Workshop on in-kind contributions in ERICs
19 December 2016, Rome - Italy

On December 19th, in Rome, Italian representatives of research infrastructures and ERICs met at a thematic workshop organized by CERIC in collaboration with the Italian Ministry for Higher Education, University and Research MIUR, focused on the definition and assessment of in-kind contributions*, which allow the setting-up and operation of most ERICs.
The experience of CERIC was also used as an example to show how aspects related to VAT exemption and accountancy are dealt with, also comparing this with the cases of other European research infrastructures.
National experts on the topics, including Paolo Centore and Alessandro Pinto, were invited to give presentations, together with the representatives of MIUR, Antonio Di Donato and Gianluigi Consoli, and the Chair of the CERIC General Assembly, Carlo Rizzuto. They discussed the possibility of ERICs and their national Representing Entities, of purchasing goods and services in the VAT exemption regime both at national and in cross-border cases. A specific issue is the appropriate recording and accounting of resources contributed in-kind by the partners and their values as part of the assets of the participating Institutions.
The workshop was the first of a series of meetings and roundtables on the general topic of the ERICs, co-organized by CERIC and MIUR, which will continue in 2017 with the goal of defining a common and integrated framework for the management of research infrastructures through the ERICs, with reference in particular to their fiscal and financial features and to the need to adopt common international standards for accounting and assessing the in-kind contributions that allow the functioning and operation of ERICs.

The IKC concept refers to a transfer of goods, services, personnel, intellectual property etc., between two research entities, without any direct payment or transfer of property. In-kind contributions are different from a rental or other economic exchanges. The exchanges are without any economic return in cash or in goods and/or services. Rather, in the context of ERICs and research infrastructures in general, the IKC take place within a scientific/technical collaboration based on sharing and exchanging the results made available through their publication, following the rules applied within the research activities.