13.07.2010 - 31.12.2013

Announcement of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the framework of the Federal Government’s

Regulations governing the funding of international cooperation in science and research in connection with the Union for the Mediterranean

30 June 2010

1 Funding purpose, legal basis

1.1 Funding purpose

International cooperation in science and research is a central element in efforts to strengthen and improve Germany’s position in the international arena. The Federal Government’s High-Tech Strategy and the Strategy for the Internationalization of Science and Research provide the basic framework for these efforts. Strengthening long-term cooperation with developing countries in the areas of education, research and development is an important element of the Internationalization Strategy. The present announcement focuses on the initiation and development of strategic partnerships in the field of science and research between German organizations and institutions from the North African and Middle Eastern countries that are members of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), including Turkey¹.
In total, the UfM includes all 27 Member States of the European Union as well as 16 countries across the Balkans, Northern Africa and the Middle East, including Turkey . Measures are currently being carried out in the following six priority areas²:
  • De-pollution of the Mediterranean Sea; 
  • Establishment of maritime and land highways; 
  • Civil protection initiatives to combat natural and man-made disasters; 
  • Mediterranen solar energy plan; 
  • Education and research; support of the Euro-Mediterranean University in Slovenia;
  • Mediterranean Business Development Initiative focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including micro-enterprises.

The UfM is a suitable forum for Germany to contribute its science and research expertise in order to help to solve specific Euro-Mediterranean challenges. The UfM is also a good platform for tapping Euro-Mediterranean expertise in research and science for the benefit of German stakeholders. This announcement is also intended to contribute to the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean research area. In view of the special importance of applied research in the priority areas of the UfM, and in order to contribute to the development of Euro-Mediterranean innovation systems, innovation-based collaborations are also eligible for funding.

In this call, financial resources are being made available to

  • support the preparation of project proposals to be submitted under current funding programmes of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
  • support the preparation of projects to be submitted under European research and innovation programmes
  • develop or expand innovation partnerships in the priority areas of the UfM.

The aim is to improve international cooperation between German research/science organizations and institutions from Northern Africa and the Middle East, including Turkey, and to contribute to the development of the UfM. In addition, Euro-Mediterranean science, research and innovation systems are to be developed, and synergies with the research policy dialogue with developing countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East are to be created.

1.2 Legal basis

Project grants will be awarded on the basis of private-law funding contracts in accordance with the present announcement, the BMBF's standard terms and conditions for grants on an expenditure or cost basis and the administrative regulations under sections 23 and 44 of the Federal Budget Code (BHO). There is no legal entitlement to funding. The funding provider will make a decision after due assessment of the circumstances and within the framework of the budget funds available.

2 Object of funding

2a: BMBF funding programmes

One of the aims of the BMBF programme on "International Cooperation in Science and Research – Union for the Mediterranean" is to support the groundwork for projects, primarily in the area of applied research and development, that are to be submitted under the current funding programmes of the BMBF (http://www.bmbf.de/index.php). To be eligible for funding, projects must include partners from the UfM countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East, including Turkey. This must be ascertained in connection with each call. The calls in the different thematic areas can be accessed via the following links:

2b: EU research and innovation programmes

German organizations that work together with institutions from the UfM countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East, including Turkey, can also receive support for the preparation of applied research projects within the thematic priorities of the “Cooperation” programme of the European Union’s 7th Research Framework Programme, provided that there is a regional focus on the Mediterranean region. The 7th EU Research Framework Programme includes the following areas:

In view of the fact that some UfM countries that are not in the EU take part in the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP), support is given for the preparation of projects to be submitted under this and other relevant innovation programmes, provided that they include partners from UfM countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East, including Turkey. See section six for information on non-EU countries that participate in the CIP. The main pillars of the CIP are:

  • The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP) 
  • The Information Communication Technologies Policy Support Programme (ICT-PSP) 
  • The Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (IEE)

2c: Innovation partnerships and networks for the Union for the Mediterranean

Under this heading, support is given for the creation and development of innovation partnerships and networks between German organizations and institutions from the UfM countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East, including Turkey. These partnerships and networks are intended to contribute to the development of scientific and innovation activities, particularly in the priority areas of the UfM (see section 1.1). Projects can also relate to topics such as marine or maritime research and natural resource management.

When setting up or further developing innovation partnerships or networks in dedicated thematic UfM priorities, strategies for follow-up financing as well as links to existing platforms and networks have to be considered (including Joint Technology Platforms, Knowledge and Innovation Communities, and the EU project MIRA3.

