Negotiations and Decisions
Recommendation for financing by Steering Committee
(i) Steering Committee reviews written evaluation reports provided by independent experts in order to take the final decision about recommendation of proposals for financing, about conditional recommendations requiring prior negotiations and about rejections of proposals.
(ii) Independent evaluators assess the scientific and technological excellence of proposals together with innovation leadership potential of the applicant by giving marks and explanations to specific criteria. Relative importance of each specific criteria assessed by evaluators is under the authority of SC. In case evaluators’ opinions (marks) vary significantly in a particular criterion, this mark is given the smaller relative importance. SC decides separately in the cases where fewer evaluations were received for various reasons; if conflict of interest occurred, the evaluation is incomplete or inadequate etc.
Apart from evaluators’ marks, another mark is given by SC to each proposal assessing the contribution of the project to at least one of the Fund’s goals – international competitiveness, potential to provide benefits to Croatian society and economy and/or contribution to development of scientific infrastructure in Croatia.
In accordance with the general mark which is obtained by incorporating all criteria from the average mark given by evaluators and mark given by SC, the final ranking of proposals is generated and SC recommends projects that should receive financial support. In some cases (conflict of interest, inadequate or incomplete evaluation) Steering Committee may decide to request a new evaluation by other independent experts.
(iii) The result of the Steering Committee’s decision is a shortlist of proposals which are recommended for financing, a list of proposals requiring additional negotiations and a list of proposals not recommended for financing. SC also provides a written explanation about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the each proposed project.
Negotiations with proposers and final decisions
(i) The UKF Secretariat with assistance and under guidance of Steering Committee performs negotiations with proposers whose proposals are conditionally recommended. The purpose of these negotiations is to solve all ambiguities that came out during evaluation and to obtain all possibly required revisions of proposals. The outcome of negotiations is information that helps Steering Committee to decide on recommendation for financing of ambiguous proposals.
(ii) Negotiation may cover any scientific, legal or financial aspects of the proposal, based on the comments of the independent experts and opinions of the Steering Committee. The scientific aspects would cover, in particular, revisions to the project plan and adjustments to it. The legal aspects would cover, in particular, review of any special contractual clauses or conditions required for the project. The financial aspects would cover negotiation of the amount of the UKF contribution and revisions of financial plan.
(iii) During negotiations, the Steering Committee will encourage basic and applied scientific projects that show potential to compete on an international level to apply for EU funds/international funds, especially to Horizon 2020. In that way, the Steering Committee wants to ensure the sustainability and visibility of results, networks and knowledge created within UKF projects as well as to increase participation of Croatian scientists and other bodies in EU's programs.
Projects that show pre-commercial/commercial potential will be encouraged to find partners from private sector, to protect IPR created within supported projects and/or to commercialize results of their research.
(iv) After finishing negotiations and revisions of the involved project proposals, the Steering Committee issues final lists of recommended and not recommended project proposals, accompanied with relevant evaluation reports and negotiation outcomes. The decision of SC is final and cannot be subject to further objections.
(v) After SC finishes its approvals, the UKF Secretariat forwards all decision notices with explanations and evaluation reports to applicants. At that time the applicants with approved proposals are invited to sign the contract.