пятница, 31 июля 2015 г.

The key messages on Open Innovation and SME Instrument by EC Commissioner Carlos Moedas

Focus on the most important messages delivered during the “A new start for Europe: Opening up to an ERA of Innovation” Conference

Last 22th June 2015, Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, made a speech in relation with “A new start for Europe: Opening up to an ERA of Innovation” Conference.

He explained that with Horizon 2020, the EC is funding research on an unprecedented scale but, he said:  “we are facing three major challenges:
  • We are too rarely succeeding in getting research results to market. Technologies developed in Europe are most of the time commercialized elsewhere.
  • Although Europe generates more scientific output than any other region in the world, in some areas we fall behind on the very best science. At the same time, there is a revolution happening in the way science works. Every part of the scientific method is becoming an open, collaborative and participative process.
  • Europe punches below its weight in international science and science diplomacy. Our collective scientific importance should be matched by a more active voice in global debates”.

To overcome these three challenges, Carlos Moedas sees three strategic priorities:

“Open Innovation”, which is about involving far more actors in the innovation process, from researchers, to entrepreneurs, to users, to governments and civil society. Carlos Moedas wants open innovation to capitalise on the results of European research and innovation. This means creating the right ecosystems, increasing investment, and bringing more companies and regions into the knowledge economy.

The Commissioner also wants to increase use of venture capital and venture capital fund in order to help companies grow from early stage to mid-cap and from mid-cap to global players.
In parallel, he believes a regulatory environment for innovation is needed which is in adequacy with the principle and the fast-moving processes of technology and innovation.

“Open Science” will be centred on promoting excellence in science in all countries in Europe by two ways : open a call for European Science Cloud Project and launch a new European Research Integrity Initiative by the end of this year.

Finally, “Openness to the world” are the keys words to launch a large program of international collaborations to help partnerships between continents.

To conclude, Carlos Moedas gives hope to all candidates for European Funding with above threshold score but not being funded:
“Together with Commissioner Cretu, I plan to introduce a "seal of excellence" for applicants that are evaluated as excellent but cannot obtain financing from Horizon 2020, to help them access Structural Funds. This will start with applicants to the SME instrument.”

Horizon 2020 statistics

By 1 December 2014 the first 100 calls had closed. What can we tell about the popularity of the programme, the success of SMEs, the degree to which the programme has attracted newcomers - both as participants and as expert evaluators - and the proportion of women experts? Answers below!

The text and charts below have been taken from the brochure, "Horizon 2020 - first results" (PDF 3MB), which presents information on the first 100 calls for proposals.

10 key facts

  • A total of 36 732 eligible proposals were submitted under Horizon 2020’s first 100 calls (FP7: 135 514), breaking down as follows:
    • 29 794 full proposals in single-stage calls
    • 5 617 outline proposals in the first stage of the two-stage calls
    • 1 321 full proposals in the second stage of the two-stage calls
  • In total, 31 115 full proposals were submitted.
  • The total number of eligible applications in full proposals was 123 334 (FP7: 598 080).
  • These eligible proposals requested a total EU financial contribution of €80.3 billion (FP7: €217.1 billion), and were evaluated by 9 325 experts.
  • 4 315 proposals were retained for funding. The overall success rate of eligible full proposals under the first 100 calls is around 14%, compared with around 20% for the whole of FP7.
  • 38% of successful applicants were newcomers (compared to 13% in 2013, the last year of FP7), of which 1 100 were SMEs.
  • The 20% budget target for SMEs has been achieved.
  • 3 236 grant agreements were signed by the end of April 2015 (compared with 25 164 grant agreements over the seven years of FP7).
  • These grant agreements awarded a total EU contribution of €5.5 billion towards total eligible costs of €6.5 billion.
  • 95% of all grant agreements were signed within the target of eight months.

Some key concepts

A proposal is submitted by one or more applicants. Proposals could have just one applicant – a single principal investigator - while multi-partner proposals group together many applicants. An applicant might also be involved in more than one proposal, in which case it is making multiple applications for funding.
Some calls have two stages: applicants first submit outline proposals which are evaluated to select those that could be developed further into full proposals. The statistics on proposals presented here refer only to full proposals.
If the proposal is successful and is funded it becomes a project, which is implemented by one or more participants. And a participant might be involved in other projects, in which case it has a number of participations.
The overall success rate of eligible full proposals is around 14%, compared with around 20% for the whole of FP7. It should be noted, however, that less funding was available in 2014, the first year of Horizon 2020, compared with 2013, the last year of FP7. At the same time, there was increased interest from potential applicants in the new programme, demonstrated by the fact that 38% of successful applicants were newcomers.



Note: Horizon 2020 data is for 2014; FP7 data is for 2007-2013.
Universities remain in first place both in terms of participations and financial contribution received. The private sector, public bodies and ‘Other’ have increased their relative share of participations and financial contribution and research organisations have also increased their share of the EU financial contribution. Please refer to definitions of types of organisations in the Glossary in the brochure (PDF 3MB) for more information.

Click here to see a larger version of the participation charts.



Note: Horizon 2020 data is for 2014; FP7 data is for 2007-2013.
Compared with the situation over the full seven-year duration of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the share of SME participations has increased under Horizon 2020. The data presented compares the Cooperation theme of FP7 to the participations in the Leading and Emerging Industrial Technology (LEIT) and the Societal Challenge themes of Horizon 2020. The EU financial contribution to SMEs from these two themes also shows that the 20% budget target has been achieved. Of this contribution, around 5% is provided by the Horizon 2020 SME instrument.

Click here to see a larger version of the SME participation charts.



Note: Horizon 2020 data is for 2014; FP7 data is for 2007-2013.
A newcomer is defined as a successful first-time applicant to Horizon 2020 who did not apply to the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). An analysis of the 6774 unique participants in Horizon 2020 signed grant agreements shows that around 62% also participated in FP7, which means that almost 40% are newcomers.  This high rate of newcomers can largely be attributed to efforts to make Horizon 2020 more accessible and attractive in comparison to FP7.

Click here to see a larger version of the newcomer participation chart.


In 2014, a pool of 77 506 evaluators were registered on a central database as available to evaluate proposals to Horizon 2020. A total of 9 325 contracts for evaluation have been made with experts, however some experts may have been contracted more than once to participate in different evaluations. Over half of the contracts for expert evaluators were given to newcomers. It is important to ensure that the pool from which experts are selected is constantly expanded and renewed, to ensure expertise in new areas of science and technology, and to ensure that the pool is representative of different sectors, including public and private, and industrial and academic.

Click here to see a larger version of the chart showing the percentage of new experts.
Note: Data for 2014


Of the 9 325 contracts for evaluation made with experts, 35.7% were given to women. Although the target of 40% has not yet been reached, the trend is going in the right direction, with an improvement on the FP7 figure of 33.8%.
Of the 9 325 contracts for evaluation made with experts, 35.7% were given to women. Although the target of 40% has not yet been reached, the trend is going in the right direction, with an improvement on the FP7 figure of 33.8%.

Click here to see a larger version of the chart showing the percentage of women experts.
Note: Data for 2014

The following selection of Horizon 2020 projects is an illustration of how new ideas can bring about concrete results and benefits for citizens and businesses as well as for the wider European economy.

четверг, 30 июля 2015 г.

SME Instrument latest results: 142 highly innovative SMEs funded by Horizon 2020

ublished by newsroom editor on Wednesday, 29/07/2015
Last modified by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 30/07/2015 - 13:24

142 SMEs from 23 countries have been selected in the latest round of Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 1. For each project, the participants will receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies. They can also request up to three days of business coaching.
The European Commission received 2,029 proposals under Phase 1 by the second cut-off date of 2015 on 17 June. 342 received an evaluation score above the application threshold and 128 or 37,4 % have been selected for funding.
Italian SMEs have been particularly successful with 35 beneficiaries accepted for funding, followed by firms from Spain (29) and the UK (22). Since the launch of the programme on 1st January 2014, 958 SMEs have been selected under Phase 1 of the SME Instrument.


First accelerator of nanobiomedicine projects launches

Contributed by: VDI/VDE-IT

The EU-funded consortium ENATRANS (Enabling Nanomedicine TRANSlation) launches the first Translation Advisory Board (TAB), a new instrument to provide free of charge advice and support to ambitious international nanobiomedicine projects.
The call is open to companies, academics and private researchers in Europe promoting nanobiomedicine projects. A pool of technology and innovation champions as experts will serve the TAB to deliver concrete and invaluable advice to drive selected nanobiomedicine projects into innovative products for healthcare. Among projects, the most promising will benefit from further high value services such as in-depth advice, showcase and coaching. (Flyer available at http://www.enatrans.eu/public/services/translation-advisory-board/tab-flyer).