Section 2c is geared towards measures for knowledge and technology transfer, the identification of joint research topics, the development of joint research plans, improved links between existing networks and the joint development of human resources in an international context.

3 Funding recipients

Applications may be submitted by German institutions of higher education, non-university research establishments, SMEs and existing bodies in charge of managing innovation partnerships in collaboration with partner institutions from the UfM countries in Northern Africa and the Middle East (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Tunisia) as well as from Turkey.³ Preference will be given to applications involving SMEs.4

Research establishments which receive joint basic funding from the Federal Government and the Länder can only be granted project funding for their additional expenditure under certain preconditions.

4 Prerequisites for funding/type, scope and rates of funding

Applicants should familiarize themselves with the funding programmes of the BMBF, other existing national funding programmes (particularly in the fields of the High-Tech Strategy), the EU Research Framework Programme and the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme in the context of the proposed project. Applicants who plan to submit a proposal under section 2a or 2b should contact the responsible BMBF project management agencies or the National Contact Points for the EU Research Framework Programme to ascertain whether their proposed project meets the criteria of the BMBF or EU call.

As a rule, at least two institutions from two of the following UfM countries must be involved in addition to the German applicant: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Tunisia (countries which are not associated countries in the 7th EU Framework Programme), Turkey. The participation of institutions from Israel in addition to the requisite partners from the abovementioned countries is also eligible for funding.

While the participation of institutions from other UfM countries (EU countries and Monaco) is recommended, these costs will not be covered under this UfM call. In the case of projects that include partners from UfM countries from the Western Balkans, a combination with the BMBF funding programme on “International Cooperation in Science and Research – Central, Eastern and South Eastern European Region" (regional call for proposals) is possible.

In the case of projects under sections 2a and 2b, the constellation of the partners must comply with the participation rules of the EU/BMBF call in question. The foreign partners (as defined in section 3 must confirm their willingness to cooperate by submitting at least one declaration of intent.

Within each application procedure, the applicant must choose among sections 2a, 2b or 2c.

The applicant must provide evidence of significant own funding contributions from the partners. The institutions in the partner countries must contribute to financing the project by covering their own travel and personnel costs. The application must contain the details necessary to assess the appropriateness and the need for funding (see section 5.2).

The BMBF will support the preparation of projects by providing non-repayable grants. The following measures are eligible for grants on an expenditure or cost basis:

  • Travel expenses for German experts to the partner country, including daily allowances
  • Costs of visits of foreign experts to Germany (in the form of daily allowances).

In justified special cases:

  • Staff costs on the German side, e.g. to study the feasibility of joint research projects and for the organization of events (up to three person-months as a general rule) 
  • Cost of events (e.g. rental of venue, logistics) 
  • Physical resources (e.g. consumables for pilot studies).

Up to €50,000 can be provided for the preparation of particularly complex projects and innovation partnerships. Projects under sections 2a and 2b can last up to 12 months; projects under section 2c up to 18 months.

For innovation partnerships only, additional funding up to a maximum amount of €30,000 is available subject to positive evaluation and approval. A separate application will be necessary to receive this additional funding. The objective is to support the preparation of a joint proposal targeting dedicated calls under the funding schemes mentioned under sections 2a and 2b.

Project funding may be awarded in the form of non-repayable grants.

Grants for commercial companies are calculated on the basis of the project-related costs eligible for funding, up to 50% of which can, as a rule, be covered by government grants – depending on how near the project is to application. The BMBF’s policy requires an appropriate own contribution towards the eligible costs incurred – as a rule at least 50%.

Grants for universities, research and science institutions and similar institutions will be calculated on the basis of the eligible project-related expenditure (or, in the case of the Helmholtz centres and the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (FhG), the eligible project-related costs), which can be funded up to a maximum of 100% in individual cases.

The European Commission's Community Framework for State Aid for Research and Development and Innovation must be taken into account when determining the rates of funding. The Community Framework allows differentiated rules on extra percentage points for collaborative projects proposed by SMEs, which may result in a higher rate of funding.

An international workshop for the successful project participants is to be carried out in Germany approximately once a year with the aim of exchanging information and experiences.  The German applicants are required to participate in this workshop.

In addition to dissemination activities at a national level, the project results must also be described in a short report that is ready for online publication in a specified format.

