1st SEP for Experts statistics

 

SEEBLOCKS.eu will provide € 300,000 of funding (through a series of four SEPs – Selection and Engagement Procedures) to support the participation of European Blockchain/DLT Standardisation specialists in European, international and global SDOs to represent Europe’s interests as well as to contribute to the implementation of content in the Blockchain Chapter within the Rolling Plan for ICT Standardisation.  

 

 

 

SEP DEADLINE: 27th November 2023, 17:00 CET

IMPORTANT PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION


On the 7th of September a joint statement was released by the European Commission and the UK on political agreement for the UK’s association to Horizon Europe. The European Commission followed this announcement with a press release to provide further details on the agreement and the next steps for formalisation of the political agreement. This publication states that “as of 1 January 2024, researchers and organisations in the UK will be able to participate in Horizon Europe on par with counterparts from EU Member States”. The next steps are stated as approval by EU Member States before being formally adopted in the EU-UK Specialised Committee on Participation in Union Programmes. Therefore, while there is no formal update on UK status on EU Grants: List of participating countries (HE) V2.6 – 01.08.2023, mentioned above, applicants from the UK will be eligible to apply for funds with a Work Programme starting in 2024, subject to formal approval of the EU-UK agreement as mentioned above.

Also, in accordance with the EU financial regulations, no individual may be awarded more than € 60,000 euro (sixty thousand euro). This limit applies cumulatively across all the SEEBLOCKS.eu SEPs series and the overall budget of € 300,000. In practice, an individual may apply and be awarded funding under different SEPs (or for more than one application under the same SEP), but only be contracted for a total of € 60,000 euro. If the limit is reached, no further contracts can be awarded to that individual.

 

Topics list – Blockchain/DLT priorities 

  1. Identity Management
  2. Data Provenance
  3. Governance
  4. Token and asset creation and exchange
  5. Process optimization
  6. Automation
  7. Cybersecurity and applied game theory
  8. Use Cases
  9. Other - Foundations eg. vocabulary, taxonomy and ontology

 

Process and timing of the selection

SEEBLOCKS.eu will run a series of four Selection and Engagement Procedures (SEPs). This SEP will be open for (at least) 90 days for proposal submission.  At the end of this period all proposals received through the SEEBLOCKS.eu grants platform will be screened for eligibility, evaluated by an external pool of evaluators (EPE), scored, and ranked for funding. This process will take approximately 35-40 calendar days, at the end of which all applicants shall be notified whether their proposal has been retained for funding or not and provided with access to a Consensus Report compiled by the EPE (inclusive of feedback).  


Please note that each application is independently evaluated by three members of the EPE and undergoes quality control after consensus is reached to guarantee maximum fairness and transparency. As the EPE is composed of highly-skilled and reputable experts whose qualifications are assessed through a dedicated and public Selection process, their decision is binding and any redress requests or complaints will be processed with strict relation to the procedural aspects of the evaluation and not on the merits of scientific or technical judgement of the experts.

 

1st SEP Timing

  • Launch: 24 August 2023;
  • Deadline: 27 November 2023, 17:00 CET;
  • Evaluation: Each proposal is evaluated by three members of the External Pool of Evaluators and after consensus the evaluation undergoes a quality check by a fourth member of the pool (Quality Manager/Rapporteur);
  • Notification of Outcome: Applicants will be notified on the outcome of their proposal and provided with feedback from the External Pool of Evaluators in an Evaluation Consensus Report by mid-January 2024.

 

If your proposal should be retained for funding, upon notification you will be provided with the information and instructions to prepare and sign the contract for the funding. Please note that a deadline of 10 business days from notification will be applied to confirm your intention to take up the contract to enable the funds to be re-allocated to other successful applicants.

 

Who can receive financial support

Potential applicants are Blockchain/DLT Standardisation specialists, defined as professionals with proven expertise and experience in Standardisation activities (e.g., previous contributions to standards developments, participation in various SDO working groups, technical committees or focus/study groups as well as previous or current roles in the respective priority area).