The applicants must have very promising nanobiomedicine projects, targeting unmet medical needs for patients.

Do you have an ambitious nanobiomedicine project?
Apply and benefit from high level advice and support: http://www.enatrans.eu/public/services/translation-advisory-board

Applications received till September 14, 2015 may be eligible for the first TAB-in session, which will gather selected projects in a first phase of the service to be organised in Dublin, 14 October, 2015.

Who are the experts?
Paul Smit - former senior position at Philips Healthcare, Mike Eaton - former senior positions at Celltech & UCB, David Bott - former senior position at BP, Ruediger Iden - former senior position at BASF, Eckhard Schwenner - former position at Bayer, Eric Mayer - CEO at Endomag, Laurent Levy - CEO at Nanobiotix

About the ENATRANS project
Enabling NAnomedicine TRANSlation, a Coordination and Support Action funded by the European Commission, has been built to help the translation of innovative projects related to nanobiomedicine to successfully go through the different stages of development from the idea to the patients and also improve global knowledge on nanobiomedicine. ENATRANS is led by a consortium of 7 partners belonging to the European Technology Platform for Nanomedicine (ETPN): CEA-LETI (Grenoble, France), Nanobiotix SA (Paris, France), Gesellschaft fur Bioanalytik Muenster e.V. (Muenster, Germany), Tel-Aviv University (Tel-Aviv, Israel), Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi ONLUS (Milan, Italy), TecMinho (Braga, Portugal) and VDI/VDE-IT (Berlin, Germany).

About ETPN
Created in 2005, the European Technology Platform for Nanomedicine is an initiative led by Industry and set up together with the European Commission to address the applications of nanotechnology to achieve breakthroughs in healthcare. The ETPN is structuring and federating the European Nanomedicine community and leading the communication toward the European Commission and the European Members States.

вторник, 28 июля 2015 г.

UCD Energy Institute receives €1.2 million Horizon 2020 grant

A Horizon 2020 grant of €1.2 million has been awarded to Professor Mark O’Malley from the UCD Energy Institute and the the UCD School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering, for his project Realising Value from Electricity Markets with Local Smart Electric Thermal Storage (RealValue).
The RealValue project will be directed at local small-scale energy storage using Smart Electric Thermal Storage (SETS) and will see real-world implementation and testing in 1,250 homes in Germany, Latvia and Ireland. The project is directed at improving efficiency and value across the European energy market through the use of advanced information and communications technology.
SETS technology allows electrical energy to be stored as heat in order to meet the domestic space and water heating needs of households. While SETS will be the subject of the field test, the potential exists for the results to be implemented across a range of domestic electric heating technology.
Using advanced engineering and economic analysis, the RealValue project will seek to improve stakeholders’ understanding on the smart coupling of domestic electrical heating systems to electric power system requirements.
RealValue will also validate the model by using desktop techno-economic modelling and virtual demonstration in order to prove the technical and commercial potential of the small-scale energy storage model.
The project will also produce findings towards the facilitation of variable renewable wind and solar energy integration. The UCD Energy Institute will work with industry leaders including Glen Dimplex, INTEL, SSE, ESB and EirGrid on the project.
The UCD Energy Institute is a public-private research consortium that examines key technical, social, and economic challenges in the integration of energy systems. It draws on a wide range of expertise from fields including electrical and mechanical engineering, economics and policy, meteorology, and consumer engagement.
Horizon 2020 is the largest research and innovation programme in the EU, and one of the biggest publicly funded in the world, with a goal of ensuring Europe’s long-term competitiveness by supporting world-class research.

понедельник, 27 июля 2015 г.

If I were to promise you, dear reader, that this blog would begin with a discourse on the evolution of marketing language in a retail environment, segue into some poorly-researched blah about cognitive responses to exclamation marks, before shooting off into a rambling yarn about the time I fist-bumped Lou Carpenter from Neighbours, would you read on? I imagine you would not (although some may skip to the end just for the Lou from Neighbours bit). Any article that tried to cover such a multitude of topics in any meaningful way would be dense, sprawling or simply unreadable. The same is, of course, true for copywriting. But how often are we presented with a brief that, rather than asking for the illumination of one compelling thought, effectively give us a lift of ‘benefits’ – each one, we are assured, no more or less important than the next. Even the briefs that take the time to talk about message hierarchy rarely extract one clear direction. ‘This is what we want to say’ they promise us. But often that primary ‘this’ is accompanied by a swarm of others that positively cannot be further than a bee’s shinbone away from the main message. And then we sigh, pick up our pencils and try once again to force an elk into a balloon. Such extensive and varied briefs customarily result in work that is opaque and jumbled. In amongst the grappling claims, there is undoubtedly something extraordinary and persuasive. If only anyone with eyes and a mind had the time or attention to extract what matters from that which does not. Grumpy old writers may well point an inky finger at content marketing and an era where brands have a platform to say everything and anything they think matters. This is probably churlish, but there has been a notable shift in how difficult it can be to persuade a client to be economical with their messaging. And perhaps this is understandable. A model that reduces complex or elaborate products or services to their single most remarkable feature perhaps isn’t quite as full-bodied an exchange as it deserves. But, whatever compromises a copywriter or agency is prepared to make, there is one character in this murky dance who will not budge an inch – customers. There may be 14 outstanding things about your product – and those 14 things may very well be indistinguishable in their brilliance. But present that to a customer in the kind of format that demands immediacy and they will engage in between one and zero of your points. In extraordinary circumstances, a customer may engage with two – and when that happens copywriters all over the world get the afternoon off to go and play Laser Quest. The argument we use, to varying effect, is that great brands need to give customers a reason to find out how great they are. Dropping everything that makes you incredible under the noses of your customers is not, as some imagine, an act of storytelling or transparency, it’s effectively nothing more than commercial fly-tipping. The question is one of balance – the harmony between content and volume that leaves you saying just enough to engage and just little enough to intrigue. Less isn’t especially more, but perhaps perpetually seeking and demanding ‘more’ from our messages is what leads to so many simple and convincing propositions appearing so desperately insipid. Less can be more lucid, more substantial and more inspiring. But in simple terms of lines on a page, ‘more’ is not an endorsement in itself. Oh, and if you’ve just arrived directly from the opening sentence, I fist-bumped Lou from Neighbours outside the Pizza Express in Norwich. Now, was that worth coming back for? I think we can all agree that it was.

