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RESEARCH WITHIN PRIORITY SECTORS CALL FOR PROPOSALS

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THE GENERAL SECRETARIAT FOR RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY AS

PROGRAMME OPERATOR OFTHE GREEK-EEA RESEARCH PROGRAMME

IMPLEMENTED UNDER THE GREEK FINANCIAL MECHANISM 2009-2014

PREANNOUNCES

RESEARCH WITHIN PRIORITY SECTORS CALL FOR PROPOSALS

­

  1. Objective of the Programme
  2. Thematic areas
  3. Types of entities eligible for funding
  4. Project Promoter
  5. The budget of the GSRT Call
  6. The amount of co-financing
  7. Eligible expenditures
  8. The currency used for the project proposal’s budget and the settlement of costs in the project implementation
  9. Evaluation process and selection criteria
  10. Payment system
  11. Submission of proposals
  12. Duration of the GSRT 2014 Call
  13. Legal acts

The present Programme, entitled “Diversity, inequalities and social inclusion” addresses the Programme area “Research within Priority Sectors” of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014. The objective of the programme is to enhance research based knowledge development in Greece.

Project proposal should address the following areas of interest concerning Academic Research:

•           Local and regional initiatives to reduce national inequalities and to promote social inclusion

•           Mainstreaming gender equality and promoting work-life balance

•           Promotion of diversity in culture and arts within European Cultural Heritage

The key motivation for the proposed Programme is to address from a research / scientific perspective the rising social and income inequalities in Greece as a result of the ongoing economic crisis. More detailed description of the call area is presented in the document ‘Call for Proposals under Action “Research within priority sectors” – Academic Research priority sectors.

Submission of proposals in response to the present Call is open to research organisations, public utilities, public services, prefectural and local authorities and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) with research activities. 

Projects may be implemented in partnership (herein also referred to as “Consortium”) with one or more project partners (or “Consortium partners”). Eligible project partners include any inter-governmental organisation, Non Governmental Organisation  and legal entity under public or private law, which has been established and operates for the benefit of public interest actively involved in and effectively contributing to the implementation of a project. The consortium partners can be registered either in Greece or in the donor states.

For each proposal, the project partners designate a ‘Project Promoter’ (PP) which has the formal administrative responsibility for the project, and has to submit the proposal on their behalf. The Project Promoter may only be a Greek entity eligible according to the call.

If a project is implemented in partnership with one or more partners with the Project Promoter, the Project Promoter shall sign a partnership agreement with the project partners. The arrangements between the parties as set out in the partnership agreement shall be in line with the approved project proposal.

The partnership agreement shall contain, as a minimum, the following:

(a) provisions for clear distribution of the roles and responsibilities within the corporate  relationship;

(b) provisions on the project’s budget allocation between members and any other financial arrangements that may affect the project’s implementation, such as the expenditure rate that project partners may finance from the project budget;

(c) provisions on the method of calculating indirect costs and their maximum amount;

(d) payment methods;

(e) provisions and conditions for carrying out audits on the project partners;

(f) a detailed budget, with itemised costs and unit prices; 

(g) provisions and terms on dispute resolution.

The total budget of the present Call under the Action stands at: € 3,226,661 Euro. The minimum grant per project is 100,000 €, while the maximum grant is 200,000 € across the three thematic areas.

A small grants scheme for the mobility of researchers will be included in the proposal for “research fellow placements” or “educational visits” within Universities or research centres of EEA EFTA countries. The target groups are Greek PHD students studying within Greek higher educational institutions as well as young Greek postdoctoral researchers who are employed within a higher educational institution or research centre in Greece. The aim of the grant will be to assist the completion of studies/dissertation topics or research projects within a Greek institution (university or research centre) upon the return of PHD students or post-doctoral researchers. 2 % of the Programme’s budget will be dedicated for the Small Grant Scheme.  The minimum amount per grant will be €4,000, while the maximum amount will be €10,000. The minimum duration for employing the grant is 1 month, while the maximum duration is 3 months (deviations will be accepted on a case-by-case basis following sound justification). The mobility grants will be provided only to individual researchers of R&D actors/entities who participate as partners or project promoters within approved R&D projects.

A Bilateral Fund will be dedicated for networking, exchange, sharing and transfer of knowledge, technology, experience and best practices between Project Promoters (Greek R&D actors) and EEA R&D actors. The following activities will be supported under the fund for bilateral relations:

- Networking, exchange, sharing and transfer of knowledge, technology, experience and best practice between Project Promoters and entities in the Donor States.

 Such activities shall increase the added value of the Programme and provide the Greek research community and the research and development institutions with the opportunity to establish international best practice standards.

