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17 févr. 2014 (il y a 3 années et 6 mois)

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How to start a successful proposal
under FP7?

A step
-
by
-
step methodology
towards success




Introduction


The submission of comprehensive and competitive
high quality proposals in FP7 is more than ever a
necessity for being selected for a grant agreement


Facts: In the Call 3 in the
“ICT Objectives Intelligent
Content and Semantics and Technology enhanced
Learning“

the acceptance rate was 5% (from 252 only 13
have been accepted, 240/12)


Writing a proposal for an FP7 project is a serious
task


Methodology for project design and proposal writing is
needed

Introduction


The aim of this presentation is


to share experience about writing professional and
competitive proposals for the FP7


the common problems in proposal writing


the success criteria for proposals


to provide tips on


how to collect information


how to select strategic partners


how to avoid duplication in proposal writing


to present a strategy/methodology for proposal
writing

Understanding how FP7 works


You can apply for FP7 funds by submitting a
proposal following a call published by the
European
Commision


Within FP7 you find different programmes and
some of them follow different rules


Knowing and understanding these rules is key


Do not hesitate to ask e.g. NCP to explain FP7 to
you


Austrian case: FIT example


New countries case: SAKE project

FP7 Structure
-

Summary

Health

Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology

Information and Communication Technologies

Energy

Environment (including Climate Change)

Transport

Socio
-
Economic Sciences and the Humanities

Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials and new Production
Technologies


Security and Space

Research Infrastructures

Research for the Benefit

Of SMEs

Regions of Knowledge

Research Potential

Science in Society

Activities of International

Co
-
operation

Coherent Development

of Policies

Initial Training of Researchers

Lifelong Learning and Career Development

Industry
-
Academia Partnerships and Pathways

The International Dimension

Specific Actions

Starting Independent Researcher Grants

Advanced Investigator Grants

Co
-
operation

Ideas


European Research Council (ERC)

Capacities

People


Marie Curie

Information and Communication Technologies


FP7

Funding Schemes FP6


FP7


FP7


Co
-
operation

IP

STREP

CA

NoE

SSA

Collaborative

Projects

FP7

Funding Schemes

Networks of


Excellence

Coordination and

Support actions

FP6
Instruments

Collaborative

Projects

Agenda


Introduction


Basics of writing proposals


Methodology


Conclusion


What is needed for sucessful
proposal?


Excellent idea


Clearly in the
scope of a published Objective


Clearly within the
scope of required instrument


Work that
advances the state of the art/
Clear
technological risk


Excellent team


Best partners
, that are well known

in Europe


Partners who

fit

perfectly to accomplish the tasks


Clear need for
collaboration


Great Impact


Project with
large potential impact
(Current Generation
Technology plus two)


Clear
benefits

for certain European constituencies


Well
-
written proposal


Clear
language


Well
-
organised
content

R&D Proposals Unsuitable for FP7


Where only seeking funding source


Something that needs to start now


Does not clearly advance the state of the art


Product development/lower risk (Current
Generation Technology plus one)


Lacks clear market or strategic impact


Anything outside ICT scope


Anything that is extremely secret


Where you don’t need to collaborate


Where you could do all the work in
-
house

Taken from: http://www.caast
-
net.org/xwiki/bin/download/Main/document+library/TheEuropeanUnionsICTProgrammeinFP7.pdf


Writing successful proposals needs time
and resources


Starting on time (ASAP)


The Ideal
-
ist

project conducted a survey early 2003
among IP coordinators and found that 2/3s of
consortia had been basically formed prior to the first
call being issued. Although they could accept
additional partners after that, the core team had
already formed


Planning resources properly


When preparing a proposal as coordinator you need
to expect to spend 2 man months work at least and
significant travelling


As Work Package leader you should expect to spend
1

man month preparation time

including travel costs
and time

Proposal Time
-
line




Taken from: www.efpconsulting.com/tools (Mr. M. Morron’s

FP7

Book)

Examples


FP6: FIT project


FIT was 1st in the ranking


Time plan:


The initial idea which was presented to the POs of the e
-
Government Unit was created in November 2004


