possible under the topics: a) HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01-03 (Research infrastructure services advancing frontier knowledge: co-fund pilots with pan-European RIs and/or national RIs); b) HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01 (Build on the science cluster approach to ensure the uptake of EOSC by research infrastructures and research communities).

For 2024 calls, FSTP/cascade funding is possible under the topics: a) HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-02 (Supporting the EOSC partnership in further consolidating the coordination and sustainability of the EOSC system) and b) HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-03 (Enabling a network of EOSC federated and trustworthy repositories and enhancing the framework of generic and discipline specific services for data and other research digital objects).

In the case of all the other topics, including standard INFRASERV calls with access provision to external users directly implemented by beneficiaries, calls cannot be advertised using the Funding & Tenders Portal and this is not envisaged in the short term.

Are there any specific topics related to the EOSC Data Federation?

Topics/projects working towards EOSC data federation include BY-COVID, EOSC4Cancer, support to Oceans mission, etc. and forthcoming in 2024 HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-03 for federation of repositories as well as HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-05 on Innovative and customizable services for EOSC Exchange.

What are data centres in the context of EOSC?

In the context of the EOSC, data centres are compliant and certified hosting centres where the underlying infrastructure components of the EOSC Core and Exchange platform services are deployed, following the cloud service delivery model.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01, are cascading grants foreseen to encourage under-represented research communities, especially those in the long- tail of research to be engaged in this call?

Cascading grants resulting from open calls is a means to financially support third parties from less-engaged, less-structured communities and involve them as users of and/or providers to the staged implementation and expansion of the EOSC federation. This instrument is used in several topic calls of the INFRAEOSC destination as a way to reach out beyond the usual community involved thus far in the development and prototyping of EOSC services, tools, policies and guidelines.

Will there be consultation and/or co-design mechanisms with the users of the EOSC tools / services projects from non-IT scientific domains?

Each proposal needs to decide on the best approach. It is recommended though that EOSC Core components and services are co-designed with the targeted user communities in order to ensure the necessary buy-in and eventual uptake.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-02, does community approach to software, code & digital objects also include AI-related workflows, with their specifics such as explainable AI?

The topic focuses in improving the quality of code-based digital objects. This includes, but not only, Artificial Intelligence (AI) workflows. Any activities proposed to improve their quality (and the definition thereof), curation practices, the deployment of related infrastructure and services and to enhance their re-usability are within scope of this topic. The explainability dimension of AI tools and their transparency should be evaluated in view to its relevance to such expected outcomes of the call topic.

Are there any specific topics related to the EOSC Data Federation?

Topics/projects working towards EOSC data federation include BY-COVID, EOSC4Cancer, support to Oceans mission, etc. and forthcoming in 2024 HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-03 for federation of repositories as well as HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-05 on Innovative and customizable services for EOSC Exchange.

What are data centres in the context of EOSC?

In the context of the EOSC, data centres are compliant and certified hosting centres where the underlying infrastructure components of the EOSC Core and Exchange platform services are deployed, following the cloud service delivery model.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01, are cascading grants foreseen to encourage under-represented research communities, especially those in the long-tail of research to be engaged in this call?

Cascading grants resulting from open calls is a means to financially support third parties from less-engaged, less-structured communities and involve them as users of and/or providers to the staged implementation and expansion of the EOSC federation. This instrument is used in several topic calls of the INFRAEOSC destination as a way to reach out beyond the usual community involved thus far in the development and prototyping of EOSC services, tools, policies and guidelines.

Will there be consultation and/or co-design mechanisms with the users of the EOSC tools / services projects from non-IT scientific domains?

Each proposal needs to decide on the best approach. It is recommended though that EOSC Core components and services are co-designed with the targeted user communities in order to ensure the necessary buy-in and eventual uptake.

Is it envisaged that the artefacts (especially knowledge graphs) of the call topic HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-03 will be available free of charge / on the basis of cost sharing to all RIs/ERICs?

In principle, all outputs will be made openly available, according to Horizon Europe requirements on open access.

Are there any specific topics related to the EOSC Data Federation?

Topics/projects working towards EOSC data federation include BY-COVID, EOSC4Cancer, support to Oceans mission, etc. and forthcoming in 2024 HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-03 for federation of repositories as well as HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-05 on Innovative and customizable services for EOSC Exchange.

What are data centres in the context of EOSC?

In the context of the EOSC, data centres are compliant and certified hosting centres where the underlying infrastructure components of the EOSC Core and Exchange platform services are deployed, following the cloud service delivery model.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01, are cascading grants foreseen to encourage under-represented research communities, especially those in the long- tail of research to be engaged in this call?

Cascading grants resulting from open calls is a means to financially support third parties from less-engaged, less-structured communities and involve them as users of and/or providers to the staged implementation and expansion of the EOSC federation. This instrument is used in several topic calls of the INFRAEOSC destination as a way to reach out beyond the usual community involved thus far in the development and prototyping of EOSC services, tools, policies and guidelines.

Will there be consultation and/or co-design mechanisms with the users of the EOSC tools / services projects from non-IT scientific domains?

Each proposal needs to decide on the best approach. It is recommended though that EOSC Core components and services are co-designed with the targeted user communities in order to ensure the necessary buy-in and eventual uptake.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-04, how will the call topic on ``the next generation services for operational and sustainable EOSC Core infrastructure`` interact/relate to the procurement call?

