Adrion starts

The Adriatic-Ionic Adrion Program, approved by the European Commission decision of 20 October 2015, has as its primary objective to support the European strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian region (Eusair), to encourage integration between the partner states, relying on natural, cultural and human resources existing in the areas of the Adriatic and the Ionian Sea and enhancing economic, social and territorial cohesion of the area. The Program was launched in Bologna on 9-10 december. The four thematic objectives on which the program interventions are: ‘Region innovative and intelligent’, ‘Sustainable Community’, ‘Region connected’ and ‘Better governance for Eusair’. These thematic objectives are closely related to the four pillars of Eusair, namely Blue Growth, Environmental Quality, Region connected, Sustainable tourism.

Universities have problems with Horizon 2020

UWM, University World News, the newsletter on the global university, noted growing difficulties of universities with Horizon 2020. The success rate of applications is markedly reduced and the European University Association (EUA) attributes its responsibility to the austerity policies of governments. Of 73000 projects submitted in the first 18 months of the program, only about 13% was funded, compared to 18.5% of the 7th Framework Programme, and in some programs derived from the rate dropped to 10%. Sign of a deterioration in the quality of university research? Apparently not. The explanation that gives Thomas Estermann, EUA, the cause are numerous cuts to public funding as a result of the crisis; universities are turning so with increasing frequency Commission funding, to increase competitiveness. In addition, the reduction of funds available to the same program, which sold 2.2 MDI € the European Fund of Strategic Investments.

The main outputs from the 6th project Steering Committee

The 6th and final NEXT Project Steering Committee meeting, held in Ancona on 9th of July 2015, had traced the main lines for the future of a common system for sharing open data in the matter of innovation, start-ups and European project for applied researches and prototyping. Partners have discussed about problems, solutions and opportunities represented by NEXT-IS platform. It was important for the partnership to understand which are the area and items of improvement of a project that is going to contribute in a relevant way to the coming transnational cooperation programme in the Adriatic-Ionian European territorial cooperation area. The “Research, innovation and SMEs development” is the cross-cutting area of Strategy of Adriatic-Ionian Macro-region and of course of the new ETC Programme “Adrion” which is the main European programme of this area with its 99,2 millions of Euro (83,5 mln. of ERDF plus 15,7 mln. of IPA). Moreover, ETC Adrion Programme with the scope to reach its thematic objective 1, within the priority axe 1 it represent the main opportunity for specific project addressed to innovation and smart development. Surely, NEXT is the ancestor of these future projects with its heritage and potentiality to develop the “open data” exchange system moving towards the Adriatic-Ionian Cloud common system. The partner PfD from Tirana had illustrated the business plan called “NEXT SUITE” in order to find an agreement regarding the modality to maintain NEXT-IS platform in function after the project closure. “Database infrastructure: 70% was set as benchmark  for services. It’s been tried to see the platform in the logic of business” says the FfD representative “ but in order to increase the chance of businesses. Following to this the focus on quality should be done. All the partnership has to make sure that there is the site for uploading the documents” continues the FfD representative “willingness to contribute test: provide short information on … and explain who is doing what. Business model needs further testing and market validation”. City of Sibenik representatives had replied by presenting the current situation in relation to the NEXT IS platform maintance and explains that the municipality is quite small and it is not the core activity. Therefore they offered that the platform from the technical point of view could be taken over by Marche Region. This idea was very appreciated by the whole partnership. Therefore, Marche Region will host the platform without any additional costs for the partners and make it stay open for additional 4-5 years. A new Partnership Agreement will rule the maintance of NEX-IS platform among partners and a plan of development of own database, in order to federate it to NEXT-IS platform will be the technical annex to the agreement. These means also that partners will promote towards their local stakeholder to continue to use and populate NEXT-IS platform and post news to NEXT-Blog. Open innovation is going to became a reality through NEXT-IS platform and Marche Cloud. Finally, another result of the meeting was the possibility to have for the coming three years, the project website on-line. The partner IDA explains that the website and its important public repository of main outputs produced during the project implementation by the partnership will be maintained for next 3 years. In this way, it is possible to continue to publish and download documents from the public repository and use them for new project proposals.   Francesco Cuddemi, TA team