It was finished 10 days before deadline


It was submitted on 22/03/2005



FP7 Call 5 (not opened yet): new proposal


The initial idea is ready


Project idea communicated to the POs who we know
from past or running projects


Meeting is already scheduled


3 pages document explaining the importance of proposal,
main contributions and potential partners is submitted


Agenda


Introduction


Basics of writing proposals


Methodology


Conclusion


PcM
: Proposal creation Methodology

(for research projects)

-

at the glance
-

Process

Collaboration

©iCEP FZI

Iniciator

Core team

European Commission

(e.g. cluster meetings)

EC web page

(e.g. services,

official documents)

Collaborative tools

(e.g. Wiki)

PROPOSAL

IDEA

Own research (results)

Industry needs

Market analyses (e.g. Gartner)

Consortium

Coordinator

Incubation
phase

Writting
phase

Negotiation
phase

Checking
phase

Submission
phase

Incubation phase


Goal: Creating an interesting and relevant
idea

and building a
core team
for the proposal


There is always an initiator


Questions that should be answered:


What: Uniqueness


Why: Importance


Who: Core team


How to create an idea?


Every published call is accompanied by important
documents


Download Work Programmes, Guide for Participants and
more legal documents of the Cordis pages


Analysis of the calls for proposals and work
programmes


Reactive: Adapting own ideas to existing WP


Proactive: Proposing own ideas for WP


Find good arguments why your project is important


It is not always obvious what they are actually looking
for, especially to newcomers


Some Units publish on their web site an expanded version
of their section of the Workprogram or other background
documents






How to create an idea?

Reactive: Adapting own ideas to existing WP


The first step for potential participants is to
examine

the
Workprogramm

and
identify

which specific Objectives are of potential
interest and which topic within


Methodology on how to read and decode the calls
for proposals to understand the EC’s expectations


Read between the lines


Underline keywords


You should also know as soon as possible
which
type of project
would be most
appropriate

Objective ICT
-
2009.1.3: Internet of Things and Enterprise environments

Target outcomes

b)
Future Internet based Enterprise Systems

-

Software platforms supporting highly innovative networked businesses
on top
of an Internet of Services. These platforms should enable increased flexibility of
the resources managed by virtual organizations and facilitate dynamic outsourcing
with third parties capability to aggregate services, act as intermediaries for delivery,
and provide innovative new channels for consumption. Collaboration and
interoperability are key features of these
dynamic

ecosystems supported by next
generation
knowledge management
services, making use of
semantically enriched
information
, including object/
sensor

information
.

Objective ICT
-
2009.1.3: Internet of Things and Enterprise environments

Target outcomes

b)
Future Internet based Enterprise Systems


Funding schemes

a),
b): IP, STREP
; c): CSA

Indicative budget distribution
9

-

IP/STREP: EUR 35 million; the objective is to support at least 2 IPs

-

CSA: EUR 2 million

Call

ICT call 5

How to create an idea?

Proactive: Proposing own ideas for WP


Be active in identification of research topics
for next calls


Contribute to public calls for ideas for
Workprogramm


Comment draft Workprogramm


Participate in Consultation meetings

How to create an
impactful

idea?


Find good arguments why your project is
important in:


policy documents


statistics in OECD studies


strategic research agendas (e.g.
Garnter
, Forrester,
etc.)


visions published by Technology Platforms


Provide a framework for stakeholders, led by industry, to
define research and development priorities
, timeframes and
action plans on a number of strategically important issues
where achieving Europe's future growth, competitiveness
and sustainability objectives is dependent upon major
research and technological advances in the medium to long
term


Best practices


FIT project

E
-
government Hype Cycle, Source: Gartner Research

(February 2004)

Semantic technologies & e
-
government:

a) Semantic Technology Horizontal Markets to 2010;

b) Semantic Technology Vertical Markets to 2010 ($US Billions).

Source: TopQuadrant

How to create an
unique

idea?


