Frequently asked questions

The ACT consortium has received a lot of questions related to writing ACT phase two proposals. In order to ensure that all applicants get the same information we have listed our answers to the questions below.

All consortia invited to submit full proposals to phase two of the ACT call should pay attention to the information listed below.

Eligibility

Even though your proposal was 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

ACT Phase two proposals must be submitted to the Research Council of Norway in the same way as phase 1 proposals. Please note that the deadline for submitting proposals is 16 January 2017 at 13.00 CET. Proposals submitted after this deadline will not be accepted!

The submission system is the same as for phase one proposals.

Submitting ACT stage two proposals is only possible for consortia invited to do so based on an approved ACT phase one 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 application form in the submission system, just like in phase one.

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

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 template in Annex 3 to the call text must be used.

Page limits must be followed. The only exception is if there are a large number of partners and requested information for all partners makes it difficult to keep the page limit. In such cases partner information could be given in a separate PDF-file with maximum ½ page per partner. This could be applicable to the 4th bullet of section 4 “Role of each partner; relevant expertise, resources, manpower, costs”

In section 3 of the template, 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

Minor changes in the budget from phase one to phase two could be possible. However, it is recommended to not change the budget.

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

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

    • One table for each partner is optional. (If the table for the consortium as whole already shows costs per WP per partner you do not have to fill in tables for each partner. However, in some cases it can be useful to specify Table 2 for each partner in order to give details on not only WP level, but also provide budget details on specific tasks)

  • 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

Partners

Changing partners from phase one to phase two could be possible but is not recommended.

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 (Turkey, Spain and Romania) is encouraged. Bringing in partners from countries with high over-subscription (Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, UK) is not encouraged

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

  • New industrial partner covering theirown cost is possible

  • Country budgets should 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 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 this link.

Information to Norwegian stakeholders regarding state aid rules

There have in particular been many questions about state aid rule from Norwegian partners in ACT project. 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

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