Access rights

Rights to use results or background under the terms and conditions laid down in accordance with the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation (Regulation(EU) No 1290/2013)


Accession forms

Forms signed by all project beneficiaries once the grant agreement has been signed between the project coordinator and the EC. The accession forms are available on the Participant Portal and must be signed up to 30 days after the grant agreement takes effect. In signing the accession forms, beneficiaries accept the rights and obligations set out in the grant agreement.


Actual costs

Costs that are real and not estimated or budgeted.

Affiliated Entity

Any legal entity that is under the direct or indirect control of a participant, or under the same direct or indirect control as the participant, or that is directly or indirectly controlling a participant.


One of the alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that parties may use to settle their disputes instead of going to court. Under this mechanism, the final decision is awarded by a neutral third party (‘arbitrator’) and shall be binding.

Assignment of IPR

The transfer of rights and obligations of an IPR to another individual or legal entity.

Associated country

A third country which is party to an international agreement with the European Union, as identified in Article 7 of Regulation(EU) No 1290/2013 [Horizon 2020]. It participates in Horizon 2020 funding on equal basis as Member States, but is not part of the EU.




Any data, know-how or information whatever its form or nature, tangible or intangible, including any rights such as intellectual property rights, which is:

1.      held by participants prior to their accession to the action;

2.      needed for carrying out the action or for exploiting the results of the action; and

3.      identified by the participants.

Beneficiary Register

A central database of organisations (legal entities) participating in EU funding programmes. Each organisation has a Participant Identification Code (PIC) that is used as the unique identifier in all interactions in any proposals or grants in which the organisation is involved. A search for registered beneficiaries and their PICs and the service for self-registering new organisations are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/organisations/register.html 


Blocking patents

Patent applications which are strategically used as a barrier to pre-empt rivals from getting their patents granted and entering into markets and technologies.


Close-to-market action

An action primarily consisting of activities directly aiming at producing plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes or services. For this purpose they may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation and market replication.


Collaborative Projects

Research projects with the aim of generating new knowledge. This new knowledge can be used to develop a new technology, process or product. They can vary in size, scope and budget, depending upon the proposed topic and theme.


Communication on projects is a strategically planned process that starts at the outset of the action and continues throughout its entire lifetime, aimed at promoting the action and its results. It requires strategic and targeted measures for communicating about (i) the action and (ii) its results to a multitude of audiences, including the media and the public and possibly engaging in a two-way exchange.

Confidentiality agreement

Also known as non-disclosure agreement (NDA), refers to the written agreement that parties use when they wish to disclose information and ideas in confidence. This agreement therefore establishes the obligation of the recipient (i.e. the legal person to whom the information is disclosed) to not disclose the information and ideas to third parties. A confidentiality agreement is crucial for an inventor or any other party that needs to protect confidential information.

Consortium Agreement

Is an internal agreement between members of a consortium establishing their rights and obligations with respect to the implementation of the action in compliance with the grant agreement.



Contractor means a natural or legal person with whom a procurement contract has been concluded.

Coordination and Support Action (CSA)

An action consisting primarily of accompanying measures such as standardisation, dissemination, awareness raising and communication, networking, coordination or support services, policy dialogues and mutual learning exercises and studies, including design studies for new infrastructure and may also include complementary activities of networking and coordination between programmes in different countries.


The coordinator of a consortium who submits the project in the name of the consortium. In case of successful application it participates in the grant preparation in the name of the consortium and during the project period keeps contact with the European Commission in the name of the consortium. 


CORDIS (Community Research and Development Information Service), which was originally created in 1990, is managed by the EU's Publications Office under the direction of the Common Support Centre for Horizon 2020. Focused on dissemination activities, CORDIS serves the various directorates-general of the European Commission, executive agencies and joint undertakings implementing the EU's research and innovation programme (Horizon 2020). Applicants can find awarded projects in the free access CORDIS database, which they can filter per Programme/Topic/Country. 


Data Management Plan (DMP)

A document outlining how the research data collected or generated by a research project in Horizon 2020 will be handled during and after project end. It describes what data will be collected / generated, what methodology and standards are used, whether and how this data will be shared and/or made open, and how it will be curated and preserved (for more details please refer to the Guidelines on Data Management in Horizon 2020 on the Participant Portal at:http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/hi/oa_pilot/h2020-hi-oa-data-mgt_en.pdf). 