Funds shall be allocated on the basis of an application made at the same time as applications submitted under the main call for proposals. Application shall include a justification by the potential Project Promoter on the necessity and benefit of involving EEA R&D actors in order to realise the objectives and expected results of a given project as well as a description of the activities foreseen. A relevant concise application form will be available at the electronic submission platform to facilitate the process. The maximum grant amount is € 7,000 and the grant rate will be 100%. The financial resources earmarked for the above mentioned costs will be accounted for and reported on separately to those for project financing.

The foreseen duration of projects is 12 months minimum and the final date of eligibility of expenditures under the projects is 30.04.2016 .

Aid in this category refer to basic research  and/or industrial research. The intensity of the aid by type of organisation is presented below for research organisations.

The maximum intensity of the aid to research organisations as Universities, Technical Education Institutes, research centres, research institutes, public utilities, public services, prefectural and local authorities, for every type of aided activity, may amount up to 100% of eligible costs if it follows from the submitted proposal that:

•           the aided activity falls under the research organisation’s usual primary activities which do not constitute an economic activity

•           the results of the aided project can be widely disseminated

•           there should be open access to articles/publications resulting from the project into an institutional or subject-based repository, as soon as possible, preferably immediately and in any case no later than six months after the date of publication for Energy, Environment, Health, Information and Communication Technologies, Research Infrastructures and twelve months for Social Sciences and Humanities

•           research data that result from the project will become publicly accessible, usable and re-usable through digital e-infrastructures.

The maximum intensity of the aid to Intergovernmental Organisations and Non Governmental Organisations may amount to 90% of eligible costs.

Any remaining costs of the project shall be provided by the promoter. In case of projects implemented by NGOs, in-kind contribution in the form of voluntary work may constitute up to 50% of the co-financing required by the programme for the project. The appropriate unit prices for voluntary work shall be specified, which shall be in accordance with salary normally paid for such work in Greece, including the required social security contributions.

The eligible direct expenditures for a project are those expenditures which are identified by the Project Promoter and/or the project partner in accordance with their accounting principles and usual internal rules, as specific expenditures directly linked to the implementation of the project and which can therefore be booked to it directly. To be eligible, expenditures must be incurred between the first and final date of eligibility.

 In particular, the following direct expenditures are eligible:

(a) the cost of staff assigned to the project, comprising actual salaries plus social security charges and other statutory costs included in the remuneration, provided that this corresponds to the Project Promoter’s and project partner’s usual policy on remuneration. The corresponding salary costs of staff of national administrations, public law entities and local government are eligible if they are not covered by the regular budget and to the extent that they relate to the cost of activities which the relevant public authority would not carry out if the project concerned were not undertaken, duplication of funding being in any event excluded;

(b) travel and subsistence allowances for staff taking part in the project, provided that they are in line with the Project Promoter’s or project partner’s approved scales on travel costs and do not exceed the relevant national scales;

(c) cost of new or second hand equipment, provided that it is depreciated in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles applicable to the Project Promoter/partner for items of the same kind. Only the portion of the depreciation corresponding to the duration of the project and the rate of actual use for the purposes of the project shall be eligible.

(d) costs for consumables and supplies provided they are directly assigned to the project;

(e) costs entailed by other contracts awarded by the Project Promoter/partner for the purposes of carrying out the project, provided that the awarding complies with the applicable rules on public procurement in accordance with article 44  of the Joint Ministerial Decision on the Management and Control System for the implementation of the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism 2009-2014; the Regulation on the implementation of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014; and

(f)  costs arising directly from requirements imposed by the project contract and the terms acceptance agreement for each project (e.g. publicity, specific evaluation of the action, audits, translations), including the costs of any financial services (especially the cost of letters of  guarantee).

  The following categories of expenditure are eligible for funds for bilateral relations:

(a)  fees and travel costs for participation in conferences, seminars, courses, meetings and workshops;

(b)  travel costs for study trips;

(c)  travel and salary costs for visits by experts;

(d)  costs related to feasibility studies and preparation of financial and economic analysis;

(e) costs of conferences, seminars, courses, meetings and workshops;

 (f)  purchase of data necessary for the preparation of the application; and

(g)  external consultancy fees.

Indirect costs in projects (overheads)

      Indirect costs are all eligible costs that cannot be identified by the Project Promoter and/or the project partner as being directly attributed to the project but which can be identified and justified by its accounting system as being incurred in direct relationship with the eligible direct costs attributed to the project (overheads). Indirect costs shall represent a fair apportionment of the overall overheads of the Project Promoter or the project partner and may not include any eligible direct costs. Indirect costs may be admitted:

a) based on actual indirect costs for those Project Promoters and project partners that have an analytical accounting system to identify their indirect costs as indicated above, or

 b) may represent up to 7% of the total direct eligible costs of the Project excluding direct eligible costs for subcontracting and the costs of resources made available by third parties which are not used on the premises of the Project Promoter.