The target of SEEBLOCKS.eu SEPs are Blockchain/DLT specialists who:

  • Have profound knowledge in one of the priority areas supported by the SEP (see “Topics List” above);
  • Have experience regarding developments of standards, e.g., in SDOs, ESOs, SSOs, Standards organisations and Standardisation communities;
  • Are individuals or natural persons residing in European Member States and Associated Countries. The most recent information listing participating countries in Horizon Europe issued by the Commission at the time of writing can be consulted here EU Grants: List of participating countries (HE) V2.6 – 01.08.2023. Please refer to this document if you have any doubts as to your eligibility for funding.   
    Please note that as Switzerland is no longer a third country associated with Horizon Europe; applications from individuals who reside in Switzerland are not eligible for funding. As regards the United Kingdom, there is not as yet any formal confirmation that the UK will rejoin Horizon Europe. The latest instructions from the European Commission in this respect are that, pending such confirmation, applications from individuals residing in the UK be treated as if the UK were an Associated Country with the proviso that any agreement for funding can only be signed if an association with the United Kingdom comes into force. In practice, pending further updates this means that applications submitted by individuals residing in the UK will be evaluated and ranked with the other applications but can only be funded if an agreement comes into force and according to the terms of such an agreement. 
  • Are not receiving support (double funding) from other similar instruments (European or national R&I projects, Public Private Partnerships etc..) for the proposed activity(ies) as well as financial contributions provided through the BlockStand and StandICT.eu 2026 projects.

Applications coming from members of European SMEs, Research & Innovation centres/organisations, EBSI and EUBOF experts are highly encouraged

 

Type of contributions

Three types of proposals can be funded under the SEEBLOCKS.eu 2023 SEPs, as explained below: 

  • Proposal type: LT – Long term contribution (with travel option) 
    • Description: Contribution to ongoing standards development as a chair, convener, rapporteur or member of an SDO WG/TC/Study Group – e.g., comments on standards development and drafts, attending meetings and participating in the different phases of the standards development process (also as an observer), paying membership fees.
    • Maximum Contract Duration: 6 months
    • Funding Range: Up to €10,000
  • Proposal type: ST – Short-Term contributions (with travel option) 
    • Description: Contribution to standards documentation – e.g., liaison to WGs/TCs, comments on standards drafts, participation at meetings, paying membership or registration fees.
    • Maximum Contract Duration: 3 months
    • Funding Range: Up to €7,000
  • Proposal type: OS – One-Shot contributions 
    • Description: Support to ensure participation at workshops or events – e.g., participant, observer, presentation; payment of annual fees.
    • Maximum Contract Duration: 2 months
    • Funding Range: Up to €3,000

Please note that the maximum funding requested per proposal cannot exceed that indicated for the respective type of application (LT, ST, OS), nor can the duration exceed that indicated.

More than one proposal (with different activities) can be submitted also under the same SEP.

Eligible costs

  • Personal Working Effort to carry out the proposed activities (this cannot exceed the EU maximum daily rate of 450 Euro)
  • Travel costs
  • Event registration fee(s)
  • Membership fee(s) for SDO & SSO organisations

Evaluation criteria

The initial eligibility screening will be undertaken by the Consortium to assess compliance to the SEP (according to the guidelines previously stated). Proposals which are ineligible for any reason or which do not meet the SEP criteria will be identified as such and the applicant will receive an automatic notification from the system. The consortium will consolidate all eligible proposals and submit them to the external evaluators (selected from the External Pool of Evaluators – EPE) to undertake the formal evaluation.   

The proposals will have to clearly demonstrate:

  • Added value to existing SDO/ESO activities;
  • Impact of work on European interests and on the overall development of the standard(s) in question;
  • Expertise of the applicant in the corresponding priority area;
  • Expertise of the applicant in standardisation, e.g. previous contributions to standards developments, participation in other working groups/technical committees/focus groups etc.    
    (please, see also the “Who can receive financial support” section above)

Evaluations (for each proposal) will be performed using the following four criteria (adopting a ranking score on a scale from 1 to 10):

  • Criterion 1: Soundness of the proposal and foreseen impact on Blockchain/DLT Standardisation (30%);  
  • Criterion 2: Technical excellence & relevance of the activity(ies) proposed (30%);
  • Criterion 3: Expertise, experience and qualifications of the applicant (20%);
  • Criterion 4: Economic sustainability and validity of the proposal (20%).

The final scoring and ranking will be automatically determined by averaging the scores provided by the three independent members of the External Pool of Evaluators. In the event of a tie between 2 or more proposals, the proposal bearing the earliest “time stamp” of submission will be deemed as eligible for funding.