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FAQ

This webpage only addresses questions related to innovation vouchers, i.e. Prototyping Vouchers, Customized Solution Innovation Vouchers and Co-working Disruption Lab Vouchers. For travel vouchers, there is a separate FAQ

Support Documents

The following documents might clarify already a lot of the questions you might have. We suggest you check this page, where you might find the answers to your questions, before reaching out to us.

Voucher framework – Explanation of the funding system and the target group

Open call document – What topics are considered for funding? Which deadlines apply? What is the available budget?

Application and Reporting Documents – What information has to be provided for the application?

Eligibility

Is our organization eligible for funding?

To receive funding, the applying organizations must fulfill the below criteria:

 

Our consortium is existing of two start-ups (one with VAT, the other one without; both without economic activity as at an early stage) and would like to apply for a voucher. Are we eligible?

If you are not sure if you are an SME or not, please use the SME self-assessment questionnaire: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/SME-Wizard/ and determine whether your organisation qualifies as a small and medium-sized enterprise and consequently if it´s eligible.

 

What are the starting TRLs for the Prototyping Voucher and the Customised Solution Innovation Voucher?

DIGI-B-CUBE doens’t have any TRL requirements. However, the purpose as stated in the voucher description applies: For PV development and proof of a concept. For CSIV a proven concept has to exist and will be further developed.

 

How do the DIGI-B-CUBE Cluster Partners support matchmaking among the SMEs interested in the voucher-based funding?

Matchmaking tool on DIGI-B-CUBE online platform, matchmaking events and assistance by consortium (reach out by email).

 

Can two companies which apply for a voucher be from the same country?

Yes.

 

In relation to the eligibility assessment procedure – in order to demonstrate that an SME is operating in the eligible field is it necessary to provide any supporting document (such as statutory documents, etc.)?

Only upon request. The consortium checks the SME website; in case of doubts it can request statutory documents.

 

Can public or research hospitals be part of the consortium? Are they eligible for funding?

A public or research hospital can be part of the consortium. It is not eligible, except if it is an SME.

 

Can non-European organisation be eligible for sub-contracting?

Yes.

 

Could the same SME apply for two Prototyping Vouchers in different projects/consortia? Could the same SME apply for Prototyping Voucher and also for Customised Solution Innovation Voucher (of course up to the ceiling of €60k)?

Yes. The respective max. funding amounts have to be considered.

 

Is there any difference in scoring between a consortium composed of 2 SMEs from 2 countries and a consortium composed of 2 SMEs from the same country?

Yes, there is a better scoring. But it is not the only criterion to be considered, rather one out of several. (Reason: Objective of the call is to develop new cross-sectoral industrial value chains across the EU)

 

Can the consortium consist only of the organisations from the Horizon-2020-associated countries?

Yes. Only organisations from EU and its associated countries (https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/wp/2018-2020/annexes/h2020-wp1820-annex-a-countries-rules_en.pdf)

 

If a consortium of 3 companies get €150k for a project, can one of the companies still use a travel voucher up to €60k maximum per company?

Every company can be funded up to 60k in the framework of the DIGI-B-CUBE Project. E.g. if one company is funded by 50k with a Customised Solution Innovation Voucher, then 6k (max. for travel voucher amount per SME) can be spend for travel vouchers. (Max. per Travel 2k; max travel vouchers 6k)

 

Is a non-European partner eligible to funding?

No. A non-European partner is not eligible for funding. But It can participate without funding.

 

Do the challenges must focus on Europe only? Or targeting a market in a different continent is still eligible?

The challenges can target markets in different continents as long as the EU and associated companies benefit from these activities.

 

If one of the partners of a consortium is already participating in an EU funded project, are there any limitations of receivable funding and/or eligibility for the DIGI-B-CUBE project?

Yes. According to the financial guidelines for applicants of the European Commission, no double-funding is allowed: “Each action may give rise to the award of only one grant, there can be no duplicate European Union funding of the same expenditure. The applicant must indicate the sources and amounts of any other funding received or applied for in the same financial year for the same action or for any other action and for routine activities (running costs)”.

 

In case there is already a methodology developed in the previous H2020 project, can it be considered as an existing proven concept for a novel software as a product, therefore, eligible to application for the Customised Solution Innovation Voucher?

Yes, for Customized Solution Innovation Vouchers a methodology developed in previous projects can be considered as existing proven concept.

 

Are telemedicine projects in line with the call? Do you think a project about sleep – sleep diagnose and sleep optimization (with AI) – may be of interest of DIGI-B-CUBE and eligible?

Both projects are eligible: yes – telemedicine and sleep diagnostics. It is important, that both sectors (health and IT) are represented in the project.

 

Are two sister companies eligible for funding as two different entities? 

