OPEN CALL DOCUMENTS

OVERVIEW

SPIRIT’s 1st wave of Open Call (SPIRIT-OC1) is now open and provides up to 200 thousand € to financially support the involvement of third parties to develop and test a wide variety of collaborative telepresence applications on the first release of the SPIRIT platform. OC1 aims to engage different organisations to test, develop further, and validate their specific use cases (applications), or to contribute components that enhance/extend the SPIRIT platform.
The material available on the deliverables page provides an in-depth description of the technical results of the project. 
Of particular relevance are: 


OC1 aims to engage different organisations to validate and test their individual applications between remote sites over the public Internet. The targeted organisations in this Call are (i) SMEs; (ii) Industry; (iii) Research/scientific organisation; (iv) Academia. Both individual organisations and consortia may participate. Consortia must consist of a maximum of three organisations.
The selected projects will indicatively start in July 2024 and are supposed to run for 9 months maximum.


Financial support will be provided to develop applications in various vertical sectors, including:

  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Education
  • Training
  • Entertainment
  • Manufacturing
  • Tourism

OC1 OBJECTIVES

The OC1 of the SPIRIT project invites proposals that concentrate on one or more of the subsequent activities, each contributing to the growing impact on SPIRIT:

  • Validating and testing third-party applications on the SPIRIT platform: Conducting experiments utilising the current state of the SPIRIT platform and tools to test established FSTP solutions in specific use cases and scenarios. The evaluation focuses on factors such as scale, responsiveness, reliability, and realism, ultimately resulting in improved FSTP algorithms, components, or products. Additionally, this process provides a deeper understanding of the performance and limitations of the existing SPIRIT platform.
  • Providing new requirements for the SPIRIT platform: Conducting experiments that incorporate, to some extent, established FSTP solutions previously validated in laboratory settings, either within the existing SPIRIT platform or utilising SPIRIT tools. This aims to facilitate experimentation in a more authentic environment, leading to new requirements and features for prioritizing the future development of the SPIRIT platform.
  • Advancing the SPIRIT platform: Initiating developments and experiments aimed at enriching the existing SPIRIT platform. This involves integrating and testing additional functionalities offered by the FSTP, resulting in an enhanced feature set for the SPIRIT platform or expanded support for immersive application domains.

PATRON ROLE

Each selected project will be supervised by a PATRON, a project partner  who is responsible for supporting the experimenters during execution and following up on the experiment results.

FUNDING AND DURATION

OC1 has a total budget of 2,000,000€. The targeted number of Third-Party Projects (TPP) to be selected via this Open Call will be 10. The number of TPP funded will vary depending on the funding requested as well as the outcome of the evaluation by external reviewers. The requested funding cannot exceed 200,000€ per project. Each TPP funded within OC1 is expected to have a total duration of 9 months.

Eligible costs:

Financial support will be allocated based on the following eligible expenditures:

  • Personnel expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Overhead (equivalent to 25% of direct costs)

Payment Procedures:

The payment structure for TPP comprises two instalments. The initial instalment, equivalent to 75% of the Maximum Grant Amount, is scheduled for disbursement in Month 5 of the TPP, following the submission of the mid-term report (1st report). The second instalment will be processed subsequent to the final review. Further details on reporting requirements are provided in the Report Template.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

A proposal will be considered eligible for the SPIRIT Open Call 1 if: 

  • The applicant (single organisation or consortium) is eligible for participation in the Horizon Europe programme. As the SPIRIT project was funded within the HORIZON-CL4-2021-HUMAN-01 call, the list of eligible countries is the one applied to this call.
  • In the case of a Consortium, it is composed of a maximum of three organisations.
  • Targeted organisations in this Call are: 
    • SMEs;
    • Industry;
    • Research/scientific organisation;
    • Academia.
  • The applicant is not affiliated to any of the consortium partners of the SPIRIT project
  • The proposal complies with the type of activity qualified for financial support as indicated in section 1.4.
  • For implementation reasons, only proposals that are deemed to be executable with the current state of the SPIRIT platform and tools will be accepted. 
  • The proposal is submitted in English.
  • The proposal is submitted through the official Open Call Submission Tool on the SPIRIT website providing all the required documents.
  • The proposal follows all the required steps as specified in Section 4 of SPIRIT Open Call 1 TOOLkit
  • The proposal has been submitted within the deadline set in this web page (Opening dates + at least 2 months). Late proposals will not be admitted.
  • The proposal complies with the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation) regarding all personal data that might be included in the proposal.

