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. In phase 1, a feasibility study shall be developed verifying the technological/practical as well as economic viability of an innovation idea/concept with considerable novelty to the industry sector in which it is presented (new products, processes, design, services and technologies or new market applications of existing technologies). The activities could, for example, comprise risk assessment, market study, user involvement, Intellectual Property (IP) management, innovation strategy development, partner search, feasibility of concept and the like to establish a solid high-potential innovation project aligned to the enterprise strategy and with a European dimension. Bottlenecks in the ability to increase profitability of the enterprise through innovation shall be detected and analysed during phase 1 and addressed during phase 2 to increase the return in investment in innovation activities. The proposal should contain an initial business plan based on the proposed idea/concept. The proposal should give the specifications of the elaborated business plan, which is to be the outcome of the project and the criteria for success. Funding will be provided in the form of a lump sum of EUR 50,000. Projects should last around 6 months. In phase 2, innovation projects will be supported that address the specific challenge of Blue Growth and that demonstrate high potential in terms of company competitiveness and growth underpinned by a strategic business plan. Activities should focus on innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, prototyping, piloting, scaling-up, miniaturisation, design, market replication and the like aiming to bring an innovation idea (product, process, service etc.) to industrial readiness and maturity for market introduction, but may also include some research. For technological innovation a Technology Readiness Levels of 6 or above (or similar for non-technological innovations) are envisaged; please see part G of the General Annexes. Proposals shall be based on an elaborated business plan either developed through phase 1 or another means. Particular attention must be paid to IP protection and ownership; applicants will have to present convincing measures to ensure the possibility of commercial exploitation (‘freedom to operate’). Proposals shall contain a specification for the outcome of the project, including a first commercialisation plan, and criteria for success. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.5 and 2.5 million would allow phase 2 to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. Projects should last between 12 and 24 months. In addition, in phase 3, SMEs can benefit from indirect support measures and services as well as access to the financial facilities supported under Access to Risk Finance of this work programme. Type of action: SME Instrument (70%) The submission to this call will be open as of 1 March 2014. Sub call of: H2020-SMEInst-2014-2015
Publication date 2013-12-11 Deadline Date 2014-12-17 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)
Intermediate deadlines(s) 2014-10-09 +17:00:00 (Brussels local time)
Budget €220,897,600 Main Pillar Industrial Leadership—deployment-and-market-replication-of-innovative-solutions-for-blue-growth

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