Top Tips on your Cooperation Projects Application

Posted 17th September 2014

With the deadline for Cooperation Projects on 1 October, we have some a few top tips for completing your application:

1) Include the official ‘Kick Off Meeting’ in Brussels, which the Agency organises for the selected projects’ lead organisations

The ‘kick-off’ meeting is usually in the autumn when the Executive Agency runs a two-day meeting with all project leaders and usually for two people from the lead partner organisation, one on the creative/curatorial/coordination side and one on the administrative and finance side. This will include guidance on reporting and a great opportunity to meet your project officer at the Agency and network with other project leaders.

2) In the project schedule, allow time in the project for the preparation and reporting stages.

3) Think of how to run effective project governance

Consider having regular partner meetings where partners can discuss how the project is going, whether it is on track with its deliverables, and what changes might been to be made

4) The Cooperation Agreement between the partners is very important. There is no official ‘Creative Europe’ template for this but here are some suggestions for what to include:

– Roles and responsibilities of the partners (referring to the actual application)
– Financial management
– Distribution of EU grant (schedule of payments between Partner organisations)
– Scenarios where partners’ financial contribution does not meet pledged amounts
– Whether the project budget is accordingly downscaled (avoid this, but talk to the Agency if this becomes the case) or partners each put in a little more to allow the project to continue according to plan and on budget.
– Reporting procedures (whether the partners should be using templates?)
– Ownership of intellectual property
– Confidentiality
– Resolution of conflict
– Termination

DESCA – Model Consortium Agreements provides templates for a partners’ Cooperation Agreement. However, these are aimed at the Horizon 2020 programme, which is much heavier and requires much more detail than Creative Europe and you may wish to strip a lot out of it and refer mostly to the actual application itself, the eForm with schedule, and the budget form as an annexe to your customised Cooperation Agreement.

5) Take care with how you deal with costs incurred through Third/non eligible countries

You can include costs incurred through Third/non eligible countries for up to 30% of the overall project budget but you have to have all costs for these go through one of the full partner organisations’ books, even if this is only reimbursing the Third/non-eligible country partner.

6) In-kind contribution cannot go in the budget

The programme cannot fund against partner contributions which are in-kind, except for documented (time sheets, amended job descriptions etc) staff time, which can be for project coordination and/or artistic/technical/specialist input. Assume that “if it hasn’t happened on paper, it hasn’t happened in practice”. Cash must be seen changing hands, all project income and project costs must be documented in an accounting system with relevant paperwork. But partners can of course donate the use of their spaces, volunteers’ time and any in-kind donations will show the partners’ commitment and strengthen the project; it just cannot go into the budget for the programme to co-fund against.

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Creative Europe Desk UK offers free advice and support with your application, and we can still give you some feedback on your project’s ‘elevator pitch, the short description (section C6 in the e-form). There are still some one-to-one sessions available, either in person, on the phone or via Skype. Email us with your questions or if you’re interested in a one-to-one.

Please note that we are currently dealing with a significant amount of enquiries and we will endeavour to reply as quickly as possible.

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