Often themes called and described in the work
programme have a history of previous projects


Study what has been done before and by whom


Find these on
Cordis

and study who participated


You might find partners for your project and learn about possible
competitors for your proposal


Visit collaboration events


To achieve a better understanding of the FP6 & FP7 projects in the
target area


To see key outcomes of FP6 & FP7 projects through posters and
demonstrations


To understand the work of the running collaboration working
groups allowing feedback and planning for the future


To facilitate networking and discussion following call



Examples


Collaboration Meeting


Internet of Services 2009, 10
-
11 June 2009


All representatives of FP6 and FP7 projects in the
area of Software & Services, Grid and Software
and Service Architectures and Infrastructures are
invited to participate


Demos to demonstrate concrete project results


Collaboration working groups




How to create an
unique

and
impactful

idea?

Visit information events


The Commission organizes public information events on calls


Call 5, objective 4.3: Intelligent Information Management, 11
-
12 May
2009 in Luxemburg


Call 5, objective 1.2: Internet of Services, Software and Virtualisation,
9
th

of June 2009, Brussels


These

events aim at helping participants


to better understand the work programme and success criteria for
proposals


to facilitate sharing of ideas and experiences


to find partners for project consortia


There you get the chance to discuss with Scientific Officers from the
Commission


You might meet potential partners and competing groups


There are poster panels and matchmaking sessions where you can
publish information about your expertise

Best practices


FP7 Synergy Project:


At the Information Day, we read a flyer of one
proposal and found its idea very promising


We contacted the key person at the event by
suggesting how to improve the idea by offering our
expertise


We invited him for one
-
day meeting to further discuss
the idea


We decided to write a join proposal


He profited from our experiences in FP projects and new
ideas


We profited from his knowledge in the target area and his
“visibility” in the unit


Core team


Core team drives the idea creation process and
proposal writing


Usually consists of 2
-
4 partners who share the
same vision about the proposal (or at least have a
common agreement about it)


Ideally, at least one partner from


Academy


to guarantee research excellence


Experience in research projects is very welcomed


Industry


to guarantee the impact of the idea


Support of big players is welcomed


SAP, IBM, Thales, etc.


How to build the core team?


In general case the idea about a proposal emerges from
previous discussions of two partners that they “could do
something together”


They try to complete the core team in two ways:


Partner
-
driven


Include known partners in the proposal


Negative: Difficult because of needed expertise


Positive: You know what you can expect


Topic
-
driven


Find expert for the topics of the proposal


Look at the existing projects


Search for program committee members of conferences in the target area


Find authors of most important papers


Ask friends


Output of the incubation phase


Core team writes an initial draft of the
proposal


2
-
3 pages


draft contains basic information about the
proposal:


Vision


Relevance to the Call


Objectives (research challenges)


Basic conceptual architecture


Skill matrix





Output of the incubation phase


Proposal clinics


EC representatives are available to discuss project
ideas (e.g. Information Days)


They offer preliminary feedback on proposal
relevance with respect to the workprogramme
and call for proposals




Negotiation phase


Goal: to synchronize work between partners


This phase should ensure


stable and completed consortium


further development of the research challenges
and basic conceptual architecture (draft proposal)


nice working atmosphere


It is driven by core team


Building a consortium


The core team attracts
partners

to join him in
participating in a proposal


A good consortium is a key factor for success


Build your consortium early but carefully


Potential partners should be well
informed


draft proposal can be sent (note: it must be confidential)


a conflict of business interests should be avoided


Partners should not be privately competing in a

parallel
proposal


Each partner should
sign

a non
-
competitive non
-
disclosure
agreement

Characteristics of a well
-
formed
consortium (I)


Number of partners is optimal


The minimal requirement is determined by the Call


E.g. for most R & D proposals there must be a minimum
of three partners from three member or associated
states


However, not too less and not too many partners


Less means some partners cover too much expertises


Many means that there is too much redundancy in expertises


The consortium should be “as large as is required and can
be justified to carry out the work and commensurate with
the expected impact”



Characteristics of a well
-
formed
consortium (II)