No, as they do not comply with the control criteria of the SME definition, being linked companies. 

Application

How does my organization/the project consortium apply for a voucher?

  1. Register your organization on the DIGI-B-CUBE platform.
  2. The legal signatory of your organization has to approve your organization’s profile by clicking a link in an email sent to him or her.
  3. Find collaboration partners to form a consortium and select a lead beneficiary who is in charge of submitting the application.
  4. The lead partner of your consortium submits the voucher application via the DIGI-B-CUBE platform
  5. The other beneficiaries confirm their participation.

 

What happens if a member of the project consortium withdraws from the application or does not confirm its participation?

The whole voucher project application is considered withdrawn/incomplete. The remaining partners can find a new partner if necessary and re-apply. The cut-off deadlines apply regardless.

 

What happens if one member of the project consortium requesting funding is found to be not eligible during the evaluation period?

The whole voucher project application is considered invalid. The remaining partners can find a new partner if necessary and re-apply in the next phase of the open call (if applicable).

 

What are the responsibilities of the lead beneficiary?

The lead beneficiary is the main point of contact between the DIGI-B-CUBE consortium and the innovation voucher project consortium. This SME is in charge of submitting the voucher application for the project consortium. It is also in charge of submitting the first part of the intermediate and/or final report that contains information about the performance and the major results of the project (incl. a short description of the work done by all partners), as well as derivations from the proposed workplan that may have arisen.

 

Do the members of the innovation voucher project consortium have to be located in specific countries?

We encourage cross-border collaboration within Europe. However, there are no requirements, expect that the SMEs in the consortium receiving funding are headquartered in a EU Member State or Horizon2020-associated country.

 

Can two hybrid (health&IT) SMEs submit together?

Two hybrid SMEs can work together as long as both sectors (health and IT) are represented.

 

When do we hear about the results of the selection?

For prototyping and customized solution innovation voucher applications, the results of the first round of the open call with deadline 29th of July 2020 are announced on 28th of August 2020.

Co-working disruption lab vouchers will be evaluated continuously after the call for project proposals for this voucher type opens on 28th of October 2020 and we will inform you about our decision within 4 weeks.

 

Can non-European organisation be eligible for sub-contracting?

Yes.

 

How does DIGI-B-CUBE support extension of the chances to find the right partner?

Matchmaking tool on DIGI-B-CUBE online platform, matchmaking events and assistance by consortium (reach out by email) are the means for that.

Implementation of the project

Our project was selected for funding. When does the project have to start?

Prototyping voucher projects and customized solution innovation voucher projects awarded in the first round of the call have to start latest on 30th September 2020.

 

What is the DIGI-B-CUBE point of view about the intellectual properties that could be generated by SME and IT partner?

Agreements about ownership of Interlectual Property generated in the Project (IF Foreground) is the responsibility of the project partners, not of DIGI-B-CUBE. We recommend to have a agreement governing the owenrship. If no agreement exists, the third party grant agreement of DIGI-B-CUBE states soley that the party that generates the IP Foreground will own it.

 

Are the applications evaluated also under an ethical point of view?

Applicants have to fill out an ethical self-assessment. Based on that and at the discretion of the reviewers the application might be submitted to an additional ethical review.

 

In regard to the admissible costs: if one partner needs to buy materials (i.e. software) from an external company outside of EU, are those costs admissible for refund?

No. Other direct costs than the indicated ones (personnel costs and subcontracting) are not eligible. (Reason: We could only fund the deduction / allowance for depreciation for the runtime of the project. This is more work / would cause more administrative costs than the sum of the funding would be).

 

Are there any limitations to submit more than one voucher in different categories or in the same category? 

The limitation is the maximum budget for each voucher per SME. 

Reporting

What are the responsibilities of the lead beneficiary?

The lead beneficiary is the main point of contact between the DIGI-B-CUBE consortium and the innovation voucher project consortium. This SME is in charge of submitting the voucher application for the project consortium. It is also in charge of submitting the first part of the intermediate and/or final report that contains information about the performance and the major results of the project (incl. a short description of the work done by all partners), as well as derivations from the proposed workplan that may have arisen.

Does the SME from the health sector have to be the lead partner of the project?

The health company does not have to be the lead partner.

Funding / financial provisions

What is a voucher?

In DIGI-B-CUBE, we provide funding for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) through a voucher system. A voucher is basically a declaration from the Project Coordinator (Oslo Cancer Cluster) that your organization will be reimbursed for costs incurred for a specific purpose within the DIGI-B-CUBE project.

 

Can a non-SME entity such as a university be a subcontractor?

Yes.

