вторник, 28 марта 2017 г.

The European Union is about opportunities

EU investments create opportunities

Support to get projects off the ground, tailored grants and schemes available at all stages and ages of life, smart lending to trigger additional investments, targeted funding to modernise, develop and interconnect… The European Union is about opportunities that deliver concrete benefits, boost job creation and make a difference locally.

EU investments make a difference near you

EU investments trigger improvements that matter in our everyday lives: better education, modernised healthcare, greener energy, new transport infrastructure, advanced technology, are just a few examples. The results are visible in every town, every region and in the most remote corners of the continent.

The stories behind EU investments

Behind every EU investment, there are people's stories. Stories of new recruits, workers, farmers, self-entrepreneurs, school children, apprentices, beekeepers, researchers, merchants, students, transport users, artisans… They are best placed to tell about their experience. This platform puts the spotlight on a collection of stories that are happening in the EU right now.

Looking for Europe's next innovation leader

RegioStars Awards

RegioStars Awards identify good practices in regional development and highlight original and innovative projects that are attractive and inspiring to other regions.
Think your project deserves to be known and rewarded? Then, submit it!
After being selected by an independent jury, representatives from the finalist projects will be invited to attend the Award Ceremony. You might be one of the winners!

The Award Categories for 2017 are:

  1. Smart Specialisation for SME innovation
  2. Energy Union: Climate action
  3. Women Empowerment and Active Participation
  4. Education and training
  5. CityStars: Cities in Digital Transition
This year's RegioStars award ceremony will take place on Tuesday, October 10, during the 2017 European Week of Regions and Cities.
Finalist projects will be acknowledged throughout the selection process and during the ceremony. Winners in each category will receive a RegioStars trophy, a short video about their project and a social media promotional package.
Submit your project with the endorsement of the responsible Managing Authority or let your regional or local Managing Authority know that you wish to participate.
If you have any other questions contact us at regiostars2017@iservice-europa.eu.
To help you prepare your application, we provide the application form in Word format. However, as of this year, applications can no longer be sent in a Word document, but have to be submitted directly via the online form on the RegioStars platform.
Deadline for submitting your application: 10 April

четверг, 23 марта 2017 г.

BRIDGE-H2020 - public website is now online!

The BRIDGE initiative, in which NOBEL GRID is member, has launched its website, where visitors could find for each BRIDGE working group (Data Management, Business Models, Regulations, Customer Engagement) their public outcomes.
BRIDGE, established in November 2015,  is an initiative from the European Commission which unites Horizon 2020 Smart Grid and Energy Storage Projects to create a structured view of transversal issues which are encountered in the demonstration projects and may constitute an obstacle to innovation.
Since 2016 BRIDGE has grown from 17 projects, involving 242 individual organisations in 23 countries, to 29 projects involving 332 organisations in 29 countries (five outside of the EU). The total EC contribution to all projects is €237 million.
BRIDGE gathers twice a year to share knowledge, experience, best practices as well as speak to the European Commission with one voice. The next meeting is scheduled on November 2017.
Add BRIDGE in your bookmaks: http://h2020-bridge.eu!

среда, 15 марта 2017 г.

A Public Private Partnership to strengthen the European cybersecurity industry

Европейские смарт сити. Краткий обзор развития

Хотя первые «умные города» появились не в Европе, именно здесь наибольшее развитие получила практика создания смарт сити на базе существующего городского пространства. Очевидно, что европейцы не могут себе позволить строить города “с нуля”, подобно тому, как это, например, происходит в Южной Корее в случае с Сонгдо. С другой стороны, корпоративные кварталы, наподобие района Фудзисава, построенного Panasonic, также не пользуются большой популярностью. Возможно, свою роль играет разница в культуре.
Сегодня, по данным сайта eu-smartcities.eu, в европейских городах реализуются около тысячи различных проектов, связанных с развитием смарт сити. Причем из 300 городов больше всего инициатив приходится на  испанские и итальянские. Отметим сразу, что это лишь приблизительное количество, так как часть проектов осуществляется под эгидой частных компаний, таких как IBM или Cisco, часть в рамках реализуемой Еврокомиссией программы Digital Agenda, а часть — на уровне гражданских инициатив.
Смарт сити развиваются очень динамично – новые проекты в рамках этой концепции появляются каждый день.
Как и во всем мире, концепция «умного города» появилась в Европе в конце нулевых – начале десятых годов. Первые проекты, связанные со смарт сити, были реализованы в 2011–12 годах в таких городах, как Стокгольм и Барселона. В 2013–14 годах уже появились первые планы по их реализации и в других местах. Вскоре акцент на то, чтобы «поумнеть» сделали практически все европейские столицы.


вторник, 14 марта 2017 г.

