WorkPackages WP1 Management and coordination

WP1 Management and coordination


The purpose of WP1 is to ensure the most effective administrative and financial management of the consortium with a view to reaching a good synergy between the partners. The overall objective is to provide the necessary structures for participatory and efficient decision-making and coordination of activities, fluent day-to-day management including flow of information and financing, reporting to EC, as well as providing support and guidance on consortium activities.

Lead: IRSN, France

Task 1.1 Overall coordination and legal, contractual, administrative and financial management

The coordinator will be responsible for the coordination of overall legal, contractual, administrative and financial management of the consortium, taking care of the day-to-day management of the project. The coordinator will monitor the compliance by beneficiaries with their obligations under the grant agreement, act as the contractor for the EC, is the single contact point and intermediary between all partners and the EC, and ensure that all participant organisations sign form A “Accession to the Grant Agreement”. The coordinator will, in close cooperation with the members of the PIANOFORTE Executive Board (ExB), monitor and control the progress of the project and review the deliverables and reports to verify consistency with the project tasks before transmitting them to the EC. The coordinator will collect information about achievements in relation to objectives from the partners when milestone and deliverables are due in order to ensure efficient follow-up of the project progress.

The coordinator is responsible for preparing and updating the Consortium Agreement, which regulates the internal organisation and management of the consortium, as well as any other legal documents (e.g. Memorandums of Understanding) that regulate the relations of the consortium with other important stakeholders if necessary. The coordinator is responsible for the overall financial management. Its duty is to administer the EC financial contribution regarding its allocation between beneficiaries and activities, in accordance with the grant agreement and the decisions taken by the consortium. The coordinator shall ensure that all the appropriate payments are made to the other beneficiaries without unjustified delay. The coordinator will keep the records and financial accounts making it possible to determine at any time what portion of the EC financial contribution has been paid to each beneficiary for the purposes of the project. The Coordinator will inform the EC of the distribution of its financial contribution and the date of transfers to the beneficiaries, when required by the grant agreement or by the EC. The coordinator will obtain certificates on financial statement from each participant, when required, take care of the necessary budget transfers and payments, and collect financial information from the partners every 12 months in order to ensure efficient follow-up of the project resources.

The beneficiaries will notify the coordinator immediately on any major changes concerning unexpected difficulties in work, the change of legal status of contractors or any such condition that would compromise the schedule or content of the project work plan. The PIANOFORTE General Assembly and the contractors will actively search for alternative arrangements.

Lead: IRSN, France

Task 1.2 General Assembly and Executive Board meetings

The kick-off meeting will be organised in the beginning of the project (month 1).
The periodic meetings are scheduled in connection with reporting periods (close to months 9; 21; 33; 45; 60). The periodic meetings include closed sessions for the entire consortium & open sessions for participants outside the consortium.

The Executive Board (ExB: coordinator, WP Leaders, MEENAS representative) will organise its meetings as often as necessary, approximately 3-4 times per year (virtual meetings). It ensures the successful management and execution of the project by taking care of the coordination and correct implementation of the scientific project tasks of the respective work packages. The ExB shall make decisions on all matters related to the structure of the consortium, restructuring of the Work Packages, for which no contract amendment is needed, and the preparation and final approval of the reports and deliverables (with the exception of those related to financial matters) prior to the submission to the EC. The ExB reports to and is accountable to the General Assembly.

The General Assembly (GA: coordinator, all participant members nominated by the Member States as POM, plus representatives of the six participating European RTD platforms MELODI, ALLIANCE, NERIS, SHARE, EURAMED and EURADOS) will have its meetings as often as necessary, at least once a year. The GA is the ultimate decision making organ of the consortium on the financial level whose responsibility is to make sure that the project’s objectives related to open scientific and integration calls are achieved. The GA shall make decisions on all budget-related matters, funding PIANOFORTE Grantees as a result of open calls, administration of funded coordinated projects and on matters related to national co-funding. The GA finally approves reports and deliverables related to financial matters prior to the submission to the EC. Decisions of principal character, which will affect the entire consortium, will be made by the GA, e.g. inclusion of new partners, amendments to the work Programme, and amendments to the Consortium Agreement.

Lead: IRSN, ExB members, General Assembly members

Task 1.3 Updating the rolling annual work plan

The ExB will be responsible for the timely update of the annual work plan, based on developments in the respective WP’s and the coordinator to present the annual work plan to the EC for approval. The annual work plan includes a detailed description of the work for the next 12 months plus a brief description of the anticipated work for the following 12 months. The updated annual work plan has to be submitted to the Commission not later than three months before the end of the actual 12- months period for approval. The coordinator will discuss the annual work plan with the Commission and gives feedback to the WP Leaders.