The call topic is for the next generation of enabling infrastructure and services for EOSC Core, beyond the current Minimum Viable EOSC platform. It aims at enhanced design and advanced functionalities in incubation as candidates for production roll-out up to TRL7. The EOSC Procurement Action is for deployment, operation, maintenance and support of the EOSC platform in production for 36 months of contract duration at TRL8 and above.

Are industrial partners encouraged or expected in EOSC calls or is this destination mainly dedicated to academic partners?

For all the HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC calls managed by CNECT (HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-04, HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-05 and HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-06), we encourage industrial partners to partner up with the academic community and submit joint proposals. This also applies for the open calls for cross-RI and/or cross-domain open science projects and services which are foreseen in topic HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01 and will be implemented through cascaded grants as a support to third parties.

Are there any specific topics related to the EOSC Data Federation?

Topics/projects working towards EOSC data federation include BY-COVID, EOSC4Cancer, support to Oceans mission, etc. and forthcoming in 2024 HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-03 for federation of repositories as well as HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-05 on Innovative and customizable services for EOSC Exchange.

What are data centres in the context of EOSC?

In the context of the EOSC, data centres are compliant and certified hosting centres where the underlying infrastructure components of the EOSC Core and Exchange platform services are deployed, following the cloud service delivery model.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01, are cascading grants foreseen to encourage under-represented research communities, especially those in the long- tail of research to be engaged in this call?

Cascading grants resulting from open calls is a means to financially support third parties from less-engaged, less-structured communities and involve them as users of and/or providers to the staged implementation and expansion of the EOSC federation. This instrument is used in several topic calls of the INFRAEOSC destination as a way to reach out beyond the usual community involved thus far in the development and prototyping of EOSC services, tools, policies and guidelines.

Will there be consultation and/or co-design mechanisms with the users of the EOSC tools / services projects from non-IT scientific domains?

Each proposal needs to decide on the best approach. It is recommended though that EOSC Core components and services are co-designed with the targeted user communities in order to ensure the necessary buy-in and eventual uptake.

Are industrial partners encouraged or expected in EOSC calls or is this destination mainly dedicated to academic partners?

For all the HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC calls managed by CNECT (HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-04, HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-05 and HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-06), we encourage industrial partners to partner up with the academic community and submit joint proposals. This also applies for the open calls for cross-RI and/or cross-domain open science projects and services which are foreseen in topic HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01 and will be implemented through cascaded grants as a support to third parties.

Are there any specific topics related to the EOSC Data Federation?

Topics/projects working towards EOSC data federation include BY-COVID, EOSC4Cancer, support to Oceans mission, etc. and forthcoming in 2024 HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-03 for federation of repositories as well as HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-05 on Innovative and customizable services for EOSC Exchange.

What are data centres in the context of EOSC?

In the context of the EOSC, data centres are compliant and certified hosting centres where the underlying infrastructure components of the EOSC Core and Exchange platform services are deployed, following the cloud service delivery model.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01, are cascading grants foreseen to encourage under-represented research communities, especially those in the long- tail of research to be engaged in this call?

Cascading grants resulting from open calls is a means to financially support third parties from less-engaged, less-structured communities and involve them as users of and/or providers to the staged implementation and expansion of the EOSC federation. This instrument is used in several topic calls of the INFRAEOSC destination as a way to reach out beyond the usual community involved thus far in the development and prototyping of EOSC services, tools, policies and guidelines.

Will there be consultation and/or co-design mechanisms with the users of the EOSC tools / services projects from non-IT scientific domains?

Each proposal needs to decide on the best approach. It is recommended though that EOSC Core components and services are co-designed with the targeted user communities in order to ensure the necessary buy-in and eventual uptake.

Are industrial partners encouraged or expected in EOSC calls or is this destination mainly dedicated to academic partners?

For all the HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC calls managed by CNECT (HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-04, HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-05 and HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-06), we encourage industrial partners to partner up with the academic community and submit joint proposals. This also applies for the open calls for cross-RI and/or cross-domain open science projects and services which are foreseen in topic HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01 and will be implemented through cascaded grants as a support to third parties.

Are there any specific topics related to the EOSC Data Federation?

Topics/projects working towards EOSC data federation include BY-COVID, EOSC4Cancer, support to Oceans mission, etc. and forthcoming in 2024 HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-03 for federation of repositories as well as HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-05 on Innovative and customizable services for EOSC Exchange.

What are data centres in the context of EOSC?

In the context of the EOSC, data centres are compliant and certified hosting centres where the underlying infrastructure components of the EOSC Core and Exchange platform services are deployed, following the cloud service delivery model.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-06, if sensitive data cannot be shared, is the option to create a trusted environment by distributing an application for use in users' computers envisioned?

For trusted environments for sensitive data management, both concepts of moving sensitive data to trusted processing environment (data to compute) and moving trusted processing workflows to sensitive data locations (compute to data) are envisioned.

Can administrative tasks and costs generated from FSTP procedures be eligible? Can they be considered as action tasks, and as such be undertaken by beneficiaries of the grant or alternatively by subcontractors?

Indeed, the handling of FSTP calls would be considered as an action task. Yet, for those costs to be eligible, they must comply with both the general costs eligibility conditions set out in Article 6.1 of the HE Model Grant Agreement and the applicable specific costs eligibility conditions set out in Articles 6.2 onwards (for instance, Article 6.2.A.1 for personnel costs of employees and Article 6.2.C.3 for purchase of goods, works and services).

For Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/cascade funding) calls, will there be templates for the agreements to be signed between the consortium and the recipients of FSTP?

There are no templates provided by the Commission, since FSTP agreements concern the relationship between the beneficiaries and third parties. We recommend however that the agreements refer, as a minimum, to the different types of activity that qualify for financial support, to the appropriate regulatory framework (including on ethics, safety, etc.) and on the relevant provisions of the Horizon Europe grant agreement including the specific feature for research infrastructures (e.g. access which will be provided, categories of users that may have access, selection procedures).

For Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/ cascade funding) calls, should the coordinator or the respective beneficiary be responsible for organising such calls? Or should the consortium decide on its own approach?

As a general rule, and unless specific conditions are mentioned in the call conditions, it is up to the consortium to describe in their proposal who amongst themselves will be responsible for organising FSTP calls.

Should the Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/Cascade funding) calls - under the responsibility of the beneficiaries issuing such calls - be published through the F&T Portal or through the consortia’s specific web platforms?

Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP or so-called cascade funding) calls will have to be published both on the Funding & Tenders Portal and on the beneficiaries’ websites. In this respect, the General Annexes of the HE ‘main’ Work Programme 2023-2024 set out that (see page 16): “all calls for third parties and all calls that are implemented by third parties must be published on the Funding & Tenders Portal, and on the beneficiaries’ websites.”

For 2023 calls, FSTP/cascade funding is only possible under the topics: a) HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01-03 (Research infrastructure services advancing frontier knowledge: co-fund pilots with pan-European RIs and/or national RIs); b) HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01 (Build on the science cluster approach to ensure the uptake of EOSC by research infrastructures and research communities).

For 2024 calls, FSTP/cascade funding is possible under the topics: a) HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-02 (Supporting the EOSC partnership in further consolidating the coordination and sustainability of the EOSC system) and b) HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-03 (Enabling a network of EOSC federated and trustworthy repositories and enhancing the framework of generic and discipline specific services for data and other research digital objects). In the case of all the other topics, including standard INFRASERV calls with access provision to external users directly implemented by beneficiaries, calls cannot be advertised using the Funding & Tenders Portal and this is not envisaged in the short term.

Can administrative tasks and costs generated from FSTP procedures be eligible? Can they be considered as action tasks, and as such be undertaken by beneficiaries of the grant or alternatively by subcontractors?

Indeed, the handling of FSTP calls would be considered as an action task. Yet, for those costs to be eligible, they must comply with both the general costs eligibility conditions set out in Article 6.1 of the HE Model Grant Agreement and the applicable specific costs eligibility conditions set out in Articles 6.2 onwards (for instance, Article 6.2.A.1 for personnel costs of employees and Article 6.2.C.3 for purchase of goods, works and services).

For Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/cascade funding) calls, will there be templates for the agreements to be signed between the consortium and the recipients of FSTP?

There are no templates provided by the Commission, since FSTP agreements concern the relationship between the beneficiaries and third parties. We recommend however that the agreements refer, as a minimum, to the different types of activity that qualify for financial support, to the appropriate regulatory framework (including on ethics, safety, etc.) and on the relevant provisions of the Horizon Europe grant agreement including the specific feature for research infrastructures (e.g. access which will be provided, categories of users that may have access, selection procedures).

For Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/ cascade funding) calls, should the coordinator or the respective beneficiary be responsible for organising such calls? Or should the consortium decide on its own approach?

As a general rule, and unless specific conditions are mentioned in the call conditions, it is up to the consortium to describe in their proposal who amongst themselves will be responsible for organising FSTP calls.

Should the Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/Cascade funding) calls – under the responsibility of the beneficiaries issuing such calls – be published through the F&T Portal or through the consortia’s specific web platforms?

Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP or so-called cascade funding) calls will have to be published both on the Funding & Tenders Portal and on the beneficiaries’ websites. In this respect, the General Annexes of the HE ‘main’ Work Programme 2023-2024 set out that (see page 16):

“all calls for third parties and all calls that are implemented by third parties must be published on the Funding & Tenders Portal, and on the beneficiaries’ websites.”;

For 2023 calls, FSTP/cascade funding is only possible under the topics: a) HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01-03 (Research infrastructure services advancing frontier knowledge: co-fund pilots with pan-European RIs and/or national RIs); b) HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01 (Build on the science cluster approach to ensure the uptake of EOSC by research infrastructures and research communities).

For 2024 calls, FSTP/cascade funding is possible under the topics: a) HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-02 (Supporting the EOSC partnership in further consolidating the coordination and sustainability of the EOSC system) and b) HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-03 (Enabling a network of EOSC federated and trustworthy repositories and enhancing the framework of generic and discipline specific services for data and other research digital objects).

In the case of all the other topics, including standard INFRASERV calls with access provision to external users directly implemented by beneficiaries, calls cannot be advertised using the Funding & Tenders Portal and this is not envisaged in the short term.

In HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01 topics, can research tasks performed by the research infrastructure staff be eligible under direct costs category, provided that the research work is related to the access offered or to the performance of the installation?

