Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge:

National Contact Points need to be fully cognisant with the rules and procedures of Horizon 2020 if they are to provide high quality services to potential applicants. They also need to be proficient in the processes involved in running an NCP service itself. This is a continuous concern, as the programme evolves, lessons are learned, and as newcomers join the NCP network. A body of know-how is already held by the NCPs themselves, which needs to be made generally available, and further enhanced.


Support will be given to a consortium of formally nominated NCPs concerned with quality standards and cross-cutting issues across the NCP network in the country concerned. These NCPs will be the national coordinators, and the Legal and Financial NCPs, or other NCPs explicitly nominated by the national coordinators for participation in this network. The network will be a vehicle for building up and mobilising expertise, for providing training to the wider network of NCPs and for providing feedback and analysis to the Commission. Parts of the training programme will be provided by NPCs, third parties, or by Commission specialists. For this reason the network will work in consultation with the Commission service responsible for NCP coordination. It will solely address cross-cutting issues, such as: financial and legal issues from the submission and evaluation of the proposal to the signature and the implementation of the Grant; project coordination and management; project reporting; intellectual property rights; synergies with other sources of funding, notably European Structural and Investment Funds; research and innovation policy; gender equality and the gender dimension in research content, ethical and security issues and good practices for NCP work. Special attention will be given to enhance the competence of NCPs, including helping less experienced NCPs rapidly acquire the know-how accumulated in other countries. Issues that are specific to the parts and challenges of Horizon 2020 will be addressed by the relevant networks under those areas, and will not be covered by this network. The network will also develop tools for monitoring quality standards (indicators, benchmarks etc.), and will provide an input to periodic policy meetings of national NCP coordinators and Legal and Financial NCPs. The applicants organisations will be the legal entities (ministry, agency, research body, company etc.) to which an NCP is affiliated ("host organisation"). In order to focus resources, the network can only include NCPs from EU Member States, and Associated Countries, who have been officially appointed by the relevant national authorities.

The network should include a good representation of experienced and less experienced NCPsOnly NCPs from EU Member States, Associated Countries and neighbourhood policy countries which have been officially appointed by the relevant national authorities are eligible to participate in and receive funding for this action.

The consortium should have a good representation of experienced and less experienced NCPs.

Submission of a single proposal is encouraged. NCPs from EU Member States or Associated Countries choosing not to participate as a member of the consortium should be identified and the reason explained in the proposal. These NCPs are nevertheless invited and encouraged to participate in the project activities (e.g. workshops), and the costs incurred by the consortium for such participation (e.g. travel costs paid by the consortium) may be included in the estimated budget and be eligible for funding by the Commission.

The Commission will only fund one proposal under this topic.

Expected impact:

  • An improved and professionalised NCP service across Europe, thereby helping simplify access to Horizon 2020 calls, lowering the entry barriers for newcomers, and raising the average quality of proposals submitted.

  • A more consistent level of NCP support services across Europe.

Type of action: Coordination and Support Actions.

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