EUROPEAN COMMISSION Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME)

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1 EUROPEAN COMMISSION Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) Unit A1 COSME Call for proposals 2016 Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs COS-EYE-FPA Recurrent Questions and Answers (ver. 5) for the submission of proposals (new questions and modified answers highlighted)!!! Last edition!!! Questions received after 31/03/2016 will not be answered anymore. Submission deadline: 5 April 2016 at 17h00 Brussels time INDEX A. Information event B. Objective(s) - Theme(s) Priorities - Activities C. Indicative Timetable D. Budget available E. Admissibility Requirements F. Eligibility Criteria G. Exclusion Criteria H. Selection criteria I. Award criteria J. Legal commitments K. Financial provisions L. Publicity M. Data protection N. Submission of proposals IMPORTANT: A. The purpose of this call is to conclude 'Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs) for the period (five years) with organisations to which specific agreements (SGA) might be awarded in order to implement Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) projects. Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), B-1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË contact the EASME team:

2 To this end the Agency will select consortia of Intermediary Organisations (IOs) to conclude long term framework partnerships in the form of FPA. After the FPA is awarded and signed by all parties, the holders of FPA will be invited to submit proposals with a detailed work programme. On the basis of the evaluation's results the Agency may award a Specific Agreement (SGA). Section "6.2 Eligible consortia" of this call stipulates the following: B. It is not allowed that a partner participates in more than one proposal. Nevertheless, should this happen, the respective organisation will be excluded from all the proposals it applied. The respective consortia that will be affected by the exclusion of (a) partner(s) must still fulfil the eligibility criteria as stipulated in 6.1 and 6.2 in order to be considered eligible. Please make sure that all partners in this proposal apply only once under this call in order to avoid ineligibility of your proposal and others. C. Applying organisations are strongly recommended to read the EYE Quality Manual attached to this call where specific information on the EYE programme is presented in detail. 2

3 A. Information event I attended the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs event and I would be interested in looking at the presentations. Will they be made public at some point or how could I get access to the presentations? An Information Day was organised in Brussels on 19 February Please consult the EASME's web page for further information and the presentation of the event at: Please check the Information event section. The event was web streamed and the recordings are available at Please be aware that there is no possibility to organise bilateral meetings with the EASME prior to the signature of Framework Partnership Agreements. All necessary information will be provided on the web or can be addressed to the functional mailbox of the call. B. Objective(s) Theme(s) Priorities - Activities 1. Objectives 1.1 Is it correct that the Agency will select consortia of Intermediary Organisations (IOs) to conclude long term framework partnerships in the form of FPAs? A: Yes, it is correct. The purpose of this call is to conclude 'Framework Partnership Agreements (FPAs)' for the period (five years) with organisations to which specific agreements might be awarded in order to implement Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) projects beyond the COSME programming period. It means that the FPAs are the first stage in the process You may be granted a Specific Agreement (SGA) only if you have had succeeded in the FPA call. 1.2 SGAs will have duration of 2 years each and will overlap (just like current cycles)? A: No, the intention is that the SGAs will not overlap. The 1 st year of the 1 st SGA project (starting from ) would still overlap with the 2 nd year of Cycle 8 projects implementation (project that started on 1/02/2016). However, participation in the call for the selection of FPAs cannot affect the performance of the Cycle 8 projects in case the IOs and consortia will be engaged in both. 1.3 Will the same consortium be able to apply each year for an SGA (therefore implementing from year 2 two SGAs contemporaneously)? A: It is planned that the invitations to submit SGA proposals will be launched every 2 years. However, this is an indicative planning. 1.4 Will the call for SGA be published in 2016 or 2017? A: There will be no "Call" for SGAs. The EASME will invite all FPA awardees to submit proposals for SGAs, in accordance with the indicative calendar specified in the call text. 3

