Involving staff with experience of EU programmes in the project team not only increases the chances for success, in most cases it is also more cost efficient. Moreover, researchers should concentrate on the scientific content of a project instead of having to deal with managerial and administrative tasks.
To support this, Heich Consult offers the following services:
The funding landscape at the European level is and will remain complex. The various EU programmes differ in terms of content as well as conditions of participation. Heich Consult offers guidance to identify the best opportunities to acquire grants that meet the strategic objectives of the participants in the best possible way. The ultimate goal is to turn a project idea into a competitive project concept.
The rather low success rates in the bidding process underpin the necessity for careful proposal preparation to increase chances of success. Heich Consult can offer specific skills and experiences to convert a project idea into a competitive proposal. Proposal preparation can be divided into three main steps:
- First the content of the proposal comprising the objectives, the approach, the implementation, the management and the partnership has to be described.
- In parallel, the project budget has to be developed. This goes hand-in hand with the content. How budgets are presented in the proposal strongly depends on the requirements of the EU programme.
- Finally, the administration of each proposal has to be considered. Ignoring administrative requirements carries the risk of proposal rejection due to errors of formality.
Heich Consult supports the entire process of proposal preparation with advice on strategy, content structure and content design, with direct contributions to the proposal and by supporting the administrative aspects of the proposal.
Successful proposers are invited to formal contract negotiations which are often conducted in a tight time scale. These negotiations include not only practical aspects, such as timelines and deadlines or administrative requirements; they may also require budget or content changes. Failure to fulfil the requirements of the Commission or not meeting the deadlines may endanger the contract.
Heich Consult offers strategic and practical support during the negotiation phase while fully respecting the conditions set by the European Commission.
Heich Consult can offer extensive experience in the management of EU projects ranging from strategic advice, day-to-day management to administrative and financial management. This comprises a wide variety of services, such as supervising the progress of the project, adherence to deadlines for reporting and deliverables, supporting risk assessment and contingency planning, coordinating of regular progress- and financial reports, organisation and follow-up of project meetings and workshops.
Specific management tasks include:
- Establishing clear communication rules, information flow and providing a common repository for the exchange of documents. Organisation and follow-up of project meetings and workshops. Provision of dedicated support tools for efficient project management.
- Systematic and rigorous progress monitoring based on the project’s detailed workplan is a key to the success of a project. Usually, the workplan as documented in the Description of Work is too broad for effective monitoring of progress. It is therefore necessary to set up a more detailed project workplan, which will be reviewed periodically and adapted whenever necessary.
- Quality assurance and risk analysis are an integral part of each EU project. Risk analysis may lead to contingency plans or to adaptations of the workplan.
- Coordination of reporting tasks and financial management of the project.
- Strategic guidance and support to project coordinators.
Dissemination & Exploitation
Each EU Project requires elements that deal with dissemination and exploitation of the project developments and results. Especially in Horizon 2020, the impact of projects and, therefore, exploitation is of high importance. Heich Consult offers services to
- define and implement a dissemination and exploitation strategy customized to fit the project taking into account the different target groups,
- guide the exploitation of the project by means of a targeted and structured process,
support the development of dissemination material and organising events.
Organisations without the necessary staff and structures to address the specific challenges of EU funded projects may receive support from Heich Consult to fill these gaps. Support for administrative, financial and managerial organisation of projects can be provided.