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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, organisations and individuals can contact the JEUPISTE project for any kind of inquiry related to including Japanese organisations and individuals in a Horizon 2020 project. Please consult the contact form.

There is also the National Contact Point in Japan at the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperations, which started operations from April 2014. They can be reached through the official Horizon 2020 portal site for Japan: http://www.ncp-japan.jp (in Japanese)

For regular research projects in Horizon 2020, Japanese partners are not eligible for automatic funding.

From the Horizon 2020 Japan Country page: As a high-tech country, well advanced in research and innovation, Japanese participants are, however, not automatically funded through Horizon 2020. Japanese participants have to determine themselves the sources of funding and find the resources for their part of the project. These may be own funds, as well as funds received from Japanese ministries, agencies, foundations and other organisations that fund research and innovation activities in Japan. (source: EC Website)

However, exceptionally they may be eligible for funding when the Commission deems participation of the entity essential for carrying out the action funded through Horizon 2020.

From the EC's explanation to evaluators: Part A of the General Annexes to the work programme includes the list of countries from which legal entities are automatically eligible for receiving funding from the Horizon 2020 budget. International European organisations are also eligible for funding. Unless otherwise stated in the work programme, legal entities from other countries and international organisations can only be funded in exceptional cases. One of those cases (Article 10.2.a of the Rules for Participation) is where the Commission deems the participation of the entity in question essential for carrying out the action. This exceptionality needs to be justified in the proposal and the Commission will base its decision on the evaluation of the proposal, which therefore needs to include the evaluators' judgment about whether or not the participation of the entity in question in the project is essential, with clear benefits to the consortium. These benefits may include, for example, outstanding competence and expertise, access to unique know-how, access to research infrastructures, access to geographical environments, involving key partners in emerging markets, access to data, etc. (source: EC Website)

There are also coordinated calls in Horizon 2020, in which Japanese participants will receive funding from the Japanese government, for example the joint ICT calls with MIC/NICT.  Furthermore, in some calls support is given to Japanese participants through JST. In both cases, it is specifically written in the Horizon 2020 call text that this support is available. For current joint funding opportunities, please check our co-funding mechanisms page.

For individual researchers, Japanese researchers can participate in fellowship programmes in Europe and receive funding. Regarding ERC there is a specific arragement with JSPS for Japanese researchers to participate in ERC teams.

In this call, only the organization who is recruiting the researcher can apply. Therefore the submission can be only done through account of the recruiting organization located and registered in EU/AC. It specifies how the mobility of the researcher should be depending on the type of Individual Fellowship (IF), but it does not relate to the researcher’s nationality.

There are two MSCA calls available for Japanese researchers (Japan-based), MSCA-ITN (Innovative Training Networks) or MSCA-IF (European Fellowship). For MSCA-ITN you will need to monitor open positions, for example through EURAXESS or a Japanese University might be participating. For the European Fellowship, please note that you will need to make your submission through a European institute and that you will need to spend the whole period in Europe. Please check the guidelines for requirements and procedures on the Participant Portal.

(The third main MSCA is RISE and is not open for individual application.)

Please ask Japanese partners to directly contact the funding organization that your Japanese partner is applying for. Please note some of these organizations might not have an English page with information.

In the proposal, because Japanese partners are NOT beneficiaries of Horizon 2020, they should not be listed as beneficiaries of Horizon 2020. However, in the technical part of the proposal, all Japanese participants need to be listed.

Only a FINAL DRAFT is required at the proposal stage. This draft version does not need to be signed. The agreement will be signed after discussion of both sides but only if the project is selected.

A final "draft" should be submitted together with the proposal. Japanese participants may be asked to submit a summary or translation in Japanese. If there is no such statement, please ask the Japanese funding organization directly.

Please refer to the document titled “checklist for coordination agreement”. The coordination agreement should include the role and process of the how the project will proceed as well as the IPR issues.

https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/doc/call/h2020/h2020-euj-2014/1592603-checklist-coordination-agreement_h2020-v1_en.pdf

 

NCP Japan can provide advice on submission documents for Horizon 2020. However, because the coordinated calls also require documents related to Japanese programmes, we cannot provide advice on how Japanese funding organizations want each participant to write submission forms although the core of the submission contents will be the same. Please contact directly to the funding organization if you need any clarification on how to write the submission form.

