E-MANUAL

E-MANUAL

Last Modification: 25/09/2020

 

Welcome to the consortiums.eu portal and application!

 

What is consortiums.eu

consortiums.eu is a simple-to-use technologically sophisticated web application for public, semi-public and private organizations interested in EU funding, which helps you to:

a) easily build partnerships (consortiums or consortia) necessary either for project proposals prepared to be submitted under calls of EU funding programmes or for general cooperation matters (e.g. general partnerships, partnerships for sub-programmes of approved EU funded programmes - such as for the implementation of transnational or trans-local sub-programmes of the LEADER Initiative, etc.),

b) get easily and quickly found from consortiums’ developers who prepare project proposals to be submitted under calls of EU funding programmes,

c) network with other organizations interested in EU funding programmes, EU funded projects, consortium news and relevant issues, i.e. our web application is also a specialized community for the exchange of news, ideas, success stories and views for EU funding programmes and funded projects and their products, results and impacts.

This e-Manual explains the procedures that any organization working in the field of EU funding programmes needs to follow for registering on consortiums.eu, exploiting it to quickly create successful consortiums, setting up appropriate profiles for consortiums’ developers (partners seekers), and using all its modules and services. It also explains how consulting firms can exploit consortiums.eu to create successful consortiums for their clients.

 

The “Anonymous Visitor” Status

When you (any person interested in EU funding programmes and the EU community) visit consortiums.eu for the first time without making a registration (i.e. without providing us with a username, a password and an e-mail), you can have a simple overview of what our web application can do and what it can offer you, i.e.: 1) you can read our guiding documents (e-Manual, Use Agreement, Privacy Policy, Community Guidelines, Cookie Policy and Copyright Policy), 2) you can read about the subscription packages we offer, and 3) you can use our communication form to make a question (if necessary) to our Administrator and team. If you click any other button or link, you will be asked to create an account to become a “Registered Visitor” (see next chapter), by simply giving your e-mail, a username, a password and your consent for our terms of use. By sending us your e-mail address, you will allow consortiums.eu to send you e-mails on its products and news (of course, if you decide it, you can ask us to remove your e-mail from our recipients’ list).

 

The “Registered Visitor” Status

To become a Registered Visitor of consortiums.eu, you (i.e. any person interested in EU funding programmes and the EU community or any person whose organization or consulting firm wants to buy at a later stage a subscription from our web application to exploit its modules) provide us with a username, a password and a valid e-mail, you choose which type of organization you want to register and you give us your consent on all our written terms of use. A Registered Visitor is a person who has not bought a subscription for her/his organization or consulting firm after her/his registration, and who has access to only basic parts of our web application, namely to anything apart from our operating modules: a) the iRMO module that registers an organization and makes it available to consortiums developers (as potential partner), b) the iRCF module that registers a consulting firm and makes it available to organizations (to build consortiums for them), c) the iBCO module that builds consortiums, d) the iHAC module that allows organizations to assign a consulting firm to build a consortium for them, e) the iIWO module that allows users to write posts or make comments to our Community. In general, a Registered Visitor can visit very few parts of consortiums.eu and she/he has no active role, no access to our modules and no ability to interact with others. Being a Registered Visitor, you shall receive news on our products and services.

In the above manner, you can either remain a Registered Visitor forever, or you can ask to become unregistered (i.e. you can ask us to erase your e-mail from our database) whenever you want.

If a Registered Visitor:

  • registers the organization or consulting firm for which she/he works (please see «The “User”, “Member Organization” and “Member Consulting Firm” Status» in the following chapter),
  • receives an approval from our Administrator, and finally
  • buys one of our subscription packages for her/his organization or consulting firm,

then she/he becomes “User” of consortiums.eu and either his/her organization becomes “Member Organization” of our web application or her/his consulting firm becomes “Member Consulting Firm” of our web application.

 

The “User”, “Member Organization” and “Member Consulting Firm” Status

 

The iRMO (i - Register my Organization) Module

The registration of your organization (any organization that can participate in consortiums which submit proposals to EU programmes for funding) is simple and it offers you two very powerful tools. First, it allows you to build consortiums for your project proposals applying for EU funding (finding - from the existing subscribers of consortiums.eu - the most appropriate partners) without spending hundreds of hours searching for partners yourself through e-mails, phone-calls and web-surfing. Second, you are automatically chosen (if your profile is the one searched for) from new consortiums’ developers without spending hundreds of hours explaining - numerous times again and again - what your organization is and why it is the perfect candidate. Thus, you gain all this priceless time to search for calls, to develop more, more qualitative and more competitive project proposals and to grow your work.