A deliverable represents a verifiable output of the project. Normally, each workpackage will produce one or more deliverables during its lifetime. Deliverables are often written reports but can also take another form, for example the completion of a prototype, a software etc.


DEvelopment of a Simplified Consortium Agreement : http://www.desca-2020.eu/ 

Description of the action

In the context of Horizon 2020, refers to Annex 1 to the Grant Agreement, which is built on the proposal “Technical Annex”.

Description of Work (DoW)

In the context of FP7, refers to Annex I to the Grant Agreement. It contains information on the work packages, deliverables, milestones, resources and costs of the beneficiaries, as well as a text with a detailed description of the work.

Direct costs

Direct costs are all eligible costs which can be attributed directly to the project and are identified by the participant as such, in accordance with its accounting principles and its usual internal rules.



The public disclosure of the results by any appropriate means (other than resulting from protecting or exploiting the results), including by scientific publications in any medium. Results




European Commission Authentication Service. An ECAS account is needed to login to the Participation Portal and other European Commission websites and online services. An ECAS account can be created here(link is external). 


Criteria The conditions which a proposal must fulfil, if it is to be retained for evaluation. The eligibility criteria are described on the call or topic page and in the Work Programmes. 



Evaluation Summary Report: The assessment of a particular proposal following the evaluation by independent experts is provided in an Evaluation Summary Report. It normally contains both comments and scores for each evaluation criterion.

Ethics Review

"All proposals above threshold and considered for funding will undergo an Ethics Review carried out by independed ethics experts working in a panel. The Review starts with an Ethics Screening and if appropriate a further analysis called the Ethics Assessment is conducted. The Ethics Review can lead to ethics requirements that become contractual obligations." [from the H2020 Online Manual - Ethics(link is external)]

Evaluation Procedure

Methodology under which the evaluation is performed for a specific call for proposals. 

Exclusion Criteria

Experts check on the exclusion criteria which reflect if applicant is or not excluded and the reasons for exclusion. Tenderers and applicants must be excluded from participation in procurement procedures if they incur in one of the grounds set out in Article 93 of the Financial Regulation. Furthermore contracts shall not be awarded to tenderers or candidates who, during the procurement procedure for the contract in question find themselves in one of the situations referred to in Article 94 of the Financial Regulation.



Means, in the context of Horizon 2020, the use of results in further research activities other than those covered by the action concerned, or in developing, creating and marketing a product or process, or in creating and providing a service, or in standardisation activities.


Final report

"In addition to the periodic report for the last reporting period, the coordinator must submit the final report within 60 days following the end of the last reporting period. The final report must include the following: a final technical report with a summary for publication, a final financial report, a certificate on the financial statements." [from the H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement(link is external) - Article 20.4]


Financial Signatories - have the right to sign financial statements. The FSIGNs for each beneficiary are appointed by the LEAR (Legal Entity Appointed Representative) of the beneficiary on the Participant Portal. An organisation can have an unlimited number of FSIGNs. 

Funding Body

A body or authority, other than the European Commission, as referred to in point (c) of Article 58(1) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, to which the European Commission has entrusted budget implementation tasks in accordance with Article 9(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1290/2013[Horizon 2020]



Grants are the main form of funding to Horizon 2020 winning proposals. They consist in direct financial contributions, by way of donation, from the EU budget in order to finance any of the following:

·        an action intended to help achieve an EU policy objective;

·        the functioning of a body which pursues an aim of general EU interest or has an objective forming part of, and supporting, an EU policy (‘operating grants’).

Grant Agreement

A contract concluded between the European Commission (representing the European Union) and the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) under which the parties receive the rights and obligations (e.g. the right of the Union's financial contribution and the obligation to carry out the research and development work). It consists of the basic text and annexes.

An Annoted Model Grant Agreement can be found on the participant portal (here and here)

Grant Management Services (GMS)

please see under Participant Portal Grant Management Services (PPGMS).


Guarantee means a written commitment to assume responsibility for all or part of a third party's debt or obligation or for the successful performance by that third party of its obligations if an event occurs which triggers such guarantee, such as a loan default.



