A number of questions have already been asked to us. It is likely that you will find under the categories below also an answer to your specific question. If this is not the case please contact the office(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)www.celticplus.eu.
1.1 What is Celtic and is its main focus?
Celtic-Plus is an industry-driven European research initiative to define, perform and finance through public and private funding common research projects in the area of telecommunications, new media, future Internet, and applications & services focusing on a new “Smart Connected World” paradigm. Celtic-Plus is a EUREKA ICT cluster and belongs to the inter-governmental EUREKA network.
1.2 What is a EUREKA cluster project?
EUREKA ‘Clusters’ are long-term, strategically significant industrial initiatives. They usually have a large number of participants, and aim to develop generic technologies of key importance for European competitiveness. Celtic is a EUREKA cluster project that carries out projects in the domain of integrated telecommunications systems.
1.3 What is a Celtic Label?
A Celtic Label is an indication that a proposal has been technically assessed and proposed by the Celtic Core Group, in discussion with the Public Authorities, as a valid Celtic project. A Celtic label does not give any confirmation that public funding has been agreed for that project. The funding negotiation still needs to be done by each project partner individually.
1.4 Is a Celtic Label assigned for the whole project or for each project partner?
After the evaluation process and the labelling process a Celtic label is assigned to all project participants included in the proposal. In case a new partner will come in later the Celtic label will be extended to this partner also (e.g. by approving a project change request). However, it is possible that the Celtic label is removed for a project participant only, e.g. in case this participant is not eligible for the label or is not willing to comply to the Celtic or EUREKA rules.
1.5 How long is a Celtic Label valid?
The Celtic label is valid for 10 months. If within this period a project has not achieved very significant progress towards the Kick-Off of the project, the Celtic label will expire. The partners have the possibility to reapply for the Celtic label again in a follow-up Call.
2.1 What is the organisation EUREKA?
EUREKA has been created as an intergovernmental Initiative in 1985. It aims to enhance European competitiveness through its support to businesses, research centres and universities who carry out pan-European projects to develop innovative products, processes and services.
3.1 How to apply for public funding?
It is very important to understand that each project participant has to establish, as early as possible, a contact with the responsible national public authority. An early contact can avoid unnecessary work for producing a proposal in case national funding will be unlikely to be obtained.
Funding is possible through grants, subsidies or loans. The percentage of funding varies and is generally in the region between 30 and 60% of the total budget. Some countries have a dedicated EUREKA budget while others provide funding through the normal funding programs. An overview on the national funding schemes can be found at the Celtic-Public-Authorities web page and at the EUREKA site.
3.3 How to contact the national representatives (Public Authority)?
Public Authorities in charge for the Celtic cluster are listed at the Celtic-Plus web site- contact page. At this page, as far as available, information is provided on funding requirements and application modalities.
3.4 What possibilities exist if national funding is not granted?
If a partner will not receive public funding it is recommended to check on the national side if other possibilities exist to receive financial support. This may be possible, e.g. through loans or national research initiatives that provide e.g. support for SMEs. The partner may, of course, also decide to work in a project on own costs or to withdraw from the project.
4.1 How is a Call organised, how long does it take to start a project?
In Celtic-Plus there will be two full proposal calls per year; one in Spring and another in Autumn. Differently to earlier Celtic calls there will be no proposal outline phase anymore in Celtic-Plus and all calls will be run in a single phase only. It is expected that this new short-call process will also speed up the launch of newly labelled projects and the time from starting the call to starting a project should be around 6 to 9 months.
4.2 What should be observed when building a consortium?
As for any EUREKA project the minimum requirements for a consortium are at least two different partners from two different countries. Celtic projects, generally, have from 3 to even 23 different partners. Ideally, the number of partners should be limited to a manageable size. The number of different countries should, preferably, not exceed 6 countries as the funding agreements become more complicate with increasing number of countries.
It is also important that strong partners from larger industry, TelCos and SMEs are included. In addition partners from academia or research institutes may complement the consortium.
4.3 How do I find interested experts/ companies for a project?
A very good opportunity is the participation at the Celtic-Plus Proposers Day where project ideas will be presented and discussed and first contacts with potential partners may be established. The next Proposers Day is announced on our homepage.
You can also contact the Celtic Office for direct assistance.
4.4 How can I improve the success rate of my proposal?
a) Your objectives have to be in line with the Celtic-Plus – Scope and Research Areas 2016/2017; b) Follow the instructions and recommendations given in the Guide for Proposers; c) Take care that your proposal outline provides already a good picture of your intended project. If your ideas become not clear or if your current consortium or project plan appears too weak you may loose the opportunity to be invited for full project proposal; d) Have a good balance of your consortium that complies with EUREKA rules.
