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Reflections on current discussion concerning Rules of Participation in Framework 7. Monica Schofield Head EU Office TuTech Innovation GmbH

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Presentation on theme: "Reflections on current discussion concerning Rules of Participation in Framework 7. Monica Schofield Head EU Office TuTech Innovation GmbH"— Presentation transcript:

1 Reflections on current discussion concerning Rules of Participation in Framework 7. Monica Schofield Head EU Office TuTech Innovation GmbH

2 Principles Legislation can set the level playing field It can give protection to smaller actors It can facilitate efficiency by providing for standardisation of contractual conditions It can ensure contribution to general policy goals through projects BUT It is not for primary legislation to regulate how projects should be governed and managed there needs to be flexibility to accommodate practical realities as they emerge projects themselves must be able to work to achieve their own goals (as agreed) – they cannot be made into policy instruments

3 Dilemas Flexibility and autonomy makes the setting up of projects more time consuming and challenging for less experienced organisations especially It can (and has) lead to abuses of position by dominant players The setting up of project contracts (with EC and between partners) has become more complex leading to increased reluctance to participate Trans-national R&D project are never going to be that simple

4 Risks versus return Effort to prepare proposal Vs chance of acceptance Risk of changes to project during negotiation Uncertainty in when project can begin Uncertainty in the quality and value of work from other partners Risk of decision making in consortium – security of planning Risk that technical objectives are not met Risk to IPR claims and ability to profit from these independently The incentives need to be exceptionally better than all alternative means to achieve research/business goals.

5 Risk minimisation (for participants) Good understanding of what is looked for Incorporate only partners with a good track record, or those you know Minimise the number partners on whose results you depend Ensure very strong coincident goals Clarity in the purpose of project and its future utilisation Security of planning, especially financial planning and deliverables Dont expect the project to provide a smooth path to a product

6 Financial planning Need to have sufficient security to issue secure employment contracts for R&D staff Predictable cash flow – Problems are not just with the Commission services Absolute clarity in advance concerning which costs will be accepted and which not Simple means to calculate budgets and show costs Actual costs are simple to calculate and track. Anything else requires complex interpretation and may not be fair. What may be a simple payment system, may prove highly complex in the context of internal budgets.

7 IPR security What must I give away for what return? – (organisations, but also individuals) How to ensure the rights of research entrepreneurs and other individuals? Clarity for all possible stakeholders (inc. risk capital investors) on possible constraints in maximising returns from IPR?

8 Role of coordinator A good one makes all the difference A bad one can ruin the reputation of anything to do with the EU at grassroots level Problem Reward is poor (career status, payment) It is a unique task confusing to many in the public and private sector unless you are used to public private Disproportionate amount of work in setting up the contract Coordinators are not public servants and cannot be expected to act for European policies in preference to the objectives of their own organisation

9 Project Governance All stakeholders must take ownership of the project and be interested in its outcomes. Governance must be through collective decision (as with any enterprise) A better understanding of the topic of project governance would help

10 Simplification Efficiency measures Reduction in the number of contract variants Standardisation wherever possible – Vital for multiplicators – Need to ensure maximum coherence within COM Straightforward grant payment principles – Use real cost reimbursement as much as possible Projects should set their own project governance structures, but within the framework of stable contracts

11 Needs to implement the programme Urgent need to scrutinise the implementation guides These need to be dealt with by practitioners and not at the last minute


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