ACT Fixed Call

A New ACT Call was published 4 June 2018 The full Call text is available from this PDF file

There is a two stage application process.

Due date for submission of pre-proposals to stage 1 was 12 September 2018 at 13:00 CEST.

Due date for submission of full proposals to stage 2 is 1 March 2019 at 13:00 CET.

Submission of full proposals to stage 2 is only applicable for projects that pass stage 1 and become invited to submit full proposals.

The budget for the call is in the range € 22.05 M to € 30.05 M.

Applications must be submitted to the Research Council of Norway.

A guide to the submission system is available and can be downloaded.

Please contact the call secretariat if you have any questions:

    For scientific issues:

    - Dr. Aage Stangeland, the Research Council of Norway (RCN), +47 958 22 903, ast@rcn.no

    For technical issues related to the submission system:

    - Sølvi Rosvold Lindseth, the Research Council of Norway (RCN), +47 900 44 503, srl@rcn.no

Preferable, national contact point should be consulted before contacting the call secretariat.

National contact points are given here

Please note that each of the countries participating in the ACT consortium have specific requirements to applicants. The requirements are given in Annex 1 to the call text.

Applications must use the ACT templates for project proposals. The templates are given in annexes to the call text:

All applications must specify their budgets according to the template in Annex 4 to the call text. Download as Microsoft Excel file.

The timeline for the call is as follows:

  • 4 June 2018: Call published

  • 12 September 2018 at 13:00 CEST: Due date for submitting pre-proposals, stage 1. Only sketches of how the projects will look like are required.

  • Q4 2018: Feedback on the result of evaluation of stage 1 applications. Invitation to second stage for all applications passing stage 1.

  • 1 March 2019 at 13:00 CET: Due date for submitting full proposals, stage 2.

  • August 2019: Evaluation of proposals completed. Signing contracts With New Projects.

  • September 2019: New Projects starting

  • Q4 2022: Projects closing

Upcomming calls

ACT Open Call Pre-Announcement

An ACT call without fixed dates for submitting proposals and the ambition to attract applications with higher industrial involvement than in the ACT Fixed Calls in 2016 and 2018 is foreseen to be announced during 2019. The ACT Consortium will provide further details during Q2/2019.

The following ACT members have so far confirmed their interest in participation in the ACT Open Call: Gassnova, PtJ/Jülich, DETEC, BEIS, and DoE.

If you are interested in this upcoming opportunity, you are encouraged to contact your national contact point and may do so already before formal publication of the call. The following persons are national contact points for the ACT Open Call:

· Germany:      Heiko Gerhauser, h.gerhauser@fz-juelich.de, +49 2461 61 96830

· Norway:         Hans Jørgen Vinje, hjv@gassnova.no, +47 48 02 78 05

· Switzerland:  Gunter Siddiqi, gunter.siddiqi@bfe.admin.ch, +41 58 462 5324

· UK:                 Brian Allison, Brian.Allison@beis.gov.uk, +44 300 06 85358

· USA:               Mark Ackiewicz, Mark.Ackiewicz@hq.doe.gov, +1 301 903 3913

The budget availability for the ACT Open Call is conjunct for the outcome of the ACT Fixed Call listed above.

Closed calls

The first ACT call closed 16 January 2017. Information about the call is given below

The ACT call text is available from this PDF file.

There was a two stage application process.

Due date for submission of pre-proposals to stage 1 was 7 September 2016 at 13:00 CEST.

Due date for submission of proposals to stage 2 was 16 January 2017 at 13:00 CET. This step was only applicable for projects that pass stage 1 and have been invited to sumbit full proposal.

The budget for the call was € 41 million.

Applications had to be submitted to the Research Council of Norway.

The ACT consortium had established Guidelines to the ACT Call. It wa recommended to read the Guidelines. Download as PDF.

Evaluation Criteria were specified in a separate document. Download as PDF.

The timeline for the call was as follows:

  • 7 June 2016: Call text to be published.

  • 7 September 2016 at 13:00 CEST: Due date for proposals, stage 1. Only sketches of how the projects will look like are required.

  • September 2016: Invitation to second stage for all applications passing stage 1.

  • 16 January 2017 at 13:00 CET: Due date for proposals, stage 2. Full proposals are required.

  • July 2017: Evaluation of proposals completed.

  • July 2017: Signing contracts with new projects.

  • July 2020: Projects closing

Frequently asked questions

Template

In the template for pre-proposals it says under heading 5 about project cost that there is a page limit of maximum one page for this part of the pre-proposal. This page limit can be disregarded. Please use the tables in Appendix 4 to the Call text without any page limit.

NB: please stick to indicated page limits for all other sections of the pre-proposal. 

The submission system

ACT proposals must be submitted to the Research Council of Norway. A guide to the submission system is available and can be downloaded.

Frequently asked questions to the ACT Call in 2016

The ACT consortium received a lot of questions related to the first ACT call. The answers to the questions are still listed below because they are also relevant for the new ACT Call in 2018.

Eligibility

Even though your proposal is eligible in phase 1 it will not automatically be eligible in phase two.

There will be an eligibility check for ACT phase two proposals to check if the proposals meet the eligibility criteria given in the call text.

Submission

Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be accepted!

The submission system is the same for stage 2 as for stage 1 proposals.

Submitting ACT stage two proposals is only possible for consortia invited to do so based on an approved ACT stage 1 proposal.

It is the applicant's responsibility to set aside enough time to enter all necessary information in the submission system. A proposal can be submitted several times and old versions will be replaced with the new version of your proposal each time you submit. We strongly recommend that you start uploading all required information and documents the day before the deadline – or earlier. We also recommend submitting several times.  Once you have uploaded a draft proposal it is a good idea to submit it. When an updated version of your proposal is ready you can submit again.

