The European Commission shared in early October the state of play on streamlining the numerous paper-based or electronically managed model grant agreements (MGAs). The new Corporate MGA for use as from 2021 harmonises the contractual models and guidance for all post-2020 programmes such as Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, Erasmus+, and many others. The Commission is also piloting a streamlined audit process and aims to strengthen the exploitation and dissemination of Horizon Europe outcomes.
What does the Corporate MAG look like?
With the new Corporate Model Grant Agreement the European Commission offers more user-friendly contractual agreements with a uniform structure, better readability as well as improved content and features. This will align the new MGA with the EU’s July 2018 financial regulation, a selection of legal texts relevant to the EU budget. The new Corporate MGA will be mandatory for all funding programmes and can be adapted to reflect action-specific rules.
Horizon 2020 and the new Corporate MGA
Reporting in the Corporate MGA will be divided into continuous and periodic reporting. The reduction, suspension and termination grounds will be more aligned with the new financial regulation. Additionally, the daily rate approach for personnel cost will be a fixed provision across all programmes and will have to be calculated according to the given formulas. The special rules in Annex 5 will cover issues such as security, ethics, values, IPR, communication, dissemination, open science, and visibility. Annex 5 will also list any specific rules for carrying out the relevant action.
Novelties in the new Horizon Europe MGA
The Systems and Process Audit (SPA) offers a simplified and transparent risk-based Horizon Europe control strategy that better links the different arms of control and improves risk as well as fraud detection and prevention. The aim of the SPA is to reduce the audit burden for beneficiaries. SPAs are being piloted on selected beneficiaries, with further consultation with stakeholders and EC Central Services to follow.
Exploitation and Dissemination (D&E) places an emphasis on IP management and open science, particularly 3rd party exploitation and the use of the Horizon Results Platform within the Funding & Tenders portal to ensure the visibility of exploitable results. There will also be provisions for a results ownership list and a public emergency provision – i.e. the right to request the beneficiary to grant a non-exclusive license under fair and reasonable conditions.
Watch a recording of the workshop Novelties in Horizon Europe MGA, held by the EC on 9 October 2020, or download the presentations:
Presentation 1: General overview, state of play & financial provisions
Presentation 2: Systems and Process Audits
Presentation 3: Exploitation, IPR & Open Science in Horizon Europe
Source: The European Commission