INDUSAC OPEN CALL FOR STUDENTS AND RESEARCHERS
Programme: Horizon Europe Framework Programme
Call: A HUMAN-CENTRED AND ETHICAL DEVELOPMENT OF DIGITAL AND INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES 2021 (HORIZON-CL4-2021-HUMAN-01)
The call is managed by EU project INDUSAC under the Horizon Europe programme. The Horizon Europe project INDUSAC, aims to financially support short-term (4-8 weeks) research collaborations between academia (students and researchers) and industry (companies), in solving company Challenges. Financial support to third parties (FSTP) is given solely to student members of the co-creation teams.
- 300 successful collaborations between industry and academia,
- Supported co-creation projects shall include at least 50% female representation overall (not on the individual co-creation project level).
- 60% of members of the co-creation teams must be from Widening Countries.
- Distribution of 900.000 EUR gross for FSTP to student members of the co-creation teams,
Students and researchers are invited to create co-creation teams and solve companies’ Challenges within 4-8 weeks.
Opening date: November 2023
Deadline model: single-stage, three cut-off dates
Deadline for submitting a Motivation Letter:
The Motivation Letter from a co-creation team is considered submitted once all co-creation team members confirm participation in the co-creation team and confirm the terms and conditions.
Although not mandatory, co-creation teams are encouraged to apply with a single strong Motivation Letter rather than multiple less-elaborated applications that may be rejected and thus cost them a valuable opportunity (since the maximum number of Motivation Letters throughout all three cut-off dates is three).
Eligible countries: In accordance with the Horizon Europe Call, students and researchers in each co-creation team must come from EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden), in particular Widening countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia; source) or Associated Countries (1. Albania, 2. Armenia, 3. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 4. Faroe Islands, 5. Georgia, 6. Iceland, 7. Israel, 8. Kosovo, 9. Moldova, 10. Montenegro, 11. North Macedonia, 12. Norway, 13. Serbia, 14. Tunisia, 15. Turkey, 16. Ukraine, 17. Morocco, 18. UK), as indicated by their citizenship or residency.
Eligibility for Students.
- Students must study at public universities during the entire duration of the activity (from the co-creation team establishment until one month after the final report of the co-creation team is confirmed).
- An individual student will be able to participate in more than one co-creation team but be a candidate with a maximum of three Motivation Letters.
Eligibility for Researchers.
- Researchers must be employed at a public research organisation during the entire duration of the activity (from the co-creation team establishment until one month after the final report of the co-creation team is confirmed).
- An individual researcher will be able to participate in more than one co-creation team but be a candidate with a maximum of three Motivation Letters.
Eligibility of Co-creation Teams
- The co-creation team must have at least three and up to six members.
- Co-creation team members must be from at least three different EU Member States or Associated Countries.
- The co-creation team has to be gender balanced (operationally, gender balance entails selecting at least two different gender options (Male, Female, Would rather not say)).
- Each co-creation team must include at least one student, ie. no co-creation team may comprise exclusively researchers.
- At least 60% of the members of the co-creation team must be from Widening Countries.
English is the official language of all INDUSAC documents using the Latin alphabet.
up to 1,000 EUR gross per student (lump sum), up to 3,000 EUR gross per co-creation team wherein only students are eligible for funding; 900,000 EUR gross in total, for supporting 300 projects.
Application and implementation process
Step 1 – Registration
Prior to submitting Motivation Letters, students and researchers register (sign-up) (Appendices 1 and 2) on the INDUSAC platform (each student/researcher creates their own appropriate user account) and provides certain information.
Step 2 – Putting together a co-creation team
A student/researcher selects a Challenge. Once students/researchers have chosen a Challenge, they assemble a co-creation team. They may use the platform Slack (slack.com) or another communication channel of their choice. Each co-creation team (created on the platform) automatically gets an ID.
