For the implementation of its tasks, and in order to work together with European industry, SMEs and research organisations, F4E uses two contract mechanisms: grant agreements (grants) and procurement contracts (procurement) which are underpinned by the principles of transparency, proportionality, equal treatment and non-discrimination

Procurement contracts are awarded to contractors in order to obtain the supply of assets, the execution of works and/or the provision of services. These contracts are granted according to calls for tenders that may take one of the following forms: open procedure, restricted procedure, negotiated procedure or competitive dialogue. Procurement results in a proper commercial agreement which provides contractors with 100% of the financial contribution from F4E.

Grants are direct financial contributions that fund beneficiaries, by way of donation, for research and development actions in order to support F4E’s tasks. Co-financing and non-profit rules are mandatory in accordance with F4E’s financial regulations. In contrast to procurement contracts, grants are limited to 40% of financial contribution, the remaining part being borne by the beneficiaries.

The different funding rates between grants and procurement imply different rules for the management of IP in the related projects.