4.5 Can I submit a proposal if the consortium is not (yet) complete?
Since all proposals in Celtic-Plus are now only full proposals the consortium needs to be fully defined. Open areas where partner still needs to be found bear a significant risk that such a proposal may not be labelled. It may, however, still be possible to modify the consortium after labelling by submitting a project change request.
4.6 What is the typical size and composition of a Celtic project?
As a guideline for composing your proposal the average size and composition of a typical Celtic proposal may be interesting. In case of significant difference it is recommended to check with the Celtic Office first before submitting your proposal.
Typical numbers for Celtic project (as orientation) are:
- number of partners: 5-15
- number of countries: 3-8 (minimum 2)
- total budget: 3 – 15 MEuro
- total effort: 20 – 110 PY
- duration: 24 – 30 months
4.7 How to assure confidentiality during proposal submission/ definition phase?
It is recommended to settle a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) as soon as possible when discussing a proposal with other (potential) cooperation partners. The NDA should remain valid until a PCA has been signed. In case the proposal fails to be accepted the NDA may remain valid up to a certain duration (e.g. 2-3 years). The NDA has to be defined and agreed with the cooperation partners. Celtic provides a model NDA that could be used as a starting point.
4.8 How are SME (Small-Medium Enterprises) defined ?
An organisation is considered a SME if it meets the following criteria:
- < 250 employees
- < 50 MEuro annual turnover
- < 25% participation of large stakeholder company
The following definition as used by the commission applies also:
5.1 What means the signature of a Confirmation Letter / Declaration of Acceptance (CLD)?
By signing the Confirmation Letter/ Declaration of Acceptance (CLD) all organisations participating in a proposal confirm that they firmly intend to participate in the specified project and that they have taken knowledge about and accepts the payment rules and the conditions for the Celtic fee. It is requested that the CLD is available at the Celtic Office before the Celtic label is awarded. In case the CLD has not be received at this time the label remains provisional for a short time until the CLD has been sent. The signature of the CLD confirms also that the project participants acknowledge and accept the rules laid down in the Celtic-Plus Frame Agreement (CFA-Plus). Both parts of the CLD (CL and DoA) have to be signed by all partners for every new project (except for Celtic Core Group companies who have to sign only the CL part)
5.2 Is a Confirmation Letter still necessary even if my company has already signed one for another proposal?
The CL is valid only for an specific proposal and, consequently, only valid for that particular proposal. In case the same partner participates in another proposal a new CLD has to be signed again.
5.3 Can I modify the text of a Confirmation Letter?
No, the CLD must be signed as it is. Modifications are not acceptable and will be consequently ignored.
5.4 Do universities/ state-owned institutes also need to send a CLD?
Yes, since all participants have to confirm that they officially intend to participate in a project also organisations not requested to pay the Celtic fee have to sign the CLD as well.
5.5 What is the Celtic-Plus Frame Agreement (CFA), do I need to sign it?
The CFA-Plus is the basic agreement on the legal organisation of Celtic. The CFA-Plus is only signed by Celtic partners (core group companies). Project participants have to sign the CLD instead. By this signature they accept the rules of the CFA.
5.6 How to assure confidentiality during project submission/ definition phase?
Confidentiality rules are laid down in the PCA and CFA. There is no need for any additional agreement between project participants. However during the project definition phase it is recommended to sign a mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
5.7 How to settle a Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA-Plus)?
Celtic projects are strongly advised to use the agreed project cooperation agreement (PCA-Plus). The PCA-Plus should be considered as a model to simplify the legal agreement process for all consortium partners. It is, therefore, strongly advised to use the PCA-Plus in the available form. However, modifications of the PCA-Plus rules are possible provided all project consortium partners agree to these changes. Those changes should then be clearly marked in the agreed PCA-Plus document. Celtic does not need to approve the agreed PCA-Plus and does, generally, not request to receive a copy of the signed PCA-Plus. However the Celtic Office should be informed about the fact that the PCA-Plus has been signed.
6.1 What actions are required during project set-up?
During the project set-up phase the followings actions need to be completed:
- Application of national funding by each partner (if possible approval should be indicated or confirmed
- Discussion and preparation of a revised project description (PD)
- Preparation of a PCA draft
- Signature of the CLD
- Agreement on a kick-off date
6.2 What is needed for a project kick-off?
- Before setting a kick-off date it should be assured that at least two project partners from two different countries have received a confirmation of funding.
