According to the 2014 Call for KICs Proposals and ‘7.5 Information for applicants’, applicants were invited to send in any questions they might have on the Call until 15 July 2014 via the Contact Page on the EIT website: http://eit.europa.eu/nocache/contact/

Replies were be given until 31 July 2014.

Please be aware that all of the questions received within the given timeframe are listed below with their corresponding answer.

The EIT is an integral part of the Horizon 2020, the EU's framework programme for research and innovation. Applicants for the EIT's Call for KICs should respect the provisions in the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation.

The EIT is not involved in the process of setting up new partnerships as this is up to the potential partners to decide upon. As stated in the EIT’s 2014 Call for KICs Proposals (page 11): “On the grounds of equal treatment, the EIT GB members and EIT staff cannot give applicants a prior opinion on the eligibility, quality or any other relevant element of a specific proposal”.

The EIT is not in a position to support potential interested partners in structuring or building consortia for submitting KICs proposals.

On March 14th 2014 the EIT held an Info Day that focused on the 2014 Call for Proposals. Presentations and videos from the day can be viewed on our website.

Furthermore, though not directly EIT related, information on finding partners for Horizon 2020 related projects can be found here.

Person in charge should be the main contact person (CEO, Chancellor, etc.), while persons involved in the proposal’s preparation, if other then the main contact person, should be indicated in the table “Other contact persons”

It is up to the applicant to decide whether filling in department’s data is applicable/relevant or not. Filling in this part of the Form A2_1 Partner Administrative Data is not mandatory. For example if there are several departments of one legal entity involved it may not be needed to fill in this part of the form.

Knowledge assets (patents, copyright, know how) created within innovation projects are owned by the partners of the projects that contribute to create them. Those partners might use them for their own purposes, or might license them to third parties. The first case will be called “knowledge adoption” and is substantiated by a declaration of the partner that the partner is implementing the knowledge in its processes. The second case will be called “knowledge transfer”, and is substantiated by a licensing agreement (patents, copyright) or service contract (know-how). The types of Knowledge transfer/adoption are: Patent, Trademark, Know how, Copyright. The types of contract can be: Licensing, Sales, Consultancy.

It is up to a KIC Legal Entity to decide what level of funding should be provided to different partners.

It is up to a KIC to decide on the composition and the number of partners facilitating the achievement of a KIC’s goals and its declared impact in the best possible way. As experience with the existing KICs shows, forming a new KIC is a challenging and time consuming process and the initial partnership has a crucial role in defining the core elements of a KIC and starting to implement activities.

The Call focuses on selecting a partnership; therefore no funding decision is automatically taken upon designation. The EIT’s budget for the 2014 to 2020 period is EUR 2.7 billion as set out in the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

KICs are not expected to become financially sustainable in the first years of operation. Looking at the example of the existing KICs and the overall life-cycle of a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA), the funding in the first few years will be expanding and in the final phase of a KIC, the level of EIT funding should gradually decrease. There is no specific percentage at a yearly level, and there is no life-cycle that is predefined in this respect.

KIC Complementary Activities (KCA) have a different degree of reporting requirements compared to KIC Added Value Activities (KAVA) (those mainly financed by the EIT). KCA activities come from various funding sources and there are various funding rules that are already applicable to these activities. Funding of KCA activities should be compliant with the relevant funding rules and a KIC partner should be capable of proving this compliance.

The risk of double financing is mitigated by the EIT’s general funding model, where KIC Added Value Activities (KAVA) are directly funded by the EIT and are separated from the KIC complementary activities. As a general principle, the funding of the same cost item by two different funding sources should be clearly prevented, firstly by a KIC partner. For more information on the EIT funding model, please refer to the Principles for Financing, Monitoring and Evaluating KIC activities.

All criteria are important. Selection criteria focus on the key elements of the KIC model. Applicants must address all criteria and sub-criteria to submit a comprehensive proposal presenting coherent approach consisting of strategic objectives, expected impact and feasible operational model to achieve them.