5 Procedure

5.1 Involvement of the International Bureau (IB) of the BMBF

The following project management agency is responsible for the implementation of the "International Cooperation in Science and Research – Union for the Mediterranean" programme:

International Bureau of the BMBF
c/o German Aerospace Center
Heinrich-Konen-Strasse 1
53227 Bonn
Germany
Internet: http://www.internationales-buero.de/en/index.php

Further information is available from the International Bureau of the BMBF. The BMBF recommends that applicants contact the desk officer responsible for the country in question to obtain information about the funding opportunities available in the Mediterranean countries prior to submitting their application.

For subject-related information, please contact:

Roman Noetzel (Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia)
Phone: +49- 2 28-3 82 14 84
E-mail: Roman.Noetzel@dlr.de

Susanne Ruppert-Elias (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian Territories, Syria)
Phone:  +49- 2 28-3 82 14 87
E-mail: Susanne.Ruppert-Elias@dlr.de

Dr. Akin Akkoyun (Turkey)
Phone: +49-2 28-3 82 14 70
E-mail: Akin.Akkoyun@dlr.de

Dr. Birgit Ditgens (Israel)
Phone: +49-2 28-3 82 14 59
E-mail: Birgit.Ditgens@dlr.de

For administrative information, please contact:

Derya Manda
Phone: +49-2 28-3 82 18 96
E-mail: derya.manda@dlr.de

If you have technical questions about the online application process, please contact:

Martina Lauterbach
Phone:  +49-2 28-3 82 17 34
E-mail: Martina.Lauterbach@dlr.de

5.2 Presentation of formal applications and decision-making procedure

The call has an ongoing application procedure and will be open until the end of 2013, subject to the availability of budget funds.

The IB’s electronic application system "ewa" should be used to draft formal applications. The project title must start with the acronym UFM.

Applicants under the “BMBF funding programmes“ section 2a and the “EU research and innovation programmes“ section 2b should describe the aims of their project and the necessary preparatory measures in as much detail as possible on the electronic application form (http://www.ewa.internationales-buero.de/?project_cat=RA).

Applications for the “Innovation partnerships and networks for the UfM” section 2c should be submitted using the form http://www.ewa.internationales-buero.de/?project_cat=WTZOM and should also include a project description (pdf format, up to 10 A4 pages) that includes the following information: 

  1. Title (UFM: …)

  2. a) Coordinator
    b) Structure of the partnership (presentation of the letter of intent)
  3. Summary 
  4. Project description
    a) Objectives and relevance to the objectives of this UfM call (optional: further information on follow-up activities for the preparation of project proposals targeting sections 2a and 2b
    b) Information on existing collaborations with the region(s) or partners in question.
    c) Information on the added value of the proposed partnership with regard to research and innovation
    d) Information on outcomes (short-term), results (medium-term) and impacts (long-term) of the proposed activities
  5. Work plan
    a) Planned measures and proposed procedural steps
    b) Distribution of the work packages between the partners
    c) Schedule 
  6. Proof of the qualifications of the coordinator and the project partners for the planned project
  7. Agreement on intellectual property rights aspects

In addition to the electronic application, applicants must send one signed and stamped hard copy of the final proposal (finalized using the electronic application system) by post to the following address within 7 working days:

International Bureau of the BMBF
c/o German Aerospace Center
Heinrich-Konen-Strasse 1
53227 Bonn
Germany

In the case of applications under “Innovation partnerships and networks for the UfM” (section 2c), a project description must be sent by e-mail (pdf format) to Roman.Noetzel@dlr.de.

The submission of an application does not establish a legal claim to funding.

The evaluation of the submitted project proposals will include external experts and will be based on the following criteria:

  • Compliance with the objectives of the UfM call
  • Compliance with the minimum participation rules
  • Quality of the work plan, originality of the approach 
  • Qualifications and expertise of the project coordinator and the project partners 
  • Quality of the collaboration and mutual benefit 
  • Plan for the utilization of the expected results 
  • Integration of SMEs
  • Promotion of young scientists
  • Plan for the dissemination of the project results 
  • Prospects of success of the project with regard to funding under the corresponding BMBF funding programme or EU programme (sections 2a, 2b)
  • Quality, relevance to the UfM priorities and methodological approach of the partnership, including partner structure (section 2c)
  • Rationale for follow-up activities and financing (section 2c)
  • Links to existing networks (section 2c)

On the basis of this evaluation, a decision about funding will be taken following a final examination of the proposal. The applicants will be informed in writing about the results of the evaluation.