Brussels: As the EU’s united investment scheme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020 has been heralded as a break from the past compared to previous framework programmes. With a significant emphasis on simplification, faster time to grant and addressing the major challenges facing European society, the European Commission has allocated nearly €80bn of funding to the R&I framework programme as it seeks to attract research proposals from across the university, research and business sectors. By realising its objectives, Horizon 2020 aims to encourage economic growth, job creation and bring more innovative and scientific breakthroughs to market.
Robert-Jan Smits
Robert-Jan Smits © European Union, 2015
One of the areas where the R&I framework programme seeks to bring particular benefits is helping to address the challenges facing Europe’s environment. This year’s Green Week 2015 in Brussels at the beginning of June, focused on Nature and biodiversity, and discussed how ‘protecting Nature and maintaining Europe’s competitiveness must go hand in hand’ as such ‘policies can play a key role in creating jobs and stimulating investment’.
Green agenda
During this year’s event, Robert-Jan Smits, director general of DG Research and Innovation in the European Commission, took part in the session ‘Nature protects’, which discussed examples of how Nature-based solutions can ‘effectively mitigate the impacts of natural hazards’, including climate change, and how natural infrastructure can have a ‘positive impact on local livelihoods and the environment’. In an exclusive interview with Portal, Smits began by outlining his enthusiasm for this major conference on European environmental policy.
“Green Week is a fantastic initiative, and it is very inspiring to see the number of enthusiastic people that were there, including the young people who have an enormous commitment to the green cause.
“During the ‘Nature protects’ workshop, we tried to remove the idea that the green agenda will be at the expense of job creation or competitiveness, which is not the case; the green agenda, economic growth, competitiveness and job creation can go hand in hand,” commented the director general.
“Recently, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency published a report which showed that over the last 15-20 years, EU legislation in the field of the environment has not only led to a better quality of life with lower air pollution,
but that there have been benefits for competitiveness and the creation of jobs. Nature-based solutions offer enormous potential for new jobs, for economic growth, for SMEs, and for all stakeholders to get together.”
Evaluation to resolution
Whereas EU policy has traditionally been concentrating on collecting data concerning the impact citizens and industry have on the environment, Smits observed that there had now been a step change that sees greater emphasis on developing solutions to help protect the environment.
“We have a long tradition in our environment programme focusing only on data collection, with hardly any priority on real remedies. We now have a big break with the past and are looking for concrete solutions, or are using data analysis to undertake problem-solving activities.
“Whilst we are continuing to collect data, because this remains essential, we are going to really invest in bringing solutions to the citizen. Consequently, Nature-based solutions is an area where we are going to devote significant financial resources in the years ahead under Horizon 2020, including the next calls and notably under the 2016-2017 Work Programme, because we really want to have demonstrations of Nature-based solutions.
“At the Green Week workshop, we focused very much on the issue of flooding. Each year we read about flooding in the UK, Italy, Hungary, etc., and how with Nature-based solutions we can find an approach to address this issue, for example through the creation of natural basins. But Nature-based solutions are also about the greening of cities and deserts, agriculture in the cities, and finding new ways to cool buildings through plants.
“Consequently, we really want to see and finance large scale demonstrators that show Nature-based solutions can work, and see groups of stakeholders and countries get together around such demonstrators, after which hopefully others will follow.”
Victims of success
Within the first six months of 2015, nearly 4,000 projects have received funding from the Commission under Horizon 2020. Over 45,000 research applications were received by the Commission between December 2013 and March 2015, including more than 17,000 during the first seven months, nine times the available funding.
Brussels has been pleased with the high participation rate, but figures also reveal a low success rate for applicants, averaging around 14% for Horizon 2020, compared to 19-22% for the Seventh Framework Programme. Smits said the situation was “the biggest problem” that he faces.
“We have put enormous attention on Horizon 2020 simplification by inserting a lot of measures to really make it much easier for applicants to have access to the programme. In addition, with our Participant Portal, we have a quicker time to grant and simpler application forms with everything now being electronic.
“Yet we are now becoming the victims of our success – we are flooded with proposals and up to now we have received around 50,000. The success rate in certain areas has now dropped to 12%, and that is extremely worrying. These results show that we have been successful with our simplification efforts, because the barriers to the programme have been reduced. It also indicates that we are getting it right with our challenge-based approach, as Horizon 2020 steps away from the thematic approach. The SME Instrument is also very popular, because we see that 20% of the applicants now are new commerce, mostly SMEs.
“So whilst we are successful on the one hand, we are facing a huge oversubscription on the other. This is not sustainable and the fear is that if the success rate is lower than 10%, researchers may be discouraged in making applications. The aim is therefore to increase success rates and consequently we are increasingly introducing a two-stage application procedure: the first stage asks for a proposal outline that is just a couple of pages long; this stage will have a low success rate. This is then followed by a second stage with a possible 30% success rate. This method is helping to manage the oversubscription problems.”
One of the goals of Horizon 2020 is to encourage the greater involvement of businesses, and one of the techniques the Commission has introduced to realise this goal is the creation of the SME Instrument. Managed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, the near €3bn tool ‘helps high-potential SMEs to develop groundbreaking innovative ideas for products, services or processes that are ready to face global market competition’. Smits provided a further insight into the instrument’s success.
“There’s an increase in the participation, notably from SMEs, but also from industry, which can be explained through the SME Instrument. We are putting more emphasis on innovation, demonstrators, proof of concept, first-of-a-kind, pilot lines, and technology transfer and deployment. Because of this greater emphasis on innovation, we see that in the first calls of Horizon 2020, there is an increase in the number of industrial and SME participants.”
Break from the past
Horizon 2020 and its predecessors share the common themes of investing in ICT, nanotechnology, space research, as well as researcher training, and addressing major health, environment, energy and climate challenges. Portal asked the director general what makes this framework programme so much more significant to the future of Europe.
“Firstly, we are putting greater emphasis on the deployment of research results and getting these to market. We therefore have demonstrators and proof of concepts, as well as the InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility, which allows us to give grants through the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Investment Fund to those projects that we feel are really close to the market. This is a big novelty compared to previous framework programmes as we put more emphasis on the deployment of research results than ever before.
“Second is the big emphasis on SMEs – 20% of the Horizon 2020 budget is going to be given to small and medium sized enterprises. This means many newcomers will become involved, which is healthy for the system.
“Third is the radical simplification. In my organisation, there is one person who is called ‘Mr Simplification’, and his job is purely to scout for critical comments on the web about our programme and then immediately take action to remedy them. For example, when UK participants complained that they had a problem with accounting in euros and had to transfer constantly between accounts in pounds and euros, we immediately addressed this issue.
“Finally, the challenge-driven approach is also a big novelty. Rather than being prescriptive, we are now identifying a societal problem, be it an ageing population, obesity, Ebola, vaccine development, and state this as the challenge, and allow the science community to develop the best solution. It’s a completely different way: less prescriptive and more open.”
The deal between the Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) sees €2.2bn drawn from the budget of Horizon 2020 and invested into the new fund under the Investment Plan for Europe. One of the worries within the research community has been whether universities and research technology organisations will be able to take full advantage of the EFSI following the budget reallocation. Smits commented that the EFSI would offer “enormous potential for innovative projects”.
“If you look at the lists we have drawn up, there are thousands of projects which different EU member states have put forward. There are some very interesting innovation projects, including in the areas of ICT, Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things and energy systems, etc. We now need to make sure that the innovators in Europe are aware of the EFSI and that the fund is not just available for major infrastructure projects, but also for innovative projects; the EIB is playing its role in assessing and evaluating each project,” commented Smits.
Risk sharing
The Commission has already worked very closely with the EIB in supporting investment in research and development projects through the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF). The instrument saw the EU institution and the EU bank collaborate financially to ‘improve access to … debt finance for participants of European R&D projects’.
“The RSFF loans supported very high risk research and innovation projects which led to competence in the field of investing in R&I in the EIB,” Smits explained. “Over the last six years, we have been awarded €12bn in loans to innovative projects. Thanks to the RSFF the bank now has great skill in innovation, allowing it to assess projects and undertake due diligence, since, for example, investing in the Paris Metro is very different to investing in the next-generation biorefinery, Industry 4.0 project, or next-generation manufacturing.
“The due diligence competency of the EIB has been developed, and the bank is able to effectively assess innovation projects. We now need to make sure that we bring forward good projects which then can benefit from the EFSI.”
Introduced under Horizon 2020, and replacing the RSFF, is InnovFin, a joint initiative between the EIB Group and the Commission as part of Horizon 2020. According to the EIB, the instrument “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 in order to support investments from the smallest to the largest enterprise”. By 2020, it is anticipated that InnovFin will make available over €24bn of debt and equity financing to innovative companies, thus supporting €48bn of investment in R&I.
Next steps
The Commission is currently finalising the next work programmes under Horizon 2020, covering the years of 2016-2017, with a budget of €10bn during 2016 alone, an 11.6% increase on 2015. Portal asked Smits what developments scientists and researchers could expect to see in the next two years.
“The 2016-2017 work programmes will support more than ever the political agenda of President Jean-Claude Juncker, be it on the Energy Union, Smart Cities, the Circular economy or the Digital Single Market.”
Brussels has made major advances in funding research and innovation with the creation of Horizon 2020. The success of the programme is underlined by the significant interest from the research community and the number of funding applications submitted. Coupled with a challenge-based approach, simplification and new tools to encourage the involvement of industry, the latest R&I framework appears to satisfy many of the demands of scientists and researchers.
The EU institution has now also attempted to allay fears that a cut in the budget of Horizon 2020 following the creation of the EFSI would damage opportunities presented in the framework programme. As the new fund begins its work this summer, along with the final adjustments to the new work programmes and an ever-increasing number of applicants to Horizon 2020, it will again be up to the research community to witness themselves that this R&I programme is truly a successful break from the past.
Robert-Jan Smits
DG Research & Innovation
European Commission

воскресенье, 26 июля 2015 г.

New measures to implement EU’s investment plan for growth

 Eugene Eteris, European Studies Faculty, RSU, Riga, 23.07.2015.
Print version

On 22 July 2015, the European Commission has put the final building blocks in place to kick-start investment in the real economy. An agreed package of measures will ensure that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is up and running by early autumn 2015, keeping the President Juncker’s Investment Plan a reality.

A short history on Investment Plan and EFSI is needed to comprehend the new package of measures, which was quick and turbulent in preparation.