Expertise of partners is well
-
balanced


All required competences/skills/expertise are covered and
there is no large redundancy in expertise


each partner plays a corresponding ROLE in the
consortium



Geographical distribution


Not only between EU countries, Associated Countries, etc.,
but rather within these groups


Important for budget per country




Partners
-

expertise


The consortium should have
significant

experience

in
project relevant areas


All partners bring into the project
a different focus
of work
and a different perspective of emphasis


The consortium should be selected for the
diverse

and
complementary

expertise and skills that the partners
collectively bring into the project


Small overlapping in the basic understandings may results in
huge communication and negotiation problems which can
be a serious risk for project success


Partners should have a
unique focus and expertise
, but all
of them knowledgeable enough about the “
whole picture


Example



Quality and relevant experience of the individual participants



Quality of the consortium as a whole (including complementarity, balance)

Partners


roles (STREP)


Different
roles of participants required


Since we aim at an innovative, still technologically mature set of
deliverables, we need
research & development partners in the
consortium


Since we want to demonstrate the usefulness of the methods
and tools to be developed in real application scenarios, we need
pilot users in the consortium


Mediator partners (industrial partners)
support the end users
in analyzing their current business situations, applying the
technical achievements and methodological procedures in order
to build the pilot systems


Project management partner brings
into the project a huge
amount of experience and capabilities required for the project
management


Dissemination partner …




Example

How to find a partner?


Finding
suitable

partners is key to having a successful
proposal and eventual project


Make sure you get the

best partners
, that are well known

in Europe


You must build a European consortium,

with partners who

fit

perfectly
to accomplish the tasks


It is also the single biggest problem for
newcomers

to the
Program


It must be seen as an initial bootstrap process


Once you are participating in a project, it is much easier to get into
further projects


Better try to join some proposal than to coordinate it


You have specific technology and are looking for a suitable proposal


How to find a partner?


Via contacts during existing project (if you have one)


Via your own technical/business contacts


Via CORDIS partner search


Via Ideal
-
ist Active partner search


Via participation in previous projects


Via contacts at Commission sponsored events or
Information Days


Via participation in a European Technology Platform
activity


Most successful searches end up being a
combination of several of the above

Negotiation phase
-

Outcome


Stable consortium


Coordinator is defined


Roles are distributed


Stable idea


Research challenges are defined


Use cases are determined


Stable plan for who does what


Extended abstract that can be sent to pre
-
proposal check






Pre
-
proposal checks


This service allows a proposer to check on


the

appropriateness

of

their proposed action
and


the

eligibility of the proposal consortium


There is no element of evaluating the quality of the
scientific content of the proposal by the Commission
services


The Commission services will only reply to one pre
-
proposal per proposal


Requests for Pre
-
Proposal checks must be received up
to 4 weeks before the closing dates of the call


The comments will be sent by e
-
mail to the applicant
within 5 working days of receipt of the PPC

Writting phase


Goal: writing the document


based on the given template


Supported by tools


Wiki


Discussion about some specific topic


Collaborative editing


Controlled by coordinator


Agree on a coordinator; give him/her the power to quickly
decide upon pending issues


Regularly reporting about the progress


E
-
mails


Weakly teleconferences


If needed a face
-
to
-
face meeting two months before deadline


If possible a meeting with EC officials after beginning of writing


Fundamentals for writing


Allocation of tasks and responsibilities


Who writes what


Defined by roles


Agreement about the terminology (and style)


The proposal must be an easy
-
to
-
read document


Deadlines


When to deliver


Iterative approach


Continuous improvement of the quality


It can last from several weeks to several months
(in average)



Who write what?


