12Th April 2016

Covent Garden Building, Place Rogier,


Synergies between EU funding for research & innovation and structural funds are essential to develop regional research and innovation capacities, and drive the economic growth in Europe. How dealing with the implementation of structural funds and the RIS3 programme (Smart Specialisation programme) at the regional level? What about the Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) programme under H2020?

The EC organised a workshop on 12Th April 2016 to support this smart specialisation (RIS3) and to encourage dialogue and exchange of ideas between the different stakeholders.

Please find below a short summary of the event.

I. European and regional support to enhance synergies between H2020 and ESIF (European structural and investment funds)

DG Research and Innovation supports Open Innovation, Open Science and Open to the world.

Under H2020, the programme PPPs (Public Private Partnerships) is Industry focused with 3.8 billion € allocated. This PPPs is to favour more involvement of industries via the industrial Deployment of Key Enabling Technologies to favour

The main objective is to leverage further investment through:

  • Public investments through ESIF (European Structural and Investments Funds) , EMPIR
  • Private investments through PPPs (Public Private Partnerships)and JTIs (Joint Technology Initiatives)
  • EFSI – European Fund for Strategic Investments
  • European Investment Bank instruments – InnovFin (EU Finance for Innovators)

H2020 – NMBP Call 2016 -2017 (Call for nanotechnologies, advanced materials, biotechnology and production): business cases and exploitation strategies for industrialisation.

Mapping the participation of the NMBP programme:

  • There is a high level of participation from Central Europe -> Regions with the highest participation are Lombardia & Piemonte (Italy), Cataluña (Spain), Rhone Alpes & Ile de France (France) and Cologne (Germany).
  • SMEs represent 43,6% and large organisations 24,4%
  • A strong inter-regional cooperation is correlated with a strong intra-regional collaboration!
  • Combining H2020 and ESIF for the same industrial project is important.


II. Why combining different funds?

A Pilot production always needs business cases, capital direct funding, personnel, equipment suppliers, markets and value chains.

The objective is to connect smartly existing capabilities by combining private and public funding. This will let the companies in a perfect situation to access this network through an affordable cost. The value added to company is evident: much lower cost of capital!

DG Research and Innovation is looking with the regional authorities how to promote demonstration facilities and how to use existing long term funding such as EC grants and regional and national Instruments such as ERDF, EFSI, EIB.

MANUNET had been especially created as a special support for SMEs offering a funding schedule between Framework Programme and national/regional programme(s).


It is so really complicated for regional authorities to deal with European H2020 grants and structural funds that a harmonisation is needed.

If we focus on synergies between H2020 and structural funds, 2 different perspectives are concerned, the regional and the European ones.

Unfortunately these 2 dimensions don’t still fit together as Innovation and Excellence principles are interpreted differently.

Besides, the lack of knowledge about European instruments is evident among regional authorities that need to be better informed. As a matter of fact, regional level only focuses on Structural and Investment Funds without pay attention to H2020 programmes in which they could take part.

Finally, legal barriers still exist between regional products and European ones: evidently the legislation has to be implemented.

Please find below presentations given.

-> Agenda_Workshop_Industrial Technologies_12 April

-> all presentations

EFMC – European Fund Management Consulting

Francesca Festa



4 April 2016

The Hotel,

Boulevard de Waterloo 38, Brussels

The annual Clean Sky Forum took place in Brussels on the 4th April 2016. Over 200 participants were attending the Forum, including many Clean Sky Members and Partners as well as aeronautics’ stakeholders and representatives from the European Parliament and the European Commission. Clean Sky is a Joint Undertaking of the European Commission and the European aeronautics industry and part of the EU H2020 research and innovation programme. The new Clean Sky 2 programme (2014-2020) represents a total budget of €4 billion over 7 years. Clean Sky 2 will enable a natural continuation to the progress achieved in the first Clean Sky Programme launched under the EU’s 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), which will end in 2017.

Please find below a summary of the event.


I. The programme

Clean sky is the main contributor to reaching the industry-supported ACARE 2020 goals as reducing the environmental impact (50% reduction in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide CO2 emissions). Moreover, 34% of participants are SMEs. SMEs are actively involved in Clean Sky through Calls for Partners (CfPs):

  • SMEs CfPs funding share 34%
  • SME average size of topics 600k€
  • SME % of mono-beneficiary 41%

Sans titre


In the Clean Sky 2, the actions are divided between “Research and Innovation Actions” (RIA), related to technology enablers and “Innovation Actions” (IA) that generally involve the progression towards higher levels of technology integration.

