We are, based on feedback and experiences from previous calls, constantly trying to improve and develop the way our calls are designed. With this we aim to:
- Improve their attractiveness
- Make it easier to understand what we look for
- Adjust to changes in regulatory frameworks
- Make the process transparent and open
- Increase our possibilities to secure set targets and strategy implementation
This year we plan to introduce some new elements, but to a high extent the First Academy Call BP23-25 will look similar to the most recent Academy Call.
Please give us your view on the suggested call design below.
Call calendar structure
We plan to move from one major Academy Call per year to two. This may allow for the following advantages:
- We can keep the dialogue about the calls and new areas constantly open
- We can run activities based on both the calendar year, as well as the academic year, choosing what may fit each type of activity best
- There is always a next call coming soon, and thereby partners do not need to wait a full year to re-apply (assuming the call scope stays the same)
- We can distribute the work with partner projects and admin more evenly throughout the year
Thereby the available budget per call will decrease to about half, keeping the annual available budget at planned levels.
Financial sustainability plans
It has been hard to plan for and evaluate financial sustainability potential of the proposals. We have increase information regarding what’s required, demanded more details and plans, but it has been shown to be difficult assess now looking at the actual in many cases quite disappointing result. We have also seen a tendency in projects to first focus on content development and wait with marketing and sales activities. This has put projects into a difficult situation, jeopardising their ability to deliver as planned. We plan still to demand details and plans as part of the proposals, but plan also to introduce a detailed review of the plans at the first mid-term review (for calendar year projects, as in this call to be held in about June/July). At this stage each activity (if applicable) needs to present a detailed and, to the extent possible, verified marketing and sales plan. If this plan is approved the project can continue, if not EIT Urban Mobility has the right to stop the activity. With this approach we plan to achieve:
- Critical marketing and sales steps are not delayed and/or postponed
- Issues related to financial sustainability are detected at an as early stage as possible
- Required changes can be included in the BP amendment
- Reallocation of funds can be made as early as possible, if required
Continuation of pilot activities
Most accepted proposals and activities based on the call can be seen as pilots. Our ambition is, to the extent possible, to continue successful activities after the first activity year. We thereby regard most types of activities as tests, and the ambition to continue after the first year should be indicated, and a high level plan should be included in the proposal. The activities need during the year to show that they are able to deliver as planned. If successful, we plan to take conditional decisions regarding continuations already about one month prior to the end of the year to allow the consortia to plan for the next year and also to make sure there is enough time to get budgets and admin prepared.
With this approach we expect that the the Academy “call budget” over time will plateau at about one third each year going to new pilots and that two thirds will be allocated to continuation of successful or once successful pilots (if continuing after the second year).
With this approach we hope to achieve:
- A stronger focus on quality
- A more stable portfolio of activities
- Better alignment with our strategy and targets
Horizon Europe framework alignment
Due to the change of the regulatory framework, from Horizon 2020 to Horizon Europe, there will be changes regarding how we operate and work with partner lead activities. Right now we are not fully aware of how this will impact the call and business plan 2023-25. We do not foresee any dramatic changes, but need to make all aware of that additional changes regarding for instance monitoring and reporting, agreements etc. most probably will be introduces.
New EIT Urban Mobility partnership model
The Academy call, as well as all EIT Urban Mobility calls, are now aligned with the new partnership model. For details please see the EIT Urban Mobility web site.
We have a constant need for student internships and plan to highlight this also in the calls. We plan to ask if there is the possibility for an internship in the activity and/or one of the participating partners. This would contribute to the Knowledge Triangle Integrations, that is a key part of the requirements and assessment.
There is a continued and increasing demand on EIT Urban Mobility to increase the level of co-funding. Instead of raising the to the required level directly, we plan to gradually increase the demand over the 2023 to 2025 period. We plan to ramp this up for Academy partner activities in three steps:
- 2023 15%
- 2024 20%
- 2025 25%
All proposal activities are planned to be completed within 2023. However, plans how to repeat courses etc. should be included. A detailed commercialization/exploitation plan for 2023 and beyond should also be included.
Call process structure
There are no changed planned, the call is now planned to be a 1-stage application process. The only minor planned change is to move from a two stage evaluation (Strategic Fit and Full Evaluation) to a one stage evaluation, including the Strategic Fit evaluation in the Full Evaluation.
Key Performance Indicators, KPIs
There are no changed planned, there will be recommended KPIs to use for each area to avoid using KPIs less suitable. Minimum KPI targets on compulsory KPIs will be stated. We will however be more precise regarding what year or period each KPI target levels should be achieved.
Based on experience from earlier calls and the input in the Needs and Issues section, the call may also this year exclude the Doctoral Training Network and focus on the Master School and the Competence Hub. The latter will most likely have the biggest allocated budget. This should not be interpreted as that one segment is more important than another, but rather as that, a call is more suitable as a way to shape the operations compared to other alternatives for that particular segment.
In addition, the RIS Education call will this year instead be managed by Academy, in close cooperation with RIS.