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Industry Cost Share

Introduction and Guiding Principles

Certain SFI programmes (e.g. Research Centres, CSETs and SRCs) require matching funds from Industry. The purpose of this document is to give guidance with regards to the types of contributions which are allowable and the specific verification required.

Responsibility will lie with the Research Body to ensure the cost share requirements are met. In all cases the industry partners’ contribution should be justified, measurable and verifiable.

One method of Industry Partner cost share is in the form of cash contributions.

Although they can be difficult to manage from an accounting point of view, SFI recognizes the importance of “in-kind” contributions. Where “in-kind” contributions are being provided the basis of the cost of these contributions, for example, personnel, materials, use of computer programmes etc. must be agreed by SFI and the Research Body at the outset.

All documentation relating to cost share provided to the academic partners by industry must be available for audit purposes if required.

All cost-share contributions must have a commercial value (or assigned an acceptable and rationalised commercial value), and cannot be funded from the Irish Exchequer, for example the Research Body will be required to confirm that costs incurred by industry partners are not covered by grants from other Government sources.

Research Centres , CSETs and SRCs are required to report on a regular basis on the value of cost share received from Industry Partners.

Forms of 'In Kind' Contributions

1. Personnel

The industry and academic partners, as well as SFI, should agree in advance the basis of the cost attributed to the award.

  •  Personnel as cost share may be verified in one of two ways: 
    1.   Signed time sheets or similar documentation will be made available OR
    2.   
    An officer of the industry partner may submit a vouched statement certifying the personnel cost share
  • Industry partner administration and management personnel costs are not eligible as “in-kind” cost share, unless those individuals are working directly on the collaborative project.
  • Either (i) the individual’s verifiable salary or (ii) the midpoint of the individual’s salary scale, plus a 50% overhead (in either case) will be permitted as “in-kind” cost share. Part-time personnel may be included on a pro rata basis. The salary or salary scale may be verified by a vouched statement from an officer of the company.
  • Placement of SFI-funded team members with industry partners. If an SFI-funded team member is seconded to work on-site with an industry partner for 3 months (minimum) an ‘in-kind’ contribution of €20,000 will be recognised, up to a maximum of 20K per year per SFI-funded team member. The 3 month duration could also take place on a part time basis (e.g. half time for 6 months). Salary/stipend may continue to be paid from the SFI award. The industry placement cumulative ‘in-kind’ component may not exceed 30% of any SFI award’s required cost share. 


2. EQUIPMENT 

The Industry partner may donate equipment for the exclusive use of the project or may make specialist equipment available to the researchers for a set period. The industry and academic partners, as well as SFI, should agree in advance the basis of the cost attributed to the award.

  •  If the equipment is purchased a copy of the invoice should be kept and made available for audit purposes.
  •  If ‘access only’ is provided, timesheets and the basis of the hourly or daily charge should be kept and made available for audit purposes.

In general, if equipment is sold to the Research Body the discount element cannot be included as an ‘in-kind’ contribution.

Other Forms of 'In Kind Contributions

 

Examples of other forms of “in-kind” contributions include:

  • Use of proprietary software programmes
  • Access to specialist facilities
  • Access to proprietary materials or corporate knowledge
  • Provision of specialised accessories
  • Provision of samples, materials or consumables

In all cases where the industry partners’ contribution is in the form of ‘in-kind’ contributions, the value of such contributions should be agreed in advance by the industry and academic partners, and SFI. Such a value may be verified by

1) a verifiable market price
2) a vouched statement from an officer of the industry partner certifying the value of the contribution