On 13 January 2015, the Commission adopted a legislative proposal: the new Commission’s team had been in office for little bit over two months.

The EU member states unanimously endorsed Commission’s proposal on 10 March and the European Parliament’s committee voted in favor on 20 April 2015.

Then, just after four and a half months (i.e. on 28 May 2015), the EU legislators reached a political agreement on the Regulation for a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).
The European Parliament's plenary gave its final approval on 24 June 2015, allowing EFSI to be operational by early autumn as planned.

According to the European Council conclusions (December 2014), the EIB was invited to start investment activities by using its own funds already in January 2015. The EIB as the Commission's strategic partner has already announced several projects to be pre-financed (or "warehoused") in the context of the Investment Plan for Europe.

On 22 July 2015 the Commission decided to extend the EU guarantee to the projects pre-financed by the EIB and European Investment Fund (EIF), and with EIB appointed the members of the Steering Board. Members of the Investment Committee should be in place by September 2015 following an open call for candidates.

In September 2015, the European Parliament will hold a hearing to approve the candidates for the position of Managing Director and deputy Managing Director of EFSI. The Commission plans to have the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) up and running in autumn 2015, and the European Investment Project Portal (EIPP) by the end of 2015.

Research, Science and Innovation for EU’s growth

The Directorate General for Research & Innovation acknowledged that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) could add firepower to Horizon 2020 for innovative SMEs.
Besides, Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, on behalf of the Commission, signed an agreement (22.07.2015) with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) to enable the EFSI to enhance existing loan guarantee instruments.

This notably concerns the InnovFin SME Guarantee, a part of the new generation of financial instruments developed under Horizon 2020, which is the EU's research and innovation funding program.

C. Moedas said that the InnovFin instruments would help innovative SMEs to find access to need initial financial support. He added that the backing by the European Fund for Strategic Investments would help satisfy the extraordinary demand by ensuring more and faster access to finance for innovative SMEs. In this way the Investment Plan for Europe is expected to deliver for research and innovation while increasing the Horizon 2020 importance.

More on EU R&D and Horizon program see the Directorate General for Research & Innovation’s websites: = http://ec.europa.eu/research; = http://ec.europa.eu/horizon2020; = http://ec.europa.eu/innovation-union.

Investment Plan for Europe: need for changes

Since the global economic and financial crisis, the EU has been suffering from low levels of investment. Collective and coordinated efforts at European level are needed to reverse this downward trend and put Europe firmly on the path of economic recovery, which is the top priority of the Juncker Commission.

Compared to the 2007 peak, investments have dropped by around 15% in the EU. It is known that in the short term, weak investment slows economic recovery; in the longer term, the lack of investment hurts growth and competitiveness. However, weak investment in the euro area has a considerable impact on the capital stock, which in turn holds back Europe's growth potential, productivity, employment levels and job creation.

Initially, the Investment Plan included such priorities as removing obstacles to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects and making smarter use of new and existing financial resources.

To achieve these goals, the plan included the following priorities: a) mobilising investments of at least €315 billion in three years; b) supporting investment in the real economy, and c) creating an investment friendly environment.

See: http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/jobs-growth-investment/plan/index_en.htm

In the present version, the Investment Plan for Europe returns to the three initial objectives:

·         removing obstacles to investment by deepening the single market,
·         providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects and
·         making smarter use of new and existing financial resources.

According to European Commission estimates, the Investment Plan has the potential to add €330 to €410 billion to the EU's GDP and create 1 to 1.3 million new jobs in the coming years.
The Commission sees that there is sufficient liquidity in the EU, but private investors are not investing at the levels needed due to a lack of confidence and uncertainty among other factors, so the Investment Plan for Europe aims to address this.

Financing the European Fund for Strategic Investments, EFSI

It has to be noted that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is at the heart of the general EU’s Investment Plan. EFSI's challenge is to break the vicious circle of under-confidence and under-investment and to make use of liquidity held by financial institutions, corporations and individuals at a time when public resources are scarce.

EFSI is being set up within the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the EU Investment Fund. It will mobilise additional investments in the real economy in areas including infrastructure, education, research, innovation, renewable energy and energy efficiency. It will also focus on small- and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps (companies with between 250 and 3000 employees). EFSI will target projects that will, among other objectives, promote job-creation, long-term growth and competitiveness.

To establish EFSI, a guarantee of €16 billion will be created. The EU guarantee will be backed by a guarantee fund of €8 billion (half the amount) from the EU budget. The EIB will commit €5 billion, giving EFSI a risk absorbing capacity of €21 billion. EIB and European Commission’s experience indicates that 1 euro of subordinated debt catalyses 5 euro in total investment: € 1 in subordinated debt and on top of that 4 euro in senior debt. This means that € 1 of protection by the fund generates € 15 of private investment in the real economy that would not have happened otherwise. This 1:15 multiplier effect is a prudent average, based on historical experience from EU programs and the EIB.

The role of the EIB in the decision making is great: as a contributor to EFSI, the EIB will have representatives in the Steering Board. Since EFSI is operating within the EIB, any project supported by EFSI will also require approval according to the EIB’s regular procedures. EFSI financing for SMEs and mid-caps through the European Investment Fund (EIF) will equally require approval according to the EIF's regular procedures.

Connections between EFSI and the European Structural and Investment Funds, ESIF

Commission argues that EFSI regulation aims at full complementarity between EFSI risk financing opportunities and those of the European Structural and Investment Funds.
Both sources have different purposes and are implemented with different financial instruments. While EFSI focuses on attracting private investors in economically viable projects, the bulk of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) consist of grants.

The Commission is working on concrete guidance to managing authorities on how to better combine these opportunities.

In addition, the member states are encouraged to at least double the use of innovative financial instruments to optimise the impact of structural funds in the future.

A fictitious example can help to get the idea: building a road with a toll in an industrial centre might attract investors and could thus be more easily funded through EFSI. But building a road without toll in a rural area will probably not attract private investors and is therefore better funded through the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF).

The ways the EFSI can provide support to member states’ SMEs

EFSI will provide financing (using instruments such as equity, quasi-equity and others) for projects that are deemed high-risk, which is often missing in the current economic environment. This could be of benefit to small, innovative companies starting up, which investors tend to see as presenting higher risk than more established or larger companies. A quarter of the total investment catalysed by EFSI, or €75 billion over three years will go to SMEs and mid-caps via the European Investment Fund (EIF), which is part of the EIB group. SMEs normally receive finance via dedicated funds such as special purpose vehicles (SPVs), or intermediaries such as banks.

The EIF has already started co-financing SMEs: in May 2015 it signed a first agreement with a French bank to provide increased lending to innovative companies; followed by similar agreements with banks in other countries.

The SME Window of EFSI will support existing funding from the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises ("COSME") program and reinforce the implementation of the COSME Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF), which have seen a strong market demand but have limited budgetary resources. Thanks to a guarantee provided under EFSI the European Investment Fund (EIF) will be able to bring forward in time the signature of transactions with financial intermediaries compared to what would have been possible under the COSME budget alone. This will create multiple positive impacts, leading to further investments, growth and faster economic recovery.

The European Investment Project Portal: information for applicants

The European Investment Project Portal (EIPP) will improve investors' knowledge of existing and future projects all over Europe in an effort to increase transparency and maximise investor participation in financing (without any guarantee that these projects will be financed by public authorities).The project portal will enable EU-based project promoters that are seeking external financing to share their investment projects and ideas with potential investors. It will be managed by the European Commission and should be operational by the end of 2015.

General reference: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-5419_en.htm?locale=en

Eugene Eteris, European Studies Faculty, RSU, Riga, 23.07.2015.
Print version

четверг, 23 июля 2015 г.

ICT innovation: SMEs make best use of EU research funding


The Innovation Radar published its first survey, after analysing 279 projects funded by two European research programmes. These projects produced 517 innovations, mostly related to data processing or software development.
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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are champions of EU research programmes: they deliver 41% of the high potential innovations generated in ICT-related EU-funded research and innovation projects, despite accounting for a mere 14% of the total funding. However, greater focus on technology than on business strategies is one of the main bottlenecks when it comes to getting these innovations to the market.

