Frequently Asked Questions

Submission and Evaluation

NO, the consortium composition should be the same in both stages. Exception for section 2: When a partner is declared not eligible by his funding agency, the consortium can submit the proposal without the non eligible partner.

Yes, it is possible to adjust numbers and titles of the WPs between stages, without major changes. You can add extra WPs if something missing during Stage 1. To eliminate WP or more, this has to be done with caution to avoid any major changes in the scope or main activities of the project as presented in stage 1.

The full description of the team is not mandatory at stage 1, so you can include new team members (not PI) in your proposal.

No, it is not possible to increase or decrease the budget between both stages. In section 1, the share of the total budget can be adjusted during stage 2. In section 2: as the budget is national and has previously been validated by the FA during stage 1, you cannot modify the requested funding for the partners.

Yes, it is possible to modify the total cost of the project by including the “own funds” for example.

Yes, any entity has the freedom to join a consortium without requesting funds from PRIMA. In this case, the partner has to upload an attestation letter signed by an authorized person of his/her institution certifying that the budget to carry out the project will be available.

The own funds are funds that are not coming from PRIMA or the national funding bodies. They correspond to all the funds that will be used for the development of the project but that are not covered by the PRIMA grant.

The projects should start in the first six months after the publication of the results. For Section 2, the starting date of a project has to be approved by PRIMA and all involved national funding agencies.

 Each proposal is evaluated by at least three independent expert evaluators, to guarantee a fair assessment and that the right expertise and knowledge is available for the evaluation of multidisciplinary projects.

 You can create a profile in the PRIMA database of experts on PRIMA official website. PRIMA may get in touch with you in case your profile matches the requirements for the evaluation task. Individuals involved in proposals submitted to PRIMA calls cannot, at the same time, work as evaluators because this would constitute a conflict of interest. Registration in the PRIMA database does not automatically entail the assignment of any tasks.

Project Implementation

There are 2 reporting periods. One for the first half of the project and the second one until the end of the project.

You have to send all the deliverables listed in your selected proposal and a “narrative report” to inform us about the advancement of your project. A financial report is also expected to justify the incurred expenses for the given period.

Eligibility and Admissibility

To be eligible, a consortium must be composed of at least three legal entities established in three different countries considered as PRIMA Participating States. 

• at least one must be established in an EU Member State or a third country associated to Horizon 2020 and not being a MPC and 

• at least one must be established in a third country bordering the Mediterranean Sea (MPC) 

All three legal entities must be independent of each other.

Legal entities established in the PRIMA Participating States are eligible for funding. In addition, EU member states and not a PRIMA participating states are eligible to receive funding, as partners not coordinator, under Section 1, if the minimum eligibility requirments have been already statisfied.

There is no maximum number. As a general rule, consortia should be composed of a number of partners that guarantees enough complementarity, expertise and resources, so that the proposed project can be carried out efficiently.

This is possible for Section 1 Calls. For Section 2 Calls, applicants should check the relevant National Regulations to make sure they are eligible according to the rules set by their National Funding Agency. 

For Section 2, the PI – Principal Investigator cannot be a coordinator in both Section 1 & Section 2 of the same year, but can be a partner in other proposals in both Sections, with an eligibility condition that proposals must be different in terms of objectives, methodology and consortium composition. 

For Section 1, the PI can submit more than one proposal as coordinator but in case that more than one proposal is selected for funding, the coordinator will have to choose one project to be funded and withdraw the others (one funding per year). The PI can be partner in other projects.

They can participate but they are not automatically eligible for funding. They may be eligible for funding provided that at least one of the following conditions is fulfilled: 

– participation is deemed to be essential for carrying out the action; 

– such funding is provided under a bilateral scientific and technological agreement or any other arrangement between the Union and the international organisation or, for entities established in a country which is not a Participating State, the country in which the legal entity is established.

No, this is not possible. In specific cases, this may be allowed, provided that it is duly justified and approved by PRIMA programme.

Financial Aspects

In Section 1 calls, partners are free to decide the amount of funding they request, which should anyway be commensurate with the work they will perform as part of the project. The consortium on a whole should make a total budget request in line with the amount expected by PRIMA and indicated in the call text.

In Section 2 calls, partners are, in principle, free to decide the amount of funding they request, which should anyway be commensurate with the work they will perform as part of the project, but they need to take into account any budget ceilings or specific financial rules set by the National Regulations of their country’s National Funding Agencies. The consortium on a whole should make a total budget request in line with the amount expected by PRIMA and indicated in the call text.

 Expected budget requests indicated in the call texts are indicative, in the sense that consortia may submit a proposal requesting a different amount of funding, as long as the project addresses well the call objectives and scope. However, budget requests in line with the one indicated in the call text are seen positively.  Projects of Section 1 cannot request  a higher budget. 

 The requested funding is the amount of funding requested to PRIMA by the beneficiaries while the project cost is equal to the requested funding plus the own funding (if any) provided by the beneficiaries.

For Section 1 calls, the funding rates are the following:

        RIA – Research and Innovation Actions: 100% of the eligible costs for all types of beneficiaries

        IA – Innovation Actions: 100% of the eligible costs for no-profit entities and 70% of the eligible costs for profit-oriented entities

        CSA– Coordination and Support Actions: 100% of the eligible costs for all types of beneficiaries

For Section 2 Calls, the funding rates are established by the National Funding Agencies and can be checked in the National Regulations.

