1. Introduction and background information
The ERA-NET scheme is an instrument of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme providing funding to improve the cooperation and coordination of national research activities and thus strengthen the European Research Area (ERA) with other regions of the world.
ERANETMED is an EU FP7 initiative that aims at co-ordinating research activities of the different national research programmes from EU Members States, Associated Countries to the EU Research Framework Programmes and Mediterranean Partner Countries. In particular, the ERANETMED objective is to strengthen Euro-Mediterranean research co-operation in order to tackle some of the major challenges that the Mediterranean is facing and strengthen. ERANETMED has already launched two joints call on: (i) Renewable Energies, Water Resources and their connections for the Mediterranean Region and (ii) Environmental challenges and solutions for vulnerable communities in the Mediterranean Region
Building on the previous experiences and on joint interest of research programme owners participating in the ERANETMED project, the third joint call is launched and is co-funded by the following Euro-Mediterranean entities, grouped together in the Executive Committee of Funding Agencies (ECFP):
(TABLE NOT AVAILABLE)
This call invites project consortia including research teams from the countries represented within the ECFP to submit proposals for funding. The members of the ECFP are responsible for defining the principles of the call as well as for the steering, decision making and monitoring of its implementation. They will provide funds and administrative services for supporting national beneficiaries in collaborative projects to be jointly selected.
The ECFP is assisted by a Call Secretariat (CS) in charge of the Common Call Management (CCM) hosted at the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
This joint call is implemented through a coordinated funding action based on a virtual common pot scheme where each funding party funds its own national research organization within a multilateral project selected through a peer review process.
The total financial contribution to this joint call is 7,760,000.00 Euro. 2. Scientific scope of the call
The Mediterranean, particularly the southern region, is largely characterised by water scarcity, limited water availability, severe climatic conditions, demographic and migratory challenges. Arid and semi-arid conditions are the typical geo-physical feature of most rural and remote areas, these conditions being a constraint for socio-economic growth, food security, stability and ecosystems sustainability. The sustainable management of water is pivotal to tackle above challenges and indispensable for the sustainability of the Mediterranean region, considering that the national economy of most of the non-EU Mediterranean countries is based on irrigated agriculture, which accounts for about 70% of water consumption. The remaining 30 % is allocated to drinking and industrial use. A rational and sustainable use of water in agriculture could allow a significant availability for other uses and ecosystems.
The present call aims at strengthening international cooperation on research and innovation in the Mediterranean and enhance Euro- Mediterranean research networks tackling the challenge of water in rural and remote areas in coastal zones and inlands. In addressing the above challenges, researchers will have to provide a methodological approach able to deliver a tangible contribution to socio-economic growth and sustainable development in the region considering environmental and ecosystem dimensions as well as energy use.
In particular, research projects funded by this call will have to develop innovative water management accounting for the need of sustainable food production and agriculture while contributing in a tangible way to environmental sustainability, and ecosystem services. Water management in successful projects will have to enhance real and measurable
ERANETMED is funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme
innovation, socio-economic growth, new opportunities and jobs in areas like water saving, energy efficiency and cost in water use, waste water re- use and recycling. Projects should clearly contribute to the sustainability and minimisation of the use of natural resources, stabilisation of rural and remote areas and mitigation of climate change impact. It is drawn the importance of cross cutting issues like gender and youth, governance, multi-level stakeholder participation, climate and ICT in addressing above challenges.
2.2 Expected impacts
Research proposals must show an adequate methodology and clear deliverables ensuring the following impacts:
Improved availability, acceptance and use by local communities of innovative models of water management in difficult climate conditions and arid areas.
Reduced pressure on environment, improved ecosystem services, water yields and sustainable food production.
Enhanced innovation in water-energy nexus, particularly supporting sustainable use of water with less and affordable energy cost.
Increased water management capacity of local communities in rural, remote and arid areas.
Developed effective models of knowledge transfer in sustainable water management.