Students already registered on the INDUSAC platform can invite students not yet registered, to join a co-creation team via e-mail. Once a co-creation team has been assembled, members can create their own channels and discuss their ambitions, goals, and further details. In this chat, they also start preparing their Motivation Letter.
Step 3 – Motivation Letter submission
Once all co-creation team members are registered on the platform, a co-creation team can apply for a Challenge. The co-creation team must select the co-creation team leader, who submits a common Motivation Letter (ie. a single Motivation Letter per co-creation team) that is confirmed by all co-creation team members before the final submission.
After the closing of a cut-off date, no additions or changes to received Motivation Letters will be considered.
Motivation Letters (Appendix 3) need to be submitted through the INDUSAC platform. Motivation Letters submitted by any other means will not be evaluated.
After the cut-off date, the company selects co-creation teams based on evaluation criteria and instructions for Motivation Letter (Appendix 3).
Evaluation criteria for evaluating the Motivation Letters (from co-creation teams):
(1). TEAM’S MOTIVATION (5%)
- Personal motivation: reflection of a team’s enthusiasm for taking on the challenge.
- Did the team introduce the team members? (yes/no)
- Do their strengths and abilities adequately explain the reason why they are suitable? (yes/ no)
- Will they be able to work together as a team? Do they already have team cohesion?
(2). EXCELLENCE (30%):
- Soundness of the approach and credibility of the proposed methodology, according to the expectations of companies.
- Are the efficiency and quality of work related to the challenge well explained?
(3). IMPACT (30%):
- Do you believe the co-creation team will find a solution that can be successful on the market?
- To what level will the potential solution be innovative in regards to the existing solutions on the market (incremental improvement, radical improvement, breakthrough innovation, …)? Focus on the creativity of how the team predicted their future success and not on a potential solution they might have proposed.
- Has a co-creation team already found out about the companies’ competition and how they will try to get to a differentiated solution?
- How important will the project be for the company and how well did the team foresee the impact?
(4). TEAM AND RESOURCES (30%):
- Transversal, entrepreneurial and leadership skills, technical expertise, co-creation teams’ ability to take a concept from ideas to market, and their capacity to carry through their ideas and understand the dynamics of the market they are trying to tap into.
- Does the team have specific resources that qualify them as a team specifically to find an excellent solution?
- Is the foreseen time consumption (hours/team member) for the co-creation project sensibly aligned with the project structure, and fitting within the 4-8 weeks time frame?
(5) TRANSVERSAL CRITERIA (5%):
- Does a co-creation team have ideas on how to include ‘Environment and low carbon economy contribution’, ‘Equal Opportunities, Gender balance & Diversity’, ‘Inclusiveness’ or ‘Social Impact’ within their way to a solution for the challenge?
|Evaluation criteria||Weighting||Max scoring in points||Max scoring with weighting|
|Team and resources||30 %||5||1,5|
|Transversal criteria||5 %||5||0,25|
Motivation Letters that receive a score 0 in one or more criteria (1 Excellence, 2 Impact, 3 Team and Resources, 4 Transversal criteria) will be automatically rejected.
Accepted Motivation Letters need to receive all together at least 50% of available scores.
Step 4 – Before the start of the co-creation project implementation
Once the co-creation project is approved, each student member of the co-creation team fills out the Questionnaire (Appendix 4), provides certain data (bank details, etc) and signs the FTSP declaration electronically.
Once the co-creation project is approved, each research member of the co-creation team fills out the Questionnaire (Appendix 4).
Step 5 – Implementation of co-creation projects
Students and researchers must solve companies’ Challenges within four to eight weeks.
INDUSAC will provide the co-creation teams with a list of deliverables, methods and tools for the Challenge. In addition, the co-creation teams will be provided with a planned timeline / mentoring plan (to-do list) to complete the Challenge.
Throughout the process, each co-creation team should have the kick-off, at least one milestone meeting, and the feedback meeting with the company.
