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Supplementary funding for Norwegian partners in projects addressing Societal Challenge 2 under Horizon 2020

Up to NOK 5 million is available for Norwegian partners in research and innovation projects funded by the EU under “Societal Challenge 2 (SC2): Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research, and the Bioeconomy”. The project must also address a thematic area within the scope of the BIONÆR programme.

Other support Choose

Messages:

Grant applications will be processed on an ongoing basis up to and including 21 November 2018, after which the call will no longer be active.

The Norwegian-language call for proposals is the legally binding version.

Status:

Active

Amount of funding presumed available for this call for proposals:

Up to NOK 5 million total for projects funded under the SC2 work programme for 2017 under Horizon 2020.

Guidelines and important considerations relevant to all types of applications in this call for proposals:

The aim of this call for proposals is to promote greater Norwegian participation in EU-funded projects and to encourage Norwegian participants to take on larger roles in the projects. Supplementary funding is available to Norwegian actors taking on the role of coordinator, work package leader or task leader in an RIA or IA action under SC2 in Horizon 2020 that addresses a thematic area within the scope of the BIONÆR programme. This funding must be applied towards an independent, national project and must not be used as additional funding for the EU project’s activities (i.e. funding to carry out the same activities as the EU-funded project). The supplementary funding may be used towards, among other things, activities that help to:

  • strengthen coordination from the Norwegian side;
  • supplement the Norwegian activities;
  • establish national networks in connection with the EU-funded project;
  • organise workshops;
  • perform other relevant activities.

Requirements relating to content in the project description

The project description must contain the following:

  • a brief description of the applicant’s role and responsibilities in the EU-funded project;
  • a brief description of the activities for which funding is being sought, with clear delimitations vis-à-vis the EU project;
  • a specification of how the supplementary funding will strengthen the Norwegian contribution to the EU project;
  • implementation plan, budget, objectives and anticipated results.

Who is eligible to apply?

Norwegian institutions, actors from the public sector, business sector, and other relevant actors may apply. Projects that have been awarded funding under the SME Instrument, CSA, ERA-Net COFUND or Fast Track to Innovation are not eligible for funding under this scheme.

A Norwegian participant with the role of coordinator for an EU project announced under the work programme for 2016–2017 may apply for up to NOK 1 million. A work package leader may apply for up to NOK 500 000, a task leader up to NOK 300 000 and other partners up to NOK 200 000.

The EU-funded project and the Norwegian applicant’s role in it must be in a thematic area within the scope of the BIONÆR programme (refer to the work programme PDF - 857 KB ).

Conditions for funding

Support will be awarded to companies as de minimis aid.

What is de minimis aid, and why is this the financial support being awarded in this manner? 
As a general rule, granting of state aid to companies or other enterprises that are engaged in economic activity is prohibited, except where an explicit exemption exists. The general block exemptions for R&D activity do not apply for financial support to prepare grant applications. De minimis aid is another kind of exemption from the prohibition on state aid in which funding providers may grant small amounts of state aid without having to notify the EFTA Surveillance Authority (which monitors compliance with European Economic Area rules). The main grounds for this exemption are that the amount awarded is so small that it is deemed not to have any effect on trade and/or to distort or threaten to distort competition.

De minimis aid is regulated in Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013. For more information on de minimis aid, please see:
http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/legislation/de_minimis_regulation_en.pdf .

Ceiling amount 
The amount of de minimis aid that may be awarded to a single undertaking is maximum EUR 200 000 over a period of three fiscal years. Thus to be eligible for financial support, the applicant may not have received more than a total of EUR 200 000 in de minimis aid during a period of three fiscal years (i.e. the year the aid was disbursed and the two preceding years). The disbursement of de minimis aid under the PES2020 scheme for project establishment support must not lead awardees to exceed this ceiling.

The application review process

Prior to disbursement of any de minimis aid, the Research Council will request written confirmation and an overview of all other de minimis aid that the company has received in the course of the three fiscal years in question. For companies that are a part of a group of linked enterprises, the ceiling amount generally applies to the group as a whole.

Grant applications will be assessed according to the applicant’s role in the EU project and will be prioritised in the following order:

  1. coordinator
  2. work package leader
  3. task leader
  4. other partners

The quality of grant applications for funding for the independent national project will be assessed by the programme administration, which may overrule the prioritisation listed above. In this context, “quality” refers to:

  • how concretely and clearly the issues to be addressed and objectives have been formulated;
  • how feasible the implementation plan is, including milestones and anticipated results.

Assuming all other factors are essentially equal, importance will be attached to the following strategic guidelines during the final review of grant applications:

  • Relevance in relation to the BIONÆR work programme;
  • The scope of the EU-funded project;
  • The scope of the Norwegian institution’s contribution to the EU-funded project.
  • When allocating funding, consideration will be given to the proportion of allocations to the BIONÆR programme from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, respectively.
  • If several Norwegian partners are participating in the same EU project, each institution must submit its own grant application. If an actor is participating in multiple EU projects, a grant application must be submitted for each project.

If the grant application is awarded funding, the allocation will not be disbursed before the contract with the EU has been signed.

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