Fast Track – Innovation Pilot

The Fast Track to Innovation Pilot, operational since January 2015, is a pilot project characterized by a “bottom up” approach that allows you to submit proposals in all the thematic areas of LEIT (Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies) whose main components are 6 Key Enabling Technologies (Micro and nano-elechtronic; photonics, nanotechnology, advanced materials, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing) and the Social Challenges of Horizon 2020, in particular those related to environmental sustainability and efficient use of resources. It is an action that promotes innovations “close to market” (starting from a level of “maturity” that coincides with the technological demonstration prototype field – TRL 6), with the obligation to come to market within three years after ‘beginning of the project. Proposals must be submitted by a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 5 partners located in at least three Member States or associated UE28 Program Horizon 2020.

InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators

“InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” is the joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020. InnovFin consists of a series of integrated and complementary financing tools and advisory services offered by the EIB Group, covering the entire value chain of research and innovation (R&I) in order to support investments from the smallest to the largest enterprise. InnovFin is available across all eligible sectors under Horizon 2020, in EU Member States  and Associated Countries. By 2020, InnovFin is expected to make over EUR 24bn of debt and equity financing available to innovative companies to support EUR 48bn of final R&I investments. More information are available at: http://www.eib.org/products/blending/innovfin/

Lessons from pitching

In the recent pitch event in Ancona, Paolo Anselmo, IBAN president (Italian Business Angel Network Association), made a presentation very useful for understanding the start up financing business. Here you can read the presentation (.pdf):  Pres_Anselmo Some remarks are particularly inspiring: Banks perceive SME as a riskier biz; there is a great distance between the attitudes of businesses and the methodology used by financial bodies; in Europe (and in specific South Europe) capial market ids fragmented and immature; there is an under evaluation by start uppers as regard as the exit strategy of their business idea. The final part of the presentation is useful to understand the different biz-models of equity providers, VC and Business Angels.

Boosting event in Ancona

Last week, ten of the most innovative startups grown up in Marche region, and selected through the NEXT project, had the opportunity to scale up their business attending an investment readiness workshop on May 11th and pitching their ideas to professional investors the following day, on May 12th. The two days of activities was designed in a way to leverage the participation of SMEs/startups into the NEXT project, on one hand coaching the teams attending, and on the other hand giving them the opportunity to bridge the gap between investors and entrepreneurs. Ten startups have been selected between the applicants to NEXT catalogue and NEXT-IS Platform:
  • Soulshape
  • Kube Design
  • AESIS Therapeautics
  • Nutratech
  • Natural Clima
  • Un paese e cento storie
  • Freello
  • DENPI
  • Polimates
  • Site Specific

SME Instrument day: pre-screening of proposals

FAST, as partner of Entreprise Europe Network, is going to organise on next 28th of May in Milan a day dedicated to the pre-screeing of project proposals related to phase 1 and phase 2 of EU SME INSTRUMENT 2020. The event is regarding innovative SMEs which are interested to submit a new project proposal or to re-submit the former proposal which was not approved before. Check-up and high expertise assistance is ensured toward 8 selected SMEs. Who is interested as to fill-in this template for registration within and not later than 20th of May 2015: MODULO DI REGISTRAZIONE

Boosting event in Ancona, 12.5

On May 12 at the Marche Region, Sala Raffaello, ten start-ups / SMEs in the Adriatic will present their innovative ideas to private investors during a pitch lasting 5 minutes (see agenda, session 11: 00-13 : 00). The event is part of activities under the project NEXT and presented at various road shows organized in recent months in various locations in the territory. The main objective of the NEXT project is to implement a technology platform at the service of the various actors of innovation and research of the Adriatic Ionian: www.nextisplatform.eu. This event is intended to provide a concrete example of the activities that the platform-IS NEXT could support through virtual interaction between the various stakeholders, especially through the encounter between innovative ideas and potential funders. Those interested to attend public sessions can send an email to info.next@regione.marche.it or contact the following no .: 071 8063625 – 8063602. Here the agenda Boosting agenda_regional stakeholders_draft_300415