      Example:

•           Staff Costs                                                                               € A

•           Travel & Subsistence Allowance                                             € B

•           Equipment                                                                               € C

•           Consumables, Supplies                                                          € D

•           Subcontracting                                                                        € E

•           Costs deriving directly from EEA requirements                      € F

•           TOTAL DIRECT ELIGIBLE COSTS    (sum of €A TO €F) =  € G

•           Indirect Costs @ 7% Max.:

•           € G - € E – Any contribution from third parties                   = € H

•           € H x 7% - € I being the indirect costs to be claimed under Project

The method of calculation of indirect costs of a project partner shall be stipulated in the

partnership agreement between the Project Promoter and the project partners. The first

 and final dates of eligibility of each project will be stated in the project contract

for that project.

Expenditures incurred after 30 April 2016 shall not be eligible.

The currency used for completing the Project Budget, payments from the Programme Operator and settlements between the Project Promoter and Project Partner(s) will be the Euro (€). The European Central Bank’s exchange rate from the date of the call launch will be used for calculating all cost related to the project application and implementation.

The procedure for the evaluation of proposals consists of the preliminary examination (as to the eligibility of proposals in relation to the terms and conditions of the Call), which is followed by the main evaluation and ranking of the proposals. Applicants whose applications are rejected at this stage will be informed and given a reasonable time to appeal that decision. The main evaluation consists of three (3) stages:

(a) The proposals which are considered admissible shall be examined “by subject area / sector”, by two independent experts appointed by GSRT with respect to the selection criteria and scored separately by each expert selected from a database maintained by GSRT. The selection of experts will be made on the basis of scientific or professional expertise. Experts will sign a confidentiality and impartiality statement confirming that they have no connection to the project proposals under evaluation. Experts will evaluate the proposals remotely or at premises designated by GSRT on the basis of pre-defined criteria in the call and written guidelines provided by the Programme Operator. Following this, they will upload their evaluations on an online platform. GSRT will rank the proposals on the basis of average scores awarded by the two experts. In the case of major discrepancies among the scores of the two evaluators (when the difference between the scores given by two experts is more than 30% of the higher score), GSRT will appoint a third expert to score the proposal independently. Following this, the average score of the two closest scores shall be used for the ranking of proposals. Applicants will be informed on their proposal evaluation scores by electronic means by the Evaluation Coordinator.

(b) The selection of projects for financing shall be made by a Selection Committee composed of at least five members of whom two members at least shall not belong to the Program Operator’s staff. The Selection Committee will review the ranked list of projects drawn by the independent experts and may modify the ranking in justified cases. The Selection Committee will thereafter submit the list of recommended projects to the GSRT.

(c) The GSRT will verify that the selection process has been conducted in accordance with the Regulation on the implementation of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 and that the recommendations from the Selection Committee comply with the rules and objectives of the Programme. After the completion of the procedure for the evaluation of proposals, before the final selection is done by the GSRT, there is a special check concerning the obligation to comply with EU and national rules on competition and state aid. Following such verification, GSRT will, based on the recommendation of the Selection Committee, make the final selection of projects to be supported. In justified cases, the GSRT may modify the decision of the Selection Committee, in which case it will inform the applicants affected.

Then   a Project Technical Fiche will be drawn up for each project in collaboration between the project partners and the Project Coordinator and shall be followed by the issuance of the decision approving the inclusion of the project for financing under the Action.

The proposal can receive a total number of 100 points in the evaluation procedure. To be recommended for funding, the proposal must pass all the thresholds according to the values presented in the table below.

The evaluation criteria and their respective marks are as follows:

Α.    Quality and efficiency of the implementation and management, including quality and implementation capacity of the applicants and contribution to capacity and competence building (minimum acceptable mark: 10 points; maximum mark: 20 points)

No.

Description of Group A sub-criteria

Points

1

Suitability of the organisational structure and management procedures of the project.

0-3

2

Adequacy of the infrastructure available by the participants (including the subcontractor, if any) for implementing the project (personnel, technical infrastructure and materials, equipment and administrative support); and

0-8

3

Experience of the participating organisations and individuals in the project’s subject field, scientific and technological excellence as established from their previous and current activities, their participation in corresponding Greek and international projects (with emphasis on R&TD programmes), their scientific publications, patents, the relevance of their activities to the scope of the project and the role they undertake for its implementation.

0-5

4

Experience of the Coordinator and of the Scientific Supervisor in the implementation and coordination of research projects and interdisciplinary research, and previous experience of the Coordinator and of the Scientific Supervisor in RTD management and implementation and in the utilisation of project results.

0-4

Total:

20

Β. Scientific and/or technical excellence (minimum acceptable mark: 18 points; maximum mark: 35 points)

No.