Three types of collaborative activities – “actions” – can be funded by this call: Collaborative research, Innovation, Mobility.
All projects will have to include collaborative research. Collaborative research is compulsory and undertaken by a partnership of institutions (“consortium”) designed to produce new knowledge through scientific research, whereby each team within the partnership actively pursues specific task objectives with a view to pooling the results to contribute to the achievement of a set of common, well-defined project objectives. Collaborative research should have high impact and contribute to demand and policy driven research.
When explicitly mentioned in the National Rules of Funding Agencies, actions related to Innovation and Mobility1are strongly encouraged and
their inclusion in the project work plan will be carefully considered and positively evaluated.
More specifically, as for Innovation, projects will deliver tangible outputs and/or align projects towards enhancing innovation or social innovation, depending on the research question addressed. Innovation actions should involve the private sector in the project consortium, and particularly relevant SMEs. However, this will not result into a penalization of applicants whose national funding agencies do not allow private sector funding in their national rules.
As for Mobility, projects are encouraged to integrate in their work plan schemes for the mobility of young researchers / post graduates, in accordance with the modalities set out in national rules of funding agencies. To this regard, CIHEAM Bari – acting as Intergovernmental Organization – will fund the inclusion of mobility schemes involving nationals from the following countries: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Jordan2.
2.4 Cross-cutting issues
Applicants are encouraged to take into account for their research important cross-cutting issues, particularly: governance, ICT and gender. The inclusion of cross-cutting issues will be carefully considered and positively evaluated.
2.5 Participation rules
Applicants must be eligible for funding according to the regulations of their respective national Funding Agencies. They can represent research and higher education entities, companies, and other legal entities such as NGOs, once again subject to institutional restrictions set by individual funding agencies. Details on eligible institutions for each of the funding agency can be found in the Annex 2 of the Guide for Applicants, and should be consulted prior to proposal preparation.
Applicants from ERANETMED countries having no contribution in this call can participate in project consortia with their own institution, as additional partners to the minimum number of participants, by funding their own involvement.
Research organizations or industry which do not belong to any country participating in the ERANETMED project may participate on their own costs, which means that they can contribute to a specific project either financially with “own contribution” or “in kind”. Their commitment must be presented at the time of proposal submission with a letter of intent (LoI).
The project consortium must comprise project partners from at least 3 different countries whose Funding Agencies contribute to the 3ndjoint call, of which at least one from an EU Member State/Associated Country (Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey) and one from a Mediterranean Partner Country (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco).
The project consortium designates a Project Coordinator which must belong to an entity legally established in one of the countries funding this call. The project Co-ordinator will have the following roles:
Be the single point of contact and entry point for information provided by the Call Secretariat (CS) before, during and after submission.
To submit the Application Form on behalf of the consortium
In any awarded project, compile and submit reports/deliverables to the Call Secretariat on behalf of the project consortium
The Co-ordinator will not be responsible for the financial management of research funding, which will be handled directly between research partners of the consortium and their national funding agencies.
The applicants are advised to contact their National Contact Point (NCP) for this ERANETMED call. The respective NCPs for all participating countries in the 3rdcall are listed in Annex 1 to the Guide for Applicants.
In case of selection for funding, the consortium of applicants will need to draw up a consortium agreement (template in Annex 3 to the Guidelines for Applicants), which should include the fair handling of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
The duration of a project can range between 24 and 36 months.
The projects are expected to start not later than three months after the conclusion of the grant agreement.
The total amount of funding by each Funding Party available for the call is given in table below.
The funding of an individual proposal will depend on the nature and duration of the proposed activities and must be justified in terms of the resources needed to achieve the objectives of the project. The funding requested should therefore be realistically adjusted to the actual needs of the proposal, taking into account any other funds available.
Researchers participating in projects selected for funding will receive the grant directly from their national funding agencies after meeting their national regulations. Funding agencies reserve the right to decide, based on their national priorities and financial availabilities, which proposals will be funded. Funding will be administered according to the terms and conditions of the responsible national funding agency taking into account all other applicable national regulations and legal framework. Private organisations may also bid for funding as members of consortia, but should first check the national rules for funding eligibility of SMEs or large industries.
