Open access, licensing, prizes, .. in H2020 Rules of Participation

Sample of new Rules of Participation in Horizon 2020 approved today (A2M, licensing, pre-commercial procurement, open access, prizes..) in European Parliament´s Industry and Research Committee. (Final text must now be negotiated with EU Member States before Plenary vote).

Comment: I can provide exact articles upon request. This report directed by conservative German MEP Ehler has significantly watered down many positive licensing,  public interest and open access proposals made by European Commission. Nevertheless, it leaves a leeway for the Commission to develop some innovative policies in these areas. David Hammerstein

3a. Any proposal for research with the potential for further development into a novel medical technology (e.g. drugs, vaccines, medical diagnostics) shall include a draft plan specifying a strategy to guarantee the immediate and widest possible access to this technology, where lack of access rights to the technology would pose a threat to the protection of public health.

In the field of major societal challenges (health, climate, biodiversity), licensing of results to third parties shall by default take place on non- exclusive terms so as to enable immediate competition and thereby to foster global accessibility, unless the participant can duly justify licensing results on exclusive terms.
. The Union institutions and bodies shall, for the purpose of developing, implementing and monitoring Union policies or programmes, enjoy the necessary access rights to the results of a participant that has received Union funding. Such access rights are limited to non-commercial and non-competitive use.
Such access shall be granted on a royalty-free basis.
Unless stipulated otherwise in the grant agreement, such access rights shall be granted on a royalty-free basis.

Procurement, pre-commercial procurement and procurement of innovative solutions

1. Any procurement carried out by the Commission jointly with Member States shall be subject to the rules on public procurement set out in Regulation (EU) No XX/XX [the Financial Regulation] and Regulation (EU) No XX/XX [the Delegated Regulation].

2.Union funding may take the form of pre-commercial procurement or procurement of innovative solutions carried out by the Commission jointly with contracting authorities from Member States and associated countries or by Union agencies jointly with contracting authorities from Member States and associated countries.

The procurement procedures:

(a) shall comply with the principles of transparency, non-discrimination, equal treatment, sound financial management, proportionality, and with competition rules and, where applicable, with Directives 2004/17/EC, 2004/18/EC and 2009/81/EC.

(b) may provide for specific conditions such as the place of performance of the procured activities being limited for pre-commercial procurement to the territory of the Member States and of countries associated to Horizon 2020 where duly justified by the objectives of the actions;

(c) may authorise the award of multiple contracts within the same procedure (multiple sourcing);

(d) shall provide for the award of the contracts to the tender(s) offering best value for money.

3. Specific provisions regarding ownership, access rights and licensing shall be laid down in the contracts regarding pre-commercial procurement to ensure maximum uptake of the results and to avoid any unfair advantage. The contractor generating results in pre-commercial procurement shall own at least the attached intellectual property rights. The contracting authorities shall enjoy at least royalty-free access rights to the results for their own use as well as the right to grant, or require the participating contractors to grant, non-exclusive licences to third parties to exploit the results under fair and reasonable conditions without any right to sub-license, unless otherwise agreed. If a contractor fails to commercially exploit the results within a given period after the pre-commercial procurement as identified in the contract, it shall transfer any ownership of the results to the contracting authorities.

Costs related to open access to research publications that result from research funded under Horizon 2020, non-regarding whether they are published during or after the duration of a project, shall be eligible for reimbursement.

With regard to dissemination of research data, the grant agreement may, in the context of open access to and preservation of research data, lay down the terms and conditions under which open access to such results shall be provided, in particular in ERC frontier research or in other areas of major societal interest, taking into account the legitimate interests of the participants and all constraints pertaining to privacy, national security or intellectual property rights.

The work programme shall indicate if dissemination of research data through open access is required.


1. Union funding may take the form of prizes as defined in [Title VII] of Regulation (EU) No XX/XX [the Financial Regulation]. The use of prizes shall be encouraged but not as a substitute for properly structured funding.

2. The rules of the contest shall be stipulated in the work programme.

3. The rules of the contest shall at least lay down the conditions for participation, the award criteria, including the deadline for proposals and the deadline for award, the amount of the prize and the payment arrangements.

Prizes may not be awarded directly without a contest and shall be published annually.

4. Entries in a contest shall be evaluated by a panel of experts on the basis of the published rules of the contest.

Prizes shall then be awarded by the authorising officer responsible on the basis of the evaluation provided by the panel of experts who are free to decide whether or not to recommend the award of prizes, depending on their appraisal of the quality of the entries.

5. The amount of the prize shall not be linked to the costs incurred by the recipient.

6. Where implementation of an action or work programme requires prizes to be given to third parties by a beneficiary of a Union grant, this beneficiary may give such prizes provided that the minimum content of the rules of the contest is strictly defined in the grant decision or agreement between the beneficiary and the Commission, with no margin for discretion.

7. Regarding the dissemination of results, Title III of this Regulation shall apply. Any additional obligations for dissemination or exploitation of results shall be stipulated in the rules of the contest.

8. Where a prize is not awarded within the deadline set out in the rules of the contest, the funds allocated to the contest shall be reassigned within the same objective under Regulation (EU) No XX/XX [Horizon 2020].

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