Call for lightweighting projects

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The call closes on 25 April 2023

The national funding bodies from Austria, Belgium (Flanders and Wallonia), Canada, France, Luxembourg, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland have allocated funding for organisations collaborating on international R&D projects in the field of lightweighting.

You can submit your R&D project application concerning lightweighting for this call for projects between 25 January 2023 and 25 April 2023 12:00 CEST. Your project consortium must include organisations based in a minimum of two of the countries/regions listed in this call.

Participating Countries/Regions

  • Austria
  • Belgium (Wallonia)
  • Belgium (Flanders)
  • Canada
  • France
  • Luxembourg
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Scope

This project call is for R&D lightweight technology projects.

Lightweight technology is the key enabling technology that provides environmental-friendly solutions, while at the same time adding commercial value, across all industries.

Driven by mobility-linked challenges, lightweight technology is the path to fundamental resource savings. In an increasingly connected world, collaboration across borders is essential. Strong partnerships within leading Europe regions and worldwide allow access to customers, technologies and best practices for all stakeholders’ businesses and research institutions.

Effects to be targeted by lightweighting technologies:

  1. Optimise energy and resource efficiency
    Increased energy and resource efficiency is necessary for creating sustainable success environmentally, economically and socially. From this perspective, lightweight innovation is an enabler whose potential needs to be fully leveraged. Smart design, bio-based raw materials, reuse, remanufacturing and recycled material streams are crucial parameters. Digital solutions for calculation models, production processes and the like are key tools for driving the success of lightweight innovation.
  2. Create sustainable value circles
    Circular solutions based on smart lightweight design and a technology for production and materials usually provide immediate results in terms of reduced carbon dioxide emissions. We must ensure that the practices, materials and products we develop promote circular sustainable development over time. Lightweight solutions undoubtedly contribute to energy and material efficiency also at higher levels in the system.
  3. Bolster lightweight integration in more areas
    Much of the lightweight development that has taken place so far has been in the mobility sector. Demands for reduced carbon dioxide emissions in the automotive, aviation and shipping industries have been around for quite some time. Through determined efforts to integrate lightweighting in more contexts, circular solutions can get a big boost in significantly more areas. Construction, agriculture, forestry and energy are examples of industries where lightweighting shows great promise.

Relevant industry sectors include (but are not limited to):

All sectors with a need for lightweighting technologies are welcome. For example, automotive, aerospace, maritime, energy, construction, infrastructure, health, farming, forestry, etc. In the transport sector, lightweighting through functional integration, novel lightweighting materials, new and improved joining technology in multi-material design, the optimisation of (multi-material) design approaches, additive manufacturing, improved life cycle assessment or circular economy approaches promise substantial benefits in road transport and aviation, thus contributing to the transition towards alternative propulsion systems.

Lightweighting technologies to be researched and developed include (but are not limited to):

Joining technology in multi material design

  • bionics in joining technology (including additive manufacturing)
  • smart adhesives
  • design for recycling
  • pre-treatment of surfaces
  • weight management concepts (p.e. for electric vehicles)
  • new joining technologies (CMT welding, electron beam welding, gluing, etc.)
  • development of new welding consumables and solders for special metal mixing combinations
  • hard coatings and technologies enabling for a lifetime expansion
  • development of joining processes for high-strength and low-ductile lightweight materials or mixed connections made of metal-plastic fiber composites

Optimization of (multimaterial) design approaches

  • hybrid lightweight construction (e.g., Ti+Al+CFRP)
  • crash-optimised lightweight construction and material development, including advanced simulation approaches
  • optimising material mix to be more affordable, sustainable or intelligent
  • implications of construction industry as a new market (steel-wood hybrids as sustainable and affordable solutions)
  • biobased plastics

Lightweighting through functional integration

  • intelligent components (e.g., high pressure die casting parts, energy storage, power electronics and e machine)

Additive manufacturing

  • material mix, including fiber composite materials and cost savings in additive manufacturing under consideration of future CO2 prizing
  • additive manufacturing for structural parts
  • cost optimised processes for large additive manufacturing components

Novel lightweighting materials, including optimised manufacturing

  • increase recycling rations of polymers, metals and light metals
  • sustainable materials and processing technologies
  • development of resources for efficient manufacturing processes for hybrid materials

Life cycle assessment / circular economy

  • circular economy of multimaterial design or disassembling
  • sustainable production of lightweight materials
  • recycling of CFRP hybrids, including life cycle assessment
  • life cycle assessment and recycling-optimised components
  • integration of CO2 footprint/CO2 prizing in material selection / databases
  • life cycle assessment analysis from different manufacturing processes, materials or functions
  • life cycle assessment monitoring with sensors on the component

Your project should:

  • address at least one of the fields mentioned in the call description and
  • demonstrate the potential to research or develop a product, process or service for commercialisation.