In the registration process, you must first fill in all minimum obligatory information (according with the guidelines you will find in the electronic form), save it, send it for approval to the consortiums.eu Administrator and wait for the results.

In order to receive an approval from the Administrator for your organization’s profile, the Administrator - out of all obligatory fields of the iRMO module - will carefully check the following Controlled Fields: 1) official website address of your organization, 2) official e-mail of your organization, 3) PIC number of your organization on the EC Participants’ Portal (not obligatory), 4) photo of your account manager.

In some cases, the Administrator might ask you to further explain one or more of your entries in the Controlled Fields (above) before approval and some of these entries might finally not be accepted (and you must reconsider them). This has to do with the commitment of consortiums.eu to try to secure – to the most possible extent - the validity of the data of the registered organizations. Due to these facts, there might be a delay in the first approval of your profile.

In case you want to make changes to your profile after its approval, the procedure is:

  1. Go to “My Account” and then to “Basic Organization’s Data”
  2. Click “View Organization”
  3. Go to “Organization State”
  4. Click “Send Organization for Revision”
  5. Go to “Edit”
  6. Make changes
  7. Click “Save”
  8. Go to “Organization State”
  9. Click “Send Organization for Approval”

After the approval of your organization’s profile, the “My Account” area of your account is ready. In the “Basic Organization’s Data” field, you will see a list called “My Past Experience Projects”. This is an indicative list of EU funding programmes since 1998. The more acronyms of projects (in which your organization has participated) you fill in for programmes of the list, the more powerful your profile becomes (more experience means higher selection possibilities from consortiums developers). Additionally, in the framework of our “community mentality”, if you have participated in an EU funding programme that you cannot find in the list, please inform us by e-mail so that we check it and include it in the list, and so that we gradually create a full list of EU funding programmes and keep improving ourselves.

 

The iRCF (i - Register my Consulting Firm) Module

The registration of your consulting firm (any firm that can provide consortiums’ development consulting services to member organizations) is simple and it offers you two very powerful tools. First, it allows you to build new consortiums for your own project proposals applying for EU funding (finding - from the existing subscribers of consortiums.eu – the best available partners) without spending hundreds of hours searching for suitable partners yourself through e-mails, phone-calls and web surfing. Second, it allows you to easily and quickly build consortiums for member organizations of consortiums.eu.

In the registration process, you must first fill in all minimum obligatory information (according with the guidelines you will find in the electronic form), save it, send it for approval to our Administrator and wait for the results.

To receive an approval from the Administrator on your firm’s profile, the Administrator - out of all obligatory fields of the iRCF module - will carefully check the following Controlled Fields: 1) official website address of your consulting firm, 2) official e-mail of your consulting firm, 3) PIC number of the EC Participants’ Portal (not obligatory), 4) photo of the account manager.

In some cases, the Administrator might ask you to further explain one or more of your entries in Controlled Fields (above) before approval and some of these entries might finally not be accepted (and you must reconsider them). This has to do with the commitment of consortiums.eu to try to secure – to the most possible extent - the validity of the data of the registered consulting firms. Due to these facts, there might be a delay in the first approval of your profile.

In case you want to make changes to your profile after its approval, the procedure is:

  1. Go to “My Account” and then to “My Profile”
  2. Click “Actions & Permissions”
  3. Go to “Organization State”
  4. Click “Send Organization for Revision”
  5. Go to “Edit”
  6. Make changes
  7. Click “Save”
  8. Go to “Organization State”
  9. Click “Send Organization for Approval”

After the approval of your consulting firm’s profile, the “My Account” area of your account is ready. In the “My Profile” field, you will see a list called “My Past Experience Projects”. This is an indicative list of EU funding programmes since 1998. The more acronyms of projects (in which your consulting firm has participated) you fill in for programmes of the list, the more powerful your profile becomes (more experience means higher selection possibilities from organizations that need consultants). Additionally, in the framework of our “community mentality”, if you have participated in an EU funding programme that you cannot find in the list, please inform us by e-mail so that we check it and include it in the list, and so that we gradually create a full list of EU funding programmes and keep improving ourselves.

 

Consortium Builder

The iBCO (i – Build Consortiums) Module

When you are ready to build a consortium (whether you are an organization or a consulting firm), you click the Consortium Builder button and you are redirected to a page with two buttons: “New Consortium” and “View Consortiums”.

The “New Consortium” button starts the building of a new consortium. The first form that opens asks for the title of the project proposal for which you are building the consortium (which will be also the title of the new consortium), the open call under which the consortium is being built, and the number of partners (apart from the project developer) requested.