4 1.5 How many calls for SGAs are planned? 2? In 2017 and 2019? A: At the moment it is planned that, depending on budget availability, the call to submit proposals for SGAs (i.e. invitations for Consortia that will have the FPAs signed) will be launched in 2016, 2018 and 2020 with an aim of SGAs to start in early 2017, 2019 and How long would each SGA last? (Implementation of an SGA = 24 or 30 months?) What would be the duration of each EYE project. A: The indicative planning foresees that each SGA will cover a period of 2 years. The FPA will cover the period of 5 years. The 3 rd SGA is intended to start in the last year of the FPA. 1.7 Will all the Consortia with FPA be granted with SGA or there can be variations every year? A: In principle it could be possible to grant Consortia that will have the FPA with SGAs. However, the important factor that should be taken into consideration is the annual budgets as in case the budget available would be lower than the demand in SGA applications, only the best ones will get funded. In any case the quality of the detailed 'work programmes' submitted in response to the call for submission of SGA proposals should also be sufficient. The competition among the Consortia will be much lower than in previous open calls announced every year. 1.8 Are there separate SGA calls planed (not linked with FPAs)? When? A: There cannot be any invitations to submit SGAs without FPAs. FPAs are the precondition to be invited to submit proposals for SGAs. However, in the future, if additional budget will be available, an open call, not linked with FPAs, might be launched in order to provide funding to the new consortia that do not hold an FPA. 1.9 I would like to know if this call will be always just for those who have four years of experience? A: This call is not restricted to the organizations having 4 years' experience only. Half of the consortium, excluding the LIO, may not have such experience. Regarding other calls (outside the FPA) please consult response 1.8 above. 2. Sector/Specific target groups 2.1. Is it possible to focus a major part of the delivery of the programme on a specific sector or a specific target group, i.e. digital technology entrepreneurs? A: Yes, it is possible to focus the promotion and recruitment activities on a specific sector or type of entrepreneur, e.g. web entrepreneurs or women entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurship, green economy etc. However, it is not possible to reserve a part of the budget of the future SGA exclusively for a specific target group. Please note that as stipulated in Section 2.2.c of the Call "IOs shall assess, manage and follow-up on applications both from entrepreneurs from within and outside their target groups (e.g. from spontaneous applications), even if their activity is targeted to specific groups (e.g. women entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurship, region)". Please bear in mind that the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs initiative aims at increasing the mobility of young/new entrepreneurs from all sectors of the economy Does the programme focus exclusively on young entrepreneurs? Does any age limit for the young entrepreneurs to participate in the mobility action (30-35 years or more) exist? A: Please note that 'young' in this programme refers to the length of the persons' business experience and not to their age. There is no age limit for participation in the programme. 4

5 2.3 Is it compulsory to target a specific group? Would allowing all NEs (independently from their business sector, geographical position within the country, etc.) to register with the intermediary organisations of the consortium would in any way be evaluated as negative (because not specific)? A: Yes, in the Implementation Strategy the applicant is expected to describe the specific target groups it intends to support through its projects. In a meantime, as explained in point 2.1 above, the IO should also assess the applications from the entrepreneurs not falling within the scope of the consortium focus. 3. Geography 3.1. Is there a preference concerning the geographical coverage (old/new EU Member States)? A: No, there are no specific requirements under this call. However, applicants are advised to put forward a balanced proposal in this respect. Please draft your proposal in full respect of the eligibility criterion specifying the minimum number of countries and maximum number of organisations per country Is there any kind of indication concerning regions having already an IO? A: The criteria applied during the evaluation are listed in the call section "Award Criteria". No other criteria will be applied. Any organisation from a region in which there is already an IO can be included in the application, provided that it will join only one consortium. 4. Activities 4.1 The consortia must specify their Implementation Strategy. How detailed should it be? A: As described in the call, consortia must fill in the document called 'Implementation Strategy'. There are no page limits for that, but we advise to be concise, precise and answer to the instructions in the best possible way. For guidelines please follow the section of the call where the activities are described in detail. Please remember though that the Strategy should be more a vision with the accent on impact. Applicants should specify in particular how they intend to implement the EYE in the next 5 years (i.e. strategy + methodology). 5. Consortium members 5.1. Are there any requirements regarding a consortium? A: Yes, there are several criteria that applicants must fulfil. For more details please check the call sections on eligibility and operational and financial capacity of consortium members. In few words: - Applicants need to form consortia. Single applicants are regarded as ineligible. - Consortia must be composed of minimum 5 and maximum 10 legal entities. - Consortium partners must come from at least 5 different COSME participating countries and maximum 2 partners can be from the same country in one consortium. - Applicants must demonstrate that one of their core activities is the support of small businesses and entrepreneurs and that they deliver business support services to start-ups or young entrepreneurs. 5

