The Consortium Agreement
The Grant Agreement gives some examples of subjects that can be regulated by the consortium agreement:
The internal organisation of the consortium: This concerns the management structures and decision-making processes within the project.
The administration of the access to the Funding & Tender Opportunities Portal of the European Commission.
The distribution of Union funding: The Consortium Agreement can lay down a procedure according to which the individual tranches of the funding contribution are transferred from the coordinator to the partners. The consortium agreement can stipulate, for example, that the transfer of funds is linked to corresponding project results or the submission of reports.
Dissemination and exploitation rules and access rights: The Grant Agreement sets out rules for the exploitation and dissemination of the research results and defines a system of access rights to information arising from the project and to information already owned by the participants before they signed the Grant Agreement. Within this framework, the consortium agreement is intended to stipulate supplementary arrangements that are tailored to the respective project.
Dispute resolution: The consortium agreement is intended to specify procedures for dealing with internal conflicts. This also includes the case of abuse of power within the consortium.
Liability, indemnification, and confidentiality agreements between participants.
The European Commission can provide guidance on the main issues, but it does not prepare a template contract.
Model consortium agreements
The model consortium agreement "DESCA (Simplified Model Consortium Agreement) for Horizon Europe" is the most widely used model for consortium agreement. The aim of DESCA is to bring in the different interests of the individual partners (universities, research institutions, SMEs and large companies) in as balanced a way as possible.
The DESCA model results from the cooperation of several organisations from different countries, the majority of which come from the academic sector. The model is available for free download. Before use, it should be carefully checked and, if necessary, adapted to individual project specifics.
More model consortium agreements:
MSCA Doctoral Networks and MSCA Staff Exchanges - Model Consortium Agreement of the BAK Legal Working Group
EUCAR - Model Consortium Agreement
DIGITALEUROPE MCARD-HEU - Model Consortium Agreement