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PES Horizon Europe – Support for Project Establishment and Positioning

With the exception of applications relating to the Accelerator and the European Defense Fund (EDF), which have their own rules, we remind you that PES applications must be submitted no later than four weeks before the EU deadline.  

January 2024: Minor adjustments to the text on the threshold value for receiving support from PES. The support for Accelerator applications is increased from NOK 75,000 to NOK 100,000.  

October 2023: Support for applications in two stages is paid out after stage two, if the stage two project proposal achieves a grade that corresponds to the threshold value ("threshold") or better.  

May 2023: A "threshold" requirement has now been introduced to receive support from PES. In addition, some support rates have changed. 

Purpose

The PES scheme aims to ensure that applications to Horizon Europe with Norwegian participants are of high quality, to realise the potential of Norwegian research to the fullest possible extent.

This call for proposal is intended to increase the success rate of Norwegian applications for Horizon Europe.

About the call for proposals

The project establishment and positioning funding aims to ensure that applications for Horizon Europe with Norwegian participants are of high quality. The PES support is directed towards calls for proposals from Horizon Europe and the European Defence Fund (EDF). 

We only grant support for travel if the travel is included in the EU application. We do not cover calls from other programmes such as Digital Europe, COSME and Invest EU.

ENOVA has its own PES scheme for the EU's Innovation Fund.

Application submission deadlines

With the exception of applications for the Accelerator and the European Defense Fund (EDF), which have their own rules, you must apply for support as early as possible - preferably as soon as a project proposal begins to take shape - and no later than four weeks before the EU deadline.

You must apply for funding as soon as the project proposal begins to take shape and no later than four weeks before the EU application submission deadline. If you are going to be a coordinator for a collaboration project, you should reach out to a National Contact Person (NCP) no later than 12 weeks before the EU deadline. This is important to ensure that there is enough time for the applicants to receive guidance from the relevant NCP and EU advisers.

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

Who is eligible to apply?

All Norwegian actors who have a formal role in an EU project proposal are eligible to apply for funding. Approved Norwegian research organisations, companies, public sector bodies, the non-profit sector  and groups of such entities may apply.

If the application for a framework grant is approved, individual applications cannot be submitted to this call, with the exception of applications directed to the European Defence Fund (EDF). See the separate call for framework grants: PES Horisont Europa rammebevilgning for 2023 og 2024 (in Norwegian only)

Research organisations without a framework grant can receive a maximum of NOK 500.000 in support from this scheme per year. If multiple Norwegian applicants are collaborating on the same project proposal, those applicants that do not have a framework grant must submit a single, joint application for project establishment funding.

Who can participate in the project?

Requirements relating to the Project Owner

The organisation listed as the Project Owner in the application form must have approved the submission of the grant application.

The Project Owner must satisfy the formal requirements for participating in an EU project proposal.

If the application is a collaboration between several organisations, the Project Owner submits the application on behalf of all the partners.

Requirements relating to the project manager

The project manager’s scientific expertise and suitability to manage the project will be assessed. There are no formal requirements for the project manager’s qualifications.

What can you seek funding for?

The amount of funding awarded from PES will be based on the type of project, the applicant’s role in and the budget for the planned EU project. The amount granted also depends on the number of Norwegian actors seeking funding.

See 'Relevant thematic areas’ for a more detailed description of the funding rates and terms and conditions for funding for different EU calls.

The funding can cover costs relating to travel, participation in virtual and physical events for positioning your project, hours and purchasing services to prepare project proposals. All funding amounts constitute the maximum amount awarded. Funding to be awarded to each PES application will be determined on an individual basis. The pledged funding will be disbursed if the submitted EU project proposal achieves a score equivalent to threshold or better in the given call.

For EU project proposals that are made in two stages, PES support will only be paid if the EU application exceeds the threshold after stage two. Support is therefore not given for step one. Separate rules apply for EIC Accelerator applications (read more under ‘Relevant thematic areas’ below).

You will find detailed information concerning what the budget should contain on the website.

Resubmission of proposals

Only applications aimed at Women TechEU can receive support for a second submission if the first EU application was assessed above threshold or better.

Conditions for funding

Support for a research organisation goes to the organisation's non-financial activity. It therefore does not constitute state aid. The Research Council requires a clear separation of accounts for the organisation’s economic and non­economic activities.

De minimis aid

Support will be awarded to undertakings as de minimis aid. This means that an undertaking may receive maximum EUR 200,000 in de minimis aid over a period of three years.

Before the disbursement of de minimis aid, we will request written confirmation and an overview of all other de minimis aid the undertaking has received during the last three fiscal years. For undertakings that are part of a group of companies, the maximum limit generally applies to the group as a whole. For more information on de minimis aid, see the Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013.

Read more about de minimis aid here.

The state aid regulations make special requirements of undertakings that receive project funding from co-funded programmes, for instance Eurostars. Undertakings defined as ‘an undertaking in difficulty’ cannot expect to receive funding to write Eurostars applications.

The Research Council's prerequisites for granting and paying support for the first year, and any commitments and payments for subsequent years, are set out in our general terms and conditions for R&D projects, which you can find in full on our information page on contracts.

