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Financial and contractual aspects
Is it possible to lease equipment within an ERC-grant instead of buying?
Yes, this is possible. The decision whether to lease or to buy equipment should be in accordance with the rules of the beneficiary (the Host Institution). The Principal Investigator will have to explain this decision in the negotiations for the Grant Agreement as well as in the audits.
The FP7 Guide to Financial Issues (cf. page 65f.) lays down the following rules for such cases: The cost claimed for durable equipment which is leased with an option to buy cannot exceed the costs that would have been incurred, if the equipment had been purchased and depreciated under normal practices. In case that there is no possibility to buy the equipment (operational leasing), the costs are eligible, if this follows the beneficiary's normal practices and does not exceed the costs of purchase of the equipment.