 

Can a non-SME entity (e.g. a hospital) be the “problem provider” and work with two IT/hybrid SMEs which develop a solution? If so, can the non-SME entity additionally get a subcontracting by the other two SMEs?

There is the possibility that two IT or hybrid companies develop an innovative solution for a non-SME entity (e.g. hospital). The non-SME entity cannot be at the same time contracting / contract provider and subcontractor in the same project. So, in fact they can be (non-eligible) partner in the project OR subcontractor.

 

When does a beneficiary receive the pre-financing (if applicable)?

Two weeks after signing the grant agreement with the DIGI-B-CUBE coordinator.

 

Is funding received in DIGI-B-CUBE considered under the De-minimis funding cap?

No, the De-minimis funding cap does not apply to funding received in DIGI-B-CUBE. Therefore, if your organization already reached it limit under the EU De-minimis rules, it can still receive funding from DIGI-B-CUBE.

 

Can the money be transferred to a private bank account?

No, we can only transfer money to a company account, except if the company is a “sole proprietorship” business. In this case, indicate this in the voucher report form and provide your organization number.

 

Are other direct costs such as costs for equipment, material and consumables eligible?

No. Only personnel and subcontracting costs are eligible. Subcontracting costs are limited to 20% of the voucher value.”

 

How to calculate the hourly rate of an SME owner/natural person without a salary? 

The hourly rate of SME owners and natural persons without a salary is calculated as unit costs fixed by Commission Decision C (2013) 819718. The following document of the European Commission apply: Annotated Model Grant Agreement (https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/amga/h2020-amga_en.pdf): 1.4.2 These costs must be declared as the unit cost (hourly rate) fixed by Commission Decision C (2013) 819718 and set out in Annex 2 and 2a of the GA. The precise unit cost is not pre-fixed by the Decision; the ‘amount per unit’ (hourly rate) must be calculated for each individual — before signature of the GA — according to the following formula: Amount per unit = {{EUR 4 650 or 4 880* /143 hours} multiplied by {country-specific correction coefficient of the country where the beneficiary is established}} The country-specific correction coefficient is the one set out in the H2020 Work Programme (section 3 MSCA)19 in force at the time of the call. *EUR 4 650 for calls under Work Programmes 2014-2015 and 2016-2017 and EUR 4 880 for calls under Work Programme 2018-2020. 

Example: A German SME owner not receiving a salary will calculate the hourly rate as follows: EUR 4 650/143 * 98.8% = EUR 32,13/hour 

Example for Spain: 

4.880€/143 hours * 97,1% = 33,17€ hourly rate (considering a senior researcher) 

It refers to the following document: 

https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/legal/unit_costs/unit-costs_sme-owners_natural-persons-no-salary_en.pdf 

“The use of Marie Curie unit costs (living allowances) has proved appropriate to achieve the policy objective of ensuring proper participation of SMEs in EU and Euratom research and innovation programmes and to guarantee the principle of equal treatment of beneficiaries. This system shall thus be maintained under Horizon 2020 and the Euratom programme complementing Horizon 2020. To further simplify it, the unit cost for a reference category of researcher shall be used, i.e. experienced researchers under the Individual Fellowship (IF) actions, as calculated according to and specified in Commission Decision C(2013)8194 authorising the reimbursement on the basis of unit costs under Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions within the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme (2014-2020). The Commission decision provides for the application of a country-specific correction coefficient. 

The unit cost for SME owners and other natural persons not receiving a salary shall be updated in accordance with the method specified in Commission Decision C (2013)8194. The eligible direct personnel costs declared by beneficiaries that are SMEs for their owners not receiving a salary and by beneficiaries that are natural persons not receiving a salary shall be based on a unit cost per hour worked on the action to be calculated as follows: {Monthly living allowance for experienced researchers under the IF actions calculated according to Commission Decision C(2013)8194 (including the country-specific correction coefficient) / 143 hours} 

You can find more information on unit costs here:  

You can find the country-specific correction coefficient here: 

 

How to prove salaries? 

Please check the following document – here the reporting issues are described: 

https://digibcube.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Application-and-Reporting-Document-for-Sub-projects.pdf 

 As it is the case also for any kind of projects funded by the EU, please consider that you need to be able to provide the following documents – ONLY on request: 

  • Timesheets of personnel working on the project (originals, signed by the respective employees AND the Legal Signatory)
  • Payslipsthat document that the payment was done (salaries paid out to the employees), incl. proof of any employer´s contribution connected to the salaries (e.g. declarations to the tax authorities). Failure to provide the requested information (in the requested format and within the specified deadline) will lead to the rejection of costs (and possibly other measures, such as recovery, suspension of payments, termination, administrative and financial penalties, etc.). Evaluations may be started during implementation of the action and up to three years after the payment of the balance. 
  • Employment contracts