SUBMISSION PROCESS

The entire proposal submission process is managed through the online platform. By the specified deadline, the following steps are required:

  • Complete the submission form, ensuring all mandatory fields are filled.
  • Attach the following documents as .pdf:
    • Proposal template
    • Declaration of Honour
  • Attach the following documents as .pdf:
    • Proposal template
    • Declaration of Honour
    •  SMEs checklist  (if applicable)

Note: To make a final submission, select ‘Final Submission’ under the ‘Stage’ tab. Proposals submitted under the ‘Feasibility Advisory’ option will not be considered final and will not undergo evaluation.

Multiple submissions of the same proposal are allowed, but only the latest submission will be considered during the evaluation phase.

Feasibility advisory

SPIRIT consortium offers an optional advisory service to evaluate project feasibility. This step is highly recommended and involves submitting a condensed version of the proposal template for feasibility verification.

Open call applicants are encouraged to initiate communication with the SPIRIT consortium through the submission page. To receive feedback on feasibility, applicants must select the ‘Feasibility Advisory’ option under the ‘Stage’ tab and submit a description of the planned experiment, covering sections A, B, C, and H of the proposal template. 

The feasibility advisory service will be active up to two weeks before the OPEN CALL closes. 

Note: Applicants should be aware that undergoing a feasibility advisory does not guarantee the selection of the proposal and does not imply any commitment to move forward with the proposal. It is also important to note that submitting a partial proposal for the ‘Feasibility Advisory’ is an optional preliminary step which is not considered as a final submission.

SUBMISSION

Proposers must apply ONLY through the SPIRIT Open Call Submission Portal below. To submit your proposal, please complete the online form and attach the required documents (Proposal TemplateDeclaration of Honour, SME Self-Declaration).

WEBINAR

A dedicated Webinar for potential applicants, providing technical and administrative information on OC1 application process and requirements, will be organised in April 2024.

F.A.Q. – Frequently Asked Questions

Important information is already included in the available Call documents (see above). Please review thoroughly these documents and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below.  Should you have any question not addressed in the provided documentation or FAQ, you can reach out to us at [email protected].  Please ensure to submit your questions no later than 7 calendar days before the submission deadline.

Eligible entities for application encompass both individual entities based in one of the EU Member States or a Horizon Europe Associated country, as well as consortia consisting of no more than 3 entities. 

As the SPIRIT project was funded within the HORIZON-CL4-2021-HUMAN-01 call, the list of eligible countries is the one applied to the above-mentioned call.[1]. 

https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/common/guidance/list-3rd-country-participation_horizon-euratom_v1.2_en.pdf

In the case of a consortium application, a designated coordinator will be appointed. The coordinator assumes the responsibility for signing the agreement and is the designated recipient of the grant, responsible for its subsequent distribution among the consortium members.

The targeted organisations in this Call are (i) SMEs; (ii) Industry; (iii) Research/scientific organisation; (iv) Academia.

Eligible entities for application encompass both individual entities based in one of the EU Member States or a Horizon Europe Associated country, as well as consortia consisting of no more than 3 entities. 

As the SPIRIT project was funded within the HORIZON-CL4-2021-HUMAN-01 call, the list of eligible countries is the one applied to the above-mentioned call.[1]. 

https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/common/guidance/list-3rd-country-participation_horizon-euratom_v1.2_en.pdf

In the case of a consortium application, a designated coordinator will be appointed. The coordinator assumes the responsibility for signing the agreement and is the designated recipient of the grant, responsible for its subsequent distribution among the consortium members.

The targeted organisations in this Call are (i) SMEs; (ii) Industry; (iii) Research/scientific organisation; (iv) Academia.

Applicants based in Switzerland can participate in the Open Call, but are not eligible to receive funding from Horizon Europe.

As the SPIRIT project was funded within the HORIZON-CL4-2021-HUMAN-01 call, the list of eligible countries is the one applied to the above-mentioned call.[1].

Can applicants based in the UK apply?

Applicants based in the UK can participate in the Open Call, but are not eligible to receive funding from Horizon Europe. 
As the SPIRIT project was funded within the HORIZON-CL4-2021-HUMAN-01 call, the list of eligible countries is the one applied to the above-mentioned call.[1].

