Clusters AI call for projects

Call description

Proposal Submission Date: 15 June 2020

Initiated by European industry, Eureka Clusters are long-term and strategic initiatives that help develop technologies of key importance for European competitiveness using a “bottom-up” industry-driven approach. The Clusters facilitate industrial development for both large companies and SME’s working with Research and Technology Organisations (RTO’s) and Universities, through collaborative projects creating innovative ecosystems that can deliver high economic and societal impact in multiple sectors of the economy.

The Eureka Clusters CELTIC-NEXT, EURIPIDES²-PENTA, EUROGIA, and ITEA3, have perceived a common cross domain interest in developing, adapting and utilising emerging Artificial Intelligence within and across their focus areas. These Clusters, together with a number of Eureka Public Authorities, are now launching a Call for innovative projects in the AI domain. The available budget for this AI Call will be an over 40M€, supported by at least 15 countries.  The aim of this Call is to boost the productivity and competitiveness of European industries through the adoption and use of AI systems and services.

Eureka Clusters AI Call Portal

The participating Clusters are listed here and their full information can be found via their respective websites: 

Time to invest in AI

Artificial Intelligence is a rapidly developing technology with the potential to influence or transform almost every aspect of the economy and society. In depth knowledge and leadership in developing and applying this powerful capability is an essential requirement, if industry is to maintain its leadership in multiple application areas, or take advantage of new opportunities.

This Eureka Clusters AI Call is specifically designed to stimulate activity in this important area, through the creation of trans-national collaborative projects in applications that will support economic growth and benefit society as a whole.

Participants are invited to submit applied research and innovation project proposals in the field of Artificial intelligence, indicating, where possible, how they are related to the technological focus area of the participating Clusters most relevant to their proposal.

Table 1 shows a non-exclusive list of possible application areas for this Call but other AI topics are also welcome.    

Table1: Possible Application areas for the Eureka Clusters AI Call

  • AI for Agriculture
  • AI for a Circular Economy
  • AI for Climate Response
  • AI for Cybersecurity
  • AI for eHealth
  • AI for Electronic Components and Systems
  • AI for ICT and applications
  • AI for Industry 4.0
  • AI for Low Carbon Energy
  • AI for Transport & Smart Mobility
  • AI for Safety
  • AI for Smart Cities
  • AI for Software Innovation
  • AI for Smart Engineering
  • ….… and many more.

Characteristics of a Successful Proposal

Proposals should primarily target taking Artificial Intelligence technologies beyond the State-of-the-Art in whichever targeted application domains are addressed. Innovative projects targeting Communications, Electronic Components and Systems, and Software that enable AI applications are also welcomed in the Call. The topics suggested in this document should be considered as indicative and not exclusive. New ideas are always welcome.

The Call is looking for projects that will form innovative ecosystems, with AI at their core, that will enable advances in the State-of-the-Art and result in opportunities for commercial and/or societal impact in the application areas addressed. The intent is to bring together partners from across the broad AI adopters Community of all types (Large Enterprise, SME’s, Research & Technology Organisations and Universities) into collaborative teams that will be able to demonstrate a high impact in the chosen application area at the end of the project.

“Mid-size” projects with eligible costs in the range of 2-10MEuro are expected, though projects outside this range may also be submitted for evaluation. As always, it is essential that project partners hold in depth meetings with the representatives of the Public Authorities in the countries from which they wish to gain support, to understand detailed eligibility requirements.

Participating Countries

Within the Eureka framework, this Cluster Call on AI has already received over 40M€ of funding commitments and expressions of support from the countries listed here. :

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Turkey
  • Spain
  • Singapore (Non Eureka member)
  • Sweden
  • South Korea

All Eureka countries are invited to support this Call and/or individual proposals. However, project partners from other Eureka countries, or countries outside of Eureka, must secure their national funding within the deadlines for the Call to participate. 

In all cases, it is strongly recommended that potential project partners contact their supporting Public Authority to check their eligibility for support under this Call.  National eligibility criteria and funding rules for this AI Call can be found on the AI Call website.

