Finland France call for innovative projects

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The call closes on 26 September 2022

Eureka is the world’s biggest public network for international cooperation in R&D and innovation, present in over 45 countries. It is a decentralised intergovernmental organisation aiming to boost the productivity and competitiveness of industries by funding and supporting international collaborative market-driven R&D projects.

This call for projects has been launched following Eureka’s Network projects framework based on mutual consent between participating national and regional funding bodies.
The national funding bodies from France and Finland have allocated funding for organisations collaborating on international R&D projects.

You can submit your R&D project application for this call for projects between 17 May and 26 September 2022. Your project consortium must include at least one company from France and one from Finland.

Participating Countries/Regions

  • Finland
  • France

Scope

This project call is for R&D projects in any field of activity. However, the Call has been launched to support industrial collaboration in order to attain global excellence in Artificial Intelligence and services related.

The French objective is to create French and European champions from networks of interdisciplinary artificial intelligence institutes, and also from the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Finnish objective is to join forces with France and give opportunities for Finnish enterprises to share their competence in the industrial ecosystems.


Collaboration through innovation projects is an opportunity offered by Eureka Network, supported by the national funding bodies Bpifrance and BF. This allows the enterprises to establish strategic long-term alliances and reach high-level results.
Your project should demonstrate the potential to research or develop a product, process or service for commercialisation.

The industry sector encouraged to joint projects is sustainable manufacturing. This is not exclusive so other sectors can get funding too.

The technology approach promoted is Artificial Intelligence, with services related to the following as an example:

  • Intelligent robotics solutions
  • Imaging and machine vision
  • Simulation in product and process design

Timeframe

  • 17 May 2022 Call opens, submission period starts
  • 26 Sept 2022, 18:00 CEST Submission deadline of Eureka application
  • 31 Oct 2022 Submission deadline of national applications to Bpifrance and to Business Finland
  • Projects will be able to begin late 2022 or early 2023, once the funding decisions are clear.

Funding

The funding support will be given to each eligible partner by its own National Authority. Funding conditions and eligibility criteria may vary from country to country. The information regarding funding for each country is explained below.

France:

Bpifrance will finance industrial research and/or technical development activities of French companies. Universities and research centers could take part as self-funded or subcontractors.

Bpifrance could conduct a first “pre-eligibility check” as soon as the company contact the team before submitting the application.

Once the application is submitted, Bpifrance will first evaluate the technical project and, if the project get a score good enough, will open a national founding application.

Once the national funding application is submitted, the regional relationship manager will evaluate the project and decide of the type of funding and amount.

The French funding scheme (ADI – Aide pour le Développement de l’Innovation) is the following:

  • Eligible partner: Innovative company up to 2000 FTE
  • Eligible costs: Industrial research and experimental development (industrialization and commercialization costs are not eligible)
  • Funding amount: from € 50,000 up to € 3 Million (subject of financial analysis of the company and financial conditions) 
  • Funding type: Reimboursable advance in case of technical success or deferred R&D loan 
  • Duration: maximum of 36 months

NB: if the company is considered as a deeptech company, the funding could be different. In any case, all the above information could be adapted to the profile and project of the company.

Before the application, the French partner could also apply to a Diag Partenariat Tech International, if they plan on working with an external expert to help them build their consortium, project or application. The Diag is a grant covering up to 50% of the expert’s consultancy services (within the limit of a 25 000€ excluding VAT contract, ie 30 000€ including VAT) and planning on helping companies structuring their international collaborative project.

Finland

BF’s funding is intended for challenging and innovative research and development projects in SMEs, large companies, universities and research institutes. The main target group are SMEs seeking growth in internationalization. International cooperation and its impact should be visible. Companies should have a credible internationalization plan and real business goals including export targets.

Funding may be a low-interest loan or a grant, depending on the stage of the innovation and the nature of the proposed project. BF uses the same percentages of support as in national projects, but a bonus will be granted if applicable.

Enterprises can apply for grant funding up to 50% of the eligible costs, depending on the type of organization and the type of activities (up to 70% loan in certain cases). Public Research Organisations can receive up to 70 % funding, specific national co-innovation project funding rules apply. There is no specific Euro limit for the project size and funding may be granted to all areas of technology and there is a continuous call.