6 5.2 Experience of the consortium: Important: According to the Call: At least half of the consortium partners including the coordinator (Lead Intermediary Organisation, LIO) must have previous 4-years implementing experience with Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs projects and demonstrate how this experience will benefit the partnership. a. What should be the cut-off date for counting the experience? From which moment counts the experience in implementing EYE projects, is it the current project submission or the signature of SGA? A: The requirement of 4 years' experience has to be met at the starting date of the first SGA, i.e. by 1 st February The applicant must precisely explain in the Implementation Strategy how this requirement will be fulfilled by the Consortium. b. How do we have to calculate the number of years of experience? For instance, if a partner participated in cycle 5 and 6, can we count 2 years for cycle 5 and 2 years for cycle 6, so 4 years? Does the participation in 2 cycles mean 4 years' experience? A: If the IO participated in two cycles that were overlapping during the same year, the overlapping year counts as 1 year experience. Therefore participation in 2 consecutive cycles with projects of 24 months duration translates into 3 years' experience. c. For partners participating in cycle 8, can we count the experience that the partner will gain with this starting cycle as experience? (Indeed, this would be one more year of experience at the moment of the new project start, and already have approved 2 additional years)? A: Yes, see the answer in the point a) above. d. If one partner participated in Cycle 4 as subcontractor for management and promotion of the programme during 2 years ( ), and then participated in cycle 6 as IO ( ) and will now start working in cycle 8 as IO as well ( ). How many years of experience would that be? A: The experience of IO should only be counted. 'Implementing experience' means experience gained during your direct involvement in the previous cycles of the EYE programme. Subcontracting does not count as a direct involvement in a cycle. e. Should the 4-years' experience requirement only be counted for the subsequent years? A: No, the years do not need to be subsequent. f. What does the implementing experience mean? Does it concern the legal entity, staff employed or other elements? A: Implementing experience' means experience gained during your direct involvement in the previous cycles of the EYE programme. The experience is counted on the basis of the legal entity. g. We participated in the first pilot programme, is that covering the 4 years needed? A: The time spent in EYE pilot project counts for the experience. 6

7 h. Are these 4 years sum of the partners experience, of each of the partners have to have minimum 4 years? Does the lead institution (coordinator) must have four years experience, or that half of all participants (incl. lead) must have experience? Is it : 4 years per partner for half of the consortium? Or 4 years' experience for half of the consortium including the leader A: At least half of the consortium partners incl. the Coordinator (Lead Intermediary Organisation) should have 4 years' EYE implementing experience (as specified in section 8.2 of the call). Each partner's experience should be counted separately i.e. half of partners incl. Coordinator should have minimum 4 years' experience each. i. My organisation has participated in EYE in cycle 3 ( ) and now in cycle 8 ( ). Do you consider that we have the previous 4-years implementing experience with in EYE projects? A: Participation in full 2-years and not overlapping cycles is enough to meet the 4 years criterion set for LIO and half of Consortium partners. Please note however that the requirement of 4 years' experience has to be met at the starting date of the first SGA, i.e. by 1 st February This would mean that only 1 year from Cycle 8 could be counted in this case. A decision as to whether this formal criterion is fulfilled for all partners of the consortium will only be made during the evaluation after receipt of all proposals. j. How essential is this rule (4 years' experience requirement for LIO and half of Consortium members) in the process of selection? I wanted to ask you if the 4-year period required for the consortia is non-negotiable in the eligibility criteria. Must at least half the consortium partners (including the LIO) have participated in a previous round of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, or is having the appropriate experience and expertise of supporting entrepreneurs sufficient? A: This is one of the criteria that must be fulfilled by the Consortia. k. Our university was only active in one funding round (although we secured funding in two rounds). Does it mean we won't be able to coordinate a consortium? It is compulsory to have previous experience in Erasmus for young entrepreneurs to apply as coordinator in COS-EYE- FPA Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs? A: Yes, the Coordinator has to have 4 years' experience. l. Can the consortium structure change during the FPA duration? A: In principle we expect that the same partners as proposed and accepted in the FPA will implement the SGAs. Of course, in exceptional and well justified cases such changes would be possible but they should not affect the Consortium's capacities and commitments. Such change would be implemented via amendments to the grant agreement. m. Do we have to have all participants at the moment of the application or can we recruit more later? A: The partners must be identified at the moment of submission of the application Do you offer any support for the identification of partners to establish suitable consortia? Is there any data base where we can find other organisation looking for partners or willing to submit project? Is there any document or platform for partner search for this call? Does any 7

