Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Preparatory Phase of ESFRI projects

Topic identifier: INFRADEV-2-2015
Publication date: 11 December 2013

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
10 December 2014
Deadline: 21 April 2015 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020
Topic Description

Specific challenge: The ESFRI roadmap, updated periodically, identifies the needs of the European scientific community in terms of research infrastructures. However, inclusion in the ESFRI roadmap does not guarantee that these needed infrastructures will be built. Before proceeding with the construction and/or implementation of the identified infrastructures, many preliminary decisions need to be taken with respect to issues such as the identification of funders, the financial plan for sustainability, the governance by involved stakeholders, the site and legal form of the managing organisation, the architecture and the service policies. The aim of this activity is to provide catalytic and leveraging support for the preparatory phase leading to the construction of new research infrastructures or major upgrades of existing ones.

Scope: The preparatory phase aims at bringing the project for the new or upgraded research infrastructure identified in the ESFRI roadmap or in the European strategy for particle physics (CERN Council) to the level of legal, financial, and, where applicable, technical maturity required for implementing it. Proposal consortia should involve all the stakeholders necessary to move the project forward, to take the decisions, and to make the financial commitments necessary before construction can start (e.g. national/regional ministries/governments, research councils, funding agencies). Appropriate contacts with ministries and decision makers should be continuously reinforced, thus further strengthening the consortia. Operators of research facilities, research centres, universities, and industry may also be involved whenever appropriate. During the preparatory phase the Commission may act as a 'facilitator', in particular with respect to the financial engineering needed for the construction phase. The preparation of the legal agreements (including site, governance, financing of the new research infrastructures) is one of the main activities and deliverables and must be finalised before the end of the project (e.g., through the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding).

If the preparatory phase includes technical work it should be implemented as a Research and innovation action, otherwise as a Coordination and support action. The detailed list of activities that can be included in a preparatory phase proposal is given in part A of the section “Specific features for Research Infrastructures”.

Under Horizon 2020 support can be provided to two types of preparatory phase proposals:

Preparatory phase type I: Proposals will address research infrastructures identified in the periodic updates of the ESFRI roadmap or in the European strategy for particle physics, that are willing to set up a pan-European governance and legal structure (e.g. in the form of an ERIC).

Preparatory phase type II: Proposals will target new research infrastructures projects, which have already been supported by EU through a first preparatory phase grant and have not yet entered in implementation phase. These infrastructure projects must demonstrate in the proposal their critical need for an additional support in order to complete their preparatory phase. In this case a reduced grant of a duration not exceeding two years for the continuation of the preparatory phase could be given to support a limited set of activities in particular for setting up an adequate governance and management structure, securing financial commitment and broadening the membership. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 1.5 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Under this work programme only preparatory phase type II proposals can be submitted and only by ESFRI projects which entered in the ESFRI Roadmap in 2008 and which are not addressed by topic INFRADEV-3-2015.

Expected impact

Proposals will raise the technical, legal and financial maturity of projects for new research infrastructures to the level required to enable the construction work to start.

  • All the technical, financial, and legal documents which are necessary for the implementation phase of a new or upgraded research infrastructure are created. Participating funding bodies are able to take their final funding decisions and to conclude the legal agreements necessary for the implementation.
  • In particular, any technical work necessary to draft the final technical design is completed, providing a sound technical base for establishing a cost baseline and detailed financial planning.
  • The financial needs of the project are mapped out to the extent necessary for funding agencies to establish their own medium- and long-term financial planning; and
  • The preparation of the legal agreements for establishing the implementing / operating consortium is completed, including the project's governance and appropriately detailed internal rules.

         The technical work carried out under this topic will contribute to strengthening the technological development capacity and effectiveness as well as the scientific performance, efficiency and attractiveness of the European Research Area.

Type of action: Coordination and support actions or Research and innovation actions


Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme, with the following exceptions: Concerning the minimum number of participants, given the specific nature and challenge addressed by this topic, a sole beneficiary as defined in article 122 of the Financial Regulation and referred to in article 199 of the Rules of application of the Financial Regulation is eligible (e.g. an ERIC).
  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2.a Guide to the submission and evaluation process
    3.2.b Guidance on the evaluation of innovation, social sciences and humanities and other aspects of H2020 proposals

    3.3 Specific arrangements for the evaluation of Call H2020-INFRADEV-1-2015-2: none
  4. Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.
  5. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:
    Information on the outcome of one-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the final date for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 3 months from the date of informing successful applicants.
  6. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template (administrative forms and structure of technical annex)
    Standard evaluation form
    Annotated Model Grant Agreement

    Coordination and Support Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template (administrative forms and structure of technical annex)
    Standard evaluation form
    Annotated Model Grant Agreement
  7. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.
  8. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.


Additional documents

  • H2020-INFRADEV-1-2015-2_flash_call_info_en.pdf en
  • INFRADEV-2-2015_Info_session_18-03-2015_slides.pdf en
  • INFRADEV-2-2015_Info_session_18-03-2015.pdf en
  • INFRADEV-2-2015_ESFRI_RIs_targeted.pdf en
  • Legal basis - Framework Programme H2020 en
  • Legal basis - Specific Programme H2020 en
  • WP H2020 - 1. Introduction en
  • WP H2020 - 4. Research Infrastructures (including e-Infrastructures) en
  • WP H2020 - 19. General Annexes en

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