The main helpdesk of Horizon 2020 in Europe can only answer the case of Horizon 2020 participation. Therefore their answer might be “If participating in Horizon 2020 or programmes of EU, all participants and partners must obtain PIC codes”. However, coordinated calls are a special case in which Japanese organisations are technically not participating to Horizon 2020. However, you could obtain a PIC code and leave it as declared. The process to obtain a PIC code is very easy and many Japanese organisation already obtained one. You can use it later to participate in regular Horizon 2020 projects.

Participants in Japan are not a part of the beneficiaries on the side of European application process, and the European Coordinator of the proposal does not need to enter beneficiary organizational information during the application procedure through the participant portal site. However, the technical part of the proposal, which is common to both applications in Japan and EU should include the details of all the participants (organizations). European participants need to submit a draft “Coordination Agreement” which defines roles and responsibilities of all the participants and structure of the project execution to demonstrate the project will work as a single project well integrating researchers both in Europe and Japan. The Intellectual Property Rights issues will be also defined in this document.

Japanese programmes that were in coordination with the Horizon 2020 programme in 2016 were the SCOPE programme of the Ministry of International Affairs and Communications (MIC) and EU-Japan coordinated call programme of NICT. Call information for Japanese participants is posted on the web pages of the relevant funding organisations in Japanese.

In the work programmes of Horizon 2020 (such as work programme 2016-2017) and the participant portal, topics are announced by the European Commission. For the most common type of project, at least 3 organizations from 3 different European Member States (MS) and/or Associated Countries to Horizon 2020 (AC) can apply to such calls. Japanese participants can in general only participate as a 3rd country partner in addition to those 3 countries and are not automatically eligible for funding, which means they usually need to find their own funding source (government or funding organizations). The consortium agreement needs to be signed by all participants after being selected.

However, in coordinated calls, Japanese funding organization(s) are already in agreement with the European Commission on specific research topics. Both Horizon 2020 and the Japanese funding organisation announce a call for proposals that align with the agreement. Japanese participants will submit a proposal to the Japanese funding organization in Japanese language and participants in Europe apply to the European Commission in English through the participant portal. After the joint evaluation, each funding organization will provide the funds to the participants. In order to connect the European and Japanese consortia, a coordination agreement (not consortium agreement in regular Horizon 2020 projects) should be submitted with the proposal for the Horizon 2020 call. For the Japanese side the way in which coordination agreement should be submitted might vary depending on the funding organization.

Apart from the JEUPSITE project (http://www.jeupiste.eu/partner-search). There are many tools available that you can use. First of all, it is helpful to join Horizon 2020 information days in Europe that are organised on specific themes/areas within the Horizon 2020 programme. These information days often have also a matchmaking event at which you can find partners.

Online tools are also available:

In addition, unofficial tools are also available such as various Horizon 2020 related linkedin groups and consultancy services.

For a full overview, please access: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/docs/h2020-funding-guide/grants/applying-for-funding/find-partners_en.htm

Yes, Swiss organizations can participate, as can organizations from any other country. However, they are not eligible for automatic funding for the whole programme. As of 15 September 2014, Switzerland is a partly Associated Country (AC) to Horizon 2020 and can only receive funding for certain areas in the programme. These areas are:

  • the "Excellent Science" pillar (the 1st pillar), containing the European Research Council, Future and Emerging Technologies, Research Infrastructures and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions;

  • actions under the specific objective “Spreading excellence and widening participation”;

  • the Euratom Programme; and

  • the activities carried out by the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion for Energy for 2014-2020.

For more information, please consult: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/hi/h2020-hi-swiss-part_en.pdf

Except in rare cases, a European organisation will take the role as coordinator. Most of the participants are usually located in Europe, making that the logical choice.

In case of a coordinated call with the Japanese government, there could also be a Japanese coordinator next to the European Coordinator. Please consult the details of the call you are applying to.