8 tool exist (database, search instrument, etc.) to find similar partners filling this specific requirement, working in this Programme for an involvement in our project? We should attend to a consortium to be able to apply to the programme but how can we meet with a consortium? We will appreciate if you can support us telling if there is any data base in order to look for partner Is there any other way or any other list of organizations that we can contact to propose a collaboration? Do we have a web or similar of the networks that are trying to apply? We have community of 1000 entrepreneurs that are demanding this program, and we would like to be part of one of the networks to help them? A: Organisations searching for partners will be able to consult a list of all Intermediary Organisations that ever participated in the EYE programme. This will help to identify experienced IOs. This list is available on the programme website at Once you click there please click on the hyperlink at the end of the sentence: "For a list of all organisations that have acted as local contact points in the programme, click here". It is not foreseen to provide applicants with a database for the submission of interest to form consortia. Please note that the Enterprise Europe Network, business support providers located in almost all regions across the EU, might be also of support in this respect. Main website where you can find useful information in terms of the existing Intermediary Organisations: LinkedIn: ?gid= &sharedKey 5.4 Where can I find information on the organisations involved in previous projects? I would appreciate if you could please indicate where we could get information of those Intermediary Organisations with 4-years implementing experience with the programme. We have serious difficulties and problems to search similar partners with 4 years of experience within this Programme. Is it possible and/or does exist a way to remedy to this problem? A: Information on the Network of Intermediary Organisations including all those that ever participated in the programme (for each organisation the specific cycle is allocated so the number of cycles can be easily calculated) is available under below address. Once you click there please click on the hyperlink at the end of the sentence: "For a list of all organisations that have acted as local contact points in the programme, click here". A: Regarding - projects selected in Cycles 7 you can consult below link: 8

9 Projects selected in Cycle 8 will be available at this link shortly. - projects selected in Cycles 1 to 6 you can consult below link (click the row Call for proposals at the bottom of the page): Is there any other way or any other list of organizations that we can contact to propose a collaboration? A: No, under above links you can find all information on the organizations participating in EYE Programme Would you also be able to point me to the data on performance of partnerships under cycles 6 and 7? A: The performance of different Consortia is presented in the reports for EC /EASME but they are not disclosed to the public. The call does not require specific previous performance, only previous participation Is it necessary to appoint Action leaders? A. Yes, please indicate in the 'Implementation Strategy' the leader for each Action (Technical Annex 1, Section II.3). 6. Deliverables 6.1. How many reports in total should be sent in the framework of the project? A: There will not be any reporting specific for the FPA only. Once the SGA will be signed the selected Consortia should submit three six-monthly progress reports, including promotion activities, and a final technical implementation report including financial statements after the end of the project implementation. The reports will have to be sent to the EASME through the Participants Portal. C. Indicative timetable Is the timetable indicated in the Call for project proposal immovable or is it just a suggestion? A: Regarding the call schedule, the planning is indicative but the EASME will do utmost efforts to stick to it. Concerning the project implementation, you can expect that the main meetings with the beneficiaries will take place on the dates as specified in the indicative timetable. Thus, the organisation of meetings by your consortium at local/regional level should take these dates into consideration when planning their activities. D. Budget available 1. Is there any budget foreseen for this stage of the procedure? A: No, there is no budget for the FPA. However if your consortium succeeds in the phase of Specific Agreements (SGA), grants will be available (for details see the Call text section 4.2). 9