If your project is approved, the following must be in place before you enter into a contract with us: From 2022, all grant recipients that are research organisations or public sector bodies (Project Owners and partners) must have a gender equality plan (GEP) available on their websites. The requirement does not apply to the industry sector, special interest organisations or the non-profit sector.

Reports and disbursement of funding

Funding will be disbursed when we have received the final report and an electronic invoice from the Project Owner. The final report will be available on My RCN Web, and when submitted must contain the Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) or equivalent application assessment. With the exception of EIC Accelerator, the conditions for payment of the PES support is that the submitted EU application achieves a score equivalent to threshold or better. Exceptions to the absolute threshold value requirement can be considered if the applicant is a first-time applicant to Horizon Europe or Horizon 2020.

If the EU application receives a score that is equal to the threshold or better in the given call, you must send an -invoice without VAT electronically to the Research Council.

Sending invoices electronically to the Research Council (forskningsradet.no)

We pay the support as a lump sum. If necessary, we can ask for a specification of costs for the PES project.

Relevant thematic areas for this call

Please select which of the Horizon Europe calls you are seeking project establishment funding for under ‘Placement’ in the application form.

Internationalisation

Practical information

Requirements for this application type

This is an open-ended call for proposals, and you can submit your application once. You should therefore not press the "send" button before the application is completely finished and ready to be submitted.

General requirements

  • The applicant/Project Owner must come from an eligible category of institutions.
  • The application must lie within the scope/satisfy the objectives of this call. The funding amount sought, expenses to be covered and any own financing to be provided must be in keeping with the framework of the call.
  • The budget must be formulated correctly so that it clearly indicates what the funding will cover.
  • The application form must be completed in full.
  • The required attachments must be included using the dedicated templates.
  • The application and all attachments must be written in Norwegian or English.
  • All attachments must be uploaded in the PDF format.

Mandatory attachments

  • Project description: Use the standard template that can be downloaded at the bottom of the call. This template has to be completed and enclosed if you apply for a collaborative project in Horizon Europe or EDF, or if your application is for ERC, Women TechEU or MSCA.
  • A de minimis aid self-declaration: This document is mandatory for undertakings. You can download the template at the end of the call.
  • For coordinators for a Horizon Europe collaboration project: The results of the Financial Viability Self-Check. Link: Financial viability self-check - H2020 Online Manual. This document is not required for Eurostars applications.
  • Eurostars applications: Undertakings (SMEs) coordinating and participating in an Eurostars application must upload documentation certifying that the SME has at least NOK 500 000 in equity at the time when the application is submitted to Eurostars. (Documentation requirements: Publicly approved annual accounts. Alternatively, in the event of a capital increase, there must be a declaration from the auditor, lawyer, financial institution/bank or accountant).
  • Accelerator: application assessment for step 1.

Applications that do not meet the requirements listed above will be rejected.

Attachments other than the mandatory attachments specified above, as well as any links to websites in the grant application, will not be included in the application review process.

All attachments to grant applications must be submitted together with the application form. We do not accept attachments submitted after the application submission deadline unless we have requested additional documentation.

Assessment criteria

Grant applications will be assessed in the light of the objective of the call and on the following criteria:

Excellence

Originality/Novelty
• The extent to which the concept is sound, credible and novel.

Solidity
• The extent to which the project objectives are clear and relevant.
• The quality of the proposed deliverables from the project.

Impact

Potential
• The extent to which the expected effects are specified.
• The extent to which expected impacts on the system and societal levels are specified.

Knowledge sharing and exploitation
• The quality of the proposed communication and dissemination activities.
• The extent to which it is credible that the proposed outputs will contribute to the specified effects and impact.

Implementation

Project Manager and project group
• The extent to which the Project Manager and project group are qualified and have the necessary expertise and are positioned to implement the project.
• The extent to which management structures and procedures are appropriate.

Plans and management
• The extent to which the work plan is clear and understandable, and the time table realistic
• The extent to which objectives and measures are coherent.
• The extent to which the project has the support of the leadership of the Project Owner and any partners, and the allocation of roles in the project is clear.
• The extent to which the budget is realistic and appropriate, and resources are allocated so that each of the partners can fulfil their role.
• The extent to which potential risks have been discussed.

Administrative procedures

Applications will be reviewed in an administrative reviewing process. The Research Council normally sends out a reply no later than four weeks after the application has been received.

The project establishment funding for Horizon Europe is intended to help to lower the threshold for Norwegian applicants interested in taking part in a Horizon Europe project proposal. Requirements for obtaining EU funding are difficult to satisfy. The Research Council therefore cannot provide support to applicants that do not have the necessary foundation to obtain EU funding or implementing the planned project in a satisfactory manner. Applicants that do not satisfy the minimum requirements or that have not shown a positive development despite repeated attempts to obtain funding can therefore not expect to be awarded funding.

Create application

Applications for PES Horizon Europe – Support for Project Establishment and Positioning should be created on My RCN Web. Application templates should be filled and uploaded in the application.

Create application

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