DESCA Model Consortium Agreement

After having passed the evaluation phase, project partners need to sign a Consortium Agreement. The European Commission offers general guidance but does not endorse a specific model consortium agreement.

However, DESCA, short for "Development of a Simplified Consortium Agreement", is a model contract developed by a group of leading academic interest organisations that enjoys broad acceptance within organisations participating in EU Framework Programme projects. 

The model has been updated for Horizon 2020 projects. 

Key features of DESCA

  • Simple language and content
  • Modular structure with various options and alternative clauses (small projects, large projects, etc)
  • A version with elucidation notes is provided
  • Options in the IPR section and the finance section
  • An optional module for projects with a strong software focus


The DESCA Core Group is represented by ANRT, EARTO, Eurochambres, KoWi, LERU, VTT, ZENIT and coordinated by Fraunhofer and the Helmholtz Association.

The DESCA Consultation Group, which provides vital expertise for the development of DESCA, consists of more than 160 experts from Academia, Research and Technology Organisations and Industry from all over Europe, as well as from other  countries such as Israel and USA.