There’s a lot to think about before, during, and after submission. Follow our advice and avoid some of the most common traps
There are several public funding opportunities out there available through the European Commission, and to apply for them you will need to submit your proposal using the application platform. Before you get started there are a few things to consider, some might seem obvious but we can assure you that more than one application has failed for one or another reason during or after submission.
Ensure you are eligible
Start by reading the Commissions definition of an SME and the user guide on its definition. Keep the financial numbers of your organization (last closed accounting period including balance sheet, turnover, and staff headcount) at hand and those of and any other organization that might be directly or indirectly related (more than 25% of shares or voting right) to it so that you can compare with the requirements.
Please note that the Commission reserves the right to perform post-checks on organizations recognized as an SME based on the SME self-assessment. Your organization might be required to submit the financial documents justifying the figures introduced in this self-assessment.
Keep your SME status updated! Failure to do so blocks the preparation and the submission of the proposal
The base period for calculating the SME status will be two-years backward from the cut-off date (or call deadline). The submission system will consider the “effective date” (closure date of the accounting period). If you have been registered as SME in the Participant Register before, and the last accounting period for which you have completed the self-assessment goes back longer than two years, then you need to fill in a new SME self-assessment in time before the submission day.
Inform yourself about the system requirements necessary for the use of the submission platform
A few hours before the call closes is not a good time to discover that you don’t meet the requirements, but if you follow our tips there will be no last-minute submissions.
Be aware of page limitations and file requirements
Page limit and formatting requirements for the technical annex (part B) may vary depending on the funding program and stage (10 pages for First Stage, 30 for Second Stage etc.) so be sure to know what is expected of you.
In addition, some files must even be uploaded in two format types: Excel and PDF format.
Any pages that are submitted on top of the acceptable limit will automatically be watermarked, and the expert evaluators will be instructed to disregard them when evaluating the proposal.
Don’t wait until the last minute to submit
It is highly recommended to formally submit your proposal as early as possible and at least 48 hours before the deadline. This will avoid being confronted with issues like incompatible local IT configuration settings shortly before the deadline leaving you with insufficient time to resolve them.
Moreover, a copy of the submission will be available for review, and changes can still be applied until the call is officially closed. It can also be revealing to know that you can submit your proposal as many times as you want. Every submitted version will replace the previous one.
Access rights of individual contact persons and notifications
If you are submitting a proposal with other participating partners of the consortium apart from yourself ensure that the contact persons and MAIN CONTACT are properly appointed in your proposal. To read more about the level of access rights, see the roles & access rights section.
Remote interviews of the Accelerator SME Instrument (grant only and blended finance)
In the case of the Accelerator SME Instrument, remote interviews will be performed using the videoconference platform Cisco Webex.
You should plan ahead and start preparing at least a couple of days before the interview to feel comfortable with the use of this platform if it is new to you, and don’t forget to check that your equipment meets the audio and video requirements (you might want to go back to this link again). Take a final look at our “Face-to-Face tips” and you will be good to go!
And finally… keep a close eye on your spam folders!
Submission confirmations and result notifications can easily be mistaken for spam by your e-mail client and automatically end up in spam folders.
Until the results are in there will be no further contact between the Commission and the applicant except in the following cases:
- to clarify matters such as eligibility or to request additional information
- to request more information or supporting documents for ethics screening, security scrutiny, legal entity validation or financial viability check
- For calls which are subject to hearings or interviews (if applicable according to the work programme/call text)
Sounds complicated? Don’t worry, we have years of experience and a reliable team standing ready. Write us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help!