10 E. Admissibility Requirements 1. Can we submit our application in another EU language than English? A: According to the section "Admissibility requirements", applications must be drafted in one of the official EU languages. However, in such cases you should submit a summary of the proposals in English. If you do so, please encode the summary in English in the Technical Annex 1 in Section A: Project Summary". (see the "Implementation Strategy" template) F. Eligibility Criteria 1. Eligible applicants 1.1. Is the whole consortium considered to be the applicant or just the coordinator? Can we submit an individual application? A: For this call, you have to submit a proposal as a consortium. Each partner in a consortium is considered an applicant (= project partners in a so-called European Partnership). However, a lead partner (= coordinator of the consortium) has to submit the application on behalf of all partners. That means that in the logic of the electronic submission tool SEP the proposal coordinator is considered to be the applicant. In the terminology of the EYE programme, the coordinator will be the Lead Intermediary Organisation (LIO) Could you confirm whether universities can submit a proposal under this call? Can they submit the proposal without a legal entity? A: In principle, universities and other institutes of higher education are eligible. However, the consortium as a whole must demonstrate sufficient capacity and knowledge in providing business support and reaching out to entrepreneurs. All the partners need to have a legal entity; without legal entity a partner cannot be regarded as eligible for funding. No grant agreement can be signed with a consortium that contains a partner without valid PIC (as specified in the Participant Portal). Please see the call section "6. Eligibility Criteria" for details We have no prior experience with this call for proposals. Are we eligible? A: In principle, any private or public body can apply under this call if it fulfils the eligibility conditions set out in section "6. Eligibility Criteria". Having no experience in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme is not a rule-out criterion. Just bear in mind that each partner in the consortium needs to prove sufficient capacity to implement the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme, as stipulated in the call. It is also important to remember that at least half of the consortium partners including the coordinator (Lead Intermediary Organisation, LIO) must have previous 4-years implementing experience with Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs projects and demonstrate how this experience will be beneficial the partnership We are an IO that won the last call for proposal with our office in city X. Would it be possible for us to participate in this year's call for proposals with our main office in city Y (other office, other staff available and other area of competence)? A: Yes, in principle you would be eligible to apply as long as the Consortium you're part of fulfils all eligibility conditions (see point B.5.2 above). Please note however, that an organisation cannot apply twice to the same call, which would mean in this case that you can only apply either as city X or city Y office We are an organization in 3 different countries with 3 different legal entities, but the same owner. Can we all be in the same consortium, qualifying for 3 out of 5 necessary participants? A: According to section 6 of the call, consortia should be composed of at least 5 independent legal entities. Thus if each organisation is a different legal entity, the requirements of section 6 are in principle fulfilled. 10

11 1.6. We just learned that another company, which is going to merge with our company in the coming months, is involved in another consortium which is also applying for this call, as a partner. Does this prevent our participation in our proposal? A: If, at the time of submitting the proposal, your organisations are two independent legal entities, each may participate as a partner in their respective proposals. However, if these organisations later merge, this one beneficiary may receive only one grant from the budget under the SGA. This is the principle of non-cumulative award, whereby each action may give rise to the award of only one grant from the budget to any one beneficiary (Directive 2004/18/EC of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public work contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts (Official Journal of the European Union L 134/114 of ) and Article 11.1 (a) of the call) Can a company 100% owned by another one participate as a partner in a project proposal if the owner company is participating within another project proposal in the same call? A: One legal entity can apply only once under this call. In your scenario, it seems the entities would be both different (i.e. two different legal entities owned by the same person). Thus, in principle both would be eligible to apply, but only in one proposal each We are currently participating in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme as Host Entrepreneur. Can we apply for this call? A: This call is intended to select Consortia of Intermediary Organisations implementing the programme. If your organisation has the knowledge and capacity to become an IO you are free to apply as a partner in a consortium, provided that the Consortium meets specific requirements as listed in the Call and point B.5.2 above. However, once you have been selected as an IO you are not allowed anymore to act as an HE in the programme as this would constitute a conflict of interest Can some of the partners be in the same region than other consortium partners? A: Yes it is possible as far as this complies with the eligibility conditions set out in section "6. Eligibility Criteria". This call aims at establishing transnational consortia with max 2 partners from the same country Can one of the applicants be established for only one year? A: As an applicant or partner as far as this complies with the eligibility conditions set out in section "6. Eligibility Criteria". Private bodies must be properly constituted and registered under national law and the core activity must be in the field of business support. For newly created organisation (less than a year) the assessment is based on the business plan. The project duration is 24 months. Thus, it is expected that all consortium partners operate during this period We were part of a proposal for the last call and were on the reserve list. Could we improve our proposal and reapply for this call? A: You can apply for this call, but the proposal should respond purely to the requirements of this Call. Please note that it is not the call for 2-years projects implemented through the SGA but for the long-term FPA Can one organisation be included in more than one consortium? A: No, section "6.2 Eligible consortia" of this call stipulates the following: It is not allowed that a partner participates in more than one proposal. Nevertheless, should this happen, the respective organisation will be excluded from all the proposals it applied. The respective consortia that will be affected by the exclusion of (a) partner(s) must still fulfil the eligibility criteria as stipulated in 6.1 and 6.2 in order to be considered eligible. Please make sure that all partners in this proposal apply only once under this call in order to avoid ineligibility of your proposal and others. 11