As per Article 2.1(14) of the Rules for Participation Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013: ‘nonprofit legal entity’ means a legal entity which by its legal form is non-profit-making or which has a legal or statutory obligation not to distribute profits to its shareholders or individual members. Please consult your legal department on the legal status of your organisation.

Proposal Preparation

 All these documents are available in the Reference Documents section of the PRIMA website.

 Yes, this is highly recommended. Consortia should develop and include KPIs in their proposals to demonstrate how and to what extent they will achieve the targets encompassed in the project. The PRIMA SRIA provides a set of programme indicators related to the thematic areas addressed by the programme: apart from developing their own KPIs, consortia can also use the ones of the SRIA.  

PRIMA is fully aligned with the SDGs – Sustainable Development Goals. While not an obligation, highlighting how a proposal will contribute to the achievement of any SDGs is seen positively.

Yes, this will give a good understanding of the innovation potential of the project. The different components/outputs (technologies, varieties, etc.) of a single project may reach different TRLs: this should be explained in the proposal. Therefore it is important to the applicants to indicate the initial TRL and the Final TRL inside their pre and full proposal.

 Yes, this is possible and if the subcontractor is already known at the time of proposal submission, it should be indicated in the full proposal. Subcontractors can only carry out ancillary work, while core tasks should be implemented by project partners only. For Section 2, the national regulation NCP have to approve it. 

Selected Projects

For Section 1 projects, a single Grant Agreement (GA) will be signed between the coordinator and the PRIMA (similarly to H2020). Payments are made by PRIMA to the coordinator, who then distrubute the budget shares to the other project partners.

In the case of projects selected under Section 2 calls, individual national contracts will be signed by the beneficiaries and the relevant National Funding Agencies. Payments are made by the National Funding Agencies to their country beneficiary.

 Yes, this is highly recommended. Consortia should develop and include KPIs in their proposals to demonstrate how and to what extent they will achieve the targets encompassed in the project. The PRIMA SRIA provides a set of programme indicators related to the thematic areas addressed by the programme: apart from developing their own KPIs, consortia can also use the ones of the SRIA.  

 Section 2 project coordinators report to PRIMA. All Section 2 beneficiaries must also respect all reporting requirements established in the National Regulations by their relevant National Funding Agencies.

Current issues related to Covid-19

 Yes, PRIMA staff keeps working and strives to support applicants and beneficiaries in this difficult situation. Teleworking has been chosen as a safety measure for the staff itself and as a way to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. Applicants and any interested parties are encouraged to contact PRIMA via email, as staff may not be reachable via office phones.

 PRIMA is trying to guarantee enough flexibility to consortia in this difficult situation. Coordinators should get in touch with the PRIMA Project Officer responsible for the monitoring of their project to discuss such issues.

Other

PRIMA launches calls for proposals every year, usually at the end of the year or at the beginning of the following one. Make sure you check the official website regularly to be updated, and follow Info Days where calls are presented.

 Yes, PRIMA funds the following types of action (N.B.: action stands for project):

Research and innovation actions (RIA): Action primarily consisting of activities aiming to establish new knowledge and/or to explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution. For this purpose they may include basic and applied research, technology development and integration, testing and validation on a smallscale prototype in a laboratory or simulated environment. Projects may contain closely connected but limited demonstration or pilot activities aiming to show technical feasibility in a near to operational environment.

Please note that the acronym RIA is used both for Section 1 and for Section 2. In Section 1, the rules applying to these actions are the standard Horizon 2020 rules for participation (RfP). While the rules used in Section 2 are to some extent analogous to the Horizon 2020 RfP, specific rules, concerning participation and funding rates, apply. As the projects selected in Section 2 are funded directly by the national funding bodies they will be subject to the respective National Regulations. 

Innovation actions (IA): Action primarily consisting of activities directly aiming at producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. For this purpose they may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation and market replication. A ‘demonstration or pilot’ aims to validate the technical and economic viability of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution in an operational (or near to operational) environment, whether industrial or otherwise, involving where appropriate a larger scale prototype or demonstrator. A ‘market replication’ aims to support the first application/deployment in the market of an innovation that has already been demonstrated but not yet applied/deployed in the market due to market failures/barriers to uptake. ‘Market replication’ does not cover multiple applications in the market of an innovation (a new or improved technology, product, design, process, service or solution.) that has already been applied successfully once in the market. ‘First’ means new at least to PRIMA countries or new at least to the application sector in question. Often such projects involve a validation of technical and economic performance at system level in real life operating conditions provided by the market. Projects may include limited research and development activities.

Proposals submitted to Section 1 and Section 2 are evaluated in the same way and based on the same rules. 

The main difference is that Section 1 is funded by the EU – European Union while Section 2 is funded by the National Funding Agencies of the PRIMA Participating States. For such reason, there are some differences concerning eligibility and admissibility rules, administrative and financial aspects, reporting obligations etc.. Please consult the PRIMA Annual Work Plan for a detailed explanation of each sections’ characteristics.

X