As explained in the Decision authorising the use of unit costs, direct costs for providing trans-national access or virtual access to the installation include costs of personnel performing scientific tasks directly related to the functioning of the installation or the support of the users. Therefore, the costs incurred for the research activities of the research infrastructure personnel may be eligible under this category provided that the research tasks are related to the functioning of the installation or the support to the users, and they are not already charged under another category.

As a general rule to avoid double funding, costs that are declared and claimed as a specific unit cost may not be declared (a second time) under another budget category, for instance as actual cost under personnel costs.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01 call topics, how is the quantity of access to the installation determined for trans-national access activities, for which costs incurred for preparatory work are eligible?

The quantity of access to the installation must be established in accordance to the usual costs accounting practices of the beneficiary. The average annual total quantity of access to the installation must be based on certified or auditable historical data of the access provider over the last two years and allocated to the concerned installation according to the access provider’s usual cost accounting practices.

Related to trans-national access costs in HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01 topics, are key access drivers allowed for the unit cost method, actual cost method, or for both methods?

According to the Decision authorising the use of unit costs for the costs of providing trans-national and virtual access in Research Infrastructures actions under Horizon Europe (hereafter ‘the Decision’, available here), recipients of the grants must declare costs for providing access to one installation on the basis of either of the following:

  1. unit costs calculated in accordance with their historical data for the categories of eligible costs;
  2. the reimbursement of eligible costs actually incurred for the categories of eligible costs;
  3. a combination of the forms of costs referred to in points (a) and (b), if part of the eligible access costs varies significantly and cannot be represented by its average.

For each installation, one of the three forms referred to above must be selected and must be used consistently throughout the action.

The HE Model Grant Agreement provides in Article 6.1 for all forms of costs (including actual and unit costs) that “for direct cost categories, only costs that are directly linked to the action implementation and can therefore be attributed to it directly are eligible. They must not include any indirect costs (i.e. costs that are only indirectly linked to the action, e.g. via cost drivers).”

The Decision authorising the use of unit costs covers direct and indirect access costs for providing trans-national access to research infrastructure. However, the Decision lists only the direct costs that can be covered. As for indirect costs, they equal to 25% of the eligible direct costs. This is reflected in the template of the TNA unit cost calculator table that is provided as background document, for facilitation reasons, in the F&T Portal.

For example, for energy power, if there is no specific in situ tool to monitor the consumption of the installation, the Decision establishes that direct costs of energy power and water can be included where it can be verified the energy and water are supplied exclusively for the installation and this supply constitutes a major cost item for the installation.

However, if the energy costs cannot be measured and identified as specific costs directly linked to the action, they may be included in the 25% flat rate for indirect costs.

In HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01 topics, can research tasks performed by the research infrastructure staff be eligible under direct costs category, provided that the research work is related to the access offered or to the performance of the installation?

As explained in the Decision authorising the use of unit costs, direct costs for providing trans-national access or virtual access to the installation include costs of personnel performing scientific tasks directly related to the functioning of the installation or the support of the users. Therefore, the costs incurred for the research activities of the research infrastructure personnel may be eligible under this category provided that the research tasks are related to the functioning of the installation or the support to the users, and they are not already charged under another category.

As a general rule to avoid double funding, costs that are declared and claimed as a specific unit cost may not be declared (a second time) under another budget category, for instance as actual cost under personnel costs.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01 call topics, how is the quantity of access to the installation determined for trans-national access activities, for which costs incurred for preparatory work are eligible?

The quantity of access to the installation must be established in accordance to the usual costs accounting practices of the beneficiary. The average annual total quantity of access to the installation must be based on certified or auditable historical data of the access provider over the last two years and allocated to the concerned installation according to the access provider’s usual cost accounting practices.

Related to trans-national access costs in HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01 topics, are key access drivers allowed for the unit cost method, actual cost method, or for both methods?

According to the Decision authorising the use of unit costs for the costs of providing trans-national and virtual access in Research Infrastructures actions under Horizon Europe (hereafter ‘the Decision’, available here), recipients of the grants must declare costs for providing access to one installation on the basis of either of the following:

  1. unit costs calculated in accordance with their historical data for the categories of eligible costs;
  2. the reimbursement of eligible costs actually incurred for the categories of eligible costs;
  3. a combination of the forms of costs referred to in points (a) and (b), if part of the eligible access costs varies significantly and cannot be represented by its average.

For each installation, one of the three forms referred to above must be selected and must be used consistently throughout the action.

The HE Model Grant Agreement provides in Article 6.1 for all forms of costs (including actual and unit costs) that “for direct cost categories, only costs that are directly linked to the action implementation and can therefore be attributed to it directly are eligible. They must not include any indirect costs (i.e. costs that are only indirectly linked to the action, e.g. via cost drivers).”

The Decision authorising the use of unit costs covers direct and indirect access costs for providing trans-national access to research infrastructure. However, the Decision lists only the direct costs that can be covered. As for indirect costs, they equal to 25% of the eligible direct costs. This is reflected in the template of the TNA unit cost calculator table that is provided as background document, for facilitation reasons, in the F&T Portal.

For example, for energy power, if there is no specific in situ tool to monitor the consumption of the installation, the Decision establishes that direct costs of energy power and water can be included where it can be verified the energy and water are supplied exclusively for the installation and this supply constitutes a major cost item for the installation.

However, if the energy costs cannot be measured and identified as specific costs directly linked to the action, they may be included in the 25% flat rate for indirect costs.

HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01-03: Research infrastructure services advancing frontier knowledge: co-fund pilots with pan-European RIs and/or national Ris. Can administrative tasks and costs generated from FSTP procedures be eligible? Can they be considered as action tasks, and as such be undertaken by beneficiaries of the grant or alternatively by subcontractors?

Indeed, the handling of FSTP calls would be considered as an action task. Yet, for those costs to be eligible, they must comply with both the general costs eligibility conditions set out in Article 6.1 of the HE Model Grant Agreement and the applicable specific costs eligibility conditions set out in Articles 6.2 onwards (for instance, Article 6.2.A.1 for personnel costs of employees and Article 6.2.C.3 for purchase of goods, works and services).

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01-03, how does the FSTP work for the targeted recipients (RIs and users)? Does it mean launching a separate call for RIs and for users or joint calls for both of them? Will there be a specific call for each access?

In the case of financial support to third parties (FSTP) under this topic, the direct recipients (beneficiaries) are the research infrastructures that are access providers. According to the description of the topic in the work programme: “the financial support should cover the costs incurred by the infrastructures/nodes to provide access (actual costs, calculated on the basis of unit costs, or a combination of the previous two), as well as the travel and subsistence of users if visits are needed to use the infrastructures, plus any specific work from RI staff and users necessary to customise the RI services”.

Regarding the organisation of the calls, “the applicants to the open calls, launched under the action to provide financial support to third parties, should be the users together with the research infrastructures they need, including nodes of distributed ESFRI or ERIC”. The projects “should include an outreach and engagement plan to actively advertise their services to the research communities in the chosen area”. As for any CoFund action, the calls must be published on the Funding & Tenders Portal, and on the beneficiaries’ websites.

The action “should make available to researchers a wide and rich portfolio of research infrastructure services, including data services, which are relevant for frontier research in the chosen scientific area.” The access provided should fulfil the provision of the “Specific features for Research Infrastructures” of the Work Programme.

As a general rule, the beneficiaries must describe the objectives and expected results of the use of the FSTP. In the case of FSTP provided under the form of grants, applicants must also provide information on proposed maximum FSTP, the criteria for calculating the exact amount of the financial support, activities/persons that could receive support, proposed criteria and procedures for support (and any other specific requirements that may be indicated in the WP) (see template for FSTP in the Reference Documents page).

The general rules state that FSTP may be given to natural or legal persons. They must be indeed individual final recipients, but a beneficiary can provide financial support to several recipients in the same project. For example, Beneficiary A can give financial support to Final recipient 1 (single entity) and Final recipient 2 (single entity).

For Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/cascade funding) calls, will there be templates for the agreements to be signed between the consortium and the recipients of FSTP?

There are no templates provided by the Commission, since FSTP agreements concern the relationship between the beneficiaries and third parties. We recommend however that the agreements refer, as a minimum, to the different types of activity that qualify for financial support, to the appropriate regulatory framework (including on ethics, safety, etc.) and on the relevant provisions of the Horizon Europe grant agreement including the specific feature for research infrastructures (e.g. access which will be provided, categories of users that may have access, selection procedures).

In HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01 topics, can research tasks performed by the research infrastructure staff be eligible under direct costs category, provided that the research work is related to the access offered or to the performance of the installation?

As explained in the Decision authorising the use of unit costs, direct costs for providing transnational access or virtual access to the installation include costs of personnel performing scientific tasks directly related to the functioning of the installation or the support of the users. Therefore, the costs incurred for the research activities of the research infrastructure personnel may be eligible under this category provided that the research tasks are related to the functioning of the installation or the support to the users, and they are not already charged under another category.

As a general rule to avoid double funding, costs that are declared and claimed as a specific unit cost may not be declared (a second time) under another budget category, for instance as actual cost under personnel costs.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01-03, is there the possibility to combine direct implementation with FSTP in the same proposal?

Each proposal will have to choose between direct implementation (by beneficiaries/third parties/external providers of purchased service) or financial support to third parties (FSTP), which excludes the possibility to combine both methods in the same proposal.

For Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/ cascade funding) calls, should the coordinator or the respective beneficiary be responsible for organising such calls? Or should the consortium decide on its own approach?

As a general rule, and unless specific conditions are mentioned in the call conditions, it is up to the consortium to describe in their proposal who amongst themselves will be responsible for organising FSTP calls.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01 call topics, how is the quantity of access to the installation determined for trans-national access activities, for which costs incurred for preparatory work are eligible?

The quantity of access to the installation must be established in accordance to the usual costs accounting practices of the beneficiary. The average annual total quantity of access to the installation must be based on certified or auditable historical data of the access provider over the last two years and allocated to the concerned installation according to the access provider’s usual cost accounting practices.

Should the Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP/Cascade funding) calls - under the responsibility of the beneficiaries issuing such calls - be published through the F&T Portal or through the consortia’s specific web platforms?

Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP or so-called cascade funding) calls will have to be published both on the Funding & Tenders Portal and on the beneficiaries’ websites.

In this respect, the General Annexes of the HE ‘main’ Work Programme 2023-2024 set out that (see page 16):  “all calls for third parties and all calls that are implemented by third parties must be published on the Funding & Tenders Portal, and on the beneficiaries’ websites.”