- The required set-up actions should be completed
- Celtic Office must be informed about the kick-off date
- After the kick-off meeting minutes have to be issued to indicate the project start
6.3 When is a project considered as started?
A project can only be considered started if the EUREKA minimum project requirement is fulfilled, i.e. two partners from two different countries will start the work.
It is possible that an, already registered project participant subcontracts work for another organisation for doing active work for the contracting project participant. In case of subcontracting the following requirements must be observed and fulfilled:
1. The effort performed by the subcontracted organisation must be included in the effort of the subcontracting party (the official project participant). This mean the subcontracting partner will be charged for the effort of the subcontracted organisation. This means that the effort figures of the subcontracting partners increases by the effort for the subcontracted organisation. In this case the subcontractor will not appear as official project partner.
2. Alternatively, if the project partner should be listed as official project partner, the subcontract has to indicate all effort figures of work performed in the project including the subcontracted organisation. The fees will then be charged to the subcontracting party. This requires that the subcontract is made known to Celtic and the invoicing process can be handled by the subcontracting partner.
3. In the exceptional case a subcontractor shall act as a project coordinator a special authorisation from Celtic Office is required. If accepted the case has to be handled as indicated under item 2. It is not possible that the subcontracted organisation, as coordinator, will not appear as consortium partner.
8.1 How does Celtic provide support during project execution?
The Celtic Office or the Celtic Core Group provide support and help in all phases of the project life-cycle:
- During project set-up: assistance for definition of PCA, search for additional/ alternative partners, funding problems; etc)
- During execution phase: online reporting, PCR approval, advise in case of problems, contacts with PAs
- Project evaluation: initiation of project reviews, progress reports, advise to improve project execution
- Provision of technical support tools (e-mail exploders, web- and ftp server hosting, online reporter)
- Assistance for project publications (printed and electronic media)
8.2 What kind of reports are requested from the project?
Celtic requests, as minimum, a quarterly progress reporting from each running project. Preferably, the online reporting tool should be used for this. In addition, Celtic will issue an annual report that will also sent to the Public Authorities.
9.1 What to do in case of significant changes in the project (e.g. partners are leaving)?
Significant changes (e.g. strong modifications in effort/ budget, number of partners, objectives) require approval of the Celtic Core Group, if necessary, in consent with the concerned Public Authorities. The PAs are always informed about any changes in a project.
9.2 How to submit a PCR online?
A PCR can only be submitted by using the PCR online tool provided from the Celtic Web. Each project will get its own, personal link to the current project data, which is available at the Office. This data form can be updated by entering any new information or new figures. The direct links to each project form will be sent by the Office.
9.3 What do I have to observe when changing project data in a PCR?
You can always adjust project data (budget and effort figures, as well as dates) to the new planning. However you have to bear in mind that any changes of past values, which already had been taken into account at past invoices cannot be changed any more.
10.1 Who approves deliverables?
Normal deliverables, generally, are not approved by Celtic. However, it is requested that a finalisation of a deliverable is reported by the corresponding quarterly report. In case of a mid-term review the published deliverables will, however, be taken into account for the review.
10.2 How shall deliverables be disseminated?
Deliverables that have been declared for general publication should be accessible from the Celtic project web pages. Generally, Public Authorities request also a special publication on national basis. Another way to publish results is by dissemination through public conference (including Celtic events) and work shops.
10.3 Are there confidential and public deliverables?
Projects can produce both confidential (i.e. only accessible to project participants) and public deliverables. Main deliverables, except for special cases, should be publicly accessible.
11.1 What kind of reports are requested from the project?
In order to control and observe the correct progress of a project all projects are strongly advised to report the progress of the work on a quarterly basis. For preparing the reports a very efficient and easy to use online reporting tool (included in the EuresTools) can be made available to the projects at no costs.
11.2 Can a project change the reporting periods?
A project can define also shorter reporting cycles, e.g. monthly or bi-monthly reporting. The default is quarterly reporting per calendar quarter. Upon request the reporting tool can easily be adjusted to a different cycle.
12.1 Which costs can be included in the project budget?
In the project budget all costs can be included that are also eligible for public funding. In the budget costs for the work force, travels, costs of equipment, and other costs can be included, provided these are not explicitly excluded by the public authorities. Please note that the Celtic fee cannot be included in the project budget (see also 12.9).