In order to participate in the most common Horizon 2020 type project (RIA – Research and Innovation Action), a consortium must include organizations from at least 3 different European countries (EU Member States and/or Associated Countries to Horizon 2020). However, depending on the type of project there are different requirements. Please read the requirements for the call you are planning to apply to.

1. You will only have 3 months to sign the Grant Agreement when your project is selected. Most of Japanese organizations, especially national and public organizations, will take time to assign a person responsible to become LEAR or to obtain signature of legal representative. We strongly recommend that each organization should finish preparation of validation documents and LEAR appointment documents while the submission is under evaluation.

2. You should always review the consortium agreement before you sign. The model consortium agreement is based on agreements without 3rd countries. You can negotiate the content of this consortium agreement with the coordinator and the other partners. Please note that some coordinators are not used to having a 3rd country as a partner (while many do have experience) and it is important to consult with the available services such as NCP Japan in order to proceed.

The Grant Agreement needs to be signed within 3 months after the project is selected (after grant preparation starts). Please follow the instructions of the coordinator since deadlines can vary depending on the project.

LSIGN (Legal Signatory) signs agreements. LSIGN must be assigned by LEAR. That means that the LEAR appointment must be approved by European Commission before signature.

Declaration of Honour and Grant Agreements should be submitted through the Participant Portal and require an electronic signature by LSIGN/PLSIN before the documents are sent to European Commission. 

Signature to a Consortium Agreement however, needs to be sent to coordinator by post.

First consortium members need to submit a Declaration of Honour to the European Commission. This declaration ensures that all beneficiaries comply with the rules and are not in a situation that would exclude them from receiving EU funding (e.g. bankruptcy). This is followed by the Consortium Agreement between consortium members and Grant Agreement between consortium and European Commission.

*In case of a “Coordinated Call” (with MIC/NICT) between the EU and Japan, a Coordination Agreement replaces the Consortium Agreement for Japanese participants.

In addition, a Letter of Intent could be signed before submission of the proposal. This is not mandatory but usually a coordinator asks all participants to sign and submit this before application. The letter shows that your organization has the explicit intention of applying for the project.

This letter is to provide proof of the explicit intention of your organization to participate in the project. The letter should be written by an authorized researcher in your organization and signed by the responsible authority of your organization.

Excellence should indicate how the project is innovative and new. Impact should include information on how the research findings would influence society and markets. In implementation, the way to deploy the project with attention to its feasibility.

It is recommended to consult with experts who have written proposals before in order to be successful. Calls are very competitive in Horizon 2020 and proposals need to be prepared very meticulously. Please note that it is usually the coordinator in Europe that takes the lead in developing the proposal.

Part A is the administration part of the proposal. It should include the following information

  • Basic information of the project (title, length, overviews)
  • Declarations (such as on eligibility, financial and operational capacity, ethics)
  • Participant information
  • Proposal of the budgets for the project
  • Ethics self-assessment

Part B of the proposal is called research proposal and it should include detail information about and planning/schedule on how the project should be carried out.

No. Submission of the proposal is done by the coordinator. Contents to be written in Part A and Part B should be provided to the coordinator by Japanese participant.

 On the Horizon 2020 Participant Portal, there are templates of submission forms for each programme.

https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/funding/reference_docs.html#h2020-call_ptef-pt

After you have submitted a proposal you cannot change the PIC. Please consult with the European Commission.

The grant agreement must be signed no later than 3 months after you receive your evaluation results, if a PIC is unvalidated it needs to be validated within this time. This validation process may take a few weeks. Please note that Japanese participants are asked to prepare an English translation and the official proof of the translation which may take additional time.

Please decide the LEAR and project contact as soon as possible. LEAR application needs to be sent by post and if one of the consortium members is not validated as organization or finish their LEAR appointment, the project could have problems in order to sign the Grant Agreeement.

Japanese organizations will usually take some time to decide who will be the registrant and the LEAR.

Additionally since the validation unit will reject free translations, they will have to ask translation companies to translate before submitting LEAR appointment documents.

Please submit the following documents

  1. Legal Entity Form-Private Entity (This is the document different from public entity)
  2. Copy and English translation of Certification of registration of your organization in Japan

  3. VAT is not necessary unless your organization has already one registered or going to sell goods/service to the EU.

 

Any documents that is issued by your organization and shows the relationship and role of LEAR and the legal representative will be accepted. Additional organization chart on your official web page might help validation further.

