EFMC analyses it so you don’t have to! – The latest H2020 Annotated Grant Agreement AGA V 5.0

On July 3rd the European Commission published the latest version (5.0) of the AGA – Annotated Grant Agreement. The main significant changes concern, among many others, travel costs for external experts, prototypes, and new presentation of calculations for payments (Art. 21) Annotated Grant Agreements changes and updated versions sometimes can fly under the radar of most beneficiaries when executing and managing their H2020 action. These changes can present useful options and alternative tools that beneficiaries and coordinators can utilise which previously may not have existed. In the most recent version (V 5.0) there have been many more changes and options presented than normally might be expected in updating the AGAs for H2020.

Travel costs for external experts in the project are a new option which previously did not exist. This appears to be introduced as an option in order that beneficiaries can be clear in where and how to declare costs of flying in such external experts for seminars etc. Before this was somewhat of a grey area as beneficiaries could not book such flights and travel costs against their project since the external expert was not an employee of said beneficiary i.e.: the cost was “incurred” but could not be “directly linked to the beneficiary” Many beneficiaries and even Project Officers and the European Commission struggled to deal with this in the past. Now these costs are eligible if their participation is specifically justified in the periodic technical report and the Commission/Agency approved it without formally amending the GA which in practice means it is at the discretion of the Project Officer (i.e.: the simplified approval procedure) Prototype costs are now covered clearly which are now allocated as direct costs for construction of a prototype or pilot plant in the eyes of the EC they may exceptionally be eligible, if building the prototype or pilot plant is (one of) the main action task(s) Again Project Officer discretion is exercised here and beneficiaries need solid technical arguments to support their case.

Notably there is now a new presentation of calculations for payments and recoveries (recovery of funds from a beneficiary), are now compiled under Article 21 and there are now updates due to the adoption of the Guide on grant reductions as well as clarifications on the general lump sum which is now covered in the preamble, Articles 8 and 18. Updates due to the amendment of the model grant agreement v.5.0, in particular are covered under Articles 29.3 and 34 New explanations and examples resulting from frequently asked questions, in particular in Articles 6.2.A, 6.2.D, 11, 14a, 43, 44, 48, 49, 50.3, 51, 55 and 57.2.

Annotations on the new Lump Sum Pilot model grant agreement; the new MSCA Special Needs model grant agreement and updates in the specific model grant agreements are now covered in MSCA: ITN Articles 6.2.a, 6.2.B, 32; IF Articles 6.2.A, 6.2.B, 18, 32, 55.1, 56a; RISE Articles 6.2.A, 32 and Co-fund Articles 6.2.A and 15. The ERC articles are now housed in 18, 29 and 32 while the SME Phase 1: is dealt with in Article 8 PCP/PPI: Article 8 SGA: Article 3


EFMC – European Fund Management Consulting

Robert Caroll

Senior Consultant