Timeframe

  • Call opens: 25 January 2023
  • Deadline for Eureka application: 25 April 2023 12:00 CEST

  • Deadline for additional national applications: 25 April 2023 12:00 CEST
  • Austria: 26 April 2023 12:00 CEST
  • France: 3 May 2023 18:00 CEST
  • Korea: 28 April 2023 18:00 KST

  • National evaluation: May – July 2023
  • Consensus meeting of funding agencies: July 2023
  • Eureka label and funding decision: From September 2023
  • Projects starts: October 2023 – January 2024
  • Project duration: Up to 36 months

Events

Please contact your national funding body for information on national or regional events related to this call.

An international webinar and project pitches will be organised for this lightweighting call for projects on 8 February 2023 at 14:00-17:00 CET, 08:00-11:00 EST and 22:00-01:00 KST.

Register for the event.

A national webinar will be hosted by Luxinnovation on 26 January at 11:00 AM- 12:00 PM CET.  

Register here.

A webinar (in Spanish) for Spanish participants will be hosted on 27 January at 11:30-13:30 CET.

Register here.

Funding information

Austria (FFG)

Grant of up to 80% for small companies, up to 70% for medium-sized companies, up to 55% for large companies and up to 85% for research institutions. Priority is given to Lightweighting Technologies in the mobility sector.

Belgium Wallonia (SPW Research)

Funding is granted in the form of a grant or a recoverable advance with a funding rate ranging from 35 to 100% of the budget of each Walloon partner. The type of funding and percentage depends on the type of partner, the consortium composition at regional and international level and whether your project activities fall into the category of industrial research or experimental development.

Belgium Flanders (VLAIO)

Companies based in Flanders can apply for grant funding via a development project and receive up to 50% of the eligible project costs, up to a maximum amount of 500,000 euro per project. Staff and other costs can be funded with a 25% to 50% subsidy of the project budget, with a minimum budget equivalent to support of 25,000 euro.

Canada (NRC IRAP)

NRC IRAP may cover up to 50% of project costs for eligible Canadian SMEs. The maximum funding amount is 500,000 (CAD) per Canadian participant per project. Funding is a non-repayable contribution against approved work completed and invoiced.

France (Bpifrance)

SMEs and midcap companies with up to 2000 FTE can apply for a repayable advance or a loan of up to 3 million euro per company per project, in the limit of own equity. Universities can only join as a subcontractor or on a self-funded basis, as additional partner.

NB: If the company and project is considered to be “deeptech”, the funding can mix grant and repayable advance.

Luxembourg (Luxinnovation)

Grant of up 80% of eligible costs (depending on company size and project type) with a maximum of 700,000 euro per project. Currently no funding available for research institutions.

South Korea (KIAT)

Grant of up to 500 million KRW (approximately 370,000 euro) per year, up to 3 years. Funding ratio is up to 67% for SMEs, 50% for mid-tier companies, 33% for large companies and 100% for universities and research organisations

Spain (CDTI)

Main features of the funding for Spanish partners are: Soft loan up to 85% of eligible costs (Euribor 1 year interest fee). Minimum budget of 175,000 euros (no maximum budget). Long recovery period (10 or 15 years) where 24.75% of the eligible costs do not have to be repaid.

Sweden (Vinnova)

SMEs up to 50% of eligible costs, large companies up to 30% of eligible costs and universities and research institutes up to 100% of eligible costs. The maximum funding (grant) per project is 500,000 euro.

Switzerland (Innosuisse)

Grant of maximum 70% of the total project costs. Contributions cover up to 100% of the research partners direct project costs (and overhead contribution), up to 70% for start-ups, up to 50% for SMEs and up to 25% for large companies.

Funding will only be provided to projects that are positively evaluated by all relevant participating national funding bodies. Funding of project partners is subjected to budgetary availability and national funding conditions stipulated by each national funding body.

If there is no allocated budget for your organisation type in your country and you want to participate in a project consortium, contact your national funding body using the form below to see whether there are other funding opportunities available or talk to them about self-funding.