12.2 What is the ratio between person year (PY) and person month (PM)?
Celtic is working on the assumption that 1 PY equals to 12 PM. In case that a partner is using a different ratio (e.g. 1PY=10PM) the effort tables should be normalised to the Celtic ratio (for example: 1 (company) PM = 1.2 (Celtic) PM or 1 (Celtic) PM = 0.83 (company) PM). This avoids discrepancies and inconsistencies in the project plan and budget tables.
13.1 Why to pay a Celtic participation fee?
The Celtic participation fee is necessary to run the EUREKA cluster organisation, the Celtic Office and the Eureka cluster research network. It is used to support the projects during the execution of the projects by providing different tools, reviews of projects with qualified experts and a number of technical and administrative support services.
13.2 When are invoices sent out?
Invoices will be sent out beginning of July and in December, each accounting for ½ of the yearly fees. The invoices are based on the latest data from the latest approved PCR. Updates have to be submitted before the invoicing dates. In the starting phase of a project sometimes only one invoice is sent in the second half of the year, which accounts then for the entire yearly fee.
13.3 What amount will be charged?
The current annual Celtic fee has been set to 1,500 Euro per person year (PY) of planned work. This has not been changed since Celtic was launched in 2003.
13.4 How can I avoid paying VAT?
VAT will be charged only if the partner has not provided his VAT number to the Celtic Office. If this number is available VAT will not be charged.
13.5 No fee exemption for project labels in 2017 and later
The Celtic Core Group decided that all project partners have to pay the Celtic-Plus fee for projects labelled in 2017 and later.
13.7 Do I have to pay the fee if my company is not funded?
It is important to understand that the fee is independent from the fact if a partner receives public funding or not. The fee has to be paid from the moment a partner becomes active in the project work.
13.8 I have reported less work than planned. Will the fee be adjusted?
The fee is only based on the planned effort figures in the Project Description or in the latest update as indicated in the PCR. No calculation will be done on the actually worked effort, e.g., as reported by a partner. The reason why only planned figures can be taken into account is the strong relation between the effort and the budget applied for funding. As changes may have an impact on the public funding all changes must be officially announced through a PCR that will also be used to inform the involved Public Authorities.
13.9 Can the Celtic fee be included in the total project budget?
In most cases, this is not accepted by the national funding agencies. In case of doubt this should be clarified with the Public Authorities in question.
13.10 What is a PO number?
A PO, or purchase order number, is a special number that is required by some accounting software (e.g. SAP based). Without a PO number those systems cannot accept and handle invoices. If your company works with such an accounting system you will be asked to send us a PO number before we can send out the invoices. Generally, not always, a new PO number is required for every new invoice.
14.1 Where are the Celtic-Plus work areas and work items described?
The Celtic work items are described in the latest version of the Celtic-Plus Purple Book. This document is the main reference for defining projects that fit within the Celtic objectives. Additional topics or particular focus items may also be indicated for a new Call.
14.2 What can I do if the work areas of my proposal are not (fully) mentioned in the Purple Book?
If your proposal does not cover sufficiently the objectives as laid down in the Purple Book it is advised to check if another EUREKA cluster would perhaps be more appropriate. If this is not the case your proposal might perhaps be re-defined or extended to better comply with the Celtic objectives.
15.1 How to establish audio-conferences?
Audio-conferences are an extremely efficient tool to reduce meeting costs. Please check the help page for audio-conferences for details.
15.2 How can I establish and update e-mail exploder lists?
E-mail exploder lists can be created and maintained for several project groups as defined by a project. Please check the exploder help page for details.
16.1 How can a project web site be established?
In addition to the official project web page, stored at the Celtic web site each project can establish and maintain its own public project web space. Also a secure project intra-net can be set-up. Technical details can be found at the project-web help page.
16.2 Where are project web pages stored?
Project intra-net pages are stored at the project ftp directories. They are password protected and only accessible to project participants. Public web pages are stored on the web server that is provided by Celtic. For details please check the project web help page.
16.3 Are there common URL schemes for project webs?
The recommended project URL should be defined according to the following model: http://projects.www.celticplus.eu/projectXYZ (e.g. http://projects.www.celticplus.eu/wiseman/)
16.3 What project publications are possible?
For each started project a project leaflet will be produced. By default the project leaflets will be available as PDF files in both low and high resolution. A project may produce digital (or offset) printing from these files. For special occasions Celtic may contribute to the printing costs.
It is also possible that special deliverables may be produced, e.g. as printed booklets.