Project management support

Congratulations, you have been selected! What happens next? Here you can find useful information on how to prepare for your grant agreement, find a coach and start your project.

Preparing the grant agreement

Successful applicants are invited to prepare and sign a grant agreement with the European Commission. To sign the grant agreement it takes on average 27 days for Phase 1 projects and 96 days for phase 2 projects, from the moment results are issued to the signature of the grant. However, the fastest contracts were signed in only 22 days for Phase 1 and 45 days for Phase 2.

After the signature, the pre-financing payment will be transferred. The pre-financing amount is about 40 % of the total requested funding. In special cases, it may be sent later.

How to prepare for the signature

After each cut-off, we review the process in order to keep up improving the efficiency and quality of the system. What we have found so far is that project specific requirements can take a lot of time to evaluate before the grant agreement signature (for example the areas of Health and Security).

For SMEs new to EU funding, the validation of the legal entity, the legal representative and the bank account also lengthens the process. In order to smoothen the process applicants can take the following steps:

  • Check your calendar and plan to be available during the grant preparation period. Make sure you are reachable on the phone numbers and e-mails provided and respond quickly when contacted.
  • Think about the roles for the project follow-up within your organisation: who will be the appointed representative for your legal entity, and who will be project legal signatory.
  • If you are new to EU funding: the process is electronic and the contract is signed via the Participant Portal. Before the electronic signature of the contract, you will be invited to provide paper evidence for the validation of the company: legal entity for the appointment of the Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR), financial identification forms to register the bank account, and to complete the SME web-based questionnaire in the Beneficiary Register on the portal. This needs to be done only once for each company. It will launch the chain of trust of the electronic process.
  • Read carefully the Guide for Grant Agreement Preparation (15 pages).

How to find a coach

The EIC offers free coaching for the small and medium-sized enterprises it funds. While preparing your grant agreement you will be asked to choose a free coach for your company.

It is the Enterprise Europe Network's role to help you identify your challenges and coaching needs, and to support you in selecting a coach, among a vast selection of top-class international coaches who work with us. Your Project Officer will facilitate the contact between and your so-called key account manager (KAM) from the Enterprise Europe Network contact point of your choice.

Tips for effective project management

Project management support

The SME Instrument supports your business throughout the duration of the project. We provide you with a dedicated team of Project Officers that will monitor and help your business grow and accelerate. Here are some key features of our service.

Your Project Officer 

We believe that every project is important and we draw huge pride in ensuring excellent customer service by our team of expert Project Officers. Each new SME Instrument client can work directly with their own Project Officer who will be their main contact point for the whole duration of the project. Project Officers will be dedicated to help you through the process and make every step easier for you. Project coordinators can count on the support of their Project Officer for any questions regarding the project implementation.

Dedicated to your service

We know that working on getting an innovative project on the market is a challenging task and that innovators are often confronted with unforeseen situations and fast-evolving market conditions.

The Grant Agreement provisions contain an wealth of flexible measures to take account of possible changes and help you successfully implement the project, for example amendments, suspensions, extensions or other measures to accommodate your project’s new needs.

Project Coordinators can count on detailed technical advice: they will monitor the project implementation both technically and financially, to make sure the project delivers the expected results. The project coordinators can count on the advice and recommendations of experts who are contributing to the assessment of the periodic reports. 

Meeting you in person

We attach great importance in meeting you in person, to address any issue and work with you through the process, but also to get to know you and build a trustful and solid cooperation. You will have plenty of occasion to meet your Project Officer ranging from on-site visits to events like Corporate Days under the Business Acceleraton Services or Welcome Days, when Project Coordinators are invited to Brussels for an induction into EU project coordination.

We also invite you to connect through the EIC Community Platform where you can find events to participate, share knowledge and connect with investors and potential business partners. Your Project Officer can guide you throughout the platform.

​Coaching and Business Acceleration Services

In addition to the grant management, your Project Officer is your gateway to coaching and the Business Acceleration Services. They can channel you towards the right coaches, the most useful events and support you in related communication activities notably through EIC SME Instrument communication channels. To get started check the SME Instrument Communication Toolkit, connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and subscribe to our newsletter.

 

Tips for effective project management:

 

 

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