Under H2020, RIAs are funded at 100% of the Total Eligible Cost (direct costs) and IAs at 70% of the Total Eligible Cost (direct costs). However, if an organisation is recognised and validated as a Non-Profit Entity (NPE), it can apply for 100% of the Total Eligible Cost for both types of actions.

The indirect costs are always funded at a 25% flat rate level, again in full compliance with H2020 rules.

“Effectively fusing together the two phases of the Clean Sky JTI over a four-year transition period (2014-2017) will enable Europe to:

  • Accelerate the development of smart, environment-friendly and energy-efficient aircraft which operate worldwide, thereby meeting environmental and societal targets for more efficient, safer and greener air transport.
  • Achieve its strategic social priorities of sustainable growth, wealth creation and stable employment in fields of high technology.
  • Win global leadership for European aeronautics with a competitive supply chain, which includes academia, research bodies and SMEs.”


II. Research centres and Academia: an essential source of Clean Sky.

Universities are essential for the Innovation Ecosystem: that’s why Clean Sky 2 tries to promote new consortium between SMEs and Universities, which are partnership of added value.

A strong academia approach is needed to build up knowledge: the main objective is to stimulate bottom-up researches by a top-down approach.

It is fundamental to invest in young people, especially PhD students as they are one of the main resources to innovation: they produce new technologies as well as they will be future industrial leaders.



Since the start of the programme, no fewer than 6 calls have been launched: 3 calls for Core Partners and 3 Calls for Proposals.

Lessons learnt:

  • Partner selection is critical -> being an SME much more targeted is simpler to start the programme + difficulties if the SMEs are not close to Brussels to have everyday news.
  • Flexibility is needed in ambitious R&T environment


Please find below presentation given

-> Agenda Clean Sky Forum

EFMC – European Fund Management Consulting

Francesca Festa


25th February 2016

Hotel Silken Berlaymont

Boulevard Charlemagne 11, Brussels


What kind of strategy will guarantee welfare, wealth and work for Europe in the long term?

More than 150 European stakeholders and decision-makers discussed a « New Strategy for Europe» with top scientists in Brussels on 25 February 2016. This conference was concluding the research project performed over four years by the Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe – WWWforEurope large scientific consortium led by WIFO. The conclusions pave the way to a European socio-ecological transition where the key words are education and innovation, active social policy, efficient use of resources and well-being.

Please find below a summary of the event.


I. The Project



The strategy starts off by renouncing the long-established concept of using GDP growth figures as the benchmark for economic and societal progress. In contrast, it sets “wellbeing in a sustainable environment” as the optimal benchmark of economic performance and social progress.

Wellbeing for European citizens requires the accomplishment of 3 strategic goals:

  1. Economic dynamics comprises raising income as well as fostering mobility and structural renewal in an open and heterogeneous society.
  2. Social inclusiveness puts the focus on fighting unemployment, limiting income spreads and establishing more equity in the distribution of life chances, also from a gender perspective.
  3. Environmental sustainability calls for respecting the planetary boundaries and enabling an absolute decline in emissions and resource use (strong absolute reduction of fossil energy -80%).


Moreover, the success of the strategy only depends on 3 main guiding principles able to assure the achievement of the strategic goals despite the existing of imbalances and challenges in Europe:

  1. Simultaneity between goals and instruments: it promises the renunciation of silo approach (that address problems in isolation), as too expensive and inefficient.
  2. High-road strategy: it is based on capabilities and rising wellbeing, but at lower costs.
  3. Two-stage implementation: In the first stage – Consolidation and Reprogramming – policies will still have to focus on preventing new crises and solving inherited disequilibria (unemployment, debt, inequality), by promoting new investments in change. In the second stage – Socio Ecological Transition – if the preconditions are given, such as a lower public debt, stable financial sector and a reduced gap between high and low incomes, the priority will be the achievement of higher levels of wellbeing based on low growth rates.

To reach these goals, WWWforEurope developed a reform program, focusing on seven policy fields as they are considered essential drivers of change:


Driver 1: INNOVATION -> boosting its power and redirecting its focus

Innovation is a crucial link which consists in making university funding more competitive and in adopting tenure track model. Besides, the young innovative fast-growing firms are to be more and more promoted. In fact, the change focus proposed it to redirect innovations from labour saving to resource saving.

Driver 2: DYNAMICS -> reducing inequality and uncertainty as well as fostering investment

Economic dynamics will increase thanks to a shift from physical to intangible investment and to projects promoting social innovations and enabling decarbonisation. In fact, this will reduce unemployment, poverty and public debt today by enabling absolute reductions in emissions tomorrow.