Eligibility criteria

Proposals must meet the following criteria:

  • The consortium should include at least two companies from different Eureka participating countries. The participation of research institutes/universities is welcome according to each country’s funding regulations.
  • The project partners must express their willingness to cooperate, on a win-win/fair basis in the development of a new product, industrial process Industry standard or service.
  • The product, process or service must be innovative and there must be a technological risk involved.
  • The project should benefit all involved partners in a well-balanced consortium. SME’s are explicitly encouraged to participate in the proposals.
  • The project should generate an obvious advantage and added value resulting from the technologic cooperation between the participants (new technologies, standardisation, prototyping, field trials, new or improves products, increased knowledge, access to R&D infrastructure etc.).
  • Economic and Societal benefits to be obtained (where relevant) must be highlighted in the project proposal.
  • A project consortium or cooperation agreement (PCA) must be signed between the project partners as soon as possible after the project starts. PCA templates are available for use if required.

Any organisation whose collaborative industrial research and innovation project is consistent with the above criteria can apply to the Call and funding could be provided by each funding agency afterwards in accordance with their national participation procedures, and subject to budgetary availability.

Each participating funding body may apply additional eligibility criteria based on their national regulations. Applicants are strongly advised to contact their funding body, prior to submitting their application, to discuss their project idea and check the national eligibility criteria which would apply to their participation in the project.

Partners from other Eureka countries or countries outside of Eureka can also participate, but funding must be secured within these countries.

How to submit your AI projects

The Clusters AI Call is using a one-step submission process where a Full Project proposal should be submitted by the 15 June 2020. Proposals may be submitted via the dedicated AI Call portal .

Submitting a proposal will be a simple procedure of registering on the portal where the key characteristics of the proposal may be submitted through online forms and the document version of the detailed work descriptions, as requested in the AI Call proposal template, can be uploaded.

Each project participant should also contact their national funding agency (as early in the process as possible) and follow their advice regarding national funding applications in parallel to the proposal submission.

Identifying your focus areas with the Clusters competence profiles

On submission of a proposal, Project Leaders will have the option of indicating which of the participating Clusters they would like to support them through the project submission, evaluation and subsequent monitoring process.

Proposals should select the Cluster best aligned to the key technology focus area(s) in their proposal as this will allow the appropriate Cluster to provide the best level of technological support and knowledge to look after the proposal. The participating clusters have aligned their processes and procedures to support this Call so that there is no operational advantage or disadvantage when choosing a supporting Cluster.

If a Proposal team considers that their project idea addresses two areas of Cluster expertise, they may select a second Cluster to jointly oversee their proposal. In this case the both clusters will share the responsibility for the proposal through evaluation and through its operational life as required.  There is no advantage or disadvantage in terms of success rate by selecting two Clusters. This facility is to ensure the appropriate technical competence is always on hand to evaluate and support the proposals.

Project teams who are unsure of which route to follow can receive impartial advice via the contact link on the Call webpage, and/or from their National Public Authority.  The respective Cluster websites can also be consulted for further information on the areas of expertise that they can support.

Evaluations of Proposals

The proposals will be evaluated by the well-established Clusters evaluation processes. The proposals will be evaluated by the Experts from the supporting Clusters and the relevant Public Authorities.

The Experts are highly experienced individuals, selected by the participating Clusters, who have the necessary skills to evaluate the technological potential and business opportunities of the AI related proposals. All Experts are subject to strict non-disclosure agreements. Public Authorities will also perform their own evaluations based on their national requirements.

Proposals reaching the necessary quality standards will receive the AI Call label and be recommended for funding.

Funding details

The AI Call is explicitly supported by the 15 Eureka countries, as listed above. In addition, other Eureka and non-Eureka countries can support the Call if they wish. In all cases, it is the responsibility of the submitting project team to contact the Public Authority representatives of the countries that they wish to involve, to ensure that the option of funding is available.

Contact details of the supporting countries and other Eureka contacts can be found on the Eureka website and on the AI Call website.

Eureka Funding is based on National funding policies and arrangements and, as such, is subject to National terms and conditions. It is required that each project participant will submit an application for support in line with National funding processes immediately after, or in parallel with, their project proposal submission.

Projects are expected to kick off in the period from mid-November 2020 to the beginning of 2021.

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.