Monitoring of the Co-creation Projects by INDUSAC
Throughout the process, the company and the co-creation teams may be approached by the INDUSAC Mentoring Committee to discuss if they are progressing as planned and if they need any additional guidance.
On a more general level, a Monitoring Committee will be monitoring performance of the co-creation projects on the INDUSAC platform and bring to the attention of the INDUSAC consortium any major irregularities or digressions from the work plan, so as to find rapid solutions.
Step 6 – Reporting
The results are reported in a Co-Creation Implementation Report through the INDUSAC platform (Appendix 5) latest on 02.05.2024 (for the first cut-off date), 02.09.2024 (for the second cut-off date) or 01.02.2025 (for the third cut-off date).
The implementation report will include:
- Deliverables (according to a specific Challenge type) – uploaded on the platform by the co-creation team leader in the document section of the Challenge.
- Questionnaire “after” – filled out by each member of the co-creation team
- Upskilling questionnaire
- Short description of the project results
- Inclusiveness statement
- Compliance with the ethics requirement
which will be submitted via the platform.
Evaluation of Solutions
Each criterion will be scored from 0 to 10 and the weight of each one of these criteria, in the final score, will be as follows: Deliverable quality of submitted Solution (30% of the overall score); Business performance indicators and Technical performance indicators (60% of the overall score), Deadline Compliance (10% of the overall score, which is given automatically if the Solution is submitted on time) of the submitted Solution.
Students from co-creation teams with Solutions scoring above the threshold (7 points) will receive payment.
31.01.2024 first cut-off date (deadline) for Motivation Letter submission
07.03.2024 deadline for students with approved Motivation Letters to sign a FSTP declaration (Appendix 6), at which time the co-creation project begins
02.05.2024 deadline for submission of final reports by co-creation teams for the first cut-off date
15.06.2024 all students with approved reports receive funding (provided that the administrative procedure from the students’ side has been finalised)
30.05.2024 second cut-off date (deadline) for Motivation Letter submission
08.07.2024 deadline for students with approved Motivation Letters to sign a FSTP declaration (Appendix 6), at which time the co-creation project begins
02.09.2024 deadline for submission of final reports by co-creation teams for the second cut-off date
15.10.2024 all students with approved reports receive funding (provided that the administrative procedure from the students’ side has been finalised).
30.10.2024 second cut-off date (deadline) for Motivation Letter submission
07.12.2024 deadline for students with approved Motivation Letters to sign a FSTP declaration (Appendix 6) at which time the co-creation project begins
01.02.2025 deadline for submission of final reports by co-creation teams for the third cut-off date
14.3.2025 all students with approved reports receive funding (provided that the administrative procedure from the students’ side has been finalised).
Financial support to third parties
Financial support to third parties (FSTP) based on a Lump sum is given solely to student members of the co-creation teams up to 1,000 EUR gross per student.
Students receive financial support to third parties after approval of the Implementation report on a Solution (as described in Step 6 – Reporting of this Call).
INDUSAC coordinator shall transfer the funds to students within thirty (30) days from the date of the approval of the implementation report (provided that the administrative procedure from the students’ side has been finalised) on a Solution / final confirmation from the INDUSAC Evaluation Board.
Payments will be done by the Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia). Since Jožef Stefan Institute will be transferring financial support to third parties (FSTP) to natural persons (individuals – students), Slovenian legislation and Slovenian accounting standards must be followed. The rate of taxation varies from country to country; in Slovenia it is 25%.
For students (Slovenian residents)
Slovenian residents provide their Slovenian Tax number. The taxation is 25%.
For students (Non residents of Slovenia)
- If students receive the FSTP as a one-time payment per year, they can provide their TAX number of country of residency. The taxation is 25%. If they wish, students can fill out a KIDO 4 form*** (request for exemption of tax on income, which students earn in the Republic of Slovenia, based on provisions of the treaty on avoidance of double taxation of income).