Eligible costs will be determined by the regulations and conditions of each national funding organisation/agencies (Annex 2 to the Guidelines for Applicants). Sub-contracting will be allowed according to the regulations of the national funding organisation involved.
3. Submission of Proposals
This call is a one-step call, which implies the direct submission of a full
Proposals will be submitted, evaluated and decided upon according to the procedures described in section 4 of this announcement. Only submissions through the online submission system PT-Outline will be accepted. All members of ECFP will have access to reading proposals online.
3.1. How to use the Online Submission System
3.1.1 Registration for the Online Submission System
In order to submit a proposal the Project Coordinator has to gain access to the online submission system PT-Outline
When accessing the submission system for the first time, the Project Coordinator will be asked to enter her/his e-mail address. In return s/he will receive by e-mail a user ID and a password. Her/his account will be activated after receiving an email containing the password.
3.1.2 Access to the Submission System
The password grants all partners in the consortium access to the project proposal submission page, where it is possible to complete parts of the project proposal or to place or replace the proposal in part or in full. The exact mode of writing the proposal is at the discretion of the project consortium, which may choose to share the workload, or not, in whatever way they wish.
Submission just before the deadline should be avoided. High internet traffic during on the last day before the submission deadline of the call may make access difficult. Differences in time zone should also be taken into account in this regard.
3.1.3 Acknowledgement of receipt and registration number
After final submission of the proposal, the Project Coordinator will automatically receive by email an acknowledgement of receipt with the proposal’s registration number.
All proposals must be finally submitted by the Project Coordinators before the deadline: 14 July 2017. Delayed proposals will be considered as non- eligible!
3.2. Structure of the Proposal GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title. Give the title of your project Short Title or Acronym
Key-words: Supply key-words to specify your scientific subject.
Intended starting date: (Not earlier than... Not later than....)
Duration: In between 24 and 36 months.
Total cost: Estimated overall budget of the project with breakdown
per partner, including costs not covered by ERANETMED such as ‘in kind’ payments/contributions and other costs, which should be specified.
Requested funding: The total amount of funding requested from ERANETMED.
Participation of any research team involved in this proposal in any other Proposal submitted within the framework of this Call.
Summarise the main questions and/or approach and objectives; give a short description of the activities and expected results of the project.
Background, Questions and Objectives Give a detailed justification of the objectives of the project within the context of the state-of-the art of the scientific area related to the project:
Present the research issues and, if applicable, also the main questions related to other actions addressed by the project (innovation, mobility).
Precisely describe the scientific novelty of the project and, when applicable, innovation, and/or mobility objectives.
Give the scientific basis of the project and related state-of-art and – where applicable - the basis for innovation and the need for mobility.
Highlight the interdisciplinary character of the project and explain how its added value is to be exploited. Explain how these disciplines, and the combination thereof, are best suited to address the interface of the societal challenges identified.
Explain the scientific added value and contribution of European- Mediterranean research networks and related transnational collabora- tion on the Research Question addressed.
Explain the relevance and importance of the research and – when applicable - innovation, and mobility proposed, in terms of shared knowledge, applications (new products, services, processes, social in- novations) and/or in terms of economic and societal impact.
If the proposal is part of a larger national or international project, explain its precise role and how it fits into this wider context.
Give an overall description and the general approach and methodology chosen to achieve the project objectives. Highlight the particular advantages of the methodology chosen; specify the expected project results (in quantitative terms where appropriate).
Explain where there might exist a potential for synergy between different tasks of the project and how this is going to be exploited.
Give references of relevant scientific publications.