For 2023 calls, FSTP/cascade funding is only possible under the topics: a) HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01-03 (Research infrastructure services advancing frontier knowledge: co-fund pilots with pan- European RIs and/or national RIs); b) HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01 (Build on the science cluster approach to ensure the uptake of EOSC by research infrastructures and research communities).

For 2024 calls, FSTP/cascade funding is possible under the topics: a) HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-02 (Supporting the EOSC partnership in further consolidating the coordination and sustainability of the EOSC system) and b) HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-01-03 (Enabling a network of EOSC federated and trustworthy repositories and enhancing the framework of generic and discipline specific services for data and other research digital objects).

In the case of all the other topics, including standard INFRASERV calls with access provision to external users directly implemented by beneficiaries, calls cannot be advertised using the Funding & Tenders Portal and this is not envisaged in the short term.

Related to trans-national access costs in HORIZON-INFRA-2023-SERV-01 topics, are key access drivers allowed for the unit cost method, actual cost method, or for both methods?

According to the Decision authorising the use of unit costs for the costs of providing trans-national and virtual access in Research Infrastructures actions under Horizon Europe (hereafter ‘the Decision’, available here), recipients of the grants must declare costs for providing access to one installation on the basis of either of the following:

  1. unit costs calculated in accordance with their historical data for the categories of eligible costs;
  2. the reimbursement of eligible costs actually incurred for the categories of eligible costs;
  3. a combination of the forms of costs referred to in points (a) and (b), if part of the eligible access costs varies significantly and cannot be represented by its average.

For each installation, one of the three forms referred to above must be selected and must be used consistently throughout the action.

The HE Model Grant Agreement provides in Article 6.1 for all forms of costs (including actual and unit costs) that “for direct cost categories, only costs that are directly linked to the action implementation and can therefore be attributed to it directly are eligible. They must not include any indirect costs (i.e. costs that are only indirectly linked to the action, e.g. via cost drivers).”

The Decision authorising the use of unit costs covers direct and indirect access costs for providing trans-national access to research infrastructure. However, the Decision lists only the direct costs that can be covered. As for indirect costs, they equal to 25% of the eligible direct costs. This is reflected in the template of the TNA unit cost calculator table that is provided as background document, for facilitation reasons, in the F&T Portal.

For example, for energy power, if there is no specific in situ tool to monitor the consumption of the installation, the Decision establishes that direct costs of energy power and water can be included where it can be verified the energy and water are supplied exclusively for the installation and this supply constitutes a major cost item for the installation.

However, if the energy costs cannot be measured and identified as specific costs directly linked to the action, they may be included in the 25% flat rate for indirect costs.

HORIZON-INFRA-2024-TECH-01-01: The Other eligibility conditions state: `{`..`}` consortia must include at least 3 different research infrastructures, each of them being an ESFRI infrastructure in the 2021 ESFRI Roadmap and/or a European Research Infrastructures Consortium `{`..`}` This means that, the Research Infrastructure (which is part of a ESFRI Project/Landmark and/or ERIC) can participate with its own PIC number, as autonomous and independent legal entities, and contribute to the minimum eligible consortium, is it correct our interpretation?

As a general rule, a research infrastructure (either an ESFRI infrastructure or an ERIC), in order to participate and to possibly satisfy the additional eligibility conditions specified in the call, must be identified as beneficiary by a Participant Identification Code (PIC). Moreover, according to the description of the additional eligibility conditions, “Such research infrastructures, and the beneficiaries that own/operate them, must be explicitly identified in the proposals”.

For ESFRI infrastructures: if a research infrastructure included in the 2021 ESFRI Roadmap is not yet represented by a dedicated legal entity, the legal entity hosting the Landmark or Project headquarters (as mentioned in the 2021 ESFRI Roadmap) must be a beneficiary and it will count towards the additional eligibility condition

All the other members involved in the proposal and incurring costs must participate as beneficiaries or affiliated entities (otherwise their costs will not be eligible) but they will not count towards the additional eligibility condition.

In all cases, the proposal must explicitly and clearly identify the ESFRI infrastructure (and the relevant beneficiary), in order to fulfil the additional eligibility criterion mentioned in the call.

For ERICs: The European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) is a specific legal form that facilitates the establishment and operation of Research Infrastructures with European interest. The ERIC becomes a legal entity from the date the Commission decision setting up the ERIC takes effect. Therefore, to satisfy the additional eligibility criterion, the ERIC itself with its own Participant Identification Code (PIC) must participate as beneficiary.

However, if the action is in practice implemented by the organisations of the individual ERIC members, those entities should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will not be eligible) but they will not count towards the additional eligibility condition.

What are the 'intergovernmental organisations of European interest' of 2024-TECH- 01-01? Are that only the 8 of the EIRO forum ? (like CERN and EMBL)?

For the purposes of the topics containing the additional eligibility condition of a “research infrastructure that is an intergovernmental organisation of European interest”, this should be read as a research infrastructure that is an international organisation, the majority of whose members are Member States or associated countries, whose principal objective is to promote scientific and technological cooperation in Europe (IERO). The criterion is also fulfilled if the research infrastructure is already validated under Horizon 2020 as “international organisation of European interest”.“research infrastructure that is an intergovernmental organisation of European interest”: for the purposes of the additional eligibility condition a “research infrastructure that is an intergovernmental organisation of European interest” should be read as a research infrastructure validated as international organisation, the majority of whose members are Member States or associated countries, whose principal objective is to promote scientific and technological cooperation in Europe (IERO). The criterion is also fulfilled if the research infrastructure is already validated under Horizon 2020 as “international organisation of European interest”.

