IMCG blog

How to win a Horizon 2020 bid

2018-01-31

To be excellent in research isn’t enough to win a Horizon 2020 bid. Multi-disciplinary collaboration is necessary so that the consortia applying can prove having complementary skills and network connections throughout Europe.

“A successful consortium consists of competences from the whole value chain. There must be excellence in research as well as project management skills and the ability to prove that you will reach market and societal impact”, says Magnus Andersson, partner IMCG.

Magnus Andersson, who is responsible for training courses in how to write competitive applications for large EU projects, knows what he’s talking about since he is one of the brains behind the bid that led to the realization of CELSIUS – a lighthouse project with the impact focus engaging 50 cities in sustainable district heating. Naturally, all bids regarded district heating. But, by adding non-technical issues such as citizen acceptance and financial objectives, IMCG helped secure a bid obtaining the highest score possible in the EU evaluation and it evolved to be the largest Smart City project in the EU.

The European Commission consists of many skilled technocrats, something that influences the character of the calls. When you write a bid, give them something new. Get their attention by adding a non-technical angle. Give the bid a journalistic approach!

Checklist for increasing your success rate and efficiency

“When you are to develop a competitive bid in Horizon 2020 you need to understand who and what you’re up against”, says Magnus Andersson, partner IMCG.

IMCG lists five things that you must consider when trying to write a competitive Horizon 2020 bid.

1. BE PRO-ACTIVE – The key to success is to be pro-active. Set your strategy early and state what you want to achieve. Collect valuable information – intelligence – early on. Read call drafts and follow the Programme committee communication, because it will give you the critical and necessary heads-up

2. ENGAGE IN A CONSORTIA – Find/develop the core part of the consortia during draft phase. Make sure it covers the whole value chain and that focus is on growth

3. UNDERSTAND THE CALL – Understand why the call is there and see the deeper meaning behind the call text. Study the details. See it as a quite advanced procurement procedure

4. WRITE THE PROPOSAL – Give it an additional angle and deliver 10% more than expected. Make sure it has a journalistic approach even it takes an extra 100 hours to do so

5. STRUCTURE THE PROPOSAL MANAGEMENT – It’s a complex procedure that can be made easier by using IMCG Tool for Proposal Management and IMCG Structures for Proposal Management – tools that are free to use for those attending IMCG’s training courses

“The European Commission consists of many skilled technocrats, something that influences the character of the calls. When you write a bid, give them something new. Get their attention by adding a non-technical angle. Give the bid a journalistic approach. Take them on a journey!” encourages Magnus Andersson, partner IMCG.

  • Training courses in how to write winning bids

    Magnus Andersson teaches classes – both IRL and on-line on the topic ”How to win a Horizon 2020 bid”.  you will learn all about how to read a call properly, how to set bold visions and ambitious and measurable objectives. Don’t hesitate to contact us.

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About the Author

Ulrika Wahlström

Ulrika Wahlström

Ulrika Wahlström är innovationsprojektledare med speciell kompetens inom strategisk kommunikation på IMCG. Ulrika är utbildad civilekonom med inriktning på marknadsföring. Hon har jobbat som exportrådgivare på Danmarks Eksportråd och kommer närmast från Business Region Göteborg där hon jobbade som marknads- och kommunikationsansvarig för Kluster & Innovation.