Blog from April, 2020

What is the maximum amount one organisation/individual can be granted?

Over the three calls (lifetime of the NGI_TRUST project), a single organisation/individual cannot be awarded more than €200,000 for one or more projects (for example, €50,000 for a type 1 project followed by €150,000 for a type 2).

Regarding eligible costs we understand that for Type 2, NGI_Trust would cover 66% of costs, while the consortium would need to cover the remaining 1/3 of those costs (up to a maximum of combined funding of 225K€ per project), right? (E.g. if consortium partners provide 50K€ of own funds, NGI_Trust would provide 100K€).

That is correct.

Should project participants be located in an EU country? And does this apply also to team members (EU nationals) and subcontractors?

Project participants should be registered (if a legal entity) or resident (if an individual) in one of the EU27 Member States or in one of the Horizon 2020 Associated Countries - see list here :  

There are no restrictions on the nationality of team members, but they should be employed by a participant organisation.

Similarly, there is no restriction on the nationality or location of subcontractors.  Subcontracting needs to be explained in the application (why you use a subcontractor, input to the project, etc.).  

For a type 2 or type 3 project, do you have any further details of what constitutes matched funding?

We are flexible concerning matching funding, which may come either from internal funds of the organisation or external funding. In the latter case you should indicate the source, e.g. national or regional public funding, external investor, bank loan, etc.

We are a start-up formed this year with no financial accounts to date. Reading the guide for applicants of the NGI_Trust Open Call, it states that you need to provide the “Statement of overall turnover for the last two financial years”. Because of this, we are not sure if a start-up is eligible for participation in this call. Are we eligible to apply?

Yes, we will be flexible in considering proposals from start-ups, we are seeking to support innovative ideas with potential.  In the absence of annual accounts, we will consider other evidence (e.g. investments into the start-up, past record of the founders, etc.).

We are registered in an EU27 country. Two members of our team who will have a key role in the proposed project are from a non-EU28 country. Does this constitute any eligibility problem?

The key criterion is the place of registration of your company, not the nationality of staff.

Are large firms eligible beneficiaries of the NGI_Trust call?

There is no restriction on large companies per se.  We are interested in funding use cases from a number of sectors/verticals where it may make sense to involve a larger firm.

Is an organisation from the UK eligible to apply for the NGI_Trust third open call?

"The Withdrawal Agreement, as agreed between the European Union and the United Kingdom, entered into force on 1 February 2020. In overall terms, on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK-based legal entities will continue to be fully eligible to participate and receive funding in the current 2014-2020 EU programmes, including Horizon 2020, as if the UK were a member state until the closure of these programmes, unless security considerations apply. This means that UK beneficiaries can continue – without interruption – to receive grants awarded under the current and previous multiannual financial frameworks (MFFs) until their end dates, even if these are after 2020."

Can we participate in two different consortia with two different proposals? In this case, can we lead both consortia?

Yes, organisations and partnerships can make multiple applications. No restrictions to leadership of partnerships apply.

In the proposal template, section 1.3, it is requested to tick the Type of Project (viability, execution or transition to commercialisation). Is it correct to tick only one type? Meaning that the proposers are not allowed to choose a multi-type of project by gathering different activities even if they respect the 200k€ limit.

That is correct, you should select one type of project, however, you may carry out feasibility work part of a type 2 project (although this should not be the main activity).

For a two partner project, is all payment/justification handled via the lead partner?

Payments will be made to the lead partner. We might require financial reporting from the third-parties but you should keep appropriate documented evidence of your expenditure as a recipient of EU funding.

In your guide it says, "Financial support will be paid in instalments against the achievement of milestones ". What does this mean for the financial execution, i.e. - is payment (a posterior) following the completion of milestones? - do milestones/deliverables justify the payment or is a detailed declaration of expenditures needed?

We will provide an advance payment (after signature of the funding agreement by both parties), an interim payment (based on an agreed milestone) then a final payment (based on the acceptance of your final report).