12 The Declaration template is available in Part B of SEP. It has to be filled and signed by the proposal coordinator I have a question about the section 6.1 of the EYE call 2016, in particular the sentence «Affiliated entities, i.e. legal entities having a legal or capital link with applicants, which is neither limited to the action nor established for the sole purpose of its implementation, shall take part in the action as applicants in order to declare eligible costs.» What does «as applicants» mean? Does it mean that the affiliated entities shall be indicated already in the project proposal and not afterwards? Can the affiliated participant receive the contribution and where should they be included in the proposal? A: Any legal entity applying under this call is entitled to receive funding as long as it complies with the eligibility criteria set out in this call. Affiliated entities are considered applicants and shall take part in the action as applicants in order to declare eligible costs. They need to be identified as applicants at the application stage and, thus, to be included in the implementation template and the online submission form Does the ineligibility of a partner affect the whole consortium and make it ineligible? A: Consortia should be composed of at least 5 independent legal entities from at least 5 different participating countries. If one of the partners constituting your consortium is ineligible, your consortium can still be eligible if it meets all the criteria of this call Are we eligible if we submitted last month a proposal for Erasmus + in the field of capacity building for Youth? A: The eligibility criteria for applicants are listed in the section 6.1 of the call text. Please note that the programme Erasmus + and the programme Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs are two different EU programmes and therefore the participation rules applicable for Erasmus+ programme are not valid under the COSME Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs action My company is private not for profit organisation, a social cooperative providing training and social services for the community. We are also a VET centre and we are certified as Job Agency for the matching between skills and labour market, training and entrepreneurship opportunities. Can we be considered eligible in present call (COS-EYE-FPA )? A: If your company complies with the requirements listed in section "6. Eligibility Criteria" of this call you are free to apply. The operational capacity of all applicants will be assessed as part of the selection criteria. 2. Geographical eligibility 2.1. How can applicants know whether their country participates in the COSME programme? A: As mentioned in the call, the European Commission, DG GROWTH provides up to date information regarding the countries that participate in COSME. The link in that footnote leads you to the COSME page on the site of the European Commission. If you are not certain whether your country has signed an agreement with the Commission, please check the following new web page where you will find a document regarding 3 rd country participation: What happens to a proposal that contains partners from countries not participating in the COSME programme at the time of submission of the proposal? 12

13 A: In principle, at the time of submission all partners of a proposal for a consortium should come from countries participating in the COSME programme. However, some 3 rd countries are in the process of finalising a formal agreement with the European Commission on participation in COSME. In this regard, some flexibility will be ensured by the EASME for this call. That means: If such agreement has not been formally signed and ratified by the day the EASME issues the award decision for the FPAs to be concluded under this call, the partner from a non-participating country might indeed be regarded as ineligible for funding. Consequently, if a proposal contains not more than the minimum number of partners (i.e. 5 entities from 5 different COSME countries) the whole proposal would be regarded as ineligible. Therefore, applicants are advised to minimise the risk for such a case to happen, i.e. consortia should be composed of more than the minimum required partners if these include partners from countries for which participation in COSME is currently uncertain Are the EU's Outermost Regions eligible for a) funding and b) to receive the maximum monthly allowance per New Entrepreneur? A: Outermost Regions are eligible and are entitled to receive the maximum monthly allowance for the financial support to New Entrepreneurs. This is specified in the Quality Manual, e.g. Annex 1 to the Quality Manual lists the monthly allowance for New Entrepreneurs travelling to and from Outermost regions. G. Exclusion Criteria 1. Supporting documents 1.1. Will you provide us with template forms of declarations of honour in order for us to meet the requirements as mentioned in 7.3 at a later stage? A: No, as specified in this section of the call, it is not necessary to submit a declaration of honour in the electronic submission tool (SEP) in the Participants Portal. All partners of projects recommended for funding will be required to submit such declarations at a later stage (during the Grant Preparation Process). However, at the time of submission the coordinator will be requested to confirm, in the electronic submission tool, that none of the partners is in a situation as described in section 7 of the call. Consequently, we strongly encourage the proposal coordinator to receive appropriate reassurance, prior to submission, that none of the partners is in such situation Do the rules in Exclusion Criteria «they are bankrupt " concerns what occurred in the past? A: The situations of exclusion enumerated in call section 7 "Exclusion criteria" do not refer to the past but only to the present and to the grant award procedure course. H. Selection criteria 1. Will you provide us with template forms of declarations of honour in order for us to meet the requirements as mentioned in 8.1 and 8.2 at a later stage? A: Yes, a form will be made available to those Consortia for which the SGA will be proposed.. Such declaration will be made available during the electronic grant agreement preparation process. 2. What do you expect as evidence of "financial capacity"? 13