Read more.

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 a minimum of two Eureka countries.
  • 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:

  • The project must benefit all involved partners.
  • The project should have an obvious benefit and added value resulting from the technological cooperation between the participants from the different countries (e.g., increased knowledge base, commercial leads, access to R&D infrastructure etc.).
  • The product or process must be innovative and with the potential to create impact.
  • The maximum duration of a project may not exceed 36 months.
  • A signed consortium agreement is required upon approval, before the actual start of the project. It ought to include, amongst other things, the ownership and use of know-how and IPR settlements

Read more.

How to apply

  1. Contact your national funding body using the form below to discuss your project idea, financial viability, eligibility and national procedures.
  2. Create an account on our application portal (one per consortium) and select the funding opportunity you want to apply to.
  3. Using the portal, complete one application form per consortium (in English) and invite other consortium partners to fill in a partner form.
  4. Upload a GANTT chart (one per consortium), a signed and completed co-signature form (which you can download from the platform) and any additional required annexes.
  5. Your application will be checked for completeness and eligibility before being reviewed using a standard evaluation procedure. If successful, your project will receive a Eureka label.
  6. 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.
  7. The final step is to complete and sign a consortium agreement. We recommend that you seek legal advice when drafting your consortium agreement.

Your project application will be reviewed according to the following additional national evaluation processes:

Austria

In addition to the Eureka project application, Austrian participants must submit a national project application via e-Call on the FFG webpage. The national application must include the Eureka project proposal and a national project proposal. The evaluation of the national project application in Austria is carried out by external experts.

Belgium Wallonia

Applicants in Wallonia (Belgium) must submit their regional application (in French) to SPW Research via the ONTIME portal before 25 April 2023 at 12:00 Brussels time.

More information.

Belgium Flanders

In addition to the Eureka project application, Flemish participants need to submit an application to VLAIO, including a project plan and budget. We invite Flemish partners to contact us for a pre-check of their project ideas and get support from our VLAIO advisors. The deadline for submitting the VLAIO application is 25 April 2023 at 12:00 Brussels time.

Canada

The Canadian application process for this call for projects has three phases:

  1. Registration phase: Canadian applicants must register by 31 March 2023 using the REGISTER button on the NRC IRAP webpage link for this call for projects. NRC IRAP will review registrations and contact applicants if more information is required. Qualifying applicants will be invited to submit the Eureka proposal in collaboration with their project partners. The NRC IRAP Canadian annex form, as well as a template/guidance document for the draft international project consortium agreement, will be provided along with the invitation to submit the Eureka proposal.
  2. Eureka proposal phase.
  3. National funding proposal phase: Only Canadian participants selected following the Eureka proposal phase will be invited to submit an NRC IRAP funding application. The submission deadline will be communicated at that time.

France

In addition to the Eureka application, French participants must submit a national demand on Bpifrance en Ligne within the week following Eureka’s application deadline (an email will give you access to the platform once you have applied to the Eureka programme).

The evaluation will be driven by both the International Collaborative Innovation team and the company’s Chargé.e d’Affaires. It is mandatory for the company to contact and discuss the project with these two teams before submitting the project. If the funding application’s documents are not submitted in time, the project can be rejected.

Luxembourg

In addition to the Eureka project application, Luxemburgish partners have to submit a national application via the myguichet platform, including a project description and financial summary. Luxemburgish companies are invited to contact Luxinnovation at least one month prior to the call deadline.

South Korea

In addition to the Eureka project application, Korean participants have to submit a national project application to Korea application system. The national project application will be evaluated by external experts.

Spain

CDTI will check the eligibility of the Spanish applicants after receiving the international application. If it is eligible, funding applications will be generated by CDTI to each Spanish company and it must be completed and submitted by them.

A full memory (in Spanish) must be attached to these applications. Deadline to reply is end of May 2023. If the funding applications are not submitted in time, the international project could be rejected. A funding decision is expected within five months after submitting an eligible funding application.

Sweden

In addition to the centrally submitted online Eureka project application form, Swedish participants of the international project consortium apply on the Vinnova web page to the national call that will open on 25 January 2023.

Switzerland

In addition to the Eureka project application, Swiss participants have to submit a national project application via the Innosuisse application platforms. The national application does not include the Eureka project proposal, so this has to be completed on Eureka's platform for the whole consortium.

Read more.

Evaluation

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

1. 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)?

2. 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?

3. 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)?

4. 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.

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