Host institution

The applicant legal entity that engages and hosts the Principal Investigator. It is established in a Member State or an Associated Country.



Indirect action

Research and innovation activities to which the European Union provides financial support and which are undertaken by participants.


Indirect costs (also called overheads)

 All eligible costs which cannot be identified by the participant as being directly attributed to the project.  In H2020, the indirect costs are calculated on the basis of a 25% flat-rate of the total direct eligible costs, excluding direct eligible costs for subcontracting and financial support to third parties. 

Individual Evaluation Report

Outcome of the individual evaluation process which includes a minimum of three experts At the end of the process, each expert should produce for each proposal an Individual Evaluation Report with justification for all scores.

Innovation actions (IA)

one of the main type of actions funded under H2020 programmes. IAs are complementary to Research and Innovation actions (RIA, see definition below) by funding activities closer to the market.



JRC (Joint Research Centre)

The Joint Research Centre is a Directorate-General of the European Commission. It provides independent scientific and technical advice to the European Commission and Member States of the European Union in support of EU policies, and it takes part in research and technological develop Joint technology initiatives 

Joint Technology Initiatives

Public-private partnerships for performing research at European Union level with dedicated structures, used as a strategy of implementing Horizon 2020 to support, in a limited number of cases, initiatives that could not be implemented efficiently, using the other R&D funding mechanisms. ment actions through direct actions.

Joint Undertaking

It is a collaboration of two or more companies to undertake a common project or to pursue a specific objective. To this end, co-venturers bring together their common ressources and capabilities, such as project funding, capital equipment, know-how and intellectual property. The joint venture has the scope to create a legally independent company to develop a competitive advantage by commercialising a new product or service.



Key Enabling Technologies 

A major component of 'Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies' in Horizon 2020 are Key Enabling Technologies (KETs), defined as micro- and nanoelectronics, photonics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, advanced materials and advanced manufacturing systems . These multi-disciplinary, knowledge and capital-intensive technologies cut across many diverse sectors providing the basis for significant competitive advantage for European industry, for stimulating growth and for creating new jobs.



Large research infrastructure

"Research infrastructure of a total value of at least EUR 20 million, for a beneficiary, calculated as the sum of historical asset values of each individual research infrastructure of that beneficiary, as they appear in its last closed balance sheet before the date of the signature of the Agreement or as determined on the basis of the rental and leasing costs of the research infrastructure." (H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement).

LEAR (Legal Entity Authorised Representative)

A person nominated in each legal entity participating in H2020. The LEAR handles all the organisation-related data on the Participant Portal and appoints the LSIGNs (Legal Signatories) and FSIGNs (Financial Signatories) for his/her organisation on the Participant Portal. There can only be one LEAR per organisation.

Legal entity

Any natural person, or any legal person created and recognised as such under national law, European Union law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations. 

Legal representative

A legal representative is a natural person who has been empowered (directly or indirectly) by a legal entity to enter into legal commitments on its behalf. 


Linked third party

Also called Third parties with a legal link to a beneficiary - any legal entity which has a legal link to the beneficiary implying collaboration that is not limited to the action. More information on linked third parties can be found in the H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement(link is external) - Article 14 and 15 .

LSIGN (Legal Signatory)

Legal Signatories - have the right to sign grant agreements and amendments. The LSIGNs for each beneficiary are appointed by the LEAR (Legal Entity Appointed Representative) of the beneficiary on the Participant Portal. An organisation can have an unlimited number of LSIGNs.



Control points in the project that help chart progress. Milestones may correspond to the completion of a key deliverable, allowing the next phase of the work to begin, may represent intermediary points in the project or critical decision points.


Member States

Member States of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, (United Kingdom).


Model grant agreement

The compulsory form of a grant agreement. It consists of a core text (determining the basics of a project) and several annexes. 


MSCA (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions)

Part of the first priority of H2020 (\"Excellent science\"), it is a programme that provides excellent and innovative research training as well as attractive career and knowledge-exchange opportunities through cross-border and cross-sector mobility of researchers to best prepare them to face current and future societal challenges.