Gender, young researchers, ethics
o If applicable: Explain how gender is taken into account in the project.
o If applicable: Explain how young researchers are supported through the
o Describe how the overall coordination and monitoring of the project will be implemented. Provide if possible a project organisational chart. Indicate the decision-making bodies and processes foreseen as part of the project execution (decision boards, coordination meetings).
o If appropriate, set up a Gantt chart or detailed diagram giving the time schedule of the tasks and mark their interrelations; add milestones where important goals will be reached and/or decisions on further approach will have to be made; indicate a critical path marking those events which directly influence the overall time schedule in case of delays.
o Explain how information flow and communication will be enhanced within the project (e.g. via the use of communication software, through consortium- and task meetings, by the temporary placement of project participants at other partner institutions). Provide detail of specific planned meetings and exchanges, and highlight factors likely to lend additional value to these, such as the involvement of young researchers.
o Risk management: Indicate where there are risks of not achieving the objectives and fall-back positions, if applicable.
Impact of Project results
o Describe the expected results of the project and their utilisation potential.
o Describe the expected impact of the project on the societal challenges addressed in the project as well as on cross-cutting issues.
o Describe the expected impact of the project on the scientific disciplines involved in the project.
o Describe the expected impact of the project results in terms of economic and societal needs of the Euro-Mediterranean Region.
o Sketch out a result exploitation plan which explains:
o How the new knowledge generated through the project and other deliverables of
o The project will be exploited (apart from publications and other information-sharing activities, also including databases, problem solving concepts, computer codes, technical solutions, etc.);
o The appropriateness of measures for the dissemination and/or exploitation of transnational projects results;
o If relevant: how innovative results will be further exploited through an implementation plan for the project results;
o How intellectual property, including foreground knowledge, patents, copyrights, li-cense agreements and any other arrangements will be managed.
Identify the participating teams and the institutions to which they belong.
Identify the Project Coordinator For each team, the following information
should be given:
- Give the total number of team members. The size of each team
should be limited to those people actually needed for performing
- Describe the background and particular expertise of the team in
relation to the tasks to be performed. Describe how the teams
complement each other in the execution of the project.
- If relevant, provide a maximum of five references of relevant, recent scientific publications or patents which best show the capability of the team to perform the work proposed. Indicate for each the name of the authors, the title of the article, the journal or other publication, the date and place of issue. If a publication
exists on a website, give its address.
- Describe the relevant instrumentation and infrastructure available in
view of the tasks assigned to the team.
- Describe the specific contribution of each project partner.
- Describe prospects for establishing efficient and sustainable
partnerships within the network, including transfer of know-how and experience.
Contact details of the Proposal Coordinator .
Coordinator” and “Project Partners”.
BREAKDOWN OF COSTS:
For each team, give the cost breakdown and a brief justification for all allowable costs. All costs should be given in Euros. The cost breakdown should follow the template provided in the Guide for Applicants.
ERANETMED is funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme
4. Evaluation and selection
4.1 Eligibility check of proposals
The eligibility check phase is divided in two steps, each of them aimed at verifying the compliance with two sets of criteria: i) ERANETMED criteria, ii) National criteria.
4.1.1 ERANETMED criteria for eligibility check
Each project proposal must:
Involve researchers from at least three countries members of
ERANETMED, and more precisely: at least one from an EU Member State/Associated Country (Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, Turkey) and one from a Mediterranean Partner Country (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco). Additional researchers from other countries are welcome in a project consortium, but will have to fund their own contribution to the research project
Be of a duration comprised between 24 and 36 months.
Be written in English, using the Application Forms provided on the
Be uploaded completed and correctly (including all required documents)
via the submission website before the call deadline (14 July 2017).
The pre-check of ERANETMED criteria is made by the CS.
The CS will inform the ECFP about the result providing the rationale for non- eligibility of individual proposals (if relevant).
4.1.2National eligibility criteria
As a second step, the CS asks the members of the ECFP to check and confirm the eligibility of applicants participating in a proposal consortium according to their national regulations (see Annex 2 of the Guide for Applicants).