These are some of the findings of the Innovation Radar survey which analysed information and communication technology (ICT) research and innovation projects funded by two European research programmes: the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP). The survey was conducted by the European Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC).
Other findings include:

    Germany, Spain and the UK host the highest number of organisations identified as key innovators (17%, 12.3% and 12% respectively) and are trailed by Italy (10.9%) and France (9.6%). As for cities, Barcelona tops the list by hosting 19 innovative organisations (universities, innovative SMEs, startups), followed by London and Paris with 17 each, and Milan with 16.
    However, reaching the market is not a smooth process for innovators: a quarter of already mature innovations are not being exploited yet. Among these, half were assessed as being innovations with high market potential. One of the main barriers to market commercialisation is that the projects' focus on technology aspects too often is at the expense of developing a market strategy. Of those innovations planned for commercialisation only 30% have or will produce a market study while a business plan is on the agenda for only 27% of the projects. That is why the European Commission is already improving links between innovators in EU-funded research projects and services that help such innovators prepare to "reach the market".
    Nearly 70% of the innovations surveyed are to be brought to market within two years. Currently, 10% of all innovations are already being exploited, either on the market or internally by a partner organisation.


The Innovation Radar report analysed 279 projects (10.6% of all projects funded by these EU programmes) in an exercise conducted from May 2014 to January 2015 to identify the high potential innovations and the key innovators behind them. These projects produced 517 innovations, mostly related to data processing or software development; whereas hardware development involved only a few projects. SMEs feature prominently in delivering high potential innovations, and are important vehicles for co-creating and commercialising innovative technologies.

This report was prepared in the context of a multiannual research project jointly developed by the JRC’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology. The project's objectives include better understanding of innovation in the ICT sector and of ICT-enabled innovation for the economy. It aims to provide evidence-based support to the policies, instruments and measurement needs of the Commission for enhancing ICT innovation in Europe, in the context of the Digital Single Market for Europe and Horizon 2020.

EU increases funding firepower for risky projects

The finance-boosting InnovFin scheme expands, with the addition of three new facilities

A new agreement signed by Commissioner for Research Carlos Moedas on Wednesday will see the EU provide more loan guarantees to small and medium-sized (SMEs) and mid-cap companies through its financing arms, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF).
The Commission announced it would bring forward €750 million to boost the InnovFin programme, the part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 research programme designed to make more money available for high-risk projects that cannot raise cash from traditional sources.
InnovFin vehicles, now numbering seven with the recent addition of three new ones, are designed to furnish risky projects with attractive conditions, all in the hope that otherwise risk-averse investors might take a punt.
The extra firepower is made possible because of backing from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), better known as the Juncker plan, a €315 billion scheme to boost private investment in European infrastructure projects. InnovFin will use EFSI money as collateral or backing for its own guarantee schemes, which in turn will be drawn upon if any of the loans it guarantees should default.
Explaining the new arrangement, Moedas said, "The InnovFin instruments that we put in place to help innovative SMEs access finance have had phenomenal success and have been oversubscribed for 2015. The backing of the European Fund for Strategic Investments will help satisfy the extraordinary demand by ensuring more and faster access to finance for innovative SMEs.”
“This is one tangible example of the Investment Plan for Europe already delivering for research and innovation and increasing the firepower of Horizon 2020,” Moedas claimed.
The Juncker plan is a move away from the traditional system of subsidies and grants to a financial market-driven, loans-based approach aimed at providing guarantees to private investors who are expected to queue up to fund energy, IT, broadband, transport and research projects chosen by Europe’s national governments. New financial vehicles
InnovFin will grow from four financial vehicles to seven. The three recently-added vehicles include:
  1. InnovFin SME Venture Capital facility, which will see the EIF co-finance investments by business angels in innovative SMEs and small midcaps that predominantly aim to commercialise new ICT-related products and services. With an initial EU financial contribution of €30 million to around 30 funds, the Commission expects this pilot to generate an amount of up to €120 million of investments.
  2. InnovFin Energy Demo Projects will support demonstration projects in the fields of renewable energy and hydrogen and fuel cells. It has been given €100 million to get off the ground.
  3. Similarly, InnovFin Infectious Diseases will ensure projects with a higher risk factor, such as new drugs, vaccines and medical and diagnostic devices, will receive loans. It has also been given €100 million.
The other four vehicles are:
  1. The Large Projects pot, which has been developed to improve access to risk finance for R&D projects developed by big entities. The range of loans is from €25 million to €300 million.  
  2. MidCap Growth Finance, which offers senior and subordinated loans or guarantees for innovative larger midcaps, with up to 3,000 employees, and also to SMEs and small midcaps. Loans will range from €7.5 million to €25 million.
  3. MidCap Guarantee, which offers guarantees or contingent loans of between €7.5 million and €25 million, to improve access to finance for innovative larger midcaps in particular. The EIB will backstop loans, in partnership with Europe’s banks.
  4. SME Guarantee, which is designed to open the door to loans of between €25,000 and €7.5 million for innovative SMEs. The European Investment Fund (EIF) is steering this in partnership with banks across Europe. Under this vehicle, banks will be guaranteed by the EIF against a proportion of any losses incurred on loans.
The programme was created to benefit mostly medium and large technology companies, and large-scale research projects such as European or national research infrastructure. However, it is open to private and public entities of any size and ownership, including SMEs, research organisations and public-private partnerships.
The predecessor of InnovFin, the Risk Sharing Finance Facility, operated from 2007 to 2013 as part of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme for research. Over this period it was involved with 114 projects, providing funding of €11 billion and loan guarantees worth over €1.4 billion.
One criticism of the risk-sharing instrument was that it did not cater well enough to SMEs, which tend to have trouble with complex loan arrangements.
There has been more effort this time on designing a vehicle that brings SMEs into the fold. 
Allay fears
The new announcement is seen as an effort to allay any fears that the fruits of the Juncker plan will not reach SMEs.
With reactions to the investment package so far mostly cautious or sceptical – feelings heightened after policymakers went looking for research money to help bankroll it – the inclusion of more commitments to small businesses is designed to play well with members of the European Parliament and national electorates.
One difficulty in selling the plan has been the relatively little cash put upfront by the Commission.
Seed money to launch the investment programme will total €21 billion - that is, just €8 billion of new EU cash, plus €8 billion of existing EU budget funds and €5 billion from the EIB. The EU then hopes to achieve a leverage ratio of 15 to turn this €21 billion into an investment of €315 billion.
However nine countries – the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia and Bulgaria – have since come out as willing to cough up additional national funding to help stir the pot.
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Related subjects: EIB, EIF, EFSI, InnovFin

Horizon 2020 Special Coverage

среда, 22 июля 2015 г.

Investment Plan for Europe: European Fund for Strategic Investments adds firepower to Horizon2020 for innovative SMEs

Today (22 July 2015) the European Commission has put the final building blocks in place to kick-start investment in the real economy. A package of measures agreed today will ensure that the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is up and running by early autumn 2015, keeping the ambitious timetable set by President Jean-Claude Juncker to implement the Investment Plan for Europe.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, today signed an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) that will enable the EFSI to enhance existing loan guarantee instruments. This notably concerns the InnovFin SME Guarantee, a part of the new generation of financial instruments developed under Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation funding programme.

Commissioner Moedas said: "The InnovFin instruments that we put in place to help innovative SMEs access finance have had phenomenal success and have been oversubscribed for 2015. The backing of the European Fund for Strategic Investments will help satisfy the extraordinary demand by ensuring more and faster access to finance for innovative SMEs. This is one tangible example of the Investment Plan for Europe already delivering for research and innovation and increasing the firepower of Horizon 2020.”

EFSI SME Window will enhance the Horizon 2020 InnovFin SME Guarantee instrument in several ways:

    it will significantly increase the currently available volume of financing to innovative SMEs by making immediately available €750 million initially planned for later commitments. The EIF will be able to enter into agreements with banks across the EU - such as have been recently concluded in France, Luxembourg, the UK or Italy - and to reach earlier the objective of €14 billion of supported investments
    in addition, EFSI will provide the EIF with the capacity to sign extra loans to innovative SMEs and small mid-caps
    amounts released from EFSI risk cover on InnovFin SME Guarantee will be redeployed to benefit SMEs. At least €420 million will be used to increase budgets available for InnovFin debt and equity products
    new products with an EFSI guarantee of around €900 million in total will further increase investments in innovative SMEs and small mid-caps

Globally, the EFSI SME Window is expected to support at least €30 billion of investments carried out by innovative SMEs and small mid-caps.

Today, in the context of the Horizon 2020 InnovFin facilities, the Commission, the EIB and the EIF also signed another agreement on a new pilot scheme run under the InnovFin SME Venture Capital facility, which will co-finance investments by business angels (BAs) in innovative SMEs and small midcaps that predominantly aim to commercialize new ICT-related products and services.