We will not ask for a detailed declaration of expenditure, however, you should be able to prove expenditure in the event of an audit by the European Commission, so you will be expected to keep a proper set of supporting documents.

Does NGI_Trust pay overhead (e.g. 25% as in H2020 calls/programmes) for costs that cannot be identified and calculated by the beneficiary as being directly attributed to the project?

The funding is awarded as a lump sum (cash) contribution, we have no set rules for how organisations design their budget internally. The aim of the budget in the proposal is to convince the evaluators that that the requested funding is coherent with the effort invested in producing the outcome the project aims to achieve. It should give NGI_TRUST a ‘value for money’ perspective on your project.  

Can travel expenses be requested for a publication of the project's results where the conference is after the project period has ended? (e.g., do you reimburse travel expenses individually or via a lump sum / similar?)

Travel expenses are an eligible cost but should be within the contractual period of the project funding awarded.

The aim of the call is to support the development of technologies that are rapidly applicable and hence, you will be provided with support on intellectual property management (e.g. to check whether you should protect the IP developed in advance of a publication or conference papers). 

In Section 4.2 of the template, there is a table for personal "Person-Month". How do we fill this out in case of e.g. a Professor who will work on the project but not charge (name known) and e.g. a master student who will charge PMs on the project (but name may not be known at this point in time)?

The table is intended to provide an overall estimate of effort, if you need to recruit team members and do not know their names this is not a problem.

We were wondering about the possibility of attaching support letters from other Companies which are supporting our research. Is it possible?

You can attach letters of support in so far as they are relevant for the proposal.

The NGI_Trust open call text says that: “Projects will receive support in the form of technical coaching, business mentoring and IP advice from the project partners and other NGI projects” (p. 5).  Does this mean that the budget will be provided to the applicants in the form of services offered by the NGI_Trust consortium, or are these services additional to the provided budget?

The funding from NGI_Trust is in ‘cash’. The support you mention here is provided by the consortium on top of the funding.

Are type 2 or type 3 projects preferred to type 1 projects?

We will fund the best ranked projects irrespective of type, up to the maximum budget available. However, where proposals are ranked in a similar score, the final decision may take into account topic coverage or balance of types in the overall portfolio of funded projects.

Are the official supporting documents for the Legal Entity Form supposed to necessarily be in English?

Not necessarily. Any EU official language is fine.

What is exactly the official documentation to attach to the Legal Entity form?

Here is the list of supporting documents needed for the legal entity forms (also written on each form):

  • Natural person: Copy of the identity document (ID or Passport)
  • Private companies: Copy of Official Register of companies, official gazette, VAT registration or Status -> one of those documents
  • Public law body: Copy of Official Register of companies, official gazette, VAT registration or Status -> one of those documents

We need the legal entity form + supporting document for each partner.

These official supporting documents have to be in one of the EU official languages

NGI_Trust is aimed at funding projects that ensure the Internet remains a secure and resilient system, especially during crisisNGI_Trust funding is already bearing fruit and hitting the headlines with our grantees DECIDE and CASPER. Both have been featured in NGI's publication 'THE PEOPLE BUILDING THE INTERNET OF TOMORROW'.

CASPER's main aim "is to identify and apply potentials of using artificial intelligence to protect young people on the internet. Different types of content are analysed, including text, images, video and audio, as well as the different types of online threats. The resulting system is meant to be modular, extensible, multi-platform, cloud-enabled, and compatible with already existing solutions. A special challenge is to support the collaborative use of results while preserving privacy“.  

The DECIDE project aims at supporting "the actual diffusion of privacy enhancing technologies in the context of identity management that enable trusted interactions in the digital sphere". DECIDE's goal is to "gain a better understanding of users’ mental models and service providers’ requirements and work towards the actual integration of outcomes in the existing and future decentralized identity solutions".