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    FAQs from companies


    On this website you will find most frequently asked questions from researchers and innovators in companies. If you do not find an answer to your questions, please contact the Euresearch Company Advisor in your region.

    Please note that more FAQs and additional valuable information is available through the following links provided by the European Commission, as well as SERI and Euresearch.   


    Eligibility (as of January 1, 2017)
    Since January 2017 Switzerland is fully associated to Horizon 2020. Swiss institutions and companies are fully eligible for funding in Horizon 2020 (H2020), including SME Instrument, Fast Track to Innovation, Pre-commercial procurement (PCP), Public procurement of innovative solutions (PPI), Inducement Prizes and other sub-programs. Swiss organizations are also fully eligible to coordinate H2020 projects.

    From now on the respective EU funding for the Swiss partner has to be claimed in all proposals.
    In other words: When you submit your proposal in the «Participant Portal» make sure that in the section «Budget» the requested budget for the Swiss partner is indicated in the column «Requested EU Contribution €».

    Swiss partners running already an H2020 project and receiving payment from SERI do not need to take any measures. SERI will continue to finance those projects.



    Section1: Horizon 2020

    1) Where do companies find the most actual information on the status of Switzerland in Horizon 2020 and eligibility in the different financial instruments?

    Please see the most recent updates from Euresearch on the following link. For more details – do not hesitate to contact Euresearch. 

    2) Can Swiss companies coordinate projects?

    Yes, Swiss entities, including companies, can coordinate projects under Horizon 2020 and are fully eligible for funding.

    3) Is it true that the Swiss state pays directly to SMEs in Eurostars?

    Yes, this is correct, see Eurostars FAQs

    4) Are Swiss companies eligible in Public Private Partnerships /Joint Technology Initiatives?

    Yes, in principle, Swiss companies are eligible but please check the fact sheets case by case, for the different PPPs here.

    5) I'm a Swiss SME preparing a proposal to the SME Instrument. Am I eligible to participate? Am I eligible for funding?

    Yes. As Switzerland is an Associated Country you are eligible to participate and receive funding from the European Commission.  


    Section 2: Budgeting and financial questions

    6) What are the rules to calculate the personnel costs?

    Since Switzerland is now fully associated to H2020, the general rules apply as these are outlined in Horizon 2020 documents and FAQs. The former guidelines (2014-2016), i. e. the maximum personnel costs based on CTI rules, are not relevant for budgets for proposals and projects starting 2017. Projects which are/will be financed by SERI will be funded according to the already agreed budgets.

    7) What are the costs and resources associated with participation/writing of an application for a Horizon 2020 project? 

    There is no concluding answer and costs/resources may vary. It implies mainly resources in personnel. If a company is invited by a consortium to participate in an application, the effort is straightforward. If your organization initiates a consortium and needs to find the partners, much more time will be needed to coordinate proposal writing. Travel costs may occur to meet with the future partners. Also, companies might have costs to clearly define the background, i. e. for validation of patent or licensing situations.


    Section 3: Registration process

    8) What is PIC?

    A PIC is the Participant Identification Code of the EC. In the Funding & tender opportunities you may easily search if your (or any other) institution has a PIC already. If you do not have a PIC you need to register first and create an account (EU Log in, former called European Commission's main authentication service ECAS log in), see this link for detailed information.

    9) What kind of information and documents are needed for an SME registration in the Funding & tender opportunities?

    Please have documents ready showing your national registration, VAT registration, balance sheet, profit and loss accounts and staff head count. SMEs need to complete the so called SME self-assessment in order to show the SME status.

    Please find more details in these documents and links:
    a) Registration and validation of your organisation

    b) SME definition (English) and SME User Guide (in 23 languages)

    An Overview can be found here as well: 

    10) Is the registration process different or more complicated if I apply as a coordinator?

    No there is no difference but the Commission always checks the financial viability of a project coordinator when the requested EU funding for the action is equal or superior to EUR 500,000, see details here.   


    Section 4: Miscellaneous 

    11) Can Euresearch help to find partners for projects?

    Euresearch provides an overview of platforms which help to search for partners and which allows companies to be found by others, i. e. to register with their own profiles. The above link guides you to thematic oriented platforms (NCP platforms), Cordis and the Enterprise Europe Network. The Euresearch Company Advisor in your region can help you with a more detailed partner search support, guiding you through the use of different tools.

    12) How and where can I find relevant open calls and topics in Horizon 2020?

    a) Do not hesitate to ask the Company Advisor in your region for assistance.
    b) Visit the Euresearch website which guides you to open and expected calls.
    c) Search the Horizon 2020 website directly. Here you have different options. You may use the button “Find your area” and use the search window on all pages. You may search for topics and filter calls in the Funding & tender opportunities in the section “Find calls for proposals and tenders".

    13) How can I become an expert?

    Independent experts assist the Commission services with tasks in connection with the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation incl. proposal evaluation. Please find general information and how you can register as an expert here.

    14)      Who can help me to write a proposal?

    Euresearch provides a list of consulting agencies.