Driver 3: WELFARE -> from ex post protection to social investment

It is more and more necessary to adapt the Welfare system to new challenges, by fostering education, retraining and employability. Moreover, migrants should be integrated into schools and labour market quickly as this will reduce public spending and mitigate political conflicts.

Driver 4: EMPLOYMENT -> upgrading skills and symmetric flexibility

Being lower unemployment essential to promote social inclusion, it can be reduced by a voluntary reduction of working hours or work-sharing offers. Besides, reducing mismatch and taxes on labour will lower the pressure on firms to increase labour productivity.

Driver 5: ENERGY -> decoupling energy from output

Decarbonisation is a competitive advantage for Europe and it can be reached by rising more and more the prices of fossil energy and CO2 emissions, as well as improving incentives for energy efficiency and ecological innovation.

Driver 6: PUBLIC SECTOR -> an all-important game changer

Changing the tax structure is probably the most effective game changer proposed by WWWforEurope: halving taxes on labour can be compensated by introducing a carbon tax of 100€ per ton of CO2 raising 2%, moderate taxes on property, inheritance, financial transactions of 2.5%. At the same time, subsides for fossil energy has to be eliminated thanks to a new procurement policy.

Driver 7: FINANCE -> re-committing to the real sector and aligning to the needs of society

An essential precondition for the socio-ecological transition of Europe is a healthy and resilient financial sector supporting the real economy. WWWforEurope proposes the Banking Union with a common deposit guarantee scheme as well as venture capital and crowd funding for innovative firms.


II. How should policy look like?


Europe needs to overcome reform resistances winning the support of outsiders: in fact, it cannot be taken for granted that outsiders are pro-reform pressure group. Socio-economic reforms must be linked to political and administrative reforms such as anti-corruption and clientelism ones.

The main goals are to establish:

  1. A single global carbon price as a policy solution to integrated the market and linked carbon markets: as a matter of fact, a sufficiently high and predictable carbon price is pivotal and it will reduce the amounts needed for public funding of technologies.
  2. Coordinating public R&D programs and supporting more competition among a larger set of potential technology trajectories.
  3. Have a global green technology market where private actors have incentive to diffuse green technologies



III. Social investment as guiding principle for Welfare State development

Welfare State is fundamental to assure an ecological transition but it is evident that it is under pressure nowadays. Economic inequalities and new social risks are rising as well as the role of human capital. If we adapt the Social Investment perspective to every Member State, we will have long term outcomes.

Social policy can increase efficiency and competitiveness by focusing on prevention through human capital development and the activation of unemployed people.



Existing a link between social and ecological levels, SI (Social investment) can promise answer to welfare state challenges if it is understood as shift and not a substitution. Moreover, a stronger anchoring at EU level is the necessary to broaden the base of SI. Finally, social policies are inefficient if applied alone that’s why flanking measures are fundamental to achieve SI goals.


A socio-ecological transition has already started in Europe, but it needs political reinforcement.



Europe really needs structural changes as the sustainable triangle applied until now it is evidently a vicious cycle. The main solutions are the decarbonisation in favour of solar energy and biomass and the production towards human resources and capabilities (from labour saving to resource saving).

Technical solutions alone will not be sufficient as behavioural changes are also required thanks to the educational system supporting socio-ecological transition.

History shows that every transition requires new actors that’s why civil society, NGOs and representatives of new firms, youth and alternative organisations are all important to changing behaviour.

Please find below presentation given

-> WWWforEurope_Final_Conference_Programme

EFMC – European Fund Management

Francesca Festa









23th February 2016
Bruegel, rue de la Charité 33, Brussels


How can we reduce divergences in national corporate insolvency regimes in order to create an integrated Capital Markets Union?
The event “How to improve national insolvency regimes” (Brussels, 23th February 2016), organised by the European think tank Bruegel, explored the complex but essential issue of improving and harmonizing national corporate insolvency regimes. Commissioner Jonathan Hill (Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union DG) has announced a legislative proposal that would be published before the end of 2016, being part of the EC’s action plan to foster a Capital Markets Union.
This event focused on a new detailed report published by the Association for Financial Markets in Europe (AFME).

Please find below a short summary of the event.

I. Why are there any potential economic gains from reforming insolvency law in Europe?

In the last 3 years, member states implemented insolvency reforms. As a matter of fact, major differences between national insolvency frameworks in Europe have a range of negative effects on the economy and financial markets.

Further harmonisation of minimum standards would help to facilitate more predictable and orderly outcomes for corporate restructurings. Market participants are more likely to invest, and are more willing to pay a price premium, when purchasing assets in countries with the most predictable restructuring outcomes.

