🗣 Marco Liviantoni, EFMC Senior Expert:
The pandemic is putting a lot of pressure on the management of ongoing H2020 actions, and many beneficiaries are facing significant constraints to fulfill obligations from the Grant Agreement.
In response, the EC has adopted reasonable measures to ensure that the projects will be not hopelessly compromised by the pandemic due to the strict applicable regulation. In other words – according to the Latin brocard “ad impossibilia nemo tenetur” more flexibility has been introduced.
So, what’s new in the project management due to the COVID-19 outbreak?
– EASIER ACCESS TO PROJECT EXTENSION: up to 6 months, handled by POs faster and more favorably;
– PERIODIC REPORTS: you still have to submit scientific and financial reports according to original deadlines, but a shorter narrative part of the scientific report focusing only on the key explanation of work performed will be accepted (e.g. key achievements; explanations on difficulties to perform tasks due to this situation, etc.). The parts not included in the previous report will be submitted in the following one.
– CFS & FINAL PAYMENTS: if you are not able to submit your CFS with the final report, you will submit the report without CFS, but you will be paid only up to the CFS threshold (324.999 EUR). The rest of the payment will be done once you will be able to submit the CFS.
– RE-ORIENTING THE WORK TO FACE COVID-19 RELATED ISSUES: in theory, you should not modify the research work (breach of the principle of equal treatment of applicants), however, exceptionally and via amendment, you can agree with your PO to re-direct your project;
– DELIVERABLES & MILESTONES: flexibility is ensured if you fail to submit & achieve them in due time according to your project schedule;
– TELEWORK: even if not foreseen in your employment contracts (a mandatory requirement under normal circumstances), you are encouraged to organize the work as much as possible using smart work and teleworking.
– POSTPONE TASKS REQUIRING PHYSICAL PRESENCE: you can delay or postpone those tasks that should be implemented now according to the original project schedule.