Getting Ready for the Horizon Europe Programme


What are the keys necessary to create a competitive consortium? When is the best time to start developing your Horizon Europe project? What are the best project management tools to work on Horizon Europe

This article discusses three steps that help you can start off your program. 

Step 1: Anticipating and Preparing for Horizon Europe

With the numerous punctuations of communications on the 2021 to 2027 programs, this period, alongside the waiting for the first publications of calls for Horizon Europe proposals, is essential to project leaders

At this time, anticipating financing needs for future projects is necessary to prepare your team’s work for phone application, organize yourself, and plan and secure all process aspects.

This section provides a couple of tips for optimizing this period and getting ready for new opportunities.

1. Learning about the new EU guidelines for Horizon Europe programs and monitoring their adoption of texts

Several managing agencies communicate new information almost every day. Setting up a regular watch on the launching of the 2021 to 2027 program is highly encouraged. When looking for published draft work programs, subscribing to social network pages (Facebook, LinkedIn), newsletters, representative offices of the Regions in Brussels, and calling the National Contact Points of your countries, alongside a little Googling can help.

2. Defining your project in English European priorities in anticipation

Analyzing European texts and new strategies (SDG) allows learning about priorities for using funds and verifying the adequacy that exists with your project. Therefore, each program supports several actions structures and objectives

When facilitating analytical work, defining the scope of your Horizon Europe project is essential in giving a synthetic description; Keep descriptions include objectives, actions, target audience, schedule, territory, and budgets. Furthermore, this working tool allows you to contact funders for a clear presentation of your project and the existing need for the fund.

Additionally, looking for matching calls and topics and starting to contact potential partners are made easy.

So far, 2021 has been a crucial year, filled with new programs and opportunities. There it is best to take advantage of the few months in preparation for the opening of calls.

Step 2: Starting to Set Up a Competitive Consortium

The first key in a promising project is creating a well-structured consortium. The time necessary in creating a consortium varies and is dependent on the number and range of partners involved. A planning time between six months and one year for setting up the Horizon Europe projects general architecture and refining its position regarding different calls for proposals is worth it.

The following tips can help with setting up a competitive consortium:

  1.  The project’s objectives, expected call impacts, and the program’s criteria should all be considered. Also, identifying tasks you can carry out on your own and the ones you need help with is essential. It is best when partners have a specific role that brings real added value.
  2. Ensuring that your consortium consists of organizations experienced in European or international projects cannot be overemphasized. Your consortium is a driving force and having a consortium consisting of both novice and experienced profiles helps maintain a balance.
  3.  A diverse consortium should represent the whole value chain. It is best to consider inter-sectors and inter-disciplines
  4. It is best to consider geographical balance because the consortium should represent the Union’s diversity. You should include all member states, candidate countries, and partner countries. Also, remember to check Horizon Europe’s eligibility rules for international collaborations since its extensions strengthen open science policy and international cooperation
  5.  It is best to define tools for collaborative work and make clear decision-making rules between all members upstream. For example, clarifying the question of intellectual property upstream can avoid disputes during and after the project. Also, all appropriate agreements (NDA) should be signed.

Although surrounding yourself with your network is the best way of creating a consortium, there are other ways of finding partners, including through professional networks and project networks like COST, EEN, and EIT. Representative offices in Brussels and national contact points brokerage events are also ideal for finding partners. You can also use online partner searching services on funding and tender

Step 3: Get Ready for Horizon Europe Now!

It would be best to have a schematic work plan clarifying the project structure when developing a Horizon Europe project.  It would be best if you used the “GANTT chart” showing key milestones when applying. The chart allows you to break down tasks and set vital deadlines. The chart should also take drafting and editing time to complete the different sections of the application form into consideration.

Often, Activity A will only be doable once Activity B is finished, and you’ll be able to see all of these task dynamics right away in a Gantt chart software.

Your chart should also account for necessary administrative procedures before submission, identification of signatories, and application upload. It is important to note that deadlines vary by institution. For instance, when validating a specific aspect of a file, you may need to call on financial or legal services. In addition, during the planning process, coordinators can use traditional office tools like excel or project management software for efficient management.

In Conclusion…

The best time to start preparing for the Horizon Europe program is now. Anticipating the program and setting up a competitive consortium is necessary for starting your Horizon Europe Program.


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