There are entities beyond the EIRO forum members that fulfill these criteria.

A definition is missing in the WP: what is a 'research infrastructure of European interest'?

In the scope of HORIZON-INFRA-2024-DEV-01-01, a ‘research infrastructure of European interest’ is defined as ‘a research infrastructure is of European interest when is able to attract users from EU or associated countries other than the country where the infrastructure is located.’ No other reference appears in other 2024 topics.

Which are 'the international research organisations'? (TECH 01-01)

There is no reference to ‘international research organisation’. However, INFRA-2024-TECH-01-01 and INFRA-2024-TECH-01-02 topics refer to ‘research infrastructure that is an intergovernmental organisation of European interest’. Please see above the explanation on this type of organisations.

Under topic HORIZON-INFRA-2022-DEV-01-01 scope, one can read “topic aims at supporting the development of new concepts for the next generation of research infrastructures …” Should the validity of the concept be proven by real experimental work?

Indeed, the focus of this topic is mainly the development of new concepts. However, although research activities are possible, for developing the Research Infrastructure – RI concept, testing of the concept is not always necessary or possible. It mainly depends on the field (e.g. in ICT developing prototypes is much faster and simpler than in physics). Besides, the bulk of technological developments and testing for the RI components (instrumentation, technical solutions, etc.) should be carried out under INFRA-TECH rather than in INFRA-DEV Destination.

Projects under topic HORIZON-INFRA-2022-EOSC-01-02 should ``liaise with Horizon Europe funded initiatives in the Work Programme Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area ...`` How is the phrase to be understood?

Projects funded under this topic cannot work in isolation and be unaware of other related ongoing initiatives. Projects under this topic are expected to cooperate and explore synergies with projects funded under topics related to open access publishing in the Work Programme Widening participation and strengthening the European Research Area. The relevant topics are specified in the topic text. The proposal should indicate a credible mechanism through which this mutually beneficial exploration of complementarities should take place.

The text of topic HORIZON-INFRA-2022-EOSC-01-02 mentions ``the topic is addressed to (…) institutions that run open access publishing initiatives for the public interest``. How should 'public interest' be interpreted? Can Open Access databases be included?

The topic seeks to support non-commercial open access publishing activities explicitly and this is what is meant by ‘for the public interest’. Exclusive publishing of databases is outside the scope of funding for this call, which is mainly directed to the publication of articles or long-text formats in scientific journals or platforms.

Is there a threshold regarding the number of encoded beneficiaries in the system?

There is no threshold suggested in the Work Programme. However for efficiency and technical reasons it is advisable that the consortium partners do not overpass the number of 100 beneficiaries.

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2021-SERV-01, how can Joint Research Centre (JRC) (e.g. the JRC European Laboratory for Structural Assessment) participate as access provider in a Research Infrastructure action?

In the specific case of a Joint Research Centre (JRC) facility participating as access provider in a Research Infrastructure action (selected under a topic where the JRC participation – with zero funding – was allowed by a specific grant condition), the coordinator or one of the beneficiaries of the Grant Agreement receiving funding from the European Commission will be responsible for and bear the JRC additional costs linked to the JRC access provision activities, notably the travel and subsistence of users visiting JRC research infrastructures under transnational access as well as the consumables and external services needed to perform the users’ experiments. In the case of projects involving transnational access to the European Laboratory for Structural Assessment, the consumables and external services are related to the design, construction, safety measures, instrumentation, technical verification, demolition, disposal, etc. related to the specimens tested at the JRC.

Under call HORIZON-INFRA-2021-SERV-01, what is the applicable page limit for Part B of the proposal?

If the page limit is specified in the topic specific conditions of the Research Infrastructures Work Programme, this limit prevails on the standard one, even when the application form provided in the proposal submission tool and/or the call page indicates the standard page limit. This is the case of the 2021 topics of the INFRASERV Destination where the page limit mentioned in the Standard Proposal Template for Research Infrastructures (45) is different from the one indicated in the specific conditions (100) of these topics. The latter shall be respected.

Under call HORIZON-INFRA-2021-SERV-01, what is the applicable page limit for Part B of the proposal?

The Excel sheets for TA (Transnational Access) and VA (Virtual Access) costs, even if attached to the Part B PDF, are NOT counted for the page limit as they are supporting documents not sections of Part B.

For HORIZON-INFRA-2021 calls, how are Transnational/Virtual access costs calculated and declared? Does the limit of 100 pages in total include the access sheets?

There are 3 ways to report trans-national and virtual access per installation:

  • using a unit cost calculated on the basis of historical access costs;
  • eligible costs actually and solely incurred for providing access to the selected user groups;
  • a combination of the two, if a part of the eligible access costs, e.g. the costs for the specific support to users, varies significantly between users.

