Sustainable Innovations is committed to the compliance of the Code of Conduct established by the European Innovation Council (EIC) Board. This Code of Conduct is applicable to corporate consultancies, such as Sustainable Innovations, offerings services to support its “Clients”.
“Clients” can include startups, spins outs, small companies, established industries, universities and all potential EIC applicants that turn to Sustainable Innovations to assist them in their application and management of their projects.
Know-how, Experience and Competences
Sustainable Innovations shall always use its expertise, network, skills and work capacity to the best of its ability.
Sustainable Innovations shall solely accept assignments for which it references know-how and competencies to execute them. Sustainable Innovations shall clearly indicate to the Client at the offer stage its know-how, experience and track record (number of proposals submitted in previous calls vs number of projects approved) regarding the specific European Project Call/Tender, clearly indicating which parts of the assignment will be subcontracted e.g. to freelance consultants, scientific consultants, or similar third-party service providers. Sustainable Innovations shall always present its updated team on its website so that the client can easily identify the individuals responsible for the assignment without any misinterpretation as to their affiliation.
Sustainable Innovations shall remain up to date with the official requirements, and this commit to regularly consult official documentation provided by the European Commission and other European bodies, as well as attend workshops related to Calls/Tenders provided by the European Commission and for which Sustainable Innovations provides consultancy.
None of the staff members of Sustainable Innovations supporting the development of an application shall act as an evaluator and/or jury member of those funding calls.
Sustainable Innovations shall not accept assignments in which there is no reason to believe that the Client can be assisted effectively or in a timely manner.
Sustainable Innovations shall always maintain the highest ethical standards in the professional work it undertakes and act solely in the interests of the Client, avoiding conflicts of interest. Sustainable Innovations shall not use confidential information made available by the one Client, to benefit another.
Sustainable Innovations shall not at any time or for any purpose misrepresent itself through the use of any title, symbol, logo (e.g. EIC) that could either lend false authority to its representatives or mislead the Client.
Except when Sustainable Innovations is hired to develop only a fraction of an application, Sustainable Innovations shall not accept assignments that are not financially viable (e.g. consulting costs exceeding the net monetary benefit) for the Client, unless the Client is fully aware and is willing to proceed with the assignment on this basis.
Sustainable Innovations shall not accept assignments if Sustainable Innovations is not financially viable or there is a high risk that Sustainable Innovations will cease activity during the assignment period.
Sustainable Innovations shall inform the potential Client, before accepting the assignment, of all documents and data required to prepare and submit and an application for a Call/Tender. Sustainable Innovations shall inform the client about their data protection policy and standards of handling personal data provided by the Client.
In case Sustainable Innovations is aware that the Client will not be able to provide the mandatory documents, or the Client will not have enough time or staff to assist with the preparation of the application, Sustainable Innovations shall not accept the assignment.
Where Sustainable Innovations has economic or other interests in a competitor or other entity that can affect Client’s interests, all such relationships shall be disclosed to the Client at the offer stage before receiving relevant information from the Client. If this is not possible for confidentiality reasons, Sustainable Innovations should protect confidential information by allocating different teams to the projects (i.e. Chinese walls). In case Sustainable Innovations is advising several Clients that are direct market competitors, before receiving any documents/information from the Client, Sustainable Innovations must inform the Clients and receive formal approval that Clients are willing to proceed with the use of their services.
Sustainable Innovations shall inform the Client of the official page (URL) where the Call/Tender is published, so the Client is aware that they are able to apply directly if they wish and can also confirm information provided by Sustainable Innovations.
Sustainable Innovations shall also inform the Client about the existence of the National Contact Points (NCPs) and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) in the respective country and their role, as well as any exchanges with NCPs regarding the specific Client case. Sustainable Innovations shall not prevent the Client from sharing information with NCPs.
Sustainable Innovations is obliged to provide the Client with accesses to all accounts (e.g. the Funding and Tenders Portal) related to the Client’s application.
In case of subcontracting activities, Sustainable Innovations shall inform the potential Client of the activities to be subcontracted and the associated information and documents belonging to the Client that will be shared with the subcontracting party. In case of subcontracting activities or tasks in the proposal development process, the Client shall approve subcontracted tasks and the subcontractors prior to their engagement. The fee structure must be transparent and clearly state the distribution of work including activities performed by any external party, which may represent an additional cost to the Client.
In the scope of service provision to the Client, Sustainable Innovations shall inform and seek prior permission from the Client for the use of any Artificial Intelligence-based tools, including generative AI. Sustainable Innovations must explain to the Client the purpose of these tools and the type of information and data which will be shared when using the tools. A clear opt-out mechanism should be available to the Clients who do not consent to such use.
In all cases, when using AI based tools, Sustainable Innovations must comply with all relevant European and national legal frameworks (e.g. the forthcoming AI regulation, the General Data Protection Regulation, the national legal framework for processing of personal data).
Before accepting the assignment, Sustainable Innovations shall inform the potential Client of the success rate (approved applications vs. number of applications) of previous Calls/Tenders if that information is publicly available, so that the Client is aware of the risks of not getting its application approved, especially in the case of upfront fees. Sustainable Innovations should not mislead the Client by providing a track record of funding delivered by third parties outside their organization, such as freelance consultants that are not the part of their core team.
Terms of confidentiality should be agreed in writing and signed by both Sustainable Innovations and the Client. Sustainable Innovations shall not disclose, or permit to be disclosed, confidential information concerning the Client’s business and staff, project, innovation activities, technology, products and services, or any other sensitive information without Client’s consent
Sustainable Innovations, prior to undertaking an assignment, shall define in writing the scope, extent and the manner in which they will undertake the project, taking into consideration the Client’s inputs and wishes when developing the proposal.
Unless agreed with the Client in writing, Sustainable Innovations will not knowingly accept an assignment with a scope so limited, that the Client will receive either ineffective or insufficient advice, that will require the Client to seek additional advice to achieve the expected outcome.
Where Sustainable Innovations wishes to engage the services of a third party not linked with Sustainable Innovations to assist in undertaking the Client’s project, they shall inform the Client of the parts to be subcontracted and obtain their acceptance in writing or by formal agreement. Sustainable Innovations is (also) required to ensure that third parties involved in the application development act in line to this code of conduct.
Sustainable Innovations will ensure that their quality control procedures are adhered to at all times during the assignment. Sustainable Innovations shall pay particular attention to keeping a record of activities performed during the assignment and, if requested by the Client, perform an evaluation analysis together with the Client on the occasion of key milestones
Sustainable Innovations and the Client shall agree upon the terms of the contract and in particular the methods of calculation of the fees payable in case they are not fixed.
The price must be clear and in case it depends on the success of the application or on other circumstances, the criteria to calculate the final price must be simple and transparent to implement.
Sustainable Innovations will not propose to the Client, as the only option for reimbursement, to own, partially or totally, or request long-term rights to, some of the Client’s assets, including intellectual property and company shares. In cases where the Client prefers to remunerate Sustainable Innovations services through a share of the Client’s assets (e.g. IPRs, shares), Sustainable Innovations should provide an option to the Client to buy back those assets at a fixed price within a set period (e.g. three years).
If the fees proposed by Sustainable Innovations do not include project management costs in case the proposal is successful, Sustainable Innovations´ proposal must clearly state in writing that such project management costs are not included. Ideally, Sustainable Innovations should provide clear guidance in terms of expected fees for the management of the project in advance.