Lead: IRSN, ExB members, GA members

Task 1.4 Negotiation of projects to be funded through PIANOFORTE Open Calls

On the basis of the Ranked List of Eligible Projects (RLEP) from WP7 and of the individual funding schemes proposed by the respective applicant consortia, the coordinator calls for a “PIANOFORTE Funding Meeting” of the GA. A representative of the EC will be invited. The objective of the meeting will be to achieve consensus on the funding mix to be applied to the respective applications, using the flexibility offered by the Partnership co-fund instrument but also ensuring strictly the implementation of the following criteria:

  • Within the limit of the amount of EC grant available for the RTD call, applicant consortia will be funded in the order of the RLEP;

  • The Funding Meeting will seek to maximize the level of co-fund for each applicant consortium, in order to fund as many projects from the RLEP as possible, and to maximize the overall amount of research activities supported by PIANOFORTE, thus benefitting European integration and PIANOFORTE objectives in line with Horizon Europe more general objectives. Co-fund resources are in kind resources made available by PIANOFORTE Members (and their AE’s) participating in the applicant consortia, and cash resources are those provided by participating funding agencies and/or any other PIANOFORTE partner. Any co-fund resources committed to the proposed research projects from outside PIANOFORTE are valuable in the sense that they contribute to enhance the “value for money” of such projects from PIANOFORTE point of view, but they do not constitute “eligible costs” for the attribution of a part of EC EURATOM grant.

  • The funding meeting may allow a level of co-fund below the minimum of 35% for some individual applicant universities or institutes which are “third party” candidates in an applicant consortium, if their scientific evaluation suggests that their added value justifies the exception, and provided that the applicant consortium as a whole remains at a level of co-fund above the threshold of 35%.

  • The funding meeting will make sure that the final funding decisions for a specific PIANOFORTE open research call is in accordance with its repartitioning decision at the end of the Partnership process. On the basis of the consensus reached in the PIANOFORTE Funding Meeting, and with the support of WP7, the Coordinator will prepare draft contracts between PIANOFORTE and the respective applicant consortia to be funded. These PIANOFORTE Grant Contracts (PGC) will follow the applicable legislation of the Coordinator country, are drawn in English language and specify the following:
    • Scope of action and deliverables (with associated time table) of deliverables expected from the PIANOFORTE Grantee
    • Amount of EC EURATOM funding to be granted to the Grantee, with the foreseen payment schedule Amount of co-fund resources to be spent by the Grantee on the proposed research project, with the related expected justifications, both for cash resource (contract with national POM) and in kind resource (cost statements by PIANOFORTE members, and their AE’s where applicable).

Contracts will be signed according to French law. The resulting draft PGC’s are submitted for validation to the PIANOFORTE GA before their signature by the Coordinator on behalf of the PIANOFORTE Partnership.

Lead: IRSN; ExB members, GA members

Task 1.5 Funding decision process for integration activities listed in the approved annual work programme

The Coordinator proposes to the ExB funding decisions with respect to the implementation of integration activities, listed in the relevant annual rolling work programme, by one or more PIANOFORTE member(s).

The decision defines the deliverables to be produced and the associated calendar, the co-fund level that should be as high as possible to maximize the impact of the PIANOFORTE project as a whole, and the maximum amount of EC PIANOFORTE grant to be allocated to the concerned integration actions (max 65% of estimated eligible costs). This decision then constitutes the basis for the financial relation between the Coordinator and the concerned PIANOFORTE member(s) for the implementation of the relevant integration action(s).

When it is suggested that an integration action be performed, in part or in total, by one or more external entities, the coordinator requests the approval of the GA to define the budget, including its cofund part, to be attributed to such an activity. On this basis, the Coordinator launches a European public procurement procedure to identify and contract with such entities for the delivery of the required services.

All financial relations with the PIANOFORTE external contractors are dealt with by the Coordinator. Technical relations for the performance of the contract are followed by the relevant WP, which approves the corresponding deliverables and informs the coordinator in view of the payment procedure.

Lead: IRSN; ExB members, GA members

Task 1.6 Monitoring of the progress of the Partnership

Monitoring of the progress of the Partnership is a vital element of operational and financial management of the Partnership. The monitoring process implies that the governance body regularly check how the planned actions described in the Annual Work Plans are being implemented in order to identify potential problems and take corrective action in due time.

This entails the systematic and continual collection, analysis and use of management information to support effective decision-making. WP leaders will be responsible of monitoring the Key Indicators (KI) defined in section 2 and to report on them at the ExB level. These KI will be examined by the ExB twice a year in order, if necessary, to take corrective actions.

Lead: IRSN, ExB members