Over €100M to finance energy innovation in SMEs across Europe

Renewable energy i.e. solar, wind and biomass, and energy efficiency projects account for 40% of the investments made through the SME Instrument in the field of energy. Top three countries include Spain, Italy and UK with most projects funded.
Energy-funded projects represent 14% of all projects under Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. Its 327 projects contribute to achieving the EU energy initiative goals.
Looking at the country statistics, Spanish SMEs received €23 million for 69 projects followed by Italian companies amounting for €17 million with 49 projects. UK tops three with €12 million invested in 35 projects.
More to explore:

Commission to invest over €103 million in 71 innovative companies under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument

71 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) from 22 countries have been selected for funding in the latest round of the Horizon2020 SME Instrument Phase 2
The total amount to be distributed between the SMEs working on 66 projects is €103.82 million. In this phase of the instrument, each project will receive up to €2.5 million (€5 million for health projects) to finance innovation activities.
Spanish SMEs were the most successful with 19 companies selected for funding. They were followed by five companies from both Germany and Ireland. Most projects are in the field of ICT and transport (10 projects each) followed by 9 projects in the field of low-carbon and energy efficient systems.
The European Commission received 1534 project proposals by 18 January 2017, the first cut-off date for Phase 2 in 2017. Since the launch of the programme on 1st January 2014, 641 SMEs have been selected for funding under Phase 2.
Funding under Phase 2 of the instrument allows companies to invest in innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up and miniaturisation, in addition to developing a mature business plan for their product. The companies will also benefit from 12 days of business coaching. Most projects are proposed by a single SME but some companies team-up to elaborate a project.
The next cut-off for SME Instrument Phase 2 is on 6 April 2017.

понедельник, 13 марта 2017 г.

Less than halfway in, Horizon 2020 has received as many applications as FP7

It is no secret that the EU’s research programme, Horizon 2020 - with €77 billion of funding available from 2014 to 2020 - is a hit.
From the very beginning, it has been straining under an avalanche of grant applications and according to EU Research Commissioner Carlos Moedas, has now received as many as its predecessor, Framework Programme 7, which ran between 2007 and 2013.
“We’ve received 140,000 proposals already for Horizon 2020 – the same amount we received during [the entirety of] FP7,” Moedas told an audience in Brussels yesterday.
The statistic is one which should conceivably strengthen the Commissioner’s hand in negotiations for the next EU spending cycle, beginning in 2021.
The figure also provides plenty of proof for the Commission’s claims that applying for Horizon 2020 grants requires less effort from researchers than previously.
The downside, of course, is that with such hot competition, many more researchers are seeing their applications for EU funding fail, at a time when many national R&D budgets have decreased.
The success rate is low by the standard of research programmes, hovering between 12 and 14 per cent – a sharp fall from the average 19 to 21 per cent odds that researchers enjoyed under FP7.  

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017

These technologies all have staying power. They will affect the economy and our politics, improve medicine, or influence our culture. Some are unfolding now; others will take a decade or more to develop. But you should know about all of them right now.


вторник, 7 марта 2017 г.

Lingvist closes its SME Instrument project with extra private investment!

We love to hear back from companies we fund - especially when they have great news! Innovative language learning platform Lingvist recently finished their Horizon 2020 project and, thanks to the funding, attracted additional private investment, most recently from global Internet services company Rakuten – to the tune of €7.2 million. Congratulations Lingvist!
Lingvist, the innovative language learning platform delivering individually tailored, AI-powered language courses for fast, effective learning, is announcing today that it has successfully concluded its partnership with the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.
Having received a €1.5 million grant in May 2015 from the European SME Instrument initiative, Lingvist has used the funding to develop its innovative language learning platform. The grant provided Lingvist with the resources to increase the efficiency of the software, bringing the app closer to its goal of making language learning 10 times faster. The programme also helped Lingvist expand its language offerings, creating new courses such as Spanish, French, German, Russian and English. 
Horizon 2020 is the EU’s biggest Research and Innovation programme, with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years. The programme enables companies to focus on research and development, scale, and quickly produce tangible results.
 "The Horizon2020 programme, via the ‘SME Instrument’, has been incredibly helpful in developing Lingvist. It’s been a great success for us, because it has helped us to continue working towards our goal of empowering people to learn. Working on a game changing language learning platform requires strong support from both public and private partners and we are very happy to have had H2020 as one of our supporters", said Mait Müntel, Lingvist, CEO.
Looking back on the partnership, Bernd Reichert, Head of Unit for Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, commented: “With the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, we aim to support market-creating innovation in Europe. Lingvist is one of the first Phase 2 beneficiary to finish its project. Their disruptive project is a great example of the brilliant innovations we are funding. With their track-record of success, we are proud to count them among the top European innovators of our programme. They are certainly an exemplary success story of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme!"
Read more about Lingvist.

Developing products in healthcare biotechnology? We have € 80m to fund innovations under H2020 SMEInstrument!

четверг, 2 марта 2017 г.

Information & Networking event: LIFE 2017 call for project proposals

Mark your agendas and register now:
31 May 2017, Brussels – Information & Networking Event on the 2017 funding opportunities for green technology, nature conservation and climate projects under the EU's LIFE programme.

