Got funded?

Remember to...

Congratulations on getting funding! Good for you, but what comes next? You are still far from achieving the results that you are expecting. If you did a good job during the project preparation phase, you have a good starting point for the execution of the project.

Regardless of whether you are starting to build the next ground-breaking personal communication device, world-changing AI-enabled software solution, or a large-scale biorefinery, you need to sharpen the purpose.

What is the big goal or vision that all partners should be working towards and how to achieve the result?

The Ecosystem Handbook looks at it from two perspectives: rational and emotional but they both follow basically the same path.

  1. Understand what you need to do: from business and personal point of view.
  2. Set measurable objectives and start systematically working towards achieving those.
  3. Learn from the work and adjust your objectives, goals and vision accordingly.

At every step, do not forget to communicate these to your partners so that also they understand why you are doing this together and how this aligns with their own goals.

In many cases, the projects are complex and it is good to have an experienced leader running  them. Efficient collaboration cannot be made with contracts but it takes time and effort to build the trust and collaboration among the partners. Communication is the key.

Your checklist when working in an EU project

Always keep your information up to date on the EU Funding and Tenders Portal

  • 1
    Assign a Project Manager (PM)
    Assign a Project Manager (PM) in your company to the project. Make sure you have one internal person as Project Manager in charge of managing the process, even if they will need to ask information from different departments, such as finance, development and so on.
  • 2
    Name a contact person
    Your PM should also be the contact person officially listed in the EU funding portal. If they leave the company, make sure to choose a new person and update the contact person in the portal immediately.
  • 3
    Assign the Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR)
    Please add the Legal Entity Appointed Representative (LEAR) and the financial signatory employee into the portal right after you have received a confirmation of a positive evaluation. This will speed up formalities. Always keep the information up to date.
  • 4
    Familiarise yourself with the reporting requirements
    The PM should make sure to have received, read and understood all the formal reporting requirements such as report templates and best practices for accounting. These need to be shared with the company’s finance department.  The EC will assign a dedicated Project Officer (PO) to the project who can help clarify any questions you may have.

Reporting your progress

  • The PM should set up a reporting calendar with actions for relevant stakeholders from the start: calendar reminders for information to be fed to the report, deadlines for interim checks and submission.
  • Keep in mind the report is not a perfunctory document but it is the only way an external evaluator can gauge the progress you are making and assess it against the approved project. If your reporting is poor, they will conclude that so is your work – even if your work is actually stellar!
  • The money must be spent as detailed in the plan – yes, there can be some reallocation of budget. As a general rule, if you realise you have deviated slightly from the original budget, you should not worry about it too much. However, always make sure to report it in the relevant deliverable report. Any substantial deviation or reallocation in budget must be communicated in advance and approved. This may require an amendment to the project, in which case your dedicated Project Officer will advise you how it is done.
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Things to remember for financial reporting

Resources and changes in your company

  • 1
    Keep an eye on resource allocation: if an employee working on the project finds it hard to carry out their other daily tasks, you may want to redistribute the workload. Keep in mind you receive funding for one specific project, but it is assumed you will have other projects and your business as usual to be taken care of as well.
  • 2
    Does your company boom, and you might be on the verge of moving past the SME definition? Great news! However, do inform your Project Officer – this may have some implications on your project.
  • 3
    Are you being acquired by another company? The same advice: disclose this information to your Project Office, they will advise you on the next steps.

Take pride in your achievement! 

Remember: your idea and company has been “vetted” by very strict public investors so feel free to brag – you can leverage this publicity to secure the interest of further public or private investors. This could mean securing funding for other projects in your portfolio or to finance roll-out activities not covered by the current project.

There may also be a progression to some European Investment Bank (EIB) funding for instance, or the European Commission may offer you exposure to a pool of investors. Who knows,  maybe the investors who turned you down before might want to reconsider! All these options – and more – might be open for you. 


How to apply?