This page is specially designed by the EUCLID project team for Indian ICT research organizations who might by interested in EU-funded 7th Framework Programme research and developement ICT projects. Don’t you know where to start? Does the Framework Programme seem too complicated to you? This page should hopefully help you understand better and raise the chance to succeed your participation in ICT FP7 research. So, good luck to you all!
7 Questions about FP7 ICT Proposals
Q. What is FP7?
A. Financed by the European Commission, FP7 is the EU's latest and largest research programme, in order to promote R&D and technology transfer in Europe. FP7 is divided into four specific programmes:
Q. What place does the ICT theme occupy in the FP7?
A. The ICT theme is one of the FP7 key thematic areas representing 6-8% of the European GDP. With a budget of € 9,050 million, the ICT Theme is the largest in the "Cooperation" specific programme. As for the "Capacities" specific programme, the ICT element's e-Infrastructures strand has a budget of ~€600m.
The research on ICT is currently structured around seven "Challenges":
The main objectives of the ICT Work Programme is to foster frontier research of future and emerging technologies that will give Europe the agility to react to new ideas and opportunities; enhance the participation in FP7 ICT support international collaboration; and maximize the impact of existing European research projects.
Every year, the FP7-ICT Calls for Proposals are published on the specific web page. You can find them here as soon as they are open. For more details, see the new ICT Work Programme 2011. You will also find this information on the EUCLID web site.
Q. How can the Indian organsiation be funded under FP7?
A. There are different rules of funding depending on the type of the submitted project. However, generally speaking, Indian organizations are funded according to the same rules as the European organizations.
Q. Can our Indian organization submit an ICT proposal to FP7 alone, without any partners?
A. No, it’s impossible. The goal of the FP7 programme (and its sub-programme “Cooperation”) is to create transnational links between European and foreign R&D organizations. Thus, Indian organizations willing to take part in FP7 need to identify a European team (international consortium) and integrate it. This means that there should be added value from such involvement; competences of the Indian organizations should be complementary to the competences of the European organizations.
Q. We do not have any experience in responding to FP7 ICT Call for Proposals. Is it easy to succeed in project proposal preparation?
A. An international research consortium, submitting an FP7 R&D project proposal, is usually led by a European experienced organization. It’s this European organization that coordinates the efforts of all consortium partners and organizes the process of proposal preparation and submission. The ideas and feedback from consortium partners is welcome, of course. In terms of proposal preparation, the Indian organizations would usually follow up the advices of the European consortium leader in terms of proposal contribution. This means that it’s relatively easy to succeed in project proposal preparation from the Indian side, if the consortium has a good project coordinator.
Q. What is the success rate in FP7?
A. It depends, of course, but usually only a small percentage (10-20%) of submitted proposals is retained for negotiations and if the proposal you are involved is not retained, then the time and effort you gave to writing the proposal will not be paid back.
Yet this is not like it comes to nothing. Proposal preparation could be the opportunity to widen your network and help you build experience. Encountered problems will teach you more than you would think and the social and professional circle built from the experience will indeed be valuable as you try to successfully submit a proposal again in the future.
Be prepared for some unsuccessful experiences and remember that collaboration is a process requiring commitment to make a step forward.
A number of examples exist when the joint proposal preparation led to the commercial contracts or to other types of research collaborations.
Q. What elements does the consortium need to evaluate before preparation of an FP7 ICT proposal?
A. The consortium, led by its coordinator/scientific manager, needs to evaluate the following elements and make it clear that the answers contain the more ‘Yes’ possible.
Q. Where can I find partners?
A. Your own contacts are, surprisingly, one of the best ways to search partners. Any acquaintances including former and existing clients, research/business partners, personal contacts, colleague contacts, etc. in either private sectors (commercial or non-lucrative organizations) or public areas (universities, authorities, etc.) could be your partner.
However, you should avoid choosing people or organizations just because you know them. You need partners and not friends. Your knowledge of their expertise for the required activities, their former experiences, their available resources, their reputation in the field, etc. should help you to evaluate them. The two main points you should assess are complementary competencies and possible synergies between organizations.
There are several places to look for potential partners, for example:
The web portal of the European Commission which is an information space for European Research and Development (R&D) and exploitation of European R&D results;
Web-based platform and useful tool for joining ICT projects, finding partners for your project idea and finding services to support you in your ICT project within the Seventh European Framework Programme.
You can also submit EUCLID questionnaire to share your idea and needs with the EUCLID team: see Questionnaire here.
Among lots of documents available on the web, the following links are selected in order to facilitate your understanding of FP7 projects preparation, submission, implementation and management:
10 tips for participating in FP7