  1. You can find the legal entity form through the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/budget/contracts_grants/info_contracts/legal_entities/legal-entities_en.cfm

    However, usually at a set time after your proposal is selected, the validation office will contact you.

  2. If your organization is a public body, please submit the original and English translation of the document called “certification of registration” of Japan and law documents (National University Corporation Act or Local Independent Administrative Agency Act, depending on the type of organization).  In Japan, there is no government specified translators so that you need to find a translation company with experience translating law documents.

  3. Generally there is are no similar “VAT” documents in Japan. It is a European based consumption tax regulation and unless your organization is trading goods/service with EU or your organization is located in EU, you do not need to obtain one. Please indicate in legal entity form as not applicable.

  4. LEAR Appointment applications (3 forms, signed and stamped: LEAR Appointment Letter、Lear Role and Duty、declaration of consent to the terms and conditions of use of the Participant Portal electronic exchange system), copy of passport of LEAR and representative of the organization. Additionally you need a proof of document that Legal representative is in position to appoint LEAR of the organization.

You will be asked to submit the validation documents and LEAR appointment letter. Details and requested documents are written in the Horizon 2020 online manual of the Participant Portal. Please look at:

http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/docs/h2020-funding-guide/index_en.htm

The validation process should be completed before the Grant signature. The timing in which you should complete the validation process will be set by the European Commission after your project is selected. The coordinator will contact you by when you should complete the process. Please bear in mind that it is usually set within one month or one and half month after selection.

If you login and submit documents, the validation office will re-activate the account. If you have the account of the registrant, the registrant can upload the validation documents from the “My Organization” page. 

However, if you have lost the account that was used for registering the organisation, you need to start registering your organization from the beginning. The old PIC will be deleted a year after validation is completed.

Yes, it means you are registered but you will need to complete the validation process before signature of the Grant Agreement. It is possible to submit proposals even if the PIC of beneficiaries is declared (not validated).

The JEUPISTE project has created a manual in Japanese to help you registering this Participation Identification Code (PIC). Please be sure to consult with your organization before starting the registration process.

Please access: http://jeupiste.eu/news/pic-manual-jp_en

Please be aware that registration of an organization can be easily done by anyone in your organization. For example, there was a case in which a temporary student from Europe registered organization and proceeded submission without permission of the organization. Regardless of nationality, anyone that belongs to your organization can register your organization and submission is done even if the PIC is not validated.

Anyone can register an organization by following the registration manual. However, considering the structure of Japanese organizations, we strongly recommend each researcher to contact the department of international research cooperation in your organization first to decide which department will be responsible to submit and manage the account for the organization. We recommend to go to through the proper channels in your organisation before going ahead with to request a Participant Identification Code.

  • In order to validate your organization you will need submit official documents of Japan with English translation and the proof of the translation. These documents can be only uploaded by the registrant.

  • In order to submit LEAR appointment documents, you will need to appoint the head of the organization and obtain organizational stamp etc.

  • Once LEAR is appointed only LEAR can modify the organizational data.

  • LEAR needs to appoint further FLSIGN and LSIGN who will sign the agreements. Your organization can decide who will be responsible for the project at the same time when you decide the LEAR position. 

 Each organization can only have one PIC code, so please do not register your organization with a different PIC code. If you found your organization already declared or validated, that means someone in your organization is participating in a project. In Japan, the account is likely managed by:

- URA (University Research Administrator)

- Department dealing with International Cooperation

- Office of University –Industry collaboration

- Management department

- Funding Section

 

If you still have a hard time finding the person in charge within your organization, please contact NCP Japan for further assistance.

http://www.ncp-japan.jp/helpdesk/contact

The registration status of PIC code can be checked in participant portal. If there is a 9 digit code next to your organization name with either “validated”, “declared” or “sleeping” status, your organization is already registered.

Validated: Your registration is valid

Declared: You have registered your organization but still need to submit validation documents and LEAR appointment documents.