Description of Group B sub-criteria

Points

1

Quality and clarity of the goals of the proposed project. Quality and suitability of the proposed scientific methodology and of the workplan for its application; completeness and effectiveness of the implementation procedure (obligations of the individual organisations and implementation schedule).

0-10

2

Originality and innovative nature of the proposal in relation to the current scientific and technological state-of-the-art, and progress beyond it to be achieved under the project.

0-8

3

Adequate documentation and correctness of the allocation of work to the partners in the Work Packages.

0-4

4

Clarity of the deliverables by stage and of the final deliverable (the aim being to create a product or production process or service or knowledge which can be directly or indirectly utilised).

0-7

5

Suitability of the required budget in relation to the physical scope foreseen to be implemented, in terms of its allocation to the participating organization as well as to the various cost categories.

0-6

Total:

35

C. Relevance in relation to the objectives and prioritised areas of the research programme; The potential impact through the development, dissemination and use of project results. (minimum acceptable mark: 27 points; maximum mark: 45 points)

No.

Description of Group C sub-criteria

Points

1

Contribution of the project to the goals and objectives / expected results of the Call,

0-8

2

-   Viability of the project results (product, originality, innovation), as assessed by the submitted products and services utilisation plan, and

-   Quality and suitability of the utilisation and/or dissemination plan (information, promotion, dissemination and awareness-raising activities) for the project’s R&T results

0-11

3

Participation of women at least for 1/3 and other target groups to the preparation and development of the project.

0-9

4

Suitability of the approach used to manage (and/or obtain protection for) the intellectual property rights that exist prior to the project (“background” rights) and/or result from its implementation (“foreground” rights).

0-8

5

-   Creation and/or retaining of new jobs; and

-   Contribution of the project to excellence and to the competitiveness of the economy at the national and/or European level and project benefits of a more general nature for society and economy.

0-9

Total:

45

More detailed information on evaluation procedure is presented in the document  ‘Guide for Applicants – GSRT 2014 Call’.

Payments towards Project Promoters are in the form of advance payments, interim payments on an annual basis, and a payment of the final balance. The purpose of the advance payment and annual interim payments is to ensure that the project partners have a positive cash flow during the project implementation.

Payments to the Project Promoter are made according to the time schedule of the project implementation included in the contract signed with the GSRT. The rate of the advanced payment is set out in the project contract. Subsequent payments will be made only after the Programme Operator verifies that 70% of any previous payment has been incurred by the Project Promoter, and within 15 days after the Programme’s Operator approval of reports and deliverables.

The Project Promoter should ensure that all appropriate payments to the project partners are made without delay, no later than 15 days after the receipt of the payment from the Programme Operator.

The application procedure consists of one mandatory stage, that is PROPOSAL APPLICATION as following:

Proposals are submitted electronically in English to the on-line submission system

https://apps.gov.gr/minedu/international/research-priorities-2014/

Proposals have to be submitted no later than 16:00 (CET) before the relevant submission deadline.

Among the applicants in a proposed partnership, only the Project Promoter (identified by user id and password) is authorised to submit a proposal.

The proposals submitted via the on-line submission system are entered into databases after the call closure. The Programme Operator has no access to the proposal until the call deadline has passed.

Versions of proposals sent on paper, removable electronic storage medium (e.g. CD-ROM, diskette), by email or by fax will not be regarded as having been received by the Programme Operator.

If more than one copy of the same proposal is received, only the most recent eligible version is evaluated.

The deadline for submission of proposals is two months from the Announcement of the Call for Proposals, which will follow this preannouncement.

Principal legal acts under this Programme:

  • Regulation on the implementation of the EEA and Norwegian Financial Mechanisms 2009-2014
  • Annex 12 to the above Regulation – Rules for the establishment and implementation of donor partnership programmes falling under the Programme Areas “Research within priority sectors” and “Bilateral Research Cooperation”
  1. Question and queries to the Programme Operator

Call information and guidelines referred to in this announcement are available on the GSRT webpage:

http://www.gsrt.gr/EOX/central.aspx?sId=119I428I1089I646I488772

For additional information, contact (working days, from 10.00 am to 14.00 pm CET):

Eleni Stavrianoudaki – office: +30 210 7458119

The following e-mail address should be used when contacting the NCBR on the matters concerning the Greek-EEA Academic Research Programme: Αυτή η διεύθυνση ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου προστατεύεται από τους αυτοματισμούς αποστολέων ανεπιθύμητων μηνυμάτων. Χρειάζεται να ενεργοποιήσετε τη JavaScript για να μπορέσετε να τη δείτε.

For technical assistance, interested parties may address their queries to the following electronic address:

Αυτή η διεύθυνση ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου προστατεύεται από τους αυτοματισμούς αποστολέων ανεπιθύμητων μηνυμάτων. Χρειάζεται να ενεργοποιήσετε τη JavaScript για να μπορέσετε να τη δείτε.



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