14 A: Financial capacity of applicants is assessed on the basis of the balance sheet of the last financial year for which the accounts were closed; for newly created entities the assessment is based on the business plan; for non-profit organisations it is based on the annual budget of the last two years. 3. To prove the financial capacity for grants over , is it necessary to provide the declaration on honour and supporting documents for all partners, or just the main applicant? A: In the point 8.1 Selection criteria of the call text it is specified that in case of an application grouping several applicants (consortium), the thresholds apply per applicant. However, the financial viability check will be done only for projects recommended for funding at the stage of SGA preparation. Documents necessary to demonstrate fulfilment of the exclusion and selection criteria must be provided for each individual member of the consortium. For the conclusions of a grant agreement with the Agency, please be aware that if the financial capacity for one partner will not be sufficient, a financial guarantee will have to be provided and that no pre-financing can be made before. 4. Is there any other document we should provide at this stage with the application? A: At the submission stage on the Participants Portal the proposal coordinator will be asked to fill in an administrative form with proposal-related information and some declarations (called PART A). 5. I would like to receive from you an answer on the meaning of "implementing experience" in the meaning of section 8.2 on operational capacity. A: As the call text says: at least half of the consortium partners including the coordinator (Lead Intermediary Organisation, LIO) must have previous 4-years implementing experience with Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs projects and demonstrate how this experience will benefit the partnership. 'Implementing experience' means experience gained during your organisation's direct involvement in the previous cycles of the EYE programme. This is regardless your position in the consortium: Lead IO or a partner. What counts is the cumulative number of years, which means that your organisation must prove a total of four years (and not especially subsequent). 6. Could the higher number of IOs with 4-years' experience proposed in the Consortium increase the chances of being granted with the FPA? A: The requirement for half of the consortium members to have at least 4 years' experience is of eligibility nature. In the evaluation process various elements will be analysed when assessing consortia's' relevance and capacities. It can't be predicted that proposing more than the minimum number of IOs with 4 years' experience or more will translate into a higher score received. However, please also bear in mind that our intention is to welcome new organisations to participate in the programme, too. In this sense "new" means all organisations not fulfilling the 4-years criterion. 7. Our university was only active in one funding round (although we secured funding in two rounds). Does it mean we won't be able to coordinate a consortium? A: Although it is not exactly clear what is meant by "although we secured funding in two rounds", proofed activity in one funding round, i.e. implementation of 1 EYE project will not suffice to qualify for the role of consortium coordinator (Lead Intermediary Organisation) for a Framework Partnership Agreement. I. Award criteria 14

15 The award criteria are specified in section 9 "Award criteria" of the call text document. N.A. J. Legal commitments K. Financial provisions 1. In the art. 8.1 of the call it is stated that the assessment of the financial capacity for the applicants is based also on the provision of the supporting financial statements (balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement) certified by an external auditor for the last two financial years for which the accounts have been closed. Could you please clarify if this means that each of the applicants of a consortium, included the not for profit organizations, have to provide two balance sheets or other financial docs certified by an external auditor or if this apply only over a certain grant threshold? A: During the Grant Preparation Phase all partners in a consortium recommended for funding (i.e. in the Consortium that will sign the FPA with EASME) will be obliged to submit specific documents needed to assess partners' financial capacity. The details e.g. the thresholds will be specified in the invitation to submit proposals for Specific Agreements (SGA). Subcontracting N/A L. Submission of proposals 1. Call documents: 1.1. In previous calls other call documents such as Annex IV Form B5 had to be filled. Are these no longer valid? A: Please be aware that since 2014 the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs calls for proposals are launched by the EASME and the procedures for submission, evaluation etc. are aligned to the tools provided for the programme Horizon Thus, not only the documents have changed, some forms are not needed anymore, and some parts of data you encoded in documents in previous calls will have to be encoded directly in the electronic submission tool SEP. Documents and tools to be used for this year's will be soon available at: No other documents or tools must be used for the submission of a proposal. 1.2 Can you please tell me if the Annotated Model Grant Agreement is applying to the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. A: The model of FPA agreement will be published on the Call's page as soon as it is available Implementation Strategy (Technical Annex 1), template section III.2 Impact indicators When should the status of a NE be measured? How many months after the relationship is over? 15