To receive funding, applicants must be eligible for funding by the national funding organisations participating in the call. All participants in a bidding consortium should check their eligibility in the guide provided by their potential national funding organisations/agencies at the earliest possible stage.
Finally, the ECPF will approve the list of eligible proposals.
4.2 Scientific evaluation
The scientific evaluation phase is carried out through collaboration among four bodies:
Executive Committee of Funding Parties (ECFP), gathering the
nominated representatives of the funding parties participating in the Joint Call and responsible for steering and monitoring the preparation and implementation of the call.
Call Secretariat (CS), entrusted by the ECFP with the operational management of the Joint Call and hosted by the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
External Evaluators, external experts nominated by the CS for the peer-review of proposals (see also Section 4.2.2 and 4.2.3)
4.2.2 Appointment of evaluators
The evaluators of the External Evaluator groups are selected on the basis of their competence, taking into consideration also gender balance and origin from the Mediterranean region.
Evaluators need to have skills and knowledge appropriate to the relevant expertise required to assess a given proposal.
Knowledge of and experience in Euro-Mediterranean research collaboration will be considered an advantage toward selection as evaluator.
All evaluators should have proven experience in one or more of the following areas or activities:
Management or evaluation of S&T projects;
International cooperation in science and technology; development of
Use of the results of research and technological development projects;
Evaluators must also have appropriate skill in usage of the English language. Detailed guidelines for evaluators will be provided.
. In order to enrich the expert database, accounting for region and themes addressed by the call, the funding parties will be invited to suggest additional evaluators to register themselves in the database. There will also be a “call for experts” to be published on the websites of ERANETMED by the CS and disseminated by all funding parties. Keywords specified in the proposal will help CS to pre-select the most suitable evaluators in the field related to the proposals to be submitted.
For each proposal, at least three independent evaluators will be selected by the CS from the pool of evaluators, with a view to achieving maximum competence for the evaluation.
4.2.3 Evaluation procedure
The scientific evaluation procedure is divided into two steps:
Peer-review: In this phase, proposals are reviewed by External Evaluators. Each External Evaluator will evaluate the proposal under their expertise – in accordance with the criteria set out in Section 4.2.4 – and will prepare an evaluation report.
4.2.4 Evaluation criteria and their rating
The following criteria will be at the base of the whole Scientific Evaluation process:
Criterion 1: - Scientific and/or technological excellence (Threshold 3/5)
Quality, innovation and competitiveness of the transnational project.
Sound concept, quality of objectives, progress beyond the state-of-the-
Quality and effectiveness of the scientific and technological methodology
and associated work plan
Criterion 2: Quality and efficiency of the implementation and the management (Threshold 3/5)
Quality and efficiency of the management structure and procedures, its organization and coordination, including the management and sharing of data.
Quality and relevant experience of the individual participants, including inter-disciplinarity and integration potential within partnership.
Quality of the consortium as a whole (including complementarity, balance between North and South) and added value of the transnational collaboration.
Appropriate allocation and justification of the resources to be committed (budget, staff, equipment), project feasibility and work-plan
Criterion 3: Potential impact (Threshold 4/5)
Contribution to: the advancement of knowledge, sustainability and
quality of life of targeted communities, governance of local resources and
ecosystems, socio-economic growth of the Mediterranean countries.
(Where applicable): Added value of social/technical Innovation and/or
Capacity to uptake research results.
transnational projects results, and management of intellectual property.
Proposals recommended for funding will need to score above the threshold for each criteria and get a minimum aggregated whole score at least 10 out of 15
points. Decimals are permitted. The Evaluation Panel will aggregate the single evaluation reports and define the final score for each proposal, based on average.
4.2.5 Selection and final funding decision
For the purposes of final selection, a meeting of the ECFP will be convened and supported by the CS. The members of the ECFP will take the final decision regarding the Proposals on a consensus base, accounting the recommendations of the CS and the Evaluation Panel.
