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Defence industry- call for experts to assist the European Commission with the evaluation of proposals under the European Defence Fund (2021-2027)

In the context of the European Defence Fund (EDF), the Commission is looking for independent experts to assist in the evaluation of proposals.

Status                              OPEN
Opening date            06 August 2021
Deadline date           01 December 2027, 10:00 (CET)

In the context of the European Defence Fund (EDF), the Commission is looking for independent experts to assist in the evaluation of proposals. To this end, the call for expression of interest for experts for the programming period 2021-2027 of the EDF is now open.

In the implementation of the Programme, Union funding shall be granted following calls for proposals issued in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2021/697.

The Commission will appoint independent experts to assist in the evaluation of proposals and in the assessment of its ethical and financial aspects. Those experts must be nationals from as broad a range of Member States of the European Union as possible and will be chosen on the basis of their skills, experience and knowledge relevant to the tasks which will be assigned to them.

The Commission shall ensure that experts do not evaluate, advise or assist on matters with regard to which they have any conflict of interests.

The Commission is therefore establishing a list of independent experts who can be called on in connection with the European Defence Fund (EDF) for the following tasks

  1. Evaluation
  2. Ethics assessment
  3. Budget estimate assessment

of proposals.

They shall also have appropriate language skills, in particular in English, for the tasks to be carried out.

Field of expertise

The Commission is looking for experts with a high level of expertise and professional experience in a military context regarding the research and development of defence products and technologies or management of defence capabilities development projects/programmes in a national, European and/or NATO context in one or more of the following categories of actions:

  1. EDF thematic categories of actions
    1. Defence medical support, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear, (CBRN), biotech and human factors,
    2. Information superiority,
    3. Advanced passive and active sensors,
    4. Cyber,
    5. Space,
    6. Digital transformation,
    7. Energy resilience and environmental transition,
    8. Materials and components,
    9. Air combat,
    10. Air and missile defence,
    11. Ground combat,
    12. Force protection and mobility,
    13. Naval combat,
    14. Underwater warfare,
    15. Simulation and training,
  2. EDF non-thematic categories of actions
    1. Disruptive technologies,
    2. Open calls for innovative and future-oriented defence solutions,
  3. Ethics and financial assessment

Application procedure

The Commission hereby invites individuals to apply as prospective independent experts via the “Funding & Tenders Portal”[1] in order to be included in its database of experts.

Experts must register online via this portal.  Experts who already registered in the database of independent experts drawn up for the implementation of EU programmes and who wish to apply for the EDF, are invited to declare their interest in being considered for EDF assignments by duly updating their area of expertise in line with the new set of EDF specialist fields and pre-defined areas. This must be done via the expert area in the Funding & Tenders Portal[2]. Please note that to be considered for the evaluation starting in the relevant year, interested experts are advised to update their profile not later than end of October of the same year. After registration or update, experts are invited to express their interest by sending an e-mail with their CV to the address ec-edf-experts@ec.europa.eu indicating their registration number[3].

All sections of your profile in the ‘My Expert Area’ on the Funding and Tender Portal must be completed and kept up-to-date. Areas of expertise and professional experience must be adequately detailed and documented, avoiding including any sensitive information of any kind. It is also recommended to include “open keywords” to further support the search in areas of expertise of  relevance to the  EDF.

The EDF is added to the list of programmes in the ‘Programme selection’ tab.

As the Commission service collects and further processes personal data, it is subject to Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 and Decision No 1247/2002/EC. Processing operations are under the responsibility of the controller.

In accordance with the above mentioned Regulation, the Commission may authorise access to its database of prospective independent experts to public research funding bodies from the Member States and countries associated to Horizon Europe and entities set up involving the EU in in joint research programmes with Member States, on condition that the experts concerned have given their prior agreement in the online registration form.

Selection procedure

The selection of experts will be made, on the basis of selection criteria  such  as professional expertise  and  experience,  language  skills, geographical and thematic balance, gender balance, regular rotation, and absence of conflict of interest.

In order to be selected, experts will need to be in possession of a valid personal security clearance (PSC) issued by the relevant Member State(s) authorities. It is therefore mandatory that in the expression of interest experts indicate whether they are in possession of a valid PSC. The security credentials of appointed experts will be validated with the relevant Member State through the appropriate vetting procedure.

Please note that if an expert is not in possession of a valid a personal security clearance, the Commission cannot issue a request for PSC and will not initiate the vetting procedure for the concerned experts.

For the evaluation starting in a specific year, experts selected will be contacted no later than end of December of the same year.

Prior to assigning an expert to a task, she/he will need to sign an EU expert contract. By signing the contract, she/he will need to agree to perform the assignments to the highest professional standards and in compliance with the conditions set out in the call, the Expert Terms of Reference and the Expert Code of Conduct in their version as published on the Portal at the moment of contract signature[4].

To ensure the independence of the work that they are called upon to perform in their capacity as ‘independent experts’, prior to the signature of their contract, they will be required to attest that they agree to abide by the terms of the code of conduct (including confidentiality aspects) in the electronic exchange system. In particular, they will be required to sign a declaration certifying that there is no conflict of interest at the time of contracting and that they undertake to inform the Commission or the relevant funding body if any conflict should arise in the course of their duties[5].

Please note that the work of the independent experts will be remunerated. Contracts will contain the details relating to the assignment (e.g. tasks and working arrangements, remuneration and payment arrangements). More information about the applicable ceilings and the payment of experts can be found in the Call for Expression of Interest 2021-2027[6] .

Related links:

[1]https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/work-as-an-expert

[2]https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/experts/web/idashboard

[3] Registration  does  not  automatically  mean  that  you  will  be contracted for  task assignments. This will depend on our business  needs  and fulfilment  of  certain  formal requirements.

[4]https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/experts/call-for-expression-of-interest_en.pdf

[5]http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/experts_manual/h2020-experts-mono-contract_en.pdf

[6]https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/docs/2021-2027/experts/call-for-expression-of-interest_en.pdf, p.6

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