- If students receive multiple payments per year (i. e. they participate in several cut-off dates per year) they must obtain a Slovenian TAX number. The taxation is 25%. If they wish, students can fill out a KIDO 4 form*** (request for exemption of tax on income, which students earn in the Republic of Slovenia, based on provisions of the treaty on avoidance of double taxation of income).
*** KIDO 4 Form: If students (non-resident of Slovenia only) want to claim benefits in connections to the KIDO 4 form (request for exemption of tax on income, which students earn in the Republic of Slovenia, based on provisions of the treaty on avoidance of double taxation of income), they fill out the KIDO4 form, prepare necessary attachments, and send the whole documentation to Jožef Stefan Institute via email:
- the KIDO 4 form: https://edavki.durs.si/OpenPortal/Dokumenti/kido_4.i.en.pdf;
- instructions: https://edavki.durs.si/OpenPortal/Dokumenti/kido_4.n.en.pdf
Jožef Stefan Institute will submit the documentation to Financial administration of the Republic of Slovenia (FURS). FURS will review the documentation and issue a decision about reducing the tax rate or tax exemption in Slovenia. Based on the FURS’s decision, Jožef Stefan Institute transfers the funds (FSTP) to students.
Terms and conditions for students and researchers
Compliance with European Council Implementing Decision (on Hungarian entities). The students/researchers confirm that they are not in conflict with the European Council Implementing Decision 2022/2506 in regards to funding Hungarian entities, which stipulates that legal commitments must not be entered into with any public interest trusts established on the basis of the Hungarian Act IX of 2021 or any entity maintained by such a public interest trust. This applies as of 16.12.2022 for as long as the measures are in place. The students / researchers confirm that they are not associated with any of the affected entities listed on the Hungarian national legislation website (https://njt.hu/jogszabaly/2021-9-00-00).
For cases where students/researchers wish to share with the selected company their confidential information they are advised to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement with the company before the start of the co-creation project.
INDUSAC partners who have access to the co-creation projects and co-creation results, have signed the Statement on Non-disclosure of Information and Impartiality ( Appendix 7) and all non-public and personal data will be treated in confidence.
Should the cooperation between student/researcher and the company give rise to any form of intellectual property (for example, a patent application), division of ownership of intellectual property rights (based on individual parties’ contributions), the type of intellectual property, and management of said intellectual property, shall be defined in a separate agreement on joint inventions. The parties agree to the following provisions:
- On the basis of the undisputed fact that an invention presents a result of joint collaboration of student/researcher and the company and that student/researcher and the company were involved in the process of creation and development of the invention, the invention shall be considered as a joint invention of student/researcher and the company.
- Any intellectual property developed prior to the solving of a Challenge belongs to the party that developed it.
- Procedures such as registration and maintenance of the intellectual property shall be coordinated by the company.
- Students must follow the guidelines set by the company in regards to intellectual property disclosure and ownership; they may sign a statement waiving their economic intellectual property rights, by which they are exempt from any financial obligations towards protection of said intellectual property rights (such as, for example, preparation, registration / filing, processing, expansion, and maintenance fees); they may opt to retain authorship rights only, in which case they remain co-authors on the invention but receive no material benefits.
- Researchers must follow appropriate invention disclosure legislation, which may include disclosing the invention to their employer and subsequently transferring intellectual property rights to the employer.
- Regardless of status and intellectual property rights transfers, student/researcher retains the right to be listed as co-author on the invention.
The parties (company, student, researcher) agree that each party, individually or together with the remaining party, may use the invention for the purpose of its own research, without restrictions and without any obligation to remunerate the other party in any form or manner. The parties agree that the results of the co-creation project, except the INDUSAC requirements, will not be published, commercialised or otherwise allowed to be used by third parties without written agreement by all parties.
The action must be carried out in line with:
- the highest ethical standards and the applicable EU, international and national law on ethical principles (including the highest standards of research integrity).