Divergent and inadequate insolvency regimes limit the potential of the private sector to attract investment. On the other hand, developing sound minimum standards introduce a greater level of predictability to creditors and other stakeholders: this will enhance benefits to create a more integrated economic environment.

II. AFME’S approach to estimate the insolvency law effects

AFME used a bond pricing model to estimate the impact of insolvency regimes on the risk premium. This result is then used to estimate the potential long-term impact on EU GDP.

A 2 step approach is very useful to analyse this model:

STEP 1 – estimating the impact of insolvency reform on the risk premium: it is necessary to analyse the negative correlation between corporate bond yields and the expected recovery rate. Countries with strong insolvency regimes have lower borrowing costs.

STEP 2 – estimating the macroeconomic impact of insolvency reform: if all EU member states were to reach a recovery rate of 85%, this would imply a permanent increase in GDP of €41bn to €78bn.

Microeconomic impact

10% points increase in expected recovery rate is associated with a 0.37% fall in bond spread: as a consequence, countries with better insolvency regimes have lower borrowing costs. This is confirmed by alternative estimations that take into account the effect of unobservable country level characteristics: a 10% point improvement in recovery rates is associated with a 0.18 % point reduction in bond spread.

Doc 4

The potential macroeconomic impact of EU insolvency reform

Over the EU28, the total impact on annual GDP is between €41bn and €78bn or between roughly 0.3% and 0.55% of EU28 GDP.

Doc 1

The absolute value, in Euros, of impact is given by the size of the economy and the size of the recovery rate gap.

Italy, France, Spain are large economies and have scope for improvement in their insolvency regimes, so are top of the impact rankings.

Poland, Greece, Romania and Hungary are smaller economies, but they have considerable room for improvement, and so are also feature high in the rankings.

III. EU legislative action


There is a need for a harmonization of insolvency law as this is the weak spot in EU business law. As a matter of fact, on one hand there is an insufficient status quo of EU insolvency law, on the other hand, Business rescue is not part of Member States culture.

The following elements are the most important to enhance the efficiency of European Insolvency Practises, notably by raising the possibilities for restructuring:

STAY: the main purpose is to prevent precipitate action by creditors. Unfortunately it is very difficult to determine the exact moment to start the preventing process because there are several differences in the enforcement systems of Member States.

VALUATION: a more harmonised approach to valuation would create a consistent framework for fast judicial resolution of valuation disputes.

CRAMDOWN: creditors with a continuing economic interest in the enterprise could bind beneficiaries that no longer have an economic interest (otherwise referred to as “cramdown” of such “out-of-the-money” creditors).

ROLE OF CREDITORS: member states should allow creditors or third parties to play a more influential role. In case of formal insolvency proceedings, creditors will be provided with all relevant information about the affected enterprise and any proposed plans or proceedings.

FINANCING: steps should also be taken to address the issue of ongoing funding for distressed companies. This is meant to ensure that a greater proportion of economically viable companies can be turned around, thereby limiting destruction of value in a restructuring.

*Reporting -> addressing national insolvency agencies
**Judicial capacity -> different courts between Member States. Specialized courts and general ones
***Professional Standards -> general advocate business are different from specialized one.

Doc 3



Such reforms have not adequately addressed the problems associated with the different and disparate national insolvency regimes across Europe, and that significant work remains to be done.

It is evident that the implementation and efficiency of reforms is the main problem instead of the lack of these ones.

Every time we choose the way of insolvency laws, we have to be conscious that this implies several consequences in other sectors, such as labour and social law, that have not to be underrated.

Insolvency law is a very useful instrument if it is used in a good way BUT it can’t be pretended to be used to save companies.

EFMC – European Fund Management Consulting

Francesca Festa

5th February 2016
European Commission, Charlemagne Building,
170 rue de la Loi – 1049 Brussels


How can Europe manage the Migration challenge without any strategy based on the best available research and knowledge of the phenomenon?

The event “Understanding and tackling the Migration challenge: the role of research” (Brussels, 4th and 5th February 2016) was an important opportunity to focus on this hot issue for Member States. EFMC was present only the 5th February: the tools provided were fundamental to explore how European research can support policy makers in designing effective and sustainable migration policies. Please find below a short summary of the event.

* EFMC is keen to point out that this article is a summary of the conference and that political points of views expressed and reported are not the EFMC´s ones. EFMC reiterates not to be a political Company.

I. Integration and Societal Impacts of Migration

Considering the integration of migrants in EU societies and economies, there are different level of integration: particularly the local level is the most interesting as it presents integration in his daily dimension.

Integration of migrants is currently one of the main topic on the European agenda -> EU can only have a single policy with this issue!

Policy is something that tries to steer integration and processes in society.