The aim of this pilot is to help overcome the deficiencies of the BAs financing environment by providing equity stakes in funds aiming to co-invest with or managed by BAs for the ultimate benefit of innovative SMEs and small midcaps located in the Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020, with a particular focus on Central and Easter Europe. With an initial EU financial contribution of €30 million, this pilot is expected to generate an amount of up to €120 million of investments.

Other decisions taken by the College of Commissioners today include:

    Confirmation of the projects pre-financed by the EIB will receive the backing of the EFSI guarantee: Copenhagen Infrastructure II / Abengoa research, development and innovation II / Energy efficiency in residential buildings / Grifols Bioscience R&D / Äänekoski bio-product mill / Redexis Gas Transmission and Distribution / Arvedi Modernisation Programme / Primary healthcare centres PPP
    The appointment, together with the European Investment Bank (EIB), of the members of EFSI’s Steering Board, including Robert-Jan Smits, European Commission's Director General for Research and Innovation, as alternate member.
    Final arrangements to launch the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) and decision on the management and main elements of the European Investment Project Portal (EIPP). The EIPP is a publicly available, secure web portal where EU based project promoters seeking external financing are given the opportunity to promote their projects to potential investors.


The economic crisis brought about a sharp drop of investment across Europe. That is why collective and coordinated efforts at European level are needed to reverse this downward trend and put Europe on the path of economic recovery. The Commission set out an approach based on three pillars: structural reforms to put Europe on a new growth path; fiscal responsibility to restore the soundness of public finances and cement financial stability; and investment to kick-start growth and sustain it over time. The Investment Plan for Europe is at the heart of this strategy.

On 28 May 2015, just four and a half months after the Commission adopted the legislative proposal on 13 January, EU legislators reached a political agreement on the Regulation for a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Member States unanimously endorsed it on 10 March and the European Parliament voted through the Regulation at their plenary session on 24 June, allowing the EFSI to be operational by early autumn as planned.

More Information:

    The Investment Plan for Europe – Questions and Answers

About Horizon 2020 and InnovFin

On 1 January 2014, the European Union launched a new research and innovation funding programme called Horizon 2020. Over seven years, almost €80 billion will be invested in research and innovation projects to support Europe’s economic competitiveness and extend the frontiers of human knowledge. The EU research budget is focused mainly on improving everyday life in areas like health, the environment, transport, food and energy. Research partnerships with the pharmaceutical, aerospace, car and electronics industries also encourage private-sector investment in support of future growth and high-skilled job creation.

"InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators", the new generation of EU financial instruments and advisory services was developed under Horizon 2020 to help innovative firms access finance more easily. "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" will help to inject around €50 billion in investments in Research and Innovation across Europe.


вторник, 21 июля 2015 г.

Kā sameklēt savai idejai naudu un padomu!

Lai uzsāktu jaunas idejas attīstību, uzņēmējam ir nepieciešams sameklēt investīcijas un cilvēkus, kas šai idejai notic. Kā viena
no alternatīvām finanšu piesaistei ir biznesa eņģeļi. Latvijā biznesa eņģeļi nav plaši pazīstami, un tāpēc sarunā ar biedrības
„Latvijas Biznesa Eņģeļu Tīkls” (LatBAN) izpilddirektori Ievu Melnbārdi uzzināsim par šo uzņēmēju darbību.
LatBAN mērķis ir paplašināt un attīstīt investoru tīklu Latvijā un atbalstīt jaunus un daudzsološus projektus. Tieši tāpēc biedrība reizi mēnesī organizē
Investīciju sesijas, kurās satiekas investori un jaunie uzņēmēji. Aicināti tiek visi investori (nu jau 43 biedri + 4 sadarbības partneri no citiem fondiem) un
6 jaunie uzņēmēji ar saviem projektiem.
1. Kas ir biznesa eņģeļi?
Biznesa eņģelis ir privātais investors, kurš ir guvis pieredzi uzņēmējdarbībā, un investē līdzekļus jaunos projektos. Viņš ir nozīmīgs atbalsts jaunajiem
uzņēmumiem ar izaugsmes potenciālu to agrīnā attīstības stadijā. Biznesa eņģelis sekmē gan savu, gan jauno uzņēmēju mērķi – attīstīt jaunu un
daudzsološu uzņēmējdarbību.
2. Kā šī ideja ir radusies?
Latvija nav vienīgā valsts, kurā darbojas biznesa eņģeļu tīkls - ir arī Eiropas Biznesa Eņģeļu Tīkls, kas sevī apvieno šādus tīklus un darbojas daudzās Eiropas
valstīs. Taču LatBAN darbojas kopš 2014. gada 29. aprīļa, kad vienkopus sanāca 23 privātie investori un pieņēma lēmumu šādu biedrību dibināt, lai veicinātu
investīciju vides attīstību. Investoriem biedrība ir kā „savedējs” ar jauniem projektiem un arī, savā ziņā, kvalitātes siets, jo projekti, kuru iesniedzēji tiek aicināti
uz ikmēneša Investīciju sesijām, pirms tam ir ekspertu izvērtēti un ar katru projekta biznesa līderi eksperts ir strādājis individuāli, lai apzinātu un novērstu
projektā esošās problēmas un iespējamos riskus.
3. Kāpēc jaunajiem uzņēmumiem ir svarīgi ne tikai saņemt finansiālos līdzekļus savas idejas realizācijai, bet arī pieredzējuša uzņēmēja atbalstu?
Biedrības dalībnieki, kas darbojas biedrībā, ir privātie investori, kas ir gatavi investēt savus privātos līdzekļus. Šos līdzekļus katrs no viņiem ir pats nopelnījis,
visbiežāk vadot savu biznesu. Līdz ar to katram no viņiem ir milzu pieredze biznesa vadībā. Investori ir saskārušies ar problēmām un gājuši cauri posmiem,
kuros šīs problēmas risina, kas ir laba mācībstunda turpmākajos biznesos. Tieši šīs zināšanas un pieredze ir noderīga jaunajiem, kam šādas pieredzes un
zināšanas nav.
4. Jauni uzņēmēji varētu domāt, ka privātais investors drīzāk ir ieinteresēts tikai savā labumā. Jūsuprāt, kādu mērķu vadīti darbojas biznesa eņģeļi?
Privātie investori galvenokārt investē, lai investēto naudu atgūtu ar uzviju. Taču ikviens no viņiem saprot, ka katru investīciju pavada liels risks. Līdz ar to var
apgalvot, ka investori ir azartiski, un viņiem ir interesanti sekot līdzi projektiem un izvēlēties investēt tieši daudzsološākajā projektā. Par to, kurš tāds ir, spriež
katrs individuāli, un tāpēc viņi ir ieinteresēti, lai projekts, kurā investēts, noritētu sekmīgi.
Turklāt daļai investoru ir interese ieguldīt projektos, kas, piemēram, ir saistīti ar viņu hobijiem. Tas ir kā labs veids, ar ko aizrauties arī emocionāli.
5. Kā jaunam uzņēmējam uzsākt sadarbību ar biznesa eņģeļi?
Lai jaunais uzņēmējs varētu klātienē uzrunāt privātos investorus, vispirms ir jāaizpilda pieteikuma anketa, kas atrodama mājas lapā www.latban.lv. Visi
projektu autori tiks aicināti uz atlasi, un katru mēnesi 6 labākie projekti aicināti uz tikšanos klātienē ar investoriem. Tur 3 minūšu laikā ir jāprezentē sava
ideja, pēc kuras investori 5 minūtes uzdod jautājumus. Pēc tam seko individuālas sarunas ar tiem investoriem, kas ir interesējušies par šo projektu. Biedrības
darbības laikā investīcijas saņēmuši jau 9 projekti, par 4 projektiem turpinās sarunas ar investoriem par iespējamām investīcijām.
6. Vai Jūs sadarbojaties arī ar citām valstīm un kā tas palīdz uzņēmējam?
LatBAN ir Eiropas Biznesa Enģeļu Tīkla biedrs. Sadarbojamies arī ar Igaunijas biedrību (EstBAN), Igaunijā
ir notikuši vairāki pasākumi, kuros uzstājās arī jaunie uzņēmēji no Latvijas un turp devās arī mūsu biedri,
privātie investori. Šādas aktivitātes veicina to, ka jaunajiem projektiem ir iespēja piesaistīt investīcijas ne tikaino Latvijas, bet investoriem ir iespēja investēt citu valstu projektos.
Vairāk informācijas par biedrības darbību un kontaktinformāciju var iegūt mājas lapā www.latban.lv.