Sleeping: Validation unit repeatedly contacted your account to submit documents but there was no reply. The account is in sleeping mode.

Please note that after you are selected, you will need to validate your PIC and submit LEAR appointment documents before the grant agreement can be signed.

http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/support/faqs...

The Participant Identification Code (PIC) is 9-digit code to identify your organization. All participants in Horizon 2020 must register and obtain a PIC code. Only one code should be validated for each organization. PIC should be quoted in your proposal and in any correspondence with the Commission.

The required steps for an application are:

  • Make an account on the Participant Portal (http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/home.html)

  • Register your organisation. Your organisation needs to be registered and have a 9-digit Participant Identification Code (PIC) that is the unique identifier of your organisation and will be used as a reference by the Commission in any interactions.

  • Draft your proposal together with all the partners involved, and submit your Electronic Proposal (to be done by the coordinator).

The JEUPISTE project created a manual for “How to obtain PIC code and submit proposal” in Japanese language. Please refer to: http://www.jeupiste.eu/news/pic-manual-jp_en

 

The European participants need to apply through Horizon 2020 while the participants in Japan apply through the corresponding programme in Japan. A coordinator needs to be identified on both the EU and the Japanese side. Between those two, a coordination agreement should be concluded. There is a check list for this agreement available on the Horizon 2020 Participant Portal. The list that has been used previously is the following, please check whether it is still valid for the call you are applying to: https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/doc/call/h2020/h2020-euj-2014/1592603-checklist-coordination-agreement_h2020-v1_en.pdf

Please note the above information was valid for the MIC/NICT coordinated call in 2016. The procedure could be different in the future.

Please use the European Commissions’ Participant Portal (http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/home.html) as the first source of information. However, there is also provision of information through other sources such as consultants and activities of JEUPISTE and the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation. Additionally, NCP Japan has opended its portal website(http://www.ncp-japan.jp/) to to list call informations that are reccomended for Japanese participants.

The EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation will try to help you individually through the help desk service as we have been promoting FP7/Horizon 2020 in Japan and have wide network among research organizations in Japan. Depending on the individual case, we can also advertise your partner search. Please access: http://www.jeupiste.eu/partner-search

Regarding SMEs, the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, as a member of the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is offering anonymous partner search, please consult the following website: http://www.een-japan.eu. In the case of European SMEs seeking partners in Japan, please contact the local EEN agent that can be searched from the following website: http://een.ec.europa.eu/about/branches

Furthermore, the European Commission offers a lists of methods to look for a partner: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/docs/h2020-funding-guide/grant...

Intellectual property is generally handled through the Consortium Agreement. However, there are a number of regulations that apply to Horizon 2020 projects. You can read all details in the Fact Sheet "IP Management in Horizon 2020: project proposal": https://www.iprhelpdesk.eu/FS_IP_Management_H2020_proposal

Horizon 2020 is open to the world. In general, all calls are open for participation from countries outside of Europe. Japanese organisations can participate in collaborative research projects when the basic requirements regarding participants have been met such as participation from 3 different EU or Associated Countries for Research and Innovation Actions. Furthermore, Japanese individuals can participate in mobility schemes (MSCA, ERC) in Europe.

 Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness.

 Seen as a means to drive economic growth and create jobs, Horizon 2020 has the political backing of Europe’s leaders and the Members of the European Parliament. They agreed that research is an investment in our future and so put it at the heart of the EU’s blueprint for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs.

 By coupling research and innovation, Horizon 2020 is helping to achieve this with its emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges. The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.

 Horizon 2020 is open to everyone, with a simple structure that reduces red tape and time so participants can focus on what is really important. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster.

 The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation will be complemented by further measures to complete and further develop the European Research Area. These measures will aim at breaking down barriers to create a genuine single market for knowledge, research and innovation.

http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/what-horizon-2020

 

There are no restrictions. The consortium can consist of only companies, or only public research organizations. Some restriction apply to certain specific instruments such as the SME Instrument. Important is that regular research projects (type: Research and Innovation Actions) require participation from at least 3 organisations from 3 different EU Member States or Associated Countries. Please consult the specific requirements for the call and project type you are applying too.