After filling in this data, you click “Create” and you are directed to a bigger form at the “Select Criteria” stage.

With this form you:

  1. write a short project presentation,
  2. set budget for each partner,
  3. set requirements for each partner by choosing location, organization type, legal type, main activity, thematic field, desired experience,
  4. determine the Lead Partner of the consortium, and
  5. delete a candidate and add one or more new ones.

You can also save the consortium as a draft (to work on it later) or delete the consortium and start a new one.

If you choose to continue the consortium, then you must continue setting the required profile of each partner until the green indication “Our system was able to find candidate organizations for this position matching to your criteria” appears, which replaces the orange indication “It looks like that no matches were found with these criteria. Please make sure you have entered NUTS Codes”. You will be able to choose a match for all your candidates after clicking the button "Choose Partners" at the top-right corner of the page.

When all partners (apart from the consortium developer) have green indication and you are certain for the requirements you have set per partner, you must click the button “Choose Partners” which leads the system to show you the most relevant partners to your requirements in order for you to choose the final ones. At this point, you can still change the Lead Partner of the consortium.

If you click the button (a circle) next to a proposed partner, the partner is locked as your final choice. But if you are not sure for all proposed partners, you must click Select Criteria again and make changes for the partners you have not locked. If you finally find all partners you want and click them, you click “Finish and Invite Partners” and the system sends an invitation to each partner you chose. At the same time, the consortium:

  • is being registered in the list of the consortiums you have built (see My Account > Manage Consortiums > My Consortiums) as pending, until all invited partners respond within 24 hours, and
  • is being registered in the list of invitations of the other invited partners (see My Account > Manage Consortiums > Invitations) as pending, providing invited partners with the buttons “Accept” and “Decline”.

If all invited partners accept the invitation:

  • the indication “Accepted” shows up next to the consortium for all partners (see My Account > Manage Consortiums > Invitations),
  • all partners are being informed from the system through e-mail,
  • the successful consortium shows up for all partners in My Account > My General Performance with a report that includes the analysis on the consortium and partners’ communication data, which will be used from all partners: b1) to immediately start further cooperation for their proposal’s preparation, b2) as a proof of preparation procedures in case of the project’s approval,

Regarding the proof of preparation procedures: Most EU funding programmes allow beneficiaries, after a project’s approval, to claim back expenses for their proposal’s preparation. The invoice that consortiums.eu produces for the subscription of each organization could potentially be eligible once for each member organization of our web application as a preparation expense for a project proposal (additional proof will be the report that our web application produces when a consortium is finalized). In this sense, subscribers could achieve the refunding of their subscription from one approved project of theirs.

  • the partners of the consortium show up in the map at My Account > My Partners’ Network.

If at least one invited partner declines or misses the 24-hour deadline to respond:

  • the indication “Declined” shows up next to the consortium for all partners (see My Account > Manage Consortiums > Invitations),
  • all partners are being informed from the system through e-mail, and
  • the consortium enters a draft mode for the consortium developer in order to reconsider it and invite new partners.

 

Hiring a Consulting Firm

The iHAC (i – Hire a Consultant) Module

The preparation of project proposals for EU funding programmes (which includes the building of consortiums) takes usually place from consulting firms or freelance consultants (in consortiums.eu we consider the latter as small consulting firms).

A Member Consulting Firm can provide its Account Manager’s User Name to its clients (Member Organizations of consortiums.eu) so that its clients uses it to include the firm in its “List of My Consultants” (My Account > Actions and Permission > Manage Consultants > Add Consultants). The Member Organizations can keep the Member Consulting Firms in their “List of My Consultants” for as long as they want, so that Member Consulting Firms develop consortiums on their behalf (this is done from the Member Consulting Firms in the iBCO module described in the previous chapter).

The cooperation between the Member Consulting Firm and the Member Organization is confidential and does not appear in any public part or final produced document of consortiums.eu.

The Member Organizations being consulted by the Member Consulting Firm are also presented on a list of the Account of the Member Consulting Firm (My Account > My Profile – bottom of page). The list appears when the Member Consulting Firm connects with its first Member Organization.

 

The Consortiums Community

The iIWO (i – Interact With Others) Module

consortiums.eu includes also a system for the exchange of views and ideas among members through articles and comments. All Users can write and publish articles, and comment on articles of others. Latest articles can be viewed at the homepage, where there is also a map of all registered members of consortiums.eu. By clicking “View All” you are redirected to all articles so that you comment on what others have posted. Adding a new article can be done from the homepage and from:

  • My Account > Basic Organization’s Data (for Member Organizations), and
  • My Account > My Profile (for Member Consulting Firms).