DESCA Model Consortium Agreement

DESCA for Horizon Europe

DESCA, the most widespread model Consortium Agreement in Horizon 2020, has been updated for use in Horizon Europe projects. The revised model takes into account requirements stemming from the rules of the new EU Framework Programme Horizon Europe and experience of the user community in working with DESCA 2020, as well as other legal developments. You find an overview of modifications and amendments  here


July 2022: DESCA AP Version 1 for Horizon Europe projects involving Associated Partners is ready!

Building on the DESCA for Horizon Europe, the DESCA Core Group developed a DESCA AP Version for projects which involve Associated Partners (Art. 9.1 Grant Agreement). Associated Partners do not sign the Grant Agreement and do not receive funding from the European Union. For guidance regarding the reasoning behind new elements, we included comments in the word version and we provide a comparison PDF version for a quick overview of the changes. Version 1 is based on the information currently available and might be developed further if deemed necessary after the publication of the Annotated Grant Agreement for Horizon Europe.


What is DESCA:

The signature of a Consortium Agreement between the partners of a research project is mandatory for most EU research projects. DESCA (Development of a Simplified Consortium Agreement) is a comprehensive Model Consortium Agreement for such projects. It was initiated by key stakeholders for the 7th EU Framework Programme in 2006 and has been updated for both Horizon 2020 and for Horizon Europe in consultation with the stakeholder community. DESCA offers a reliable frame of reference for project consortia and enjoys broad support within the community.  

The European Commission offers general guidance for the drafting of consortium agreements, but rightfully does not endorse a specific model consortium agreement. More information


Who is behind DESCA:

The DESCA Core Group is composed of ANRT, EARTO, KoWi, LERU, VTT, ZENIT and coordinated by Fraunhofer and the Helmholtz Association.

The DESCA Consultation Group, which provides vital expertise for the development of DESCA, consists of around 80 experts from Academia, Research and Technology Organisations and Industry from all over Europe, as well as from other countries involved in the framework programmes, e.g. Israel and USA.

More on the organisations endorsing DESCA.


How to use DESCA:

DESCA aims to provide, as far as possible, a single text which balances the interests of all types of project participants. However, DESCA recognises that different projects will have different objectives and that the interests of the partners may also differ. DESCA tries to accommodate such differences. More information


Get started: Current model for download

NOTE: DESCA is a model which needs to be adapted to the circumstances of the individual project. Especially in projects with lump sum funding you may wish to modify the text, notably regarding financial management and decision-making.

Download DESCA for Horizon Europe with further information on typical points of discussion in the elucidation notes in pdf format:  
 DESCA for Horizon Europe model CA version 1.1 (with elucidation notes)

Download DESCA for Horizon Europe in Word format:
 DESCA for Horizon Europe model CA version 1.1 (without elucidation notes)

Download DESCA AP Version 1 with comments in Word format:
 DESCA AP Version 1_July 2022

Download DESCA AP Version 1 with a comparison to the DESCA HE in PDF format:
 DESCA AP Version 1_July 2022 - Comparison


The Archives - Information on earlier versions of DESCA and background information.

Feedback and Further Assistance

Publishing Notes