The maximum amount that can be requested per project is 200,000€. A breakdown of costs is required in the proposal template, outlining the budget allocation across the following budget categories: 

  • personnel costs, 
  • travel costs, 
  • overhead costs (25% of direct costs)

A proposer or consortium can only be selected for funding for one proposal, even if the proposer submitted several different proposals that are ranked high enough to be selected for funding. In the latter case, the proposer may be given the opportunity to choose the one to be retained for funding.

The proposer should apply through the online submission portal available on the Open Call webpage by filling in the online form and uploading: 

1) the completed Proposal Template

2) the signed Declaration of Honour

3) the signed SMEs Self-Declaration

Please follow the guidelines provided in the proposal template on how to fill in each section.

Please note that in the draft proposal to be submitted for the Feasibility Advisory, at least sections A, B, C and H of the Proposal Template should be fully completed.

Yes, a consortium consisting of no more than 3 entities based in one of the EU Member States or a Horizon Europe Associated country is eligible to participate. In the case of a consortium application, a designated coordinator will be appointed. The coordinator assumes the responsibility for signing the agreement and is the designated recipient of the grant, responsible for its subsequent distribution among the consortium members.

At least 10 Third-Party Projects (TPP) will be selected for funding.

All submitted applications will be reviewed for admissibility and eligibility. Project proposals that fail to meet the admissibility and eligibility criteria will be directly discarded and the applicants will be notified via email.

Following this initial screening, eligible proposals will be evaluated by an external jury of experts. Evaluation will be carried out by appointed External Experts who are not part of the consortium and who don’t have any conflict of interest. Each proposal will be reviewed by at least two assigned experts who will evaluate it independently of each other.

The evaluation criteria are the following:

  1. Clarity and methodology: Soundness of the approach and credibility of the proposed methodology. 
  2. Ambition: Advancement regarding the state-of-the-art and expected output. 
  3. Impact: Technology and domain fit to SPIRIT scope and objectives. 
  4. Replicability of the proposed solution.
  5. Contribution to standardisation of the proposed solution. 
  6. Team capacity to perform: knowledge, technological and business expertise, research domain & track-record of the team. 
  7. Value for money: justification and effectiveness of the requested resources.
  8. SME participation: is encouraged. 
  9. Gender dimension awareness requested to the proposers. 
  10. Maturity of the proposing organisation and trajectory of the proposed development

For more information, please refer to the Open Call 1 Toolkit.

You can start their Third-Party Project (TPP) as soon as the Sub-Grant Agreement signature procedure is completed (tentative: June/July 2024). The project is expected to have a total duration of 9 months.

Each accepted TPP will be supported by a Patron, a member of the Consortium that acts as a mentor who will provide basic and advanced support as required. The Patron will be assigned to the various funded Third-Party Projects (TPP) according to the use case developed and the specific needs. While at least one Patron is necessary per experiment, multiple Patrons are possible based on the TPP’s complexity and requirements.

Payment for each Third-Party Project (TPP) will be made in two instalments. The first instalment, equivalent to 75% of the Maximum Grant Amount, is scheduled for disbursement at Month 5 of the TPP following the submission of the Mid-Term Report (1st report). The second instalment will be processed after the final review. 

In order to support open and repeatable scientific experiments, the EC is advocating that experimenters publish their experiment data. This is not mandatory: the EC recognises that there are legitimate reasons why experimenters may want to keep their data confidential. The EC’s guiding principle regarding open research data is “AS OPEN AS POSSIBLE, AS CLOSED AS NECESSARY”.

The Results achieved by the Experimenter using the Platform will be owned by the Experimenter.

The Experimenter will deliver a final report describing the Results of the Experiment and the experience gained in using the Platform. This final report can be made public to the European Commission and all Beneficiaries including their Affiliated Entities.

Publications and demonstrations made based on the Results of the Experiment should clearly mention the usage of the Platform and the provider and refer to the Project even if the publication or demonstration takes place after the end of the Experiment.

The Experimenter agrees that the Coordinator and the other relevant SPIRIT Partner(s) may monitor the Platform and traffic for vulnerabilities and conformance to authorised use and may collect and use data and information, including but not limited to the information about Experimenter’s use of the Platform. This information, provided it is anonymised, can be used by the SPIRIT consortium to improve the Platform.

Should you have any question not addressed in the Open Call documentation, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]. Please ensure to submit your questions no later than 7 calendar days before the submission deadline.