As part of the EU Green Week, the European Commission is organising an information and networking event to advise applicants on the LIFE programme's 2017 call for traditional projects.
The call for proposals will be launched on 28 April, with deadlines in September 2017. 

LIFE 2017 call for project proposals – A new opportunity for green jobs and growth

In 2017, there is more than €390 million available in funding, in particular, for:
  • Environmental technologies and solutions (including close-to-market)
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation measures,
  • Nature conservation and biodiversity projects, and
  • Climate and environmental governance and information initiatives.
Representatives of businesses, industry, NGOs, and local and regional authorities are particularly invited to join the event on Wednesday, 31 May, between 10:00 - 16:00 in Brussels.

Draft programme

Information session - Part 1
LIFE 2017 call for project proposals – A new opportunity for green jobs and growth.
The EU's LIFE programme has been funding nature conservation, green technology and climate action projects all over Europe for more than 25 years. LIFE-funded projects have created profitable green businesses with sustainable jobs contributing to the emergence of a green jobs market. At this information session participants will learn about opportunities for project funding under the 2017 call for proposals on close-to-market environmental solutions, biodiversity, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Information session - Part 2
LIFE 2017 call for project proposals - A new opportunity for green jobs and growth. 
Networking session
Participants interested in applying for LIFE funding will have the chance to find potential project partners or seek advice from European Commission experts and National Contact Points in one-to-one meetings. Once registered to the LIFE side session, you will be invited to upload your profile in a matchmaking tool to help you find matching profiles and set up bilateral meetings.

Live webcast

The information session will be webcast live. The links will be published on the EU Green website and on this page. Access is free and does not require prior registration.

How to get there

The event takes place in the Crowne Plaza hotel, Rue Gineste 3, Brussels - 1210, Belgium.




среда, 1 марта 2017 г.

Think your project is too small to present to investors? Partner up & get on the #EIPP portal : http://ec.europa.eu/eipp

How to perfect your pitch - tips for SME Instrument Innovators

Pitching your project is the essential step to get investors, angles, partners or clients interested in your brilliant idea. No doubt that you are already masters at this, but it's always useful to have more insights from the the people who listen to this all day long as their jobs. Here are a few tips and tricks we gathered from top investors at the SME Instrument Innovators Summit to make your pitch worth the elevator ride.
1. What are investors really looking for?
Here's a list of must-haves to get investors' confidence:
  • Ability to recruit
This means that you're managing your money well and that growth isn't just a wish but an actionable goal
  • A skilled team
Possible investors will be asking you: "Are they good enough to become market leaders? Will this team's soft and hard skills be enough to take this startup to another level?" It's crucial to highlight your team's strengths as early and as well as possible.
  • Underlying market growth
Is this SME a game changer? Is it going to enhance its market? If you answer "Yes" to both questions, make sure investors know that!
  • A scalable business model
If your business has the potential to multiply revenue, expand to different markets or even travel to new locations, mention it and explain how!
  • A solid financial plan
You might have a great idea, but that isn't enough. You need a plan that includes fixed and variable costs, projection of profitability, key resources, and all other financial details that are important for potential investors. A financial plan will help you describe concretely how you will implement your vision and goals.
  • Long term value
Will the company's health and well-being last in time? Don't skip this step when talking to an investor and your company might just be the one they invest in
2. Prepare your pitch? Answer these 3 questions
The magic recipe to deliver a good pitch is to keep three questions in mind. Keep your answers short and simple so that the messages are clear to your audience.
  1. What are you selling?
Whoever is listening to you needs to understand, in a few seconds, what is your business and what you are selling? Be straight forward and brief.
  1. What are your customers?
Show that you have done propoer research on your market. Who are you selling your product to? Why do they need this? 
  1. Why should they pay for it?
What need or problem are you solving by bringing your project on the market? If by now your audience is convinced…this will be the validation that your project is amazing. Again: keep it short and simple.
3. How to take your pitch from good to amazing
  • If you're making money, you should mention it!
If you have investors among your audience, this is even more crucial! They need an answer to this question: is this worth investing in? Let the numbers speak by themselves. Use figures! 
  • Accept that scripting the presentation doesn't work for everyone.
Sometimes you should go with the flow and be genuine. Prepare yourself beforehand nevertheless (you can try practicing in front of other people before) and make sure you stick to your timeframe.
  • Engage with the audience
You want your audience to give you all the attention. Look at them. Ask questions, note who is resisting, and look for nods when presenting an idea.
  • Use storytelling 
If your product is too technical and there's a high probability of being completely unknown to 99% of your audience, just tell a story. Putting products in real life situations helps to keep the audience engaged.
  • Prepare as much as you can for Q&A.
Prepare for trick questions and enquiries for more information. If you don't know the answer - don't give a blurry response. Just let the audience know that you haven't approached your work from that perspective.