Use relevant template for writing


Partners express preferences for writing and
coordinator assigns relevant parts to partners


Officially proposal is written by all partners


In practice, it is written by project coordinator
with the support of a few key partners

Who write what
-

example


Administrative part


Technical part


Start (do collaboratively)


Define objectives


Define relevance


Define research challenges (pro partner)


Define Work packages structure and leaders


Negotiate


Contribute (each partner)


Beyond state of the art for each challenge


Work package content, including WP tables


Project management structure (coordinator)


Impact (dissemination partner)


Partner data (each partner)


Partners profiles


CV‘s


competencies


Individual Exploitation /Dissemination plan

Problems in writing


No input on
time


Low
quality

or too short input


Inconsistent
terminology/style


Redundant

parts written by different partners


Different direction

then agreed


The key is the
coordinator


She/he is responsible for resolving all these issues


Write the perfect proposal


Your proposal must lay out the science and technology


But it is also a
marketing

document


All proposals are evaluated by experts


You only get one chance and
you must sell your proposal
to the
expert who has no time to go in every detail


Help the expert by telling her/him why your proposal must
be funded


Be concise und underline key messages with schemes and
graphs


Be specific and determined: Avoid, "should and could"
formulations


Be clear and consistent


make sure all your objectives are consistently described

Taken from: http://www.euresearch.ch/index.php?id=676

When writing your proposal (1)


Divide your effort over the evaluation criteria


Many proposers concentrate on the scientific
element, but lose marks on project
implementation or impact description


Think of the finishing touches which signal quality
work:


clear language


well
-
organised contents, following the Part B structure


useful and understandable diagrams


no typos, no inconsistencies, no obvious paste
-
ins


no numbers which don’t add up, no missing pages …

Taken from: ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/fp7/ict/docs/events1
-
20070226
-
mckinlay_en.pdf


When writing your proposal (2)


Make it
easy for the evaluators to give
you
high marks. Don’t make it hard for them!


Don’t write too little; cover what is requested


Don’t write too much


Don’t leave them to figure out why it’s good,
tell them why it’s good


Leave nothing to the imagination

Taken from: ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/fp7/ict/docs/events1
-
20070226
-
mckinlay_en.pdf


Checking phase


Goal is to ensure the quality of the proposal and to
avoid that some issues are missing


Minimum five days before deadline


Ask non
-
experts to read your proposal


Objective person to evaluate it against given evaluation
criteria


Language proof reading


Style/length check


What should be checked?

1.
Does your project address the Work
programme?

2.
Is your instrument the right one for the job?

3.
Is your consortium built around the project?

4.
Is your Part B as clear as it can be?

5.
ABC


Ambition, Breakthrough, Critical Mass

6.
Have you addressed the ‘soft’ issues?

7.
Is your proposal over
-

or under
-
costed
?

8.
How will you manage your consortium?

9.
What does the Commission get out of this?

What should be checked?


Pre
-
evaluation


Simulating the evaluation process


Evaluation criteria are known in advance

Frequently appearing problems


Impact section is weak


State
-
of
-
the art is too short


Use cases are too short (not
-
well described)


Dissemination/Explanation of partners is not
adapted to the proposal (too general)


Missing content


Avoid dramatically changing the
content/structure in last days


Submission phase



Do an early submission three days before


Dedicate the very last day only for reading by
all partners


Missing, irrelevant, non
-
up
-
to
-
date content should
be discovered


Avoid changes in the last minute


EPSS

Electronic Proposal Submission System


The proposals are in two parts:


Part A
-

The Forms


A1
-

General information on the proposal


A2.1 and A2.2
-

Information on the Coordinator and
partners


A3.1 and A3.2
-

Cost breakdown


Part B
-

The technical proposal and consortium
details


The Guide
for Applicants identifies the required
contents for Part B

Conclusion


Proposal creation is a creative, collaborative
coordination
-
demanding

activity


It requires careful planning and intensive
coordination of the work


It critically depends on the quality of the idea
and core team


As always, there might be a person who can
write the whole proposal on her own, but this
is not the right way for doing this

Conclusion


Lessons Learned


All about knowledge


Who you know


Who knows you


What you know


When you know

Getting help with your proposal


Proposers’ days and briefings


Partner search facilities


http://cordis.europa.eu/ist/partners/partner.htm


A supporting website of advice, information and
documentation:
http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ict


A Helpdesk for proposers’ questions, reachable by
email or phone (and a Helpdesk for electronic proposal
submission)


ist@ec.europa.eu


And a network of National Contact Points:


http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/ncp.htm

Thank you!

Leonardo Piccinetti