Eu Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement

The EU Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement: A Comprehensive Guide

The EU’s Horizon 2020 programme has been hailed as one of the most significant research and innovation funding initiatives globally. It offers funds to support the European Union’s research and innovation strategy, aimed at promoting innovation, job creation, and economic growth. Through Horizon 2020, researchers, scholars, and businesses can apply for grants to fund their projects. However, to ensure that the grants are awarded and disbursed effectively, the EU has developed a Model Grant Agreement (MGA).

In this article, we will provide an overview of the EU Horizon 2020 MGA, its purpose, and key components.

What is the EU Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement?

The Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement (MGA) is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions for funding research and innovation projects under the Horizon 2020 programme. It serves as a template for the grant agreement between the European Commission and the beneficiary of the grant, which includes universities, research institutions, businesses, and non-governmental organizations.

The MGA provides a standard set of terms and conditions to ensure consistency in managing Horizon 2020 grants, simplifying the application process, and facilitating compliance with EU regulations. It also aims to minimize administrative and legal requirements for beneficiaries and promote transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.

Purpose of the MGA

The primary purpose of the EU Horizon 2020 MGA is to specify the obligations and responsibilities of the beneficiary and the European Commission concerning the funding, implementation, and reporting of research and innovation projects. It aims to:

• Ensure legal compliance with EU regulations and policies;

• Protect the EU’s financial interests;

• Promote transparency, accountability, and efficiency in the management of Horizon 2020 grants;

• Facilitate the transfer of knowledge and results to society, industry, and policy-makers.

Key components of the MGA

The Horizon 2020 MGA comprises several sections or articles that define the scope, duration, budget, deliverables, reporting, and other aspects of the grant agreement. The essential components of the MGA are:

Article 1: Definitions – Defines terms used in the MGA, such as ‘beneficiary,’ ‘work plan,’ ‘budget,’ ‘deliverable,’ ‘report,’ etc.

Article 2: Grant Amount – Specifies the amount of the grant, including the contribution from the EU and any other sources.

Article 3: Duration – Sets the duration of the grant, including the start and end dates, and the reporting periods.

Article 4: Implementation of the Action – Describes the beneficiary’s obligations regarding the management, coordination, and implementation of the project.

Article 5: Changes to the Action – Discusses the conditions and procedures for making changes to the project, such as changing the scope or budget.

Article 6: Reporting – Outlines the requirements for reporting on the project’s progress, outcomes, and financial aspects.

Article 7: Intellectual Property – Specifies the ownership, dissemination, and use of intellectual property generated during the project.

Article 8: Audit, Control, and Fraud Prevention – Sets out the procedures for monitoring, auditing, and controlling the project’s implementation and financial aspects and detecting and preventing fraud.

Article 9: Liability, Force Majeure, and Termination – Describes the liability of the beneficiary and the European Commission, the force majeure provisions, and the conditions for terminating the grant agreement.


The EU Horizon 2020 Model Grant Agreement is a vital tool for managing research and innovation projects funded by the Horizon 2020 programme. It outlines the legal and administrative framework for the grant agreement between the European Commission and the beneficiary and promotes transparency, accountability, and compliance with EU regulations. Understanding the key components of the MGA is essential for successful grant applications, project implementation, and reporting.