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Horizon 2020 contracts: What is the difference between a Grant Agreement and a Consortium Agreement?

March 10 2017

Before kicking off your multi-partner Horizon 2020 project, two agreements have to be prepared and signed: the Grant Agreement and the Consortium Agreement. In this resource, we will describe the differences and will provide some tips and tricks in preparing them.

About the Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement

The Grant Agreement is the contract between the Coordinator and the Beneficiaries (if applicable, not in a single partner project) and the European Commission. After reviewing your proposal and a positive evaluation, you will be invited to prepare the Grant Agreement (GA) by the EC. The coordinator has to provide the input and text for the GA, which is based on the written proposal.

The EC doesn’t allow for many changes, and the changes that you make will be documented in the ‘version control’ table at the beginning of the narrative part. The GA consist of part A, data you fill in in the portal, and a part B, which is the rest of the proposal text minus the text you put in the portal. The EC has strict deadlines for the GA process and good communication with your EC project officer is advised for an efficient workflow.

Make no mistake, Grant Agreement preparations can fail, even if it is the best interest of the EC and the consortium to enter into it. Also, keep in mind that every hour spent in the period before the project begins is not eligible for funding. For your convenience, the EC has published an annotated grant agreement which is a 730 page read covering a description of all articles from the GA.

About the Horizon 2020 Consortium Agreement

The Consortium Agreement is the Agreement within the consortium partners and doesn’t involve the EC. In this Agreement, you put the information that you decided upon within your consortium.

It contains the governance of your project, the number of meetings and minute-making, and most importantly, the Intellectual Property management. Also very important, you can make arrangements about the payments to the partners in the consortium and describe what to do with a defaulting partner.

Template for the Consortium Agreement

A template is available for the CA that is regularly updated. There are also other templates for CAs, but they mainly cover the same details.

Request assistance

Does this look like a lot of work for you? ttopstart can help you in preparing the Grant Agreement and all logistics around it. Also, you can help you managing your projects or support you in technical and financial reporting through our modular services. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.

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Contact

Karin Bosch-Elberse, PhD
+31(0)30 737 0779