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Coronavirus impact on grants-funding. Winnovart update.

We hope you are all keeping well and staying safe during these very unusual times.

In various ways, we are all affected by the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis these days, in many aspects of business and life. This is why, we wanted to provide an update with a few comments from Winnovart related to this topic:

Business as Usual at Winnovart. We are here, everyone is well and will continue to support you as usual. Even though the international nature of our activity and presence has caused disruptions related to travel plans, or we had to start working more remotely/ from home, this doesn’t represent a problem for us. We have been using the best possible digital tools for a while now, so the “social distancing” required these days will not affect our operations.

How we can support our clients and partners in the delivery of funding projects. We are pretty “digitally fit” at Winnovart in the way we work, communicate and interact with you. The service delivery process is based on remote/online interaction (phone or video calls, emails, tools and support document on our cloud platform, live or pre-recorded video workshops); no physical contact needed. If not already in place, we are going to create joint chat-groups with for the entire project team. If special support is needed for our clients’ teams with regard to the way appropriate digital tools should be used remotely, when working from home, we are happy to provide this.

Impact on grants – funding programmes in general. It depends a lot on the current stage of a funding project (application – evaluation – implementation) and we need to consider the timeline of a funding project, which can stretch over many months and even up to 2-3 years:

  • The application phase: we believe this is a phase that shouldn’t be affected by the disruption caused these days. It is a content – focused work that can be done remotely, even if employees work from home. Indeed, remote working can slow down team collaboration because of less on-site meetings, but, at the same time, all these meetings can happen very well online using digital tools and platform, As a matter of fact, there may be less distraction for the team members when working remotely and more time to focus on the funding application work. Applications are to be submitted online.
  • The evaluation phase: this depends on the way the Fund Operator is organised and / or if they operate, but there are many examples where evaluation teams work remotely and meet through web-conference call. Communication Between the Fund Operators and Applicants happens online, as emails and calls. When on-site visits are part of the evaluation process, this would be indeed affected by the current situation. However, the FOs will probably find alternatives for this.
  • The implementation phase. This is where we have indeed a “physical” on-site dimension of the activity and we can expect to have an impact. Projects which are currently in implementation seem to be most affected depending on their status and nature (e.g. the relationship with suppliers of machines, technology etc).

Current reactions from Fund Operators/Agencies. We can see a number of calls/ competitions are being delayed, but not all. It is very interesting to keep an eye on the European Commission calls, which can be regarded as examples of good practice. We can see legal measures taken with regard to the implementation phase – in certain programmes, the Beneficiaries are being offered the possibility to suspend/ interrupt the implementation process for a while, from the perspective of the programme requirements. Obviously, we all need to follow the updates provided by the local or international Funding Agencies relevant for us. We are keeping an eye on this and we will notify you as soon as we have any updates.

We will aim to provide regular updates on this topic.

Please let us know if you experience any difficulties or significant disruptions of your business operations these days, as well as if there is any way we could support you. Do not hesitate to reach out to us.