Inovācija – no zināšanām līdz labklājībai

Progress, modernizācija, slinkums un kāre pēc peļņas - dzinuļu, kas veicina inovāciju, ir neskaitāmi daudz un katram no pasaulē plašāk pazīstamākajiem
inovatoriem tas ir bijis cits. Taču visus šos virzienus vieno kopīgs motīvs – ja zinātne pārvērš naudu zināšanās, tad inovācija pārvērš zināšanas naudā. Tieši
tad inovācijas process tiek uzskatīts par veiksmīgi noslēgtu, kad konkrētais jaunievedums ir nesis tā ieviesējam peļņu.
Latvijā šobrīd pieejama šāda inovācijas definīcija:
Inovācija ir process, kurā jaunas zinātniskās, tehniskās, sociālās, kultūras vai citas jomas idejas, izstrādnes un tehnoloģijas tiek
īstenotas tirgū pieprasītā un konkurētspējīgā produktā vai pakalpojumā
. (Ministru kabinetā apstiprinātā Komercdarbības konkurētspējas
un inovācijas veicināšanas programma 2007.-2013. gadam.)
• Lai sasniegtu inovācijas procesa gala rezultātu – jaunu vai uzlabotu produktu vai pakalpojumu, var izšķirt produkta inovāciju (uzlabots ražošanas gala
produkts), procesa inovāciju (uzlabots ražošanas process ar mērķi iegūt augstāku gala produkta tirgus vērtību), organizatorisko inovāciju (efektīvas
vadības sistēmas, sadarbības tīklu veidošana) un sociālo inovāciju (sociālās vides uzlabojumi – labklājība, nodarbinātība, kultūrvide u.c.)
• Lai noskaidrotu, vai uzņēmums ir inovatīvs, katrā valstī ir izstrādāta individuāla kritēriju sistēma, ņemot vērā gan saimnieciskās attīstības līmeni,
inovatīvās darbības atbalsta intensitāti, atbalstu tehnoloģiju izstrādei un ieviešanai, atbalstu eksportam u.c. rādītājus. Latvijā šobrīd inovatīvu
uzņēmumu definē pēc šādiem kritērijiem:
Inovatīvu uzņēmumu raksturo sekojoši priekšnosacījumi:
• Vismaz katru trešo gadu uzņēmums uzsāk ražot jaunu, konkurētspējīgu produktu vai ievieš jaunu tehnoloģiju,
lai celtu ražojumu konkurētspēju. Jaunie produkti vai pakalpojumi ir radīti izmantojot uzņēmuma iekšienē
pieejamās zināšanas un potenciālu vai arī piesaistot pētniecības un attīstības partnerus no Latvijas vai ārvalstīm.
• Uzņēmuma ieguldījumi jauna produkta vai pakalpojumu izstrādei katru gadu ir vismaz 2% no apgrozījuma.
Vai arī uzņēmums izpilda šādus kritērijus:
• Vismaz 25% no pārdošanas apjoma tiek iegūti no ražojumiem, kas nav vecāki par 5 gadiem.
• Peļņa no ražojumiem, kas nav vecāki par 5 gadiem ir vismaz 10% no kopējās gada peļņas.
• Pārdošanas apjoms no jauniem produktiem vai pakalpojumiem ik gadu pieaug vismaz par 5%.
Inovācija allaž ir bijusi ceļš uz labklājību daudzējādā ziņā. Ja šodien ar labklājību saprotam finansiālu nodrošinātību un sociālo stāvokli, tad pirmatnējam
cilvēkam, kurš atklāja uguni, tādējādi kļūstot par pirmo inovatoru, labklājība bija siltums, gaisma, pagatavota maltīte un iespēja aizsargāt sevi. Skatot
vēsturiskā perspektīvā, visi pasaules revolucionārie izgudrojumi un to pielietošana ražošanā vai dzīves kvalitātes uzlabošanai, ir tā laika nozīmīgas inovācijas.
Viens no inovācijas pazīstamākajiem izpausmes veidiem ir jaunu produktu attīstība. To nosaka gan straujā tehnoloģiju attīstība pasaulē, gan tirgus
pieprasījums, gan arī uzņēmumu savstarpējā konkurence. Tie uzņēmēji, kuri prot ātrāk izstrādāt un palaist tirgū jaunus, konkurētspējīgus un pieprasītus
produktus, iegūst lielāku tirgus daļu un peļņu. Tomēr ne vienmēr inovācija nozīmē jauna produkta vai tehnoloģijas izstrādi. Apskatot šo procesu no
mūsdienu perspektīvas, ir sarežģīti katrreiz pārsteigt ar ko pilnīgi jaunu. Inovācija var būt arī zināmu produktu ražošana no jaunām izejvielām, piemēram,
stikla briļļu lēcu aizvietošana ar plastmasas materiālu, ir inovācija, kas dod kvalitatīvāku un drošāku produktu gala lietotājam.
Inovācijas sistēma ir sociāli ekonomiskā vide, kurā īstenojas inovatīvā darbība.
Latvijā, tāpat kā citviet pasaulē, inovācijas sistēmu veido pamata elementi, kas ideālā gadījumā darbojas līdzsvarā un mijiedarbībā: izglītība, pētniecība,
uzņēmējdarbība, finanšu sistēma, likumdošana. Šie aspekti detalizētāk tiek analizēti Eiropas Komisijas (EK) ik gadu izdotajā Inovācijas savienības tablo
(Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015), kurā katra no kategorijām iedalīta vēl sīkāk un analizēta pēc Eiropas Savienības (ES) dalībvalstīs pieejamajiem datiem
un ekonomiskajiem rādītājiem. Diemžēl jāatzīst, ka pagaidām Latvija līdz ar citām valstīm, kas salīdzinoši nesen pievienojušās ES, uzrāda zemus rādītājus.
Analizējot šo tablo, ir redzams, ka līdz īstenai labklājībai vēl tāls ceļš ejams. Taisnības labad gan jāpiebilst, ka ne visas valstis katru gadu spēj nodrošināt
pilnīgu analizējamo datu apjomu (tostarp arī Latvija), tādējādi EK, veidojot pārskatu, nereti ir spiesta izmantot novecojušus vai aptuvenus datus.

Jaunumi par programmu Horizon 2020


Publicēti līdz šim apstiprinātie Horizon 2020 projekti
Visi līdz šim apstiprinātie Horizon 2020 projekti tagad ir publiski pieejami Cordis datubāzē. Šajā datubāzē iespējams aplūkot detalizētu informāciju par
projektiem, to mērķiem, izmaksām, koordinatoriem un dalībniekiem. Kreisajā vadības panelī izvēloties Programmes, var izdalīt Horizon 2020 programmu,
tālāk ir iespējams izdalīt projektus pēc uzsaukumu tematiem vai arī pēc valstīm, kas tos iesniegušas. Cordis datubāzē ir iespējams arī apskatīt iepriekšējos 6.
un 7. ietvarprogrammas projektus.

161 uzņēmumam piešķirts finansējums no Horizon 2020 SME Instrument apakšprogrammas
Finansējuma saņemšanai jaunākajā Horizon 2020 SME Instrument atlases 1. fāzē ir izraudzīts 161 mazais un vidējais uzņēmums (MVU) no 23 valstīm. Katra
projekta īstenotāji saņems 50 000 eiro priekšizpētes finansēšanai, kā arī varēs saņemt 3 dienas ilgu biznesa mentoringu.
SME Instrument 1. fāzei, kuras pirmais termiņš
bija 2015. gada bija 18. marts, Eiropas Komisija
saņēma 1569 projektu pieteikumus. No saņemtajiem
pieteikumiem 161 saņems finansējumu.
Ar 34 finansējuma saņēmējiem, Spānijas MVU
ir uzrādījuši vislabākos rezultātus. Kā nākamie
rezultatīvākie tiek minēti Itālijas (25) un Lielbritānijas
(18) uzņēmumi. Kopš programmas sākuma 2014.
gada 1. janvārī, finansējumu ir saņēmuši 816 MVU
visā Eiropā.