Before the meeting, the ranking lists prepared by the CS will be submitted to the Funding Parties, which will check the eligibility of requested funds and will return to the CS an estimated national budget for each project. During the meeting, the final proposal ranking will be prepared taking into account both the results of the scientific evaluation AND the availability of funds. To that end, in addition to the funds made available by each Funding Party individually, account shall be taken of the combination of available funds of all the Funding Parties whose national applicants are involved in a specific proposal. Therefore, following the ECFP meeting, it may well be the case that some proposals with a lower score assigned by the scientific evaluation are retained for funding whereas some others scored higher are not eventually retained. ECFP will carefully consider whether, due to the unavailability of funds by one or more Funding Parties, the proposal still meets the ERANETMED eligibility criteria (with special reference to the minimum number of EU/AC and Mediterranean Partner Countries participants).
Together, the ECFP will create two lists of projects considered for funding: one short list of projects to be funded according to the committed budget of the Funding Parties and a reserve list of those projects which cannot be funded by one or more Funding Parties as a result of their committed budget having been exhausted.
The minutes of the meeting will be prepared by the CS and finally adopted by the ECFP within 2 weeks.
With respect to the reserve list, three options will be considered by the funding parties:
A funding party might decide to increase its committed budget or request budget cut to successfully retained projects in order to allow for projects from the reserve list to be funded.
Best projects in the reserve list might be funded in case one or more contracts with short-listed projects are not concluded.
These options will be explored by the respective funding parties within 4 weeks after the concluding meeting of the ECFP, within which time each funding party will inform the CS as to its proposed course of action.
The CS will inform the applicants about the results of the evaluation process. Successful applicants will be informed by their respective Funding Parties
regarding the next steps for concluding the individual project grant agreements at a national level.
4.2.6 Conflict of interest and Confidentiality
The ECFP relies on the integrity of External Evaluators and Evaluation Panel members to base their opinion with strict impartiality exclusively on the basis of the information given in the proposal and against the established evaluation criteria.
When choosing an evaluator, the CS will take all reasonable steps to ensure that s/he is not faced with a conflict of interest in relation to the proposals s/he is requested to assess. The evaluators will commit themselves to inform the CS whenever a conflict of interest arises in the course of their duties. To facilitate this, the online evaluation mechanism will contain a section specifically requiring the evaluator to indicate possible conflict of interest, for each proposal evaluated. When informed of such conflict, the CS will take all necessary steps to remove it.
The evaluators are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of the information contained within the proposals they evaluate and of the outcome of the evaluation process.
The CS is committed to maintaining the anonymity of the evaluators. However, members of the ECFP will have access to all information relating to the evaluation process
The CS will also take all reasonable steps to avoid conflict of interest in the Evaluation Panel. Evaluation Panel members who have timely declared a conflict of interest with one or more of the proposals will be replaced. When a conflict of interest is declared at a very late stage, ad hoc measures will be taken to avoid bias in the results of the meeting of the Evaluation Panel.
5. Contract and monitoring
Following the final decision taken by the ECFP, the CS will present all necessary documents to the funding parties in order to start in-parallel contract negotiations with members of those consortia the Proposals of which have been selected for funding (i.e. the funding beneficiaries). Funding to the consortium members will be conditionally awarded, pending the submission of a consortium agreement, which should include rules for fair management of Intellectual Property Rights. Some funding parties will grant only after they have approved of the Consortium Agreement (see Annex 2 of the Guide for Applicants).
For each collaborative project approved for funding, individual grant agreements will be signed between each participating institution in a consortium (beneficiary) and its corresponding funding party and will regulate the transfer of funds to national beneficiaries based on national regulations.
The CS will be responsible for the overall monitoring of the projects according to the terms set out in the CS ToR.
The outcome will contribute to the overall evaluation of the ERANETMED joint call.
6. Call plan
The call process is shown in table below:
Launch of the Call
15 May 2017
Deadline for proposal submission
14 July 2017
Results of Eligibility Check
30 August 2017
Informing Applicants of Evaluation Results
31 December 2017
January 2018 – March 2018