In this Eureka call, projects related to the sustainable manufacturing sector are encouraged.

Eligibility

Eureka has limited eligibility criteria for organisations participating in a Network projects consortium:

  • Your project idea must represent international cooperation in the form of a specific project. 
  • The project must be directed at researching or developing an innovative product, process or service with the goal of commercialisation. 
  • The project must have a civilian purpose.
  • Your consortium must include at least two independent legal entities from France and Finland
  • No single organisation or country can be responsible for more than 70% of the project budget.

This call for projects has additional criteria for organisations to be eligible to receive funding:

Bpifrance has additional criteria for French organisations to be eligible to receive funding:

  • French companies up to 2000 FTE are eligible for funding
  • Academic partners can join on a self-funded/subcontractor basis
  • Other type of actors might join but won’t receive any funding

Business Finland has additional criteria for Finnish organisations to be eligible to receive funding:

  • Different rules apply for small and medium-sized enterprises, midcap companies (large companies with turnover < 300 M€), large companies, and research organisations.
  • The impact of the international cooperation should be clear, and the participating companies should have a credible internationalization plan and business goals including export targets. Important criteria for SMEs and Midcaps.
  • If public research organisations are involved the so-called Co-innovation criteria apply.
  • BF contact people will give detailed advice of the applicable rules – please contact them prior to submitting the Eureka application.

Evaluation

Your project application will be reviewed according to our Network projects evaluation methodology.

Impact

  • Is the market properly addressed (i.e. size, access and risks)?
  • Is the value creation properly addressed (i.e. employment opportunities and environmental and societal benefits)?
  • What are the competitive advantages of your project (i.e. strategic importance, enhanced capabilities and visibility)?
  • Are your commercialisation plans clear and realistic (i.e. return on investment, geographical and sectoral impact)?

Excellence

  • What is the degree of innovation? (i.e. is the proposed product, process or service state-of-the-art? Is there sufficient technological maturity and risk)?
  • How is the new knowledge going to be used? 
  • Is your project scientifically and technically challenging for consortium partners?
  • Is the technical achievability and risk properly addressed?

Quality and efficiency of implementation

  • What is the quality of your consortium (i.e. balance of the partnership and technological, managerial and financial capabilities of each partner)?
  • Is there added value through international cooperation? 
  • Is your project management and planning realistic and clearly defined (i.e. methodology, planning approach, milestones and deliverables)?
  • Is your cost structure reasonable (i.e. costs and financial commitment for each consortium partner)?

Overall perception

Experts will list three positive and negative points to your application and finally state whether they recommend your project for public investment.

Your national funding body may carry out a further evaluation (performed by the national project coordinator and technical experts) according to national rules before allocating funds to successful applicants.

How to apply?

  1. Contact your national funding body using the contact form on Eureka’s website or the contact at the end of this document to discuss your project idea, financial viability, eligibility and national procedures. 
  2. Draft a short project plan together with your consortium in order to clarify your joint objective, division of tasks and IPR questions. The plan is useful while filling the application and shall be attached to it. You can also draft (and sign) the Consortium agreement at this stage.
  3. Nominate a main partner in your consortium. The main partner must create an account on Eureka’s application portal (https://eureka.smartsimple.ie/) and complete (in English) the application form on behalf of the consortium while inviting other consortium partners to fill in a partner form. 
  4. Upload a GANTT chart (one per consortium), a signed and completed co-signature form (one per partner), which you can download from the platform, and any additional required annexes.
    Post-submission
  5. Your application will be checked for completeness and eligibility. If eligible, your project will be reviewed at national level, using a standard evaluation procedure.
  6. If the evaluation is successful, your project will receive a Eureka label.
  7. Your national funding body may carry out a further evaluation (performed by the NPC and technical experts) according to national rules before allocating funds to successful applicants. In France, you will need to submit a national funding demand once the Eureka application has been positively evaluated.
  8. If funding is approved for your project, you will need to complete and sign a consortium agreement (CA). We recommend that you seek legal advice when drafting your CA.

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