National Contact Points (NCPs)
The network of National Contact Points is the main structure to provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in FP7.
NCPs are national structures established and financed by governments of the 27 EU member states and the states associated to the framework programme. NCPs give personalised support on the spot and in applicants' own languages. The NCP systems in the different countries show a wide variety of architectures, from highly centralised to decentralised networks, and a number of very different actors, from ministries to universities, research centres and special agencies to private consulting companies. This reflects the different national traditions, working methodologies, research landscapes and funding schemes.
Thematic NCP Networks
Support for Health research applicants
- Supports for SMEs proposal preparation
- Supports for proposal negotiation
- Supports for project management
- Supports for technology transfer, SMEs and Innovation
- Other support services
- HealthCompetence, a new interactive platform on European health research, includes all projects related to life science and health supported by the European Commission since 2004. Far from being a static database, it aims to present the projects' latest results in terms of technology offers, patents and publications. The platform also offers a row of interactive search devices which facilitate the identification of potential collaboration partners and the set up of partnerships between academia and industry in health research.
- LifeCompetence is a platform that provides tailor-made searches for research competences based on EU-funded projects within FP6 Life Science and Health. It aims to stimulate and accelerate research collaborations between academic and/or industry research groups. For this purpose the user (the EC, academia, developmental management and / or industrial organisations) will through LifeCompetence obtain state-of-the-art tools for analyses based on the European Life Science information in the LifeCompetence database.
- Practical Guide to EU funding opportunities for Research and Innovation 
EU support for research, technological development and innovation (RTDI) is provided mainly through the Seventh Research Framework Programme, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme and the Structural Funds. In addition to practical information on combining the different funding sources, the guide includes a description of each fund, advice for policy makers and an innovative Checklist and Scorecard. These allow potential beneficiaries to quickly identify exactly how they can access European funding at every stage of a project.
Intellectual Property management in FP7
Intellectual Property issues are very important, not only during an EU funded project but also after its end. It may have a very significant impact on the exploitation of the project’s results. Special attention has been given already during FP6, and even further in FP7, to improve IPR provisions in order to better implement valorisation of projects results.
Two key questions must be clarified in any R&D collaboration: (1) who owns the results, and (2) who can access the results and the “background” (owned by the participants before starting the project) of the other participants, either for carrying out the project or for using its results.
In EU Framework Programme projects, the model contract defines a limited number of basic IPR rules, which have been designed to promote both the implementation of the project and the exploitation of its results.
Additionally, more specific provisions shall be agreed on between the participants in their consortium agreement.
IPR provisions have been further improved in FP7; for details see the guide to IPR and the check-list for consortium agreement available at: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/find-doc_en.html
You may also contact the IPR-help desk, funded by DG ENTR: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/get-support_en.html#ipr
For more information/assistance:
- Rules of participation (FP7) 
- Relevant links and reports on IPR, tech transfer, etc.
- FP7 Standard model grant agreement
- Checklist for a Consortium Agreement for FP7 projects 
- Guide to Intellectual Property Rules for FP7 projects 
Information relevant to the Intellectual Property management in FP6:
Supports for SMEs proposal preparation in the Health theme
- SME go Health is an EU funded support network of experts and National Contact Points in 30 countries aiming at the successful participation of research centers, universities and innovative SMEs in EU-funded "HEALTH" research projects. Several services are provided: individual assistance and consultation, information and training on EU FP7 topics in national and transnational training sessions and help in finding a project partner through its SME/researcher project profiles database.
- If you are an SME working in Medical Technologies and Biomedical Engineering, SM-BIO-POWER will specifically help you to participate in EU research. This EU funded support action, with a consortium of ten partners, helps SMEs to gain international visibility for your company. SM-BIO-POWER provides information on the latest trends in EU support for biomedical engineering research together with best practice examples from other SMEs in EU projects. An online helpdesk is available for registered users as well as personal assistance in identifying funding opportunities and project partners. Personalised updates include selected information such as call alerts, partner searches and consortia and project opportunities.
Supports for proposal negotiation in the Health theme
- Negotiation information for FP7 projects can be found in the " Grant Agreement Negotiation Guidelines".
- For further information, please view the presentation on FP7 Grant Agreement Negotiation .
Supports for project management in the Health theme
- On May 4th 2009, Directorate Health organised a training session for coordinators of the selected projects to be funded under FP7-HEALTH-2009-single-stage call. You can access here the general presentation on FP7 Grant Agreement Negotiation . Topics such as the use of NEF tool, third parties and budget issues, certification under FP7 and special clauses, amendments, preparation of the DoW and communication aspects under FP7 are addressed.
