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ERICs are recognised legal entities, with legal personality, and can enter into contracts. ERICs are allowed to acquire, own, and dispose of movable, immovable and intellectual property, conclude contracts and be a party to legal proceedings.

ERICs routinely enter into contracts with third-party suppliers for example for goods and services. Some common services bought from third-party suppliers are legal services, IT, consulting, accounting, research, auditing, and communication services. The range of goods and services varies according to whether the ERIC is single-sited or distributed.

Contracting by ERICs is linked to its wider policies on procurement (see examples below in the links). Procurement policies can include general guidance with respect to principles like transparency, proportionality, and equal treatment. Procurement can also be treated together with tax exemptions. 

Whether the ERIC is single-sited or distributed is important in contracting activities.

For distributed ERICs, three ways of contracting have been established

  1. ERIC concludes contracts on behalf of the nodes (VAT exemption is thereby applied).
  2. The nodes conclude the contracts themselves
  3. A named third party takes care of contracting in the name of an on behalf of an ERIC, also known as an agent arrangement (VAT exemption may apply in such cases).
Contracting by ERICs is linked to its wider policies on procurement.
Best practices for contracting
  • Use standard clauses for different contracts
  • Recognise data protection matters arising for extra EU/EEA contracts
  • Include contracting costs in your yearly budget
  • Make sure employment clauses do not inhibit innovation or creativity
  • Consider the establishment of a common procurement framework for goods and services with another ERIC through the ERIC Forum

For those ERICs that enter into agreement with Cooperating Partners, DARIAH EU has several templates available for contracts. See more info on their website: dariah.eu/about/documents

Example documents from ERICs
Resources and further reading