Based on 20 years of experience in EU funded projects, we have developed a meticulous methodology for Pre-Award activities that lead to successful Horizon 2020 applications.

Target Matching

Writing a project proposal is a time-consuming process that demands substantial efforts from all stakeholders.

The majority of European research funding is based on a “top-down” approach, which means that project ideas must fit a pre-defined list of research topics – and not vice-versa. Submitting an “off-topic” proposal or not choosing the best topic when several are potentially suitable can lead to lost time and missed funding opportunities.

When looking at the “bottom-up” approach themes, mainly the FET-Open on the ‘basic research side’, and the SME Instrument and the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) on the ‘go to market’ side, the matching is even more challenging. All these themes are “open” to practically all disciplines and activity areas. However, the practice shows that many do not match their criteria.

In order to avoid frustration and maximize resources, Enspire Science ensures that every single proposal we handle is suited to the research topic for which it will be submitted. To this end, we perform feasibility checks and target matching free of charge and with no commitment. Only when we’re 100% sure of the match between your proposal and topic/theme do we move forward in helping you bring your idea to funding reality.

Project Initiation

Innovative projects deal with matters that are beyond the current state-of-the-art. As such, ideas, vision, direction and innovation are integral ingredients in the process of project initiation.

Whether you come from a small company or if you are an experienced academic researcher, your research project needs to be well-defined in terms of scope, targets, collaboration, intellectual property and other aspects.

Enspire Science professionals will help you crystallize your ideas, clarify research targets and define the measures needed for a successful research project initiation.

Proposal Writing

To achieve funding, it is crucial to turn your excellent research idea into a complete and detailed plan. You need to specifically delineate how research targets will be accomplished, how collaboration will be sought and used to achieve goals, how consortia will be successfully steered, how risks will be handled, and how your project will impact and benefit humankind.

When preparing a Horizon 2020 collaborative project, our team will help shaping the overall concept of the project, guide you through the written and unwritten rules of the program, handle the consortium structure and budget, management issues and other non-scientific parts of each proposal on which we work. Yet we believe that only researchers should write scientific content. We are not “proposal writers”. We complement and assist – never replace –  scientists and R&D staff.

We can do this effectively because we speak science. Not only do we know scientific writing – we have the scientific backgrounds and skills to truly understand your field of research. Our team keeps scientific pace with you – deep-diving into the research project, reviewing relevant publications, and helping crystallize messages to meet European research requirements.


The majority of the EU-funded research projects involve a consortium of partners who come together in an ongoing, multi-year commitment. Creating fruitful and stable new partnerships is regarded as a major hurdle. Loose consortia, overlapping roles or missing skills are common causes for proposal rejection. When entering into such a commitment, it is critical to understand with whom you are partnering and the exact parameters of the partnership.

From inception, through the negotiation and contracting, to execution and into the post-project phase, Enspire Science helps you create strong and well-balanced consortia. We apply careful considerations and exact definitions of the needs of the consortium to narrow down the possibilities. Then, we leverage our wide network of contacts and other resources to perform a focused partner search which yields the right partner for the right job.

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