On behalf of the BMBF, the IB will conclude private-law grant agreements with the successful applicants. Approval and payment of and accounting for the funds as well as proof and examination of proper use and, if necessary, revocation of the award and reclaiming of the funds awarded are governed by the administrative regulations pertaining to section 44 of the Federal Budget Code (BHO).

6 Information and guidance

The project management agencies can provide advice and information (addresses, contact partners, etc.) on the funding programmes of the BMBF.

Federal Government funding advice service for “Research and Innovation“
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Projektträger Jülich (PtJ)
Zimmerstraße 26-27
10969 Berlin
E-mail: beratung@foerderinfo.bund.de
Internet: http://www.foerderinfo.bund.de/en/index.php

Free hotlines:
Research funding: 0800-2623 008
SME funding: 0800-2623 009

Further information on strategies and funding programmes can be found via the following links:

The Federal Government’s High-Tech Strategy: http://www.hightech-strategie.de/en/index.php

Strategy of the Federal Government for the Internationalization of Science and Research: http://www.research-in-germany.de/dachportal/en/downloads/download-files/28500/internationalizatione-strategy-strengthening-germany-s-role-in-the-global-knowledge-society.pdf

General information on the BMBF’s calls for proposals and funding regulations are available here (http://www.bmbf.de/en/furtherance/677.php).

The Federal Government's national contact points offer information and advice on the funding programmes of the EU. The German internet portal on the 7th Research Framework Programme (http://www.forschungsrahmenprogramm.de/nks.htm) offers initial information and provides addresses and contact information for the National Contact Points. Information on the EU innovation programme Eurostars can be obtained at http://www.eureka.dlr.de/en/194.php.

Information on BMBF support programmes for Turkey and the Western Balkan Countries can be obtained here: http://www.internationales-buero.de/en/1036.php

Further information on the Union for the Mediterranean can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/euromed/index_en.htm.

Information on the EU’s funding programme on research and innovation can also be obtained from the regional organizations of the Enterprise Europe network:  http://www.enterprise-europe-network.ec.europa.eu/

Information on the EU’s Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) can be found at:
http://ec.europa.eu/cip/index_en.htm

Information on the CIP programme areas is available at:
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme: http://ec.europa.eu/cip/eip/index_en.htm
Intelligent Energy Europe: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/intelligent/contact/national_en.htm,
ICT: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/ict_psp/contacts/index_en.htm)

For the latest information, please contact the relevant information centres in your region. See: http://ec.europa.eu/cip/contact/index_en.htm

Information on the European Technology Platforms and the EU’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities is available at: http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/jtis/home_en.html; http://eit.europa.eu/.

Information on the MIRA project is available at: http://www.miraproject.eu/

Further Information on the Internet:
The Federal Government's Funding Database on the website of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) (http://www.foerderdatenbank.de/) provides complete and up-to-date information on the funding programmes and guidelines at federal, Länder and EU level.

7 Entry into force

These funding regulations will enter into force on the day of their publication in the Federal Gazette (Bundesanzeiger).

Bonn, 30 June 2010

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

M a d d e r s


¹Albania, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestinian territories, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey. For more information see: http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/euromed/index_en.htm.
²The priority areas were defined in the declaration issued at the summit in which the Union for the Mediterranean was established, in July 2008. See: http://ec.europa.eu/external_relations/euromed/index_en.htm
³The MIRA project is funded under the EU’s 7th framework programme and includes approximately 30 partners from the Mediterranean area. Its aim is to intensify biregional research and innovation cooperation between the EU and Mediterranean countries that are not members of the EU. The BMBF is involved in the project via the IB (see http://www.miraproject.eu/).
4: href="http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/facts-figures-analysis/sme-definition/index_en.htm" http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/facts-figures-analysis/smedefinition/index_en.htm

Contact Persons


  • Nadia Meyer

    • Senior Scientific Officer
    • Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1
    • 53227 Bonn
    • Telephone: +49 228 3821-2010
    • Fax: +49 228 3821-1490
    • Email Address: Nadia. Meyer@dlr.de

  • Roman Noetzel

    • Senior Scientific Officer
    • Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1
    • 53227 Bonn
    • Telephone: +49 228 3821-1484
    • Fax: +49 228 3821-1444
    • Email Address: roman.noetzel@dlr.de

  • Derya Manda

    • Senior Administrative Officer
    • Heinrich-Konen-Str. 1
    • 53227 Bonn
    • Telephone: +49 228 3821-1896
    • Fax: +49 228 3821-1444
    • Email Address: derya.manda@dlr.de

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