- On March 13th 2009, Directorate Health organised a training session for coordinators of FP7 Grant Agreements reporting in 2008. You can view here the presentation on FP7 reporting  (where topics on scientific and financial reporting, third parties and certification under FP7, amendments and ex-post audits policy are addressed) and the presentation on the FORCE tool for financial reporting  (where practical hints and explanations on the use of the on-line tool for the financial reporting under FP7 are offered).
- Under the Project management information for FP6 you find information on "How to prepare project reports in FP6" as well as more general information
- For project management information on FP7, please visit the FP7 documents' directory
- The Strategic Project Management Resource Kit (SPARK) aims at fostering excellence in the practice of FP6 project management by establishing a reference pool of key management processes, methods and tools based on real LSH project experiences. Access the SPARK website and training platform.
- The Research Management Training for Doctoral Research Students (REMAT) develops a set of training modules for doctoral candidates in the area of life science that will introduce them to management and exploitation issues related to conducting research at a European level.
Supports for technology transfer, SMEs and Innovation
SMEs in Health Research, Opportunities during and after participation in EU funded projects 
The proceedings from the workshop are a practical guide with various sources of information for Health-funded projects, specially designed for SMEs but valuable for all project participants.
The Medical Technologies Map of European Regions and Clusters (MediMap) provides an innovative web platform for the creation of new kind of business in the medical technology sector throughout Europe. It has been developed in the scope of the clustering Interreg IIIC EU project "INNOFIRE" as a database web tool.
- Specific Support Actions funded by the Health Theme
- Support by other EU institutions
- Complementary financing information
- KAPPA-Health or "Key Performance Factor Assessment and Valorisation for Successful EU-FP Project Participation of innovative SMEs in the Area of HEALTH", is a EU funded project aiming to assess and valorise the success of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in the Health sector, which have received funds from FP6 and FP7. The project includes 7 participants, five of them are SMEs. They provide knowledge on Framework Programmes, managerial issues, financial market. They raise awareness of the challenges that SMEs are facing in their perspective of achieving commercial success out of their research results.
- Creation of a biotechnology cluster network across Europe (CEBR) is a network of organisations that support their local bio community through direct services including networking, incubation, partnering and cluster promotion.
- Training of young ScanBalt LSH Scientists in project and Innovation management and economic exploitation (TRAYSS PRIME) provides scientific training, project management and technology transfer training in the Baltic Sea Region.
- Bioentrepreneur Boot Camps, a FP6 EU-funded project (2007-2008), provides training specifically supporting scientists to prepare viable business plans and launch successful new Biotech Companies, with special attention to new members and candidates countries.
- Intellectual Property Rights and asset management courses (IPRAM), a FP6 EU-funded project (2007-2008), organises trainings about essential aspects of IPR in the field of life sciences and biotechnology to young scientists at universities across Europe.
- Realisation of Young Innovative Company Status (YIC) - for biotech companies is a FP6 EU funded project that developed a common plan for the realisation of the YIC status. More about the YICs status and how to profit from tax incentives as implemented in France and Belgium.
- The Entreprise Europe Network offers a comprehensive range of services for European SMEs and entrepreneurs, providing tailor-made solutions at any stage of a company’s life cycle. The new on-line tool developed by DG Enterprise and Industry and the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation combines and builds on the former Innovation Relay Centres and Euro Info Centers. Services are specifically designed for SMEs but are also available to all businesses, research centres and Universities across Europe.
- Useful support and information for SMEs can be obtained from the European portal for SMEs
- Further support will be provided through the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).
- The European Medicine Agency (EMEA) has established an ' SME Office', which is dedicated to addressing the particular needs of smaller companies.
A selection of complementary financing sources which can help to finance SMEs and also other consortium members, such as large industrial companies and public research organisations:
- European Investment Bank (EIB):
The EIB offers various financing facilities to support research projects. To support loans addressing riskier research and innovation capital investment projects, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have joined forces to set up the Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF).
- European Investment Fund (EIF):
Click here for EIF's activity on venture capital and business incubators. In particular for SMEs, the European Commission, European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund have launched a joint initiative to improve SMEs' access to finance in the framework of European Regions, called JEREMIE.
- Financial Instruments of the CIP:
Also the Financial Instruments of the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme 2007-2013 (CIP) help SMEs raising equity and debt finance. With a budget of over € 1 billion, the CIP financial Instrument should leverage around € 30 billion of new finance for SMEs. Check here for information about funding opportunities in your country.
- Venture Capital Financing:
The European Venture Capital Association (EVCA) provides contact details of European venture capital funds providing risk capital at various stages of company development.
For further information, please refer also to other support services on FP7
Last updated on: 2010-09-02