With regard to the access costs calculation, unit cost for trans-national access is calculated based on the historical data of the last 2 closed financial years and it is the result of the division of the average annual total costs of providing access by the average total quantity of access annually provided. Unit cost for virtual access is calculated based on the historical data of the last closed financial year and it is the result of the division of the annual total costs of providing access by the total quantity of access provided annually. Actual costs are the costs actually incurred during the project for providing the measured and reported quantity of trans-national or virtual access.
Therefore, the method of calculation is different between actual and unit costs and access costs.
Contrary to H2020, in Horizon Europe, it is always mandatory to define a unit of access for virtual access too, even when the access costs are reported as actual costs. Thus virtual access, as well as trans-national access, must be measured so it can be reimbursed by the grant. The access costs reported on the basis of unit costs are declared in Annex 2a and Annex 2 under column D.3 and D.4 respectively and they include indirect costs, whereas the direct actual access costs are spread in the categories of personnel costs, other direct costs etc. Both categories include indirect costs. Finally, the calculation sheets for TA and VA provision can be annexed in PDF form in addition to the Part B (100 pages).

Under HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-01, HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-02, HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-01 & 02, is there a limit on the percentage of the project budget that can go to the coordinator or anyone partner?

There is no limit. However, participants need to take into account that we are funding collaborative projects.

Under HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-01 & 02 and HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-01 & 02, which Low and Middle Income countries are eligible for funding? And when will the countries list be available?

All countries are eligible to participate in the call topics. Regarding eligibility for funding, the list of countries from Horizon Europe will be published under this link (date to be defined). Before that, applicants could take into account the list of Annex A to Horizon 2020. Please note that in the second Research Infrastructures action, “Research infrastructure services for rapid research responses to COVID-19 and other infectious disease epidemics“, entities from developed countries usually not eligible for funding, can be eligible if they provide, under the grant, access to their research infrastructures to researchers from Member States and Associated Countries.

Under HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-01 & 02 and HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-01 & 02, are Third countries from ASEAN*, Africa and other parts of the world eligible, and how can they participate?

All Third countries are eligible to participate. Regarding eligibility for funding, the list of countries from Horizon Europe will be published here (date to be defined). Before that, applicants could take into account the list of Annex A to Horizon 2020. Please note that in the second Research Infrastructures action, “Research infrastructure services for rapid research responses to COVID-19 and other infectious disease epidemics”, developed countries usually not eligible for EU contribution, can be eligible if they play the role of access provider in the grant.

Under HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA and HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY, what are the type of partners foreseen in the consortia – Is this open to all interested parties? Also, can they indicate which calls are restricted to the existing initiatives?

Please check the General Annexes, especially Annex B (Eligibility) of the work programme.

Under HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-01 & 02 and HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-01 & 02, where in Part B should I include information on management structures (e.g. advisory boards)?

Applicants should describe the management structures in the Work Package table, under the Work Package that will include management activities. Please see on page 16 of 23 and page 17 of 23 in the RIA-IA application form template.

Under HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01 and HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY, what if a company in a Member State participates but takes on board for certain tasks their partner company in China or USA as affiliated entity? Is this feasible without restrictions?

Entities established in China or USA are in principle eligible for participation but not for funding. As explained in the WP General Annex B, affiliated entities are allowed to participate, if they fulfil the eligibility conditions. Please note that in the second Research Infrastructures action, “Research infrastructure services for rapid research responses to COVID-19 and other infectious disease epidemics“, Chinese or USA entities can be eligible for funding if they provide, under the grant, access to their research infrastructures to researchers from Member States and Associated Countries.

Under HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-01 & 02 and HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-01 & 02, is a Chinese company allowed to be a subcontrator in this call topic?

A Chinese company is in principle allowed to be a subcontractor, provided that all conditions set out in Articles 6 and 9 of the Horizon Europe General Model Grant Agreement are met, including that the best value for money and no conflict of interest principles are complied with by beneficiaries when selecting a subcontractor.

Under HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-01 & 02 and HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-01 & 02, is Canada eligible as an Associated Partner? With or without budget/funding?

Canadian entities are not automatically eligible for funding and can participate as associated partners. They can be funded only if their participation is deemed essential for carrying out the action and in this case they participate as beneficiaries, not associated partners. Please note that in the second Research Infrastructures action, “Research infrastructure services for rapid research responses to COVID-19 and other infectious disease epidemics”, Canadian entities can be eligible for funding if they provide, under the grant, access to their research infrastructures to researchers from Member States and Associated Countries.

Under HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-01 & 02 and HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-01 & 02, are US entities eligible to receive EU contribution?

In the two health topics and in the first Infrastructure topic (HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-01, HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-02, HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-01), US organisations can be included as partners, however they are not automatically eligible for funding.
They can be funded only if their participation is deemed essential for carrying out the action. In the second Research Infrastructures action, “Research infrastructure services for rapid research responses to COVID-19 and other infectious disease epidemics” (HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-02), US organisations (and other more developed countries) are eligible for EU contribution if they play the role of access provider in the grant. This is because there is a clear EU interest in opening for access to EU researchers the most advanced research infrastructure services wherever they are in the world.

Under HORIZON-HLTH-2021-CORONA-01-01 & 02 and HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EMERGENCY-01 & 02, are Argentina, Brazil and Thailand eligible for funding?

Argentina and Thailand are eligible for funding. Brazil is not eligible for funding. It can be funded only if the participation is deemed essential for carrying out the action. Please note that in the second Research Infrastructures action, “Research infrastructure services for rapid research responses to COVID-19 and other infectious disease epidemics”, Brazilian entities can be eligible for funding if they provide, under the grant, access to their research infrastructures to researchers from Member States and Associated Countries.