Eligible proposals will be evaluated by the Panel of Experts composed of five experts: three experts will cover the three sides of the knowledge triangle (business, higher education and research) and two experts the horizontal issues (business creation/ entrepreneurship and governance). As outlined in the EIT’s 2014 Call for Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) Proposals, the experts will be selected by the EIT.

Yes, a Co-location Centre can be located outside the EU. However, only organisations from the associated countries in the context of Horizon 2020 are automatically eligible for funding. It should be also noted that as stated in the EIT Regulation (Article 3), the EIT’s mission is to contribute to sustainable European economic growth and competitiveness to address major challenges faced by the European society. Thus, applicants should clearly present the added value of setting up of a Co-location Centre outside the EU in the context of the EIT’s mission.

It is up to applicants to justify that the proposed site for a Co-location Centre meets the requirement of physical proximity defined in the Call text.

Yes, the same organisation can participate in more than one consortium preparing a proposal.

Yes, organisation(s) registered outside the EU may be included in the list of partner organisations forming a KIC in view of the 2014 KIC Call. However, at least two thirds of partners must be established in the EU. Additionally, only organisations from the associated countries in the context of Horizon 2020 are automatically eligible for funding (see the list of countries).

A Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC), is a highly autonomous partnership of leading higher education institutions, research organisations, companies and other stakeholders in the innovation process that tackles societal challenges through the development of products, services and processes and by nurturing innovative entrepreneurial people.

A KIC follows a long-term innovative and impact-driven strategy, operating with business logic and a results-oriented approach. It operates across the EU carrying out a whole range of world-class activities covering the entire innovation value chain in a particular field. Each KIC operates through a limited number of innovation hubs across Europe called ‘co-location centres’. A KIC is established as a legally and financially structured partnership. The EIT has provided the KICs with a great degree of autonomy to define their legal status, internal organisation and working methods. Information about the KIC’s model, the way how KICs operate and KICs activities is available on the EIT’s website and the websites of the existing KICs:

Further information about the KIC model and KICs is provided in the Framework of Guidance and the Call text (published on 14 February 2014). The Framework of Guidance also provides examples and recommendations of how to organise a KIC and how to build a strong partnership. For more information visit the 2014 KIC Call Documents section of the EIT website. 

Individual companies are not eligible to apply to become a KIC. As outlined in the Article 7 of the EIT Amended Regulation, only consortia of at least three partner organisations, established in at least three different Member States, independent of each other (within the meaning of Article 8 of Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council), with at least two thirds of the partner organisations established in the Member States will be eligible to apply for the 2014 EIT Call for KICs. At least one higher education institution and one private company shall be part of each KIC. At the proposal stage, a KIC must propose a minimum of four and a maximum of six co-location centres.

The Information Day for the 2014 Call for Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) proposals took place in Budapest on 14 March 2014.

This event gave participants the opportunity to receive information about the Call. Potential participants were provided with an opportunity to network and also to ask and receive answers to their questions.

For those that were unable to attend, the event was streamed live. Videos and presentations are available on the EIT website.

Questions to the EIT should be submitted only via the Contact Page on the EIT website. Information on the Call will be updated regularly on the EIT website and will include answers to all questions that have been submitted to the EIT. It is therefore strongly recommended to regularly consult the website.

The indicative timeline for the 2014 Call for KICs is:

  • December 2013 after H2020 adoption: Publication of the Selection Criteria
  • January 2014: Publication of the Framework of Guidance, the EIT Financial Regulation and the EIT Principles for financing, monitoring and evaluating KIC activities
  • 14 February 2014: Launch of the 2014 Call for KICs
  • 14 March 2014: Information Day in Budapest
  • 10 September 2014: Closure of the 2014 Call for KICs
  • December 2014: Designation of the two new KICs

All information relating to the EIT’s 2014 Call for KICs will be posted on the EIT’s website KIC Call page.

The aim of the 2014 Call for KICs is to select and designate two new Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) in the field of:

  • Innovation for healthy living and active ageing; and
  • Raw materials: sustainable exploration, extractions, processing, recycling and substitution.

Note that important background information about the EIT and the KICs (including an indicative overview of the themes for future KICs) can be found in the EIT’s Strategic Innovation Agenda (SIA) and in the amended EIT Regulation.