42 inovatīvi MVU saņems 68,5 miljonus eiro no Horizon 2020 SME Instrument
Jaunākajā Horizon 2020 SME Instrument 2. fāzes uzsaukumā 42 MVU no 14 valstīm ir izraudzīti finansējuma saņemšanai. Katra projekta dalībnieki saņems
līdz 2,5 miljoniem eiro lielu atbalstu inovāciju aktivitātēm un biznesa plāna izstrādei. Uzņēmumiem būs pieejams arī 12 dienu ilgs biznesa mentorings.
SME Instrument 2. fāzei Eiropas Komisija saņēma 614 pieteikumus, no kuriem 37 uzņēmumi tika izraudzīti finansējuma saņemšanai.
Visrezultatīvākie ir bijuši Spānijas MVU ar 7 uzvarētājiem, kas kopā saņems vairāk nekā 12,6 miljonus eiro.
Kā nākamos rezultatīvākos var minēt Itālijas, Somijas, Francijas, Nīderlandes un Lielbritānijas uzņēmumus. Kopš programmas sākuma 2014. gada 1. janvārī,
no 22 valstīm 214 MVU ir tikuši izraudzīti finansējuma saņemšanai SME Instrument 2. fāzē.

понедельник, 20 июля 2015 г.

Призыв к подаче проектов: "Поддержка молодых фермеров в начале предпринимательской деятельности”

Aдминистрирующая  организация: LAD
Ссылка на источник:
Цель проекта: стимулировать вовлечение в сельскохозяйственную деятельность молодых людей и обеспечить обновление рабочей силы в сельскохозяйственном секторе, поддерживая молодых людей, которые впервые основывают предприятие для производства сельскохозяйственной продукции.

Поддерживаемые претенденты:
Юридическое лицо
Физическое лицо
Индивидуальный комерсант
Фермерское хозяйство

Требования к  претенденту:
Физическое лицо
- в день подачи проектной заявки не старше 40 лет;
- получившее высшее образование или среднее професиональное сельскохозяйственное образование или начавшее обучение и получившее документ об образовании не позднее чем через 36 месяцев после подтверждения проектной заявки;
- не зарегистрировано как лицо ведущее хозяйственную деятельность дольше 24 месяцев перед подачей проектной заявки;
- впервый раз основывает, перенимает или наследует предприятие по производству сельскохозяйственной продукции, в течении 6 месяцев после подтверждения проектной заявки.
Юридическое лицо
- зарегистрировано не ранее 24 месяцев до подачи проектной заявки и занимается производством сельскохозяйственной продукции;

Поддерживаемые активности:
1 этап объявлен в секторе животноводства
Поддерживаются долгосрочные вложения в сектор животноводства.
- приобретение основных средств
- строительство новых зданий, перестройка или восстановление
- приобретение скота
- приобретение земли
Интенсивность поддержки:
40 000 евро, выплачиваемые в 2 частях
- 1 часть – 80% от общей суммы поддержки после подтверждения проектной заявки
- 2 часть – 20% после осуществления плана действий

Общий бюджет программы: 6 950 466 евро.
Срок подачи проектной заявки: с 14 августа 2015 до 15 сентября 2015
Продолжительность проекта:
Бизнес план подготавливается на срок от 2 до 4 лет, претендент должен вести хозяйственную деятельность в течении 4 лет после подтверждения проектной заявки.

воскресенье, 19 июля 2015 г.

Būs pieejams atbalsts jaunajiem lauksaimniekiem uzņēmējdarbības uzsākšanai

No 2015.gada 14.augusta līdz 2015.gada 15.septembrim būs atvērta projektu iesniegšanas kārta apakšpasākumā "Atbalsts jaunajiem lauksaimniekiem uzņēmējdarbības uzsākšanai”. Pirmās kārtas pieejamais publiskais finansējums apakšpasākumā būs EUR 6 950 466. Pasākuma ietvaros ir atbalstāmi ilgtermiņa ieguldījumi un vispārējās izmaksas lopkopības nozarē. Plašāk par tiem ieguldījumiem, kas tie atbalstīti pirmajā kārtā, var lasīt LAD mājaslapā.

Atbalsta pretendenti var būt gan fiziskas, gan juridiskas personas.

Ja atbalsta pretendents ir fiziska persona, jāievēro šādi nosacījumi:

-projekta iesnieguma iesniegšanas dienā nav vecāka par 40 gadiem;

-ir ieguvusi augstāko vai vidējo profesionālo lauksaimniecības izglītību, apgūstot lauksaimniecības priekšmetus vismaz 320 stundu apjomā saskaņā ar normatīvajiem aktiem par valsts un Eiropas Savienības atbalsta piešķiršanu lauku un zivsaimniecības attīstībai 2014.–2020. gada plānošanas periodā, vai ir uzsākusi mācības un izglītību iegūst 36 mēnešu laikā pēc tam, kad stājies spēkā lēmums par projekta iesnieguma apstiprināšanu;

-nav reģistrēta Valsts ieņēmumu dienestā kā saimnieciskās darbības veicējs, kas nodarbojas ar primārās lauksaimniecības produkcijas ražošanu, ilgāk nekā 24 mēnešus pirms projekta iesnieguma iesniegšanas Lauku atbalsta dienestā;

-pirmo reizi dibina, pārņem vai manto lauksaimniecības produkcijas ražošanas uzņēmumu vai saimniecību kā īpašnieks, to reģistrējot Uzņēmumu reģistrā sešu mēnešu laikā pēc tam, kad stājies spēkā lēmums par projekta iesnieguma apstiprināšanu.

Ja atbalsta pretendents ir juridiska persona, jāievēro šādi nosacījumi:

- ir reģistrēta vai pārņemta ne agrāk kā 24 mēnešus pirms projekta iesnieguma iesniegšanas un darbojas lauksaimniecības produktu ražošanā;

-dalībnieks ir fiziska persona, kas atbilst šo Noteikumu Nr.323 7.1. apakšpunktā minētajām prasībām un kurai pieder vismaz 51 procents pamatkapitāla daļu un paraksta tiesības vai kura ir saimniecības īpašnieks.

Finansējuma apmēra ierobežojums ir 40 000 euro, kas tiek izmaksāts divās daļās atbilstoši darījumdarbības plānam: pirmais maksājums 80 procentu apmērā no kopējā atbalsta, bet gala maksājums 20 procentu apmērā no kopējā atbalsta. Plašāka informācija par pieejamo publisko finansējumu, tā sadali un izmaksas kārtību pieejams LAD mājaslapā izvēlnē „Atbalsts jaunajiem lauksaimniekiem uzņēmējdarbības uzsākšanai”.

пятница, 17 июля 2015 г.

Призыв к подаче проектов: «Управление силовыми агрегатами грузового транспорта с учетом оптимизации эмиссии» (Powertrain control for heavy-duty vehicles with optimised emission)

Описание  проблемы: Снижение реальных выбросов и потребления топлива в сфере грузовых перевозок, является одной из основных проблем в секторе. Топливная эффективность и снижение выбросов зависят от того, как транспортные средства взаимодействуют друг с другом, их конструктивных особенностей и условий эксплуатации. Задача состоит в том, чтобы разработать новые средства регулирования  двигателя и контроля выбросов в оптимальном варианте  для каждого механизма для того, чтобы максимально использовать потенциал воздействия отдельных систем.

Область применения: Предложения должны сосредоточиться на методах оптимизации управления силовыми агрегатами с учетом конкретных транспортных задач. Это может быть достигнуто с помощью информации, предоставляемой новыми поколениями навигационных датчиков и систем выбросов, связанных с системой бортовой диагностики OBD / On Board измерительных систем в сочетании с электроникой и приводами. Стратегия заключается  в использовании таких параметров, как назначение транспорта (общий вес конструкции транспортного средства, и т.д.), движения и погодных условий, рельефа и дорожной сети по выбранному маршруту, характера движения  окружающих транспортных средств, состояние двигателя внутреннего сгорания после ремонта, его трансмиссии, контроля выбросов  и т.д. Полученные технологии должны обеспечить глобальную оптимизацию  потребления (топлива, электрической энергии и других расходных материалов, связанных с контролем выбросов, таких как мочевина или аммиак) и вредных выбросов и быть подтверждено путем демонстрации.

Комиссия считает, что проекты с запрашиваемым вкладом от ЕС между 5 EUR 7 млн. каждый, позволит эту конкретную задачу решать соответствующим образом. Тем не менее, это не исключает представления и выбора предложений, запрашивающих другие суммы.

Ожидаемый эффект: должно быть продемонстрировано снижение расхода топлива по меньшей мере на 20% по сравнению с  транспортным средством управляемым традиционным образом, при условии не превышения  пределов выбросов, установленных  по  процедурам Евро VI.

Формат реализации: Инновационные действия
Крайний срок подачи заявок: 15-10-2015 17:00:00
Общий бюджет призыва: €30,000,000