Access Rules

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To be eligible to benefit from access to the infrastructure, a user group must satisfy the following two conditions:

a) the user group leader and the majority of the users must work in an institution, SME or industry established in a Member State or Associated State

b) the user group leader and the majority of the users must work in a country other than the country(ies) where the legal entity(ies) operating the infrastructure is(are) established.

Applicants originating from member states where no similar infrastructures are available may be prioritized for proposals with equal scores, in accordance with the TNA principles set down by the European Commission.

Where the infrastructure is composed of several installations operated by different legal entities, this condition shall apply to each installation.

This condition shall not apply when the access provider is an International Organization or the JRC and/or in case of remote access to a distributed set of infrastructures or installations offering the same services.

Only user groups that are entitled to disseminate the foreground they have generated under the project are eligible to benefit from access free of charge to the infrastructure. The Eurosites (FP7), or FixO3 Data Policy when available (est. release date: March 2015) will also apply, where specific provisions for TNA are foreseen (e.g. exceptions for data release in justified cases).

Regarding access rules, the access provider shall:

  • provide access free of charge to selected user groups to the infrastructure or the installation(s) managed by it, including the logistical, technological and scientific support as well as specific training, that is necessary for successful use of the infrastructure by external researchers
  • publicize the access widely, including on a dedicated Web page on the Internet. This includes a description of the infrastructure and its data, as well as means of access.
  • ensure that users comply with the terms and conditions set up for the use of the infrastructures, and fulfil eligibility criteria for TNA
  • maintain appropriate documentation to support and justify the amount of access reported. This documentation shall include records of the names, nationalities, and home institutions of users, as well as the nature and quantity of access provided to them.

The access provider and the user group leader shall inform the other Party of the occurrence of any event which constitutes a force majeure, preventing it from executing its obligations set out under TNA.

Any event which is unforeseeable, and the effects of which are uncontrollable, which prevents one of the Parties from executing its obligations shall be considered to be a case of force majeure. The obligations of the Party impeded shall be suspended for as long as the force majeure subsists. If the work is interrupted by such events, the Parties shall quickly consult each other in order to study the postponement or possible termination of the access or the adaptation of the TNA.

The access provider shall ensure that the users enjoy, on a royalty-free basis, access rights to the background of the access provider and to the foreground, if needed to carry out their own work under the project. The access provider shall ensure that the users have the same rights and obligations in regard to confidentiality and publicity as referred to for the access provider. In particular, the access provider shall, throughout the duration of the project, take any appropriate measure to ensure that, in their publications, users make suitable publicity about the support given by the European Commission for the access provided to them. All material should include the following: e.g., ‘Access to the observatory infrastructure [add infrastructure name] was facilitated by funding supplied by the EC (EU-FP7 FixO3, grant agreement no. 312463)’.

Modality of access can be of the three following types:

  • MoA 1 – Remote: the presence of the user or user group is not required at any time during the access period,
  • MoA 2 – Partially remote: the presence of the user or user group is required at some stage, e.g. for installing and uninstalling an instrument.
  • MoA 3 – In-person (“hands-on”): the presence of the user or user group is required/recommended during the whole access period.

A written contract or agreement between the “Access Provider“ or the “Infrastructure Operator” and the “End User” will delineate the actions to be undertaken, the resources that will need to be allocated, the length of planned user stays (if any), and the period of use. It will also define the rights and obligations of all the Parties involved, including data sharing and eventual provisions for early termination of the conferred access.

The Commission shall be authorized to publish, in whatever form and on or by whatever medium, including the Internet, the list of the users.