- applicable EU, international and national law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Supplementary Protocols.
Based on the Horizon Europe Ethic Self-Assessment guidance (https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/common/guidance/how-to-complete-your-ethics-self-assessment_en.pdf) the co-creation team must ensure that the activities under the action do not include the following:
- human embryonic stem cells
- human embryos
- human foetal tissues/cells
- cause harm to the environment, animals, or plants
- military applications
- malevolent / criminal / terrorist abuse
All parties must commit to and ensure the respect of basic EU values (such as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights, including the rights of minorities).
Conflict of interests
Students/researchers must take all measures to prevent any situation where the impartial and objective implementation of the co-creation project could be compromised for reasons involving family, emotional life, political or national affinity, economic interest or any other direct or indirect interest (‘conflict of interests’).
By applying for the Call, students and researchers confirm that neither they nor their close family ties (spouse, domestic or non-domestic partner, child, sibling, parent etc.) are in business or scientific rivalry or professional hostility with the company behind the challenge they are submitting the Motivation Letter for.
Students further confirm that they are not receiving double financing for any of their activities within the INDUSAC project, ie. challenge solving activities within the co-creation team will not be funded from other sources except the INDUSAC financial support for third parties.
Applicants receiving financial support cannot be affiliated to any of the consortium partners, for example as consortium partner’s board members or employees, with the exception of students employed for performing services unrelated to the challenge.
Disputes and exits
The parties (students, researchers, companies) agree that they will conclude in writing any amendments to any existing arrangements, and will endeavour to resolve any disputes regarding this arrangement in a peaceful manner. In the event that the parties cannot resolve the dispute individually, the INDUSAC coordinator shall mediate over the dispute.
In the co-creation process exit points of companies, students and researchers are foreseen only in case of Force Majeure.
Keeping records and supporting documents
The students/researchers acknowledge that they can substantiate the proper implementation of the action by records and other supporting documentation that will be produced upon request or in the context of checks, reviews, audits and investigations.
The students/researchers can provide written proof, if required from INDUSAC partners, European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA), European Commission, European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Court of Auditors (ECA) or other competent EU institutions.
Promotion. The members of the co-creation teams agree to provide statements / testimonials / experiences that can be published on the project website together with parts of the Challenge, through INDUSAC media and in project partners media.
Co-creation teams are given an option to have the INDUSAC communication team prepare a success story / a good practice story based on the co-creation team’s project and results.
Communication, Dissemination And Visibility
Visibility — European flag and funding statement
Unless otherwise agreed with the INDUSAC, communication activities of the parties (company, students, researcher) related to the action (including media relations, conferences, seminars, information material, such as brochures, leaflets, posters, presentations, etc., in electronic form, via traditional or social media, etc.), dissemination activities or major results implemented under the INDUSAC must acknowledge INDUSAC and EU support and display the INDUSAC logo, European flag (emblem) and include the following text:
“This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Programme under grant agreement No 101070297”.
When displayed together with another logo, the EU emblem must have appropriate prominence. Graphic guide to use EU logo is available here: http://publications.europa.eu/code/en/en-5000100.htm
Any dissemination of results must indicate that it reflects only the author’s view and that the Agency (European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA)) is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains:
“The content of this [insert appropriate description, e.g. report, publication, conference, infrastructure, equipment, insert type of result, etc.] represents the author’s view only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission and the Agency (European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HADEA)) do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.”.
- Appendix 1 – Registration Form for Students
- Appendix 2 – Registration Form for Researchers
- Appendix 3 – Motivation Letter Form
- Appendix 4 – Skill level survey before the project
- Appendix 5 – Template for co-creation implementation report
- Appendix 6 – Declaration of Financial Support to Third Parties
- Appendix 7 – Statement of non-disclosure
- Appendix 8 – Template for Evaluation of Motivation Letters
- Appendix 9 – Solution Evaluation template