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EU4TECH PoC Call for Project Proposals 2020

EU4TECH PoC Call for Project Proposals 2020

Deadline: 24 June 2020

The WB PoC Project is being implemented by a consortium, led by International Development Ireland (IDI) with strong support from the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission (EC).

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The Western Balkans Proof of Concept Scheme is a multi-country action, funded though the European Union (EU) Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA). The scheme will provide Technical Assistance (TA) to 40 Proof of Concept (PoC) projects originating from Public Research Organisations (PROs) or, where eligible, enterprises from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia).

The project commenced activities in early 2020 and will end in December 2021.

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The Western Balkans Proof of Concept Project aims to provide hands on support in taking promising inventions in the Western Balkans to market. The project aims to facilitate the validation (prototype, demonstrator, etc.) and explore avenues for the commercialisation of technologies developed within Public Research Organisations (PROs) and SMEs in the Western Balkans. It will provide a set of specific services that will enable local entrepreneurs and researchers to gain practical experience in technology transfer and maximise the potential of successful technology transfer deals in the region.

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Specific objectives:

To foster and supporting the development of a healthy technology transfer pipeline in the region;
Provide early stage support that addresses the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 to TRL 4 ‘gap’ (Proof of Concept and Validation) between traditional funding for innovation in public research organisations and funding provided by private enterprises;
To increase the capacity of researchers and intermediaries to identify a robust route to market and build a strong commercialisation strategy;
To contribute to the development of local business angel and venture capital investor base;
To encourage knowledge exchange and technology transfer across and beyond the region;
To also understand what concrete measures could be put in place to facilitate the growth of technology transfer focused financial instruments such as equity investments.
The purpose of this action is to deliver concrete plans for supporting selected commercialisation projects in the Western Balkans. This will assist in unlocking the economic and social benefits of research generated in universities and research centres by transforming it into actual services and products leading to the creation of new companies and employment opportunities and increased social and economic growth and productivity locally and regionally.

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Focus for the action (Institutional Beneficiaries)
This action is aimed at and open to Public Research Organisations (PROs) and SMEs (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises) based in the Western Balkans provided there is not an existing national scheme that is offering similar support. Enterprises from Serbia and North Macedonia are directed to their own national scheme. Enterprises from other economies will have the availability of local schemes taken into consideration at the evaluation stage. For more on eligibility consult the relevant section below on eligibility.
Focus of the action (PoC Projects)
The EU4TECH PoC action will target projects at the ‘Proof of concept’ stage (PoC) of development.
PoC is the realization of a method or idea in order to demonstrate its feasibility, or to verify that a concept or theory has practical potential.
PoC sits at Level 3 on the Technology Readiness Scale (TRL) above basic and applied research activity (TRL1: Basic principles observed; TRL 2: Technology concept formulated) and below TRL4: (Technology validated in the lab).
Assessors will be looking for technology or knowledge-based ideas that have the potential to become innovative products and services. For more on types of projects to be supported consult the relevant section below on the evaluation methodology.
Focus of the action (Lead Applicant and ‘team’)
Assessors will be looking for projects that are feasible in terms of the technical and non-technical (commercialisation) support they can demonstrate and the commitment of the applicants.
Eligibility Criteria

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Applicants for support must name a ‘Project Leader’. This must be an individual. Individuals must either be applying from an eligible PRO or an eligible enterprise. All correspondence regarding the project will be made with the Team Leader. Ensure that you are in a position to respond to such communications and to dedicate time to work with the TA team if you are selected. Individuals who know that they will be based outside the WB6 during the project e.g. because they are studying abroad, should not apply to be the Project Leader.
Applications must come from either Public Research Organisations (PRO) or, where eligible, from an enterprise.
PROs must either be state funded or, if private, they must be able to demonstrate that they are notfor-profit and that they appear in a national register of accredited Higher Education Institutions or recognised Research Institutions e.g. a current Ministry of Education or Science data-base.
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are eligible to apply including micro-businesses and start-ups. Large enterprises are not eligible for this support.
For more information, visit https://eu4tech.eu/call-for-project-proposals/

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