For the implementation of Horizon Europe projects, there are different kinds of resources that can be made available. One aspect that often comes up in project budgets is the inclusion of in-kind contributions.
In-kind contributions, as defined by the European Commission, refer to non-financial resources that beneficiaries bring to the project. These resources can take various forms and represent a valuable addition to the project’s overall capabilities. In-kind contributions are offered by consortium partners or third parties and can include personnel, equipment, access to facilities, data, or services.
In-kind contributions can be against payment or free of charge. Both are eligible and are included in the 25% indirect cost flat rate calculation. Unlike Horizon 2020, there is no specific article governing in-kind contributions against payment. Such costs should be declared as personnel costs under the sub-category of seconded persons or as expenses related to the renting of equipment or the purchase of goods, works, or services.
For in-kind contributions free-of-charge, the Annotated Model Grant Agreement has specific provisions under articles 6.1 and 9.2:
Article 6.1 Annotated Model Grant Agreement
In-kind contributions provided by third parties free-of charge may be declared as eligible direct costs by the beneficiaries which use them (under the same conditions as if they were their own, p0rovided that they concern only direct costs and that the third parties and their in-kind contributions are set out in Annex 1
Third parties giving in-kind contributions do not implement any action tasks. They may not charge costs or contributions to the action, but the costs for the in-kind contributions are eligible and may be charged by the beneficiaries who use them, under the conditions set out in Article 6.
Some examples of in-kind contributions are the following:
- Personnel: Beneficiaries can contribute their employees’ time and expertise to the project without charging for their services. This could include researchers, technicians, or administrative staff dedicated to the project.
- Equipment: Contributions in the form of equipment and infrastructure can be made by partners. This could involve the provision of specialized laboratory equipment, high-performance computing facilities, or other relevant resources.
- Access to Facilities: Consortia members may grant access to unique research facilities, such as test sites, research vessels, or experimental installations. This type of contribution allows projects to leverage existing infrastructure, enhancing their research capabilities.
- Data and Knowledge: In-kind contributions can involve the sharing of data sets, pre-existing research results, or access to proprietary knowledge. These resources can significantly enrich the project’s outcomes and reduce duplication of efforts.
Budgeting in-Kind Contributions
Properly budgeting in-kind contributions is crucial for the success of Horizon Europe proposals. They must be declared by the beneficiary which uses them under the relevant cost category (i.e. as if they were costs incurred by the beneficiary). Here are some key points to consider:
- Identify and Value Contributions: Clearly identify the in-kind contributions from each partner and assign them a monetary value, as stipulated by the Grant Agreement. This valuation should be based on fair market prices or, if not available, cost-based approaches.
- Documenting Contributions: Maintain accurate records and documentation of all in-kind contributions, including detailed descriptions, usage rights, and any associated costs.
- Eligibility Criteria: Ensure that the in-kind contributions meet the eligibility criteria set out in the grant agreement. In-kind contributions should be necessary for the project’s implementation, and their value must be reasonable and properly substantiated.
- Reporting and Monitoring: Regularly report and monitor the use of in-kind contributions throughout the project’s duration. This will help demonstrate compliance and allows for proper evaluation and auditing.
In-kind contributions play a significant role in the success of Horizon Europe projects. They bring added value and foster collaboration among consortium partners. Properly budgeting and managing in-kind contributions contribute to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of projects, leading to impactful outcomes.
For further information, you can always check the latest version of the Annotated Model Grant Agreement – Horizon Europe.