Horizon Europe Novelties

European Commission Stakeholder Workshop on Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement

On 9th October 2020, the European Commission held a Stakeholder workshop outlining some of the novelties of the new Horizon Europe Model Grant Agreement (MGA). Dissemination and exploitation (D&E) is a field that cuts across the overall project life cycle, from the proposal until after the end of the project, and this is one area which will receive increased attention in the upcoming Horizon Europe MGA. A few notable changes were highlighted in the workshop.

Similar to Horizon 2020, D&E will be taken into account throughout the project, from the initial proposal stage until the end of the project. However, for the new Horizon Europe framwork programme, only a short description of the planned D&E activities and their pathways is required at the proposal stage. Instead, a fully-fledged dissemination, exploitation and communication plan has to be submitted during the first six months. The idea is to streamline and simplify the obligation at the proposal stage and instead get the participants to think more about their outreach strategy once the project has started and the participants have a more defined plan.

Similar to Horizon 2020, participants still have an obligation to exploit their results and Horizon Europe will encourage the exploitation of the research and innovation results through the use of third parties. However, if despite best efforts no exploitation has taken place one year after the project end, the beneficiaries must use the Horizon Results Platform to make exploitable results visible. The goal is to turn the Horizon Results Platform into the norm for disseminating results. It is important to note that the platform is based on results, not projects. The beneficiaries can then use it to take the next step towards exploitation and inform the European Commission about what is needed in order to further exploit the results. In addition, the European Commission intends to follow up on exploitation activities after the end of the project in a more structured way, e.g. by use of a questionnaire for reporting progress and outlining possible needs and obstacles for exploitation. The purpose of the questionnaire is for the European Commission to try to help the beneficiaries realise their exploitation goals.

Furthermore, Horizon Europe will implement better and more focussed reporting procedures on exploitation and dissemination activities, including more specific language on D&E activities, with increased focus on the things that actually stem from the project, such as what are the exploitable results that are being generated by the project. The reporting will also include specific questions regarding potential exploitation needs and obstacles being faced by the project, innovation management and sustainable development goals. Additionally, there will be enhanced sections for IP management and open science.

Another novelty in Horizon Europe is the Results Ownership List (ROL). The form, which is due in the last periodic reporting period, will state who is the owner of the results, whether ownership of results is single or joint, the country of establishment and whether the results will be exploited by the owner or if ownership of results has been transferred and if so, to whom. Similar to Horizon 2020, ownership of the results is the legal entity who has generated them, unless otherwise agreed. The purpose of the ROL is to clarify ownership of results in order to help, promote, speed up and simplify the exploitation process. The listed owner in the ROL will also be responsible for the exploitation and reporting obligations of their results after the project ends.

The new Horizon Europe MGA is still in progress and the final version will be published as soon as possible.

For more information, please have a look at the recording on the European Commission website.