ABS works! Many researchers from Germany already have practical experience with obtaining ABS documentation from countries around the world. In our ABS Stories, some of these German researchers share their experiences with you.
We try to provide you with useful information like:
- how long the ABS process took
- the types of information required by the national authority
- the types of benefits shared
- who the researchers got advice or help from
- practical tips about the ABS process
We hope this helps! Do you also have a story to share? Let us know.
Although every story case is different, there are some general lessons learned which may be helpful for you when starting the ABS process for your next project.
Starting with ABS after your project begins can lead to long delays. You should inform yourself about ABS long before your project starts and you should start as early as possible with the process.
Contacting the national focal point to find out whether ABS applies to you is usually the first step in the ABS process. However, you should read the information in the ABS Clearing House before you contact this person. The focal point may not answer immediately (e.g. the person may be holiday, sick or busy). If you don’t get an answer, you need to keep trying and you can also look for alternative ways to get the information you need.
When contacting the national authorities in the provider country, be clear in your communication and help them to understand your proposed research. This avoids potential misunderstandings and helps them to understand what types of benefits could possibly be shared through your research. Transparency can help to build trust and confidence in the process.
It can be difficult (or even impossible) to organize the ABS process 100% remotely from Germany. Local collaboration partner/s may be essential for the ABS process. Ask them to help get information about ABS and to support the process. They can also help you to overcome language barriers and can potentially attend in person meetings with the local authorities.
Your collaboration partner/s are not necessarily ABS experts so the information they provide you about ABS may not be 100% correct. Don’t forget that under the EU Regulation, it’s your job to understand your obligations. You should check information provided for accuracy and completeness.
Do you understand the legal implications of what you are doing? You may need to seek advice from your legal department or an external legal advisor, e.g. before signing a benefit-sharing agreement.