European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations

Programme Cofund Actions

In the case of projects published as programme co-fund actions, the EU co-finances funding programmes or calls for proposals of other entities, e.g. national research organisations and research funding organisations. The financial support will be awarded by way of grants and may also be used for supporting networking and coordination activities between several Member States.

In their application to a Cofund action, participating organisations must already demonstrate their capability to cover those project costs that are not provided by the co-financing. For this purpose, own funds as well as third-party funding other than Horizon 2020 can be contributed to the project. This might include funding from national funding programmes or the European Structural Funds. To combine different financial sources within a project, financial support originating from different sources must not be used for the same cost components.  

Under Horizon 2020, programme Cofund actions are conducted in the context of Public Procurement, ERA-Nets and Marie Skłodowska Curie-COFUND.

Pre-commercial Procurement and Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions

The new project types Pre-commercial Procurement (PCP) and Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) are increasingly called for in Horizon 2020.

PCP and PPI are instruments to co-fund the public procurement of research and development-driven services and products. The calls are targeting consortia of public institutions (such as regional or federal ministries, cities, hospitals/clinics, etc.) which are seeking to issue a common procurement.

PCP and PPI address two consecutive phases of the innovation process.

In Pre-commercial Procurement (PCP) projects, European consortia of public procurers are funded to prepare and carry out calls for tender for specific R&D services. The group of procurers defines the service(s) needed and publishes a joint call for tender in order to award one or more R&D service contracts. All intellectual property rights remain in the property of the developer, while the purchasing institutions usually receive a licence at favourable conditions. 

The procurement process generally consists of three phases, in which a competition between the different tenderers takes place. New suppliers may join the competition throughout the process.

  • phase 1: solution design
  • phase 2: prototype development
  • phase 3: development of first prototypes or services on a small scale

Horizon 2020 funds the preparational activities as well as part of the price of the R&D services procured.

Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) targets the procurement of innovative goods and services not yet available on the market on a large scale. The procurement process itself is similar to that of a PCP. It is, however, carried out in one single phase.