Please note that it is not sufficient to only save your proposal. You must also submit it!

When entering an ACT phase two proposals into the application form you can chose to base the phase two application on the phase one application. This means that details from the phase one application will automatically be copied into the phase two application. This could be useful and save time. However, it is also possible not to use this copy function and start from scratch instead.

Questions related to submission of proposals can be addressed to Aage Stangeland at the Research Council of Norway, phone +47 95822903, email ast@rcn.no

Application form

Your application has to be entered into the electronical application form in the submission system.

You have to enter the budget and financing plan for your project directly into tables in the submission system. Please note that at this stage you should enter all data in kilo euros (1000 euro) even though the system asks for data in Norwegian Kroner, NOK.  

Please note that the budget and financing tables in the application form is for the total project. Details on budget and financing for separate partners shall only be entered into the tables in Annex 4 to the call text. Such tables for individual partners should be uploaded as a separate PDF file in the submission system.

When entering an ACT proposal into the submission system you can upload several PDF files as part of your proposal. The following PDFs are required:

  • Project description based on the template in Annex 3 to the ACT call text.

  • Tables showing budget and financing for each partner and for the total project. Please use the templates in Annex 4 to the ACT call text. (It is also possible to include this in the project description instead of uploading it as a separate file.)

  • Signed Letter of Intents (LOI) from all partners.

  • CVs (required for phase 2 proposals, but not required for phase 1 proposals)

The application form asks for a dissemination plan even though this is not required in the call text. The section with dissemination plan can be omitted, but adding a few lines would be useful.

Template

The templates in the annexes to the call text must be used.

Page limits must be followed. 

In section 3 of the Annex 3 template for full proposals, last bullet point, it says that the proposal must include a clear definition of the national subprojects. This means that the full proposal should include a detailed description of activities performed in each country. Some of the countries in the ACT consortium need a clear description of activities performed by partners in their own country before they can commit money to new projects.

Proposals must stick to the headings in the template. Sub-headings may be introduced, but please make sure to not complicate the structure of the proposal.

The font size and margins in the template must not be changed.

Repetitions should be avoided. If you feel that the template asks for information that you have entered elsewhere cross-referencing could be a solution.

Budgets

Budgets for ACT proposals must be entered into the tables in Annex 4 to the call text. Please note that the following tables are required:

  • Table 1 – Cost

    • One table for each partner

    • One table for the whole project (a summary of all the individual tables for each partner)

    • Table 2 – Cost breakdown into Work Packages

      • One table for the whole Project With details for each partner

      • Table 3 – Financing

        • One table for each partner

        • One table for the whole project (a summary of all the individual tables for each partner)

        • Table 4 – Cost code

          • One table for the whole project

Changing partners from phase 1 to phase 2

Changing partners from phase one to phase two could be possible.

The following will apply:

  • Not possible to change coordinator

  • Not possible to change from industrial partner to university partner

  • Bringing in partners from countries with low over-Subscription is encouraged. Bringing in partners from countries with high over-Subscription is not encouraged

  • Changes within same country, same discipline and same budget could be possible

  • New industrial partners covering their own cost is possible

  • Country budgets should in principle not change from phase one to phase two

All changes must be justified and approved by the ACT consortium. If there is a need for changing partners the coordinator must address his/her national ACT contact point.

State Aid Rules

Project grants will be given in accordance With state aid rules. European stakeholders are encouraged to check documents available at the EC web site.

Information to Norwegian stakeholders regarding state aid rules

There have in particular been many questions about state aid rule from Norwegian partners in ACT applications. The Research Council of Norway have prepared the information below to help Norwegian partners in ACT proposals.

Project grants will be given in accordance with the State aid rules. A brief explanation of how to address the issue of state aid rules in your application is given below. For more detailed and comprehensive information on the state aid rules, please check the complete documents available via the above link.

First you have to classify your project according to the categories specified in the State aid rules. The following categories are relevant:

  • Fundamental research

  • Industrial research

  • Experimental development

  • Feasibility studies

You will find the definition of each category by following the link above. In many cases a project can easily be classified as belonging to one of these four categories. In other cases it is more difficult, because some work packages of a project may fall into one of the categories while other work packages falls into another category. Once you have categorized your project (or your work packages) it is time to look at the funding rate. In general, the funding rates (or aid intensity) for the different categories are as follows:

  • 100 % of the eligible costs for fundamental research

  • 50 % of the eligible costs for industrial research

  • 25 % of the eligible costs for experimental development

  • 50 % of the eligible costs for feasibility studies.

Definitions of eligible costs can also be found by following the link above.

These funding rates may be increased if certain criteria are met. The most relevant criteria are:

  • The aid intensities for industrial research and experimental development may be increased as follows:

    • by 10 % points for medium-sized enterprises and by 20 % points for small enterprises;

    • by 15 % points if one of the following conditions is fulfilled:

    • the project involves effective collaboration:

      • between undertakings among which at least one is an SME, and no single undertaking bears more than 70 % of the eligible costs, or

      • between an undertaking and one or more research and knowledge-dissemination organizations, where the latter bear at least 10 % of the eligible costs and have the right to publish their own research results

However, a research institute or university whose role in the project is to carry out research to solve societal challenges, making research results publicly available and not giving any specific benefits to companies in the project, may apply for 100 % support for their eligible costs.

It is the applicant's responsibility to provide the necessary information to ensure that State aid rules will be respected.

The information above applies for Norway. Please note that other countries can have other percentages, lower than the percentages stated here. You can find information on that in the Call text.