NACE code

In French \"Nomenclature générale des Activités économiques dans les Communautés Européennes\", NACE refers to the statistical classification of economic activities. NACE groups organizations according to their business activities. Statistics produced on the basis of NACE are comparable at European level and, in general, at world level in line with the United Nations' International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC)


National Contact Point

national structures established by governments of the EU member states and the states associated to Horizon 2020. NCPs give personalised support on the spot and in the applicants' own languages. The NCP systems can vary from one country to another, from highly centralised to decentralised networks, and a number of very different actors, from ministries to universities, research centres and special agencies to private consulting companies. The database of NCPs is accessible at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/support/national_contact_points.html 


Non-profit legal entity

A legal entity which by its legal form is non-profit-making or which has a legal or statutory obligation not to distribute profits to its shareholders or individual members.  



Open Access (OA) 

The practice of providing on-line access to scientific information that is free of charge to the reader. In the context of Research and Innovation, open access typically focuses on access to 'scientific information', which refers to two main categories: peer-reviewed scientific research articles (published in academic journals) and scientific research data (data underlying publications and/or raw data). 


Ownership of IP rights

The state or quality of being an owner of an intellectual proprietary (IP) right.  It enables its holder to exercise exclusive rights of use in relation to the subject matter of the IP and to restrict others from using these IP rights.



Part A

The part of a proposal containing all administrative data. This part is completed directly on the Participant Portal.

Part B

The part of a proposal explaining the work to be carried out, and the roles of the participants in the consortium. This part is uploaded to the Participant Portal as a pdf file. 



The members of a consortium in a proposal or project. These are legal entities, and have rights and obligations rights and obligations defined in the Grant Agreement with regard to the European Union for the implementation of the EU-funded project. The term participant is equivalent to the term beneficiary used in the Grant Agreement.

Participant Identification Code (PIC) 

A 9-digit number serving as a unique identifier for organisations (legal entities) participating in EU funding programmes.

Participant Portal

It is the single online gateway for applicants and beneficiaries in Horizon 2020, for identifying funding opportunities, accessing documents and guidance, submitting proposals and forthe paperless management of grants and expert contracts.


Participant Portal Grant Management Services

The Participant Portal Grant Management Services (PPGMS) is a suite of IT services, supporting and enabling the electronic-only grant management from grant preparation through amendments and formal communication to reporting and follow-up of funded actions. PPGMS is integrated in the Research Participant Portal (PP) and accessible through the 'My Area' section of the PP.


An intellectual property right (IPR), which confers on its owner the exclusive right to prevent third parties from commercially exploiting - making, using, offering for sale, selling or importing the invention, which is protected by patent for a limited period of time (generally 20 years).

Plan for the Exploitation and Dissemination of Results (PEDR)

In Horizon 2020 is a document which summarises the beneficiaries’ strategy and concrete actions related to the protection, dissemination and exploitation of the project results

Pre-Commercial Procurement

A Horizon 2020 funding instrument that cofunds the preparation, implementation and follow-up of a single joint public procurement of research and development services as well as other related additional coordination and networking activities.  


Prize means a financial contribution given as a reward following a contest.  It rewards past actions (not financed by Horizon 2020)


A description of the planned research activities, information on who will carry them out, how much they will cost, and how much funding is requested. 

Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions

A Horizon 2020 funding instrument that cofunds the preparation implementation and follow-up of a single joint public procurement of innovative solutions as well as other related additional coordination and networking activities.  

Public body

"Any legal entity established as public body by national law or an international organisation" 

Public procurer

Public procurers are organizations that are contracting authorities or contracting entities according to the definition of those terms in the EU public procurement directives 2014/24/EU, 2004/25/EU, 2009/81/EC. ‘Contracting authority’ means the State, regional or local authorities, bodies governed by public law, associations formed by one or several of such authorities or one or several of such bodies governed by public law (for the full definition, see Article 2(1)(1) of Directive 2014/24/EU). Bodies governed by public law also include entities financed mostly by the State, regional or local authorities, or other bodies governed by public law and entities controlled by those bodies (for the full definition, see Article 2(1)(4) of Directive 2014/24/EU). This includes for example ministries, regions, cities, road management authorities, public hospitals, central purchasing bodies etc. ‘Contracting entities’ refers to entities operating in specific sectors (such as utilities for water, energy, transport, postal services covered by Directive 2014/25/EU and contracting entities in the field of security covered by Directive 2009/81/EC). They may be contracting authorities, public undertakings or entities operating on the basis of special or exclusive rights (for the full definition, see Article 4 of Directive 2014/25/EU).

