SME and big data, EU suggestions

EU did publish a Communication on the data driven economy in which suggests to Sme a way to exploit big data for their competitiveness. Big data are not exclusivity for corporation. As reported in Cordis website, Katalin Imrei, policy officer at the European Commission, explained dealing with big data: ‘The key here is better data analytics enabling more reliable predictions and evidence-based business decisions with regard to the SMEs’ own market, own customers needs and behaviours and business opportunities”. But to bring this about, SMEs, which produce smaller and fewer datasets than their larger counterparts, need high quality, reliable data and services to run new experiments leading to innovative products and services. Networking of data processing facilities, an essential component of the Commission’s plans, will be crucial in transferring knowledge and tools to them. Read here the whole Cordis news

REDASP organized the workshop «Business development through research and innovation»

Regional Economic Development Agency for Sumadija and Pomoravlje in the framework of Next Project (Collaborative platform to support research and technology transfer) organized the workshop «Business development through research and innovation». Picture 005 Picture 014The workshop was held on 29th July 2014 in hotel Kragujevac (Kragujevac, Serbia). The workshop presented the strategic framework and infrastructure for support innovation in Serbia, both at national and regional level, as well as examples of good practice, through the prism of the need for closer cooperation among research institutes, researchers and business community. Participants were institutions, organizations, clusters and SMEs from national and regional level. They presented their activities and plans in field of R&D and innovation, and possibilities for strengthening  cooperation among knowledge triangle.  

“Evaluation activity” for NEXT Project

Regional Council of Shkodra intends to award a service contract for “Evaluation activity” for NEXT Project in Shkodra with financial assistance from the IPA Adriatic CBC Programme 2007-2013. The contract notice is available from http://www.qarkushkoder.gov.al/ The deadline for submission of applications is 25 August 2014 (11:00), local time. Date of publication in the website of the institution: 25 July 2014

155 small firms to receive funding in first wave of grants under EU SME Instrument

The European Commission, on 24 July 2014, announces the first results of its new €3 billion SME Instrument, launched under Horizon 2020 to help innovative small firms get ideas from the lab to the market. In total, 155 SMEs from 21 countries (EU Member States or countries associated to Horizon 2020) will each receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies to develop their innovation strategy. In addition, SMEs can benefit from up to three days of business coaching. Spanish SMEs were particularly successful in the first round, with 39 proposals selected, followed closely by SMEs from the UK and Italy. In total, there were 2,666 applications for the first grants. Successful applicants will be formally notified in August. Thereafter, their names will be publicly announced by the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME), which manages the programme. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: “The response to the new SME Instrument is encouraging. There is clearly demand out there for this kind of support. I hope many of the business plans being financed will mature to become real products and services, generating growth and jobs for our economies. We need our champions of innovation to grow!” The SME Instrument is a key element of the funding for small businesses available under Horizon 2020. Worth around €3 billion over seven years, it offers fast and simple grants for business innovation feasibility studies (Phase 1) and demonstration projects (Phase 2). Investment-mature concepts can in addition benefit from business development advice and other support services (Phase 3). Through the SME Instrument the European Union wants to finance the most innovative small companies, with a high growth potential. The application process is easy but only the very best projects can expect to receive funding. Eligible topics are set out in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme on ‘Innovation in SMEs’. Applications can be submitted at any time but are evaluated four times each year. Today’s results concern applications received by the first cut-off for Phase 1 grants on 18 June 2014. The next cut-off dates for evaluation are 24 September 2014 for Phase 1 and 9 October for Phase 2. Around 645 projects (under Phase 1 and 2) should be funded in 2014, rising to 670 in 2015.

Workshop «Business development through research and innovation»

Regional Economic Development Agency for Sumadija and Pomoravlje in the framework of Next Project (Collaborative platform to support research and technology transfer) is organizing workshop «Business development through research and innovation». Workshop will be held on 29th July 2014 in hotel Kragujevac (Kragujevac, Serbia). The workshop aims to present the strategic framework and infrastructure for support innovation in Serbia, both at national and regional level, as well as examples of good practice, through the prism of the need for closer cooperation among research institutes, researchers and business community.

