Model consortium agreements for MSCA-ITN are also available for the first time in the Horizon 2020 programme. These projects were developed by the National Working Group (Bundesarbeitskreis) of EU Advisers in German Universities and Higher Education Institutions (BAK) and by the League of European Research Universities (LERU). Both models are based on LESCA. DESCA, the most common model consortium agreement in the 7th Framework Programme, has been updated for Horizon 2020. This new model is similar to the Integrated Project Consortium Agreement (IPCA) developed by digitalEUROPE for the seventh framework programme. A professional legal advisor experienced in such consortium contracts offers you the following services: Note: The costs associated with the development of a consortium contract are not refundable, as the consortium agreement must be signed before the grant agreement is signed. However, the costs associated with updating the consortium agreement are eligible if they are incurred during the duration of the action. Since the consortium agreement is in fact a commercial agreement, we recommend the services of a legal advisor competent to develop such agreements. Explanatory notes containing concrete examples and detailed explanations of the various options and clauses are included in the model as a whole. These guidance will help research directors (who generally do not have legal training) and early PC participants to make informed decisions about the best formulations to protect their interests. There is a clear motivation to start drawing up the agreement as soon as possible. This may be the case during the preparatory phase of the proposal, when operational relations between partners are in place and tasks are assigned.
It is a good practice to ensure that the project is well planned, including all legal aspects, before it is presented. This practice can help avoid unwanted conflicts between partners in the future. Nevertheless, there is an important point to bear in mind: the preparation of an agreement on the Horizon 2020 consortium requires a significant investment of time, resources and resources for legal assistance. If the project is not chosen by the European Commission for funding, such an allocation of money and time will essentially (and unfortunately) be wasted. In order to optimize the use of available time and resources, there is a good opportunity to develop this agreement, after the EC has indicated that the project will be chosen for funding and before the EC requests the signing of the grant agreement. This period is approximately three months, which is sufficient to prepare and conclude the consortium agreement. A consortium agreement is a binding contract signed between the partners of a Horizon 2020 cooperation project.