System of Calls
The preparation of the Framework Programme usually starts with public consultations on the level of the program as well as the different policies of areas. See for example the consultation in Hungary. Then the officers of the European Commission invite the key players of the areas in order to elaborate the next year's work programmes.
It is a common mistake of the potential applicants that they want to force their special development aims into the system without taking into account the objectives of the work programmes. But the best professionals decide about the joint - European! - objectives after a careful and exhaustive preparation and the institutes of the European Union will support only these objectives. This is why it is so important to study the relevant documents and better to take part in the process of the preparation. If you don't have enough time and energy to get so much new information, do not hesitate to ask help from experts.
Another misunderstanding can be if somebody expects direct profits from the grants. But this is R&D and all the money must be spent on that. There is no direct profit in cash. But you can expect better paid and happier researchers, with good project management and high quality concept, even market-oriented prototype - in other words: increased competitiveness.
During the lifetime of the Framework Programme (Horizon2020), we work with bi-yearly work programmes which already include not only the objectives but also all the important elements of the future calls (budgets, expected impacts, timing etc.). The first work programme of the Horizon2020 is open now.
When the Call is published, usually there are several months until the submission deadline. But experienced proposers know very well that this time is enough only for finalising the already prepared plans and finish the necessary documents. Since all EU projects must be done by partners from several Member States, one of the most important tasks is to find the best partners. The partners must have the necessary competencies and the distribution of work among the partners must be balanced, complete and justified. Most of the time, it is necessary to provide the full value chain from researchers to users.
Then the tasks must be organized into realistic, detailed and also justified building blocks or so called work packages (with Gantt diagrams). The project management should be planned in a separate work package with the appropriate hierarchy, roles and responsibilities. Then you have to think about the dissemination and exploitation. With these steps done it will be easier to formulate the scientific and innovation objectives.
Every information regarding the Framework Programme, the Calls and even the evaluation process are public and available on the Internet. It is also public how the experts evaluate the proposals. (Note: the descriptions on next pages are based on past experience. In the new Framework Programme, there is a possibility of minor changes.)
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."