The Commission have published a document which discusses the Commissions' plans for "Simplifying The Implementation Of The Research Framework Programmes"
The main plans include:
3.1. Strand 1: Streamlining proposal and grant management under the existing
· The Research Participant Portal will be developed into the unique platform for all interactions with beneficiaries;
· The use of electronic signatures will replace paper signatures wherever possible, starting in 2010 with the financial statements;
· A web-based document repository and a tracking system for transactions in proposal and grant management will be installed;
· The Commission will provide a coherent audit programming respecting the single audit approach.
· The Commission will increase the time between call publication and deadline beyond the standard three months, if possible;
· More projects with smaller consortia;
· More prizes will be given.
3.2. Strand 2: Adapting the rules under the current cost-based system
· There will be a move towards having eligible actual costs for EU purposes in strict accordance to the accounting method used by the beneficiary without adjustments;
· The current acceptability criteria for the use of average personnel costs will be widened;
· Possibility to have a single reimbursement rate for all activity types and categories of organizations or a uniform reimbursement rate over all activity types;
· Reduction in the number of methods for determining indirect costs (overheads). Possibly by introducing a single flat rate for charging indirect costs for all types of organisations and funding schemes;
· Paying back of Interest on Pre-financing may be partially of fully removed;
· Introduce more Lump-sum payments and thus possibly reduce the need for timesheets.
3.3 Strand 3: Moving towards result-based instead of cost-based funding
· To move away from cost-based system focused on input towards a system of funding based on prior definition and acceptance of output/results;
- Project-specific lump sums as a contribution to project costs estimated during grant evaluation/negotiation, and paid against agreed output/results;
- The publication of calls with pre-defined lump sums per project in a given subject area and selection of the proposals promising the highest scientific output for the specified lump sum;
- A high-trust "award" approach consisting in distributing pre-defined lump sums per project without further control by the Commission.
To view the full Paper, please click here.