Innovative mobile e-government applications by SMEs

Deadline: 16/12/2015 Number: INSO-9-2015
The scope of this call is to provide support to innovative SMEs, including start-ups, for the design and creation of innovative applications, in order to foster the delivery of mobile public services. Specific Challenge: Current societal and economic challenges as well as rising expectations to reduce the burden on users, put pressure on all public administrations to provide efficient, open and citizen-centric public services. Due to the increased use of mobile technology as well as the increasing availability of public information, data and online services, public services can be transformed. Coupling open public data and services with information and services offered by the private sector can lead to innovative, user-friendly and personalised services that can be accessed easily. Because of their size, knowledge and agility, SMEs are key actors for the provision of those innovative services. The “apps” market for mobile devices is a very dynamic market, which mostly lacks application specifically for the public sector. Engaging SMEs into the potentially huge public sector innovation market is a challenge for local and regional public authorities. The scope of this action is to provide support to innovative SMEs, including start-ups, for the design and creation of innovative applications, in order to foster the delivery of mobile public services. The aim is to help the interaction of citizens and businesses with public administrations. This may be done through the combination of public and private sector services, through mobile technologies. Although they may be first piloted in a local context – with the involvement of public administrations and end users – the solutions need to ensure replicability, also taking into account multi-lingualism and, where necessary, the cross-border dimension. Scalability and sustainability issues are to be considered.

Supporting SMEs efforts for the development – deployment and market replication of innovative solutions for blue growth

Deadline: 17/12/2014 Number: BG-12-2014
The results of this call will enhance access to finance for SMEs for the development of innovative maritime economic activities Specific challenge: The potential of Europe’s Oceans, seas and coasts is significant for job and growth creation if the appropriate investments in research and innovation are made. SMEs contribution to the development of the ‘Blue Growth Strategy’ (COM (2012) 494) can be significant in particular in the fields of marine biotechnology (related applications, key tools and technologies) as well as aquaculture related marine technologies and services. However, SMEs lack access to finance to develop their activities and the economic and financial crisis has made access to finance even more difficult. This is particularly true in the previously mentioned maritime sectors, where access to finance for SMEs is considered as one of the most important barriers for the development of innovative maritime economic activities[1] . Scope: The SME instrument consists of three separate phases and a coaching and mentoring service for beneficiaries. Participants can apply to phase 1 with a view to applying to phase 2 at a later date, or directly to phase 2.

Energy system

Deadline:  17/12/2014 Number:  SIE-01-2014-1
The SME instrument consists of three phases (i: feasibility study; ii: support for innovation projects and iii: indirect support measures and services) and a coaching and mentoring service for beneficiaries. Specific Challenge: SMEs play a crucial role in developing resource-efficient, cost-effective and affordable technology solutions to decarbonise and make more efficient the energy system in a sustainable way. They are expected to strongly contribute to all challenges outlined in the legal base of the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge ‘Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy’[1] , in particular with regard to
  • Reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint by smart and sustainable use (including energy-efficient products and services as well as ‘Smart Cities and Communities’),
  • Low-cost, low-carbon electricity supply (including renewable energy as well as CCS and re-use),
  • Alternative fuels and mobile energy sources,
  • A single, smart European electricity grid,
  • New knowledge and technologies, and
  • Robust decision making and public engagement.
Scope:The SME instrument consists of three separate phases and a coaching and mentoring service for beneficiaries. Participants can apply to phase 1 with a view to applying to phase 2 at a later date, or directly to phase 2.

ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs

Deadline: 09/12/2014 Number: FoF-09-2015
Emerging innovative ICT technologies and processes need to be customized, integrated, tested and validated in order to strengthen European SMEs. Specific Challenge: For Europe’s competitiveness in manufacturing, it is crucial that advances in ICT are taken up in engineering and manufacturing “at large” as soon as they have the appropriate maturity level. Two types of innovation experiments are supported: Driven by the requirements of first-time users, Application Experiments bring together all actors of the value chain and experts necessary to equip new users with novel products or services and assist them in customising and applying these in their respective environments. In Equipment Assessment Experiments, suppliers of innovative high-tech equipment install and assess their prototypes or products in production-like environments and validate them in a manufacturing line or in an industrial environment that is very close to manufacturing conditions. Activities are expected to be clustered in larger projects to achieve critical mass and to better exploit EU-added value. Common tasks include: targeted dissemination; management of calls for new actions; exploitation of synergies across actions. The action may involve financial support to third parties. The consortium will define the selection process of additional users and suppliers running the experiments for which financial support will be granted (typically in the order of EUR 50 000 – 150 000 per party).  Maximum 50% of the EU funding should be allocated to this purpose.
  1. Three areas of technologies are targeted for the Innovation actions::
–        Highly flexible and near-autonomous robotics systems (application experiments). –        HPC Cloud-based modeling, simulation and analytics services for modeling multiple interconnected phenomena; –        Integration of Cyber-Physical-System modules in manufacturing processes and process chains.