Public-Private Partnership

A partnership where private sector partners, the European Union and, where appropriate, other partners, such as public sector bodies, commit to jointly support the development and implementation of a research and innovation programme or activities. 



H2020 proposals are ranked on the basis of the evaluation results. The selection of successful proposals is made on the basis of that ranking.

Reporting periods

Each action is divided into reporting periods. The length of the reporting periods is set out in the Grant Agreement. As a general rule, reporting periods last 18 months. The number of reporting periods is also set out in the Grant Agreement, and depends on the action duration.


Research and Innovation Actions - activities aiming to establish new knowledge and/or to explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution.


Research executive agency

A funding body created by the European Commission to foster excellence in research and innovation. As of 1 January 2014 in the framework of H2020 the REA has been entrusted with the implementation of parts of Excellence Science, Industrial leadership, Societal challenges, Spreading excellence and widening participation and Science with and for Society plus the implementation of the legacy of parts of FP7 (People, Research for SMEs and for SMEs associations, Space and Security).

Research performing organizations (RPOs)

Non-profit organizations  that complement the roles of the universities and the industry, often playing an important economic role regionally. RPOs can have different legal forms: state agency, foundation, NGO or event an incorporated company or part of a ministry.


Research and development.



Research and technological development.

Research- acquiring SMEs

Enterprises who need to outsource their research.



A patent made to a right holder for the use of the intellectual property which it owns, such as a patent, trade mark, or copyright. They are the most used remuneration method in the context of the license agreement.



Small and medium sized enterprise, which employs less than 250 persons and which has an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million, and/or annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 mission.

Societal Challenges

One of the H2020 main pillars.


A role in the Participant Portal giving particular access rights for managing organisation-related data. Self-registrants acquire this role by registering a new entity in the Beneficiary Register on the Participant Portal. Self-registrants have full read/write access to the organisation data until the moment when the organisation is validated and has a Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR).


Results (including IPRs) that have been created in paralel to the project, but are not part of the project or project-related.



A  new, separate and independent company created from an existing company or organization.


Technology transfer

The successful application and/or adaptation of a technology developed in one organization to meet the needs of one or more other organisations. The transferred technology needs to be innovative for the recipient. The transfer can be made not only between organisations but also between industrial sectors. 


Third- country

A country which is not a member of the European Union.

Third- party

A person or a legal entity that does not participate in the project. If foreseen in the Grant Agreement, some third parties may carry out some work in the project (e.g. subcontractors, affiliates or members of a joint research unit). However, such third parties do not become participants.


For a proposal to be considered for funding, the evaluation scores for individual criteria must exceed certain thresholds. There is also an overall threshold for the sum of the scores. 

Type of action

Projects funded under H2020 can take different pre-defined shapes, in terms of requirements on partnership (mono- or multipartner), purpose (research, innovation, networking, fellowship ...), reimbursement rate etc. These pre-defined project shapes are referred to as "types of action". 


Unitary patent

Is a single European patent with a unitary effect for the EU Member States involved in an enhanced cooperation. In order to obtain a unitary effect, patent holders need to request the unitary effect at the European Patent Office within one month of the date of publication of the grant of the patent in the European Patent Bulletin.


Unregistered Community design

Is a form or protection for industrial designs fulfilling the conditions of protection – novelty and individual character. The protection lasts for 3 years.


Utility model

One of the intellectual property rights that protects technical solutions. The protection period is shorter than the patent protection.


(IP) Valuation

Is an assessment of the value of a particular IP asset. IP valuation may be quantitative or qualitative in nature. There are a variety of methods to value IP.


Work package

A work package is a major sub-division of the proposed project, a series of tasks to be performed, with a verifiable end-point – normally a deliverable or a milestone.

Work Programme

The document adopted by the European Commission for the implementation of a specific programme. For Horizon 2020, it sets out the research objectives and topics to be addressed and lists all calls and topics for the coming 2 or 3 years. 

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