When should I submit my proposal?
We strongly advise against last minute submissions and recommend that proposers make use of the option to upload and update draft proposals throughout the period in which the call is open. Every uploaded version will replace the previously uploaded one, only the last version submitted will be taken for the evaluation.
Proposal submission after the deadline will not be possible.
Are there restrictions on the organisations that may participate?
Successful proposals will be included in the Inno4scale Project as clearly defined activities within the project and new participants will be included as Third Parties contracted by the Inno4scale Coordinator, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center.
Only organisations with head offices based in an EU Member State or in associated countries that are members of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking are eligible to receive funding.
All organisations that are eligible to participate within the H2020 framework programme would be expected to be accepted for participation as Third Parties in Inno4scale. Natural persons (individuals) are not eligible to receive funding.
A researcher from our organisation in an EU Member State would like to apply for this call together with a research group from a country that is not a member of the European Union, e.g. Switzerland or UK. Is this situation permissible under the eligibility criteria?
Assuming that your organisation is from a country eligible to receive funding, then yes, you would be able to have a consortium including, e.g. a Swiss or UK partner, but in that case the proposal would have to request zero funding for the that partner as they are not eligible to receive funding (as stated above and in the call text: “Only organisations with head offices based in an EU Member State or in associated countries that are members of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking are eligible to receive funding.”). It would then be advised to clarify their commitment to carry out the study without receipt of funding, or to explain the use of alternative funding.
Are there any rules regarding the structure of the proposal Consortium?
The Inno4scale open call targets proposals from consortia that can perform an innovation study leading to a proof-of-concept demonstrator exhibiting enhanced performance relevant for important applications executed on exascale systems. The consortium should contain the necessary partners with all the skills needed to carry out the proposed work.
It is expected that the consortium proposed for an innovation study comprises at most 3 organizations and that each organization is assigned at least 6 person months of effort. Proposals that do not meet those expectations should clearly justify the construction of the proposed consortium in terms of effectiveness of the workplan and quality of the expected results.
Which are the roles of partners supposed to be used in the table present in the template of the proposal?
Inno4scale has not fixed the possible roles, but potential partners include ISV, technology expert, software developer expert, HPC expert / HPC centre / HPC provider, along with application expert.
What is the funding model and what financial restrictions apply?
The maximum EC funding expected to be allocated to an individual innovation study is € 200,000. However, that is a maximum figure and the proposal evaluators will be asked to pay attention to the planned resources (effort & budget) being commensurate with the stated objectives of the study. It is also important to note that the maximum level of effort to be supported for a proposed innovation study is 24 person months.
The funding of Third Parties must follow the same principles as used for beneficiaries of Inno4scale, which receives European Commission funding within the R&D&I programme of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking. In particular, Third Parties will receive 100% funding of incurred eligible costs.
The details of funding rules that will be applied can be found in the annotated model grant agreement for the Horizon Europe programme:
However, key aspects to be noted are that the eligible costs include:
- Direct personnel costs for personnel contributing to the innovation study activities.
- Other direct costs for items such as: travel and subsistence; invoiced computing services; depreciation costs of equipment needed for execution of the experiment; costs of internally invoiced computing services (directly used for the application experiment).
- Indirect costs calculated as a flat rate of 25% of eligible direct costs (with certain exceptions, but including the items under a) & b) above).
How will access to HPC computing resources be supported?
Successful proposals will be encouraged and assisted to obtain access to exascale technology for their development purposes, notably through the Benchmark and Development Access calls for the EuroHPC JU systems, in order to test and implement their algorithm concepts and/or novel solutions. Other or additional computing costs should be included within the budget of the proposed innovation study, that is they should be scoped, in terms of the required core hours, and assigned under “Other direct costs” The need for the requested computing resources should be substantiated.
Is purchasing of equipment, e.g., laptops, from project budget possible?
These would be eligible direct costs and all direct costs should be clearly justified in the proposal in terms of necessity for execution of the study.
These would be eligible direct costs and all direct costs should be clearly justified in the proposal in terms of necessity for execution of the study
What is the time-line for evaluation & study commencement?
The target is for the innovations studies to commence not later than 1st February 2024. We expect to be able to communicate the results of the evaluation of proposals by the middle of December 2023.
Does the innovation study have to focus on particular types of applications?
No specific application fields are targeted. Innovation studies should demonstrate scientific excellence on the identified and proposed novel, forward-looking and potentially disruptive approaches to the solution of complex mathematical, numerical or data processing problems on current and future European exascale supercomputers. The resulting proof-of-concept demonstrators are expected to demonstrate great potential to solve currently non-tractable computational challenges in the context of use of the European flagship HPC systems and the potential to be integrated into important applications, addressing relevant use cases with a broad user base.
However, note that proposals addressing algorithms using emerging technologies such as quantum computers will be considered to be within the scope of the call only if linked to HPC, for example, by exploiting hybrid quantum-classical exascale architectures.
What is the requirement for attending meetings?
Each innovation study should organise a kick-off meeting which all participants are expected to attend. Further study-internal meetings, whose attendance and frequency depend on the work plan, are anticipated. Furthermore, a representative of the innovation study should normally participate in at least one Inno4scale communication and dissemination event and should also attend one Inno4scale review meeting. However, based on current practices following the Corona pandemic it is expected that most meetings will be held as online meetings.
Is there any mandatory annex (e.g. Support Letters from the organisations) to submit?
No and in fact we insist on a strict adherence to the page limit of 10 pages (excluding the cover page). The inclusion of annexes could lead to a proposal being rejected without evaluation!
Does Inno4scale have any right on the new algorithms that will be developed? If not is the consortium required to manage IPR internally?
No, the rights to the developments will reside with the organisations performing the innovation studies. It would be expected that IPR management is performed in line with (your) usual best-practices.