16 A: In principle it is up to the Consortium to propose the monitoring methodology in the proposal. It is expected that during the FPA implementation the situation of each NE will be checked at least twice in order to have indeed a good overview of the EYE beneficiaries' situation. A following frequency of the NEs' situation can be applied as an example: a. new businesses set by NE 6 and 24 months after completion of the relationship b. and c. SME expansion and access to new markets 12 and 24 months after completion of the relationship (Letters a, b, c refer to those listed in the template) Is there any data available of the impact indicators achieved so far in the previous cycles that we could use as benchmark/ examples? Yes, you can consult the survey conducted in 2013 among the participants. For more information go to: and under the section Success stories you'll find the report "5 Years of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs". 1.4 Regarding the section II.3. Description of methodology and justification for the proposed strategy, it s indicated that the activities should be presented in the separate sub-section, and I have been looking of the sub-section within the quality manual, the call and the FAQ, but I do not find information on this sense. Could you indicate what it refers to? A: The sections (each corresponding to the single activity specified in the Call) are to be created by the applicants under point II.3 of the Strategy. 2. Electronic submission of proposals: 2.1. How shall proposals be submitted? I downloaded a form from the participant's portal, what else do we need to upload, what kind of documents you need? A: Submission of the proposal will have to be done through an online submission system by the coordinator of the consortium. The access to the tool is provided by the Participants Portal: The tool will request you to fill 2 parts: Part A (Administrative form) and Part B (upload documents). Part A: The coordinator has to encode (1) General information - including a short abstract of the proposal and declarations on behalf of the consortium partners; (2) Administrative data of participating organisations; Part B: The coordinator has to download, fill and upload (as PDF) the following documents: 1. Implementation Strategy (Technical Annex 1), 2. Declaration regarding the submission of ONE proposal only. 16

17 Please note that NO BUDGET has to be uploaded. Please click and access the Participant Portal to draft and submit proposals Can an organisation with a username and PIC number access the call s e-form and other documents directly? A: Yes, when you click the link that leads you to the electronic submission set you will be requested to log on. After that, you can start drafting your proposal in the electronic system and upload the relevant documents. If you have not yet registered, you will be required to create an account. Further information on the registration: funding-guide/grants/applying-for-funding/register-an-organisation/registration-oforganisation_en.htm 2.3. Is there an IT Helpdesk for the submission of proposals? A: For all questions concerning the registration of your organisation you should get in touch with the Helpdesk of the Participants portal: Is there a list of the awarded proposals under the previous calls and the amount of the EC contribution for each proposal? A: Please consult the section "calls for proposals" at the bottom of this webpage : Shall we already provide supporting documents or submit a consortium agreement? A: No, according to section "10. Legal Commitments" of the call, applicants do not have to sign documents at the stage of electronic submission nor to provide supporting documents. If recommended for funding, you might be asked to submit other supporting documents if needed. However, in order to ensure a proper functioning of the consortium, the grant agreement stipulates that all partner organisations conclude a consortium agreement establishing their rights and obligations between all partners involved, but it does not have to be provided at submission stage Does a public body (partner) have to submit a declaration of honour like all the partners? A: In respect of section 8.1 of the call, which relates to the applicant's financial capacity to carry out the work; the verification of the financial capacity does not apply to natural persons in receipt of scholarships, to natural persons most in need and in receipt of direct support, to public bodies or international organisations, irrespective of the value of the grant. In respect of section 8.2 of the call, which relates to the applicant's operational capacity to carry out the work; the EASME may, depending on a risk assessment, waive the obligation to verify the operational capacity of public bodies or international organisations (Article 131 (3) of the Financial Regulation). All partners in a consortium recommended for funding will have to submit a declaration of honour during the Grant Preparation Phase Our consortium organisations do not have online activity reports as requested in the Technical Annex 1 template (Implementing Strategy). What could we provide instead? A: You could present some basic information (copy/paste) in the above mentioned template, if available, regarding your organisation. The template also suggests to provide the link to your webpage (assuming that your organisation has one). If not submitted at the time of submission, the EASME might ask for separate submission of those files from applicants after the submission deadline. 17

18 2.8. Do you plan to accept late submission for some documents? A: As a general rule, only proposals that have been submitted via the SEP tool are accepted by the EASME. The EASME might contact applicants in case there was a clerical mistake and some aspects of application would need to be clarified. However, please make sure that upon submission the proposal is complete. 18

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