In-Kind Contribution Step by Step

This How-To is designed to explain what the steps of signing the In-Kind Agreement are, but also warn about some common mistakes. This short How-To is by no means an answer to all questions In-Kind. Instead, this page will simply give you a basic, streamlined overview of the In-Kind Agreement process.

Identifying your partner

Naturally, the first step of the In-Kind Contribution Process is to identify a suitable In-Kind Partner. When seeking a partner, the Work Package Manager should pay attention whether a potential partner fulfils all of the basic requirements sought by ESS. What this essentially means is that the potential partner must have the capabilities required to deliver the work negotiated, as well as to agree to the cost book value and schedule set forth by ESS.

Starting Negotiations

Once the Partner has been identified, and no other competing proposals have been received, negotiations can begin. It is very important to understand that both ESS and the Partner will try to negotiate pursuing beneficial outcomes. What is essential in these negotiations is to assume a position of collaboration, and share this sentiment with the partners in question. ESS is a European project. It is a joint collaboration of 17 different countries. As such, ESS is fairly unique, and thus offers a great opportunity for further cooperation of European Science Community. This should never be taken out of sight, and should be clearly communicated to the partners.

Deliverables, Milestones, Work Package Managers, etc.

At one point, negotiations will kick off, and the discussion will move towards actual technical details of the agreement. All of these technical details are put in a special document called Schedule (or Technical Annex). Technical Annex is the essence of an In-Kind Agreement. It defines actual work that will be conducted, deliverables, milestones, who will be in charge of the said work, etc. This is probably a section of the negotiations where both parties will be spending most of their times in. It is essential to write a good, solid Technical Annex, since it will serve as a basis for all the work to be done in regards to a said IK Package. 

Signing the Agreement and commencing work

Once the Technical Annex, and all other details are agreed, an In-Kind Agreement is signed and work can now officially begin. Although In-Kind Agreements need to be endorsed by the In-Kind Review Committee, and later on approved by The Council, it is not that uncommon for work to begin before the end of official procedures. Although this is not encouraged, it is simply the reality of scientific mega-project collaboration, and as such should not be ignored in this how-to. Once work commences, Work Package Managers have the responsibility of communicating with the partner in a timely manner, making sure that work conducted is in line with agreed upon deliverables and milestones. WPM also need to make sure that the Partner is handling the contribution according to the previously agreed schedule, as well as cost book value.

Finishing Work

Once the In-Kind Partner finishes work, hopefully in accordance to the budget, schedule, agreed upon milestones and deliverables, and testing comes back with no problems, this piece of work is to be moved to ESS premises, where our teams would assume ownership and put it to use.

Field Coordinators

The In-Kind Field Coordinators of BrightnESS Work Package 2 work with maximising the possibility for ESS and In-Kind partner organisations to deliver value during the Construction Phase through In-Kind Contributions, according to the ESS IKC Process as well as to minimise and mitigate the risks associated with those contributions. See a list of all the Field Coordinators, with contact information here.