EARTO applaudes financing model proposed by MEP Ehler
By Marie-Martine Buckens | Monday 02 July 2012
The European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO) welcomes the amendments to the R&D cost reimbursement model planned in the future Horizon 2020 research programme, proposed by German MEP Christian Ehler (EPP). On 18 June, Ehler presented to the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) his report on the rules for participation in Horizon 2020, simultaneously with two reports on the specific programme implementing Horizon 2020, presented by Maria da Graca Carvalho (EPP, Portugal), and the regulation establishing the framework programme, presented by Teresa Riera Madurell (S&D, Spain).
EARTO, which represents large organisations like the French Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA, atomic energy and alternative energy commission), has always strongly opposed – like the European employers’ organisation BusinessEurope – the new research financing model proposed by the Commission. With the aim of simplification, the executive proposes to apply the 100/20 rule for reimbursement of costs: 100% for direct costs and a flat rate of 20% for indirect costs. In his report (Amendment 54), Ehler proposes that Horizon 2020 participants be allowed to opt for an alternative based on a flat rate for all costs. The rapporteur sets these rates at 70% for research and technology organisations (RTOs) and SMEs and at 50% for industry. EARTO applauds this initiative but finds that these flat rates should be raised to 75% for RTOs, the rate applied at present under the Seventh EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7). The association also supports Amendments 61, 63 and 64, which would base calculation of the number of annual productive hours, indirect costs and actual personnel costs on the usual accounting practices of the beneficiary and not on conditions defined by the Commission. EARTO also supports the amendment establishing an additional flat rate of 7% of eligible direct costs to take account of management and coordination activities.
The association has reservations about the question of free access, in particular the amendments proposed by rapporteur Riera Madurell, which provide free access not only to scientific publications but also to scientific data. While supporting free access “in principle,” EARTO highlights the innovation objectives of Horizon 2020, for which intellectual property questions are vitally important.
The reports on Horizon 2020 are expected to be put to the vote at ITRE’s October session and to be presented to the plenary in November.