Normative in nature: problem definition –> policy action –> desired solution
Policies are defined politically by the majorities of society

The socio-economic position is determined by the access of migrants to domains of labour/income

What are labour market impacts of migration and fiscal outcomes?

• The potential benefits from migration to individuals
In the majority of Member States, there are low rates of mobility: that’s why migrants can be a powerful economic force in a context where immobility is prevalent.
• Welfare gains from migration
Economic theory would argue that migration equilibrates market and contributes to an equalisation of living conditions across region or countries.

Socio-cultural challenges of migrants’ integrations

Are we talking about full assimilation or civic assimilation (to be respected only in public domain)?

First of all, the solution could be pluralising national identity by:
• Valorising diversity in history (learn/borrow from past arrangements/processes).
• Changing the national narrative (also a claim within multicultural citizenship debates)
• Expanding/renewing institutional arrangements such as education, religion and language

Politicisation of migration in Europe

Politicisation is a mixture of political leadership or initiative and circumstances that provide opportunities to influence politics.
In a period of Euroscepticism and nationalism, migration is evidently a volatile issue: that’s why now the subject of integration replaces the one of migration.

II. Health and Migration

Migration is not a single event but a process of variable duration, not homogeneous and driven by complex factors.

The migration-health process is composed of 4 steps:
1. Pre-migration exposure: the majority of migrants come from situation of extreme poverty or emergency such as Syria. They experienced the trauma of migration, a non-communicable disease.
2. Migration experience: It implies moving for months or years, being exposed to many risks. The emergency concerns the lack of treatment.
3. Destination Experience: asylum seeking is a state of uncertainty and when people arrive in the country of destination, the situation is not necessarily better.
4. Healthcare experience: anxiety and depression are not well treated. It is a traumatising experience too much underestimated: we always focus about the traveller and not about the ones who are left behind.

Integration means focusing on practical details, otherwise integration is only theoretical: organising access to EU health care systems for migrants assure equity in health

In fact, informal barriers affect access to health care: socioeconomic factors, education, income, employment, psychosocial factors such as discrimination, etc.

III. The science and the evidence: environment and migration

According to the deterministic theory, causes and effects of mass migration can be pointed out, particularly a directly link between environment migration and climate change.

Climate change will have significant impacts on form of migration that compromise human security and at the same time mobility is a widely used to maintain environment.

BUT we have to pay attention on not to overemphasize the role of climate change!
Accounting for immobility: environmental change can reduce the ability to migrate as it erodes the financial or physical assets and capital required to finance
Migrating towards environmental risks: is migration caused by environmental disasters??
Migration as adaptation: livelihoods comprise social financial and other forms of capital

IV. The role of research in supporting policy making and capacity building

The problem is that the debate is a numerical manipulation: “how many migrants can I accept?” is not a quickly solution for a more fair and equal distribution of migrants between Member States. During Bosnia war, everybody accepted refugees… “But now the problem is that the mentality changed!”

De-politicisation of migration thanks to research is not possible as there is a public responsibility as it is an economic and political migration.

How can research be policy relevant?

If we want research to be relevant in supporting policy making and capacity building, we need cross national comparative research as well as new support of research in sending countries. Finally, in analysing the scenario building, we always have to pay attention on demography, the extraordinary of the phenomenon and the crisis factor that generated displacement.

Please find below presentation given.

-> Migration challenge – Agenda

-> Migration challenge – Presentations

-> Migration challenge – Conclusions

EFMC – European Fund Management Consulting

Francesca Festa

2nd February 2016

Madou Tower, Auditorium 1,

Place Madou, 1210 Brussels

How can the European Commission improve the economic growth and competitiveness of low-performing Member State? By investing in research and innovation thanks to new H2020 measures for spreading excellence and widening participation.

The EC held an Info Day on Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation Calls in Horizon 2020 (2nd February). During the event, the Teaming, Twinning and ERA Chairs Calls for 2016 were presented.

Please find below a short summary of the event.

I. Why are there low-performing Member States?

It is evident that there are too many disparities in terms of research and innovation performances between the different Member States, because of several barriers:

  • Insufficient national R&D investments
  • Lack of synergies between national research systems
  • No access to international network

Considering FP7 Budget shared per country (%), Germany, United Kingdom and France are the countries which are over represented in the FP7 Consortium.


This means that countries technologically advanced have more opportunity to be competitive in terms of market potential and possibilities of growing!
Institutional instruments can compensate latecomer disadvantages. The objective? To create links with technology frontier as well as markets!

II. New H2020 measures for Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation

The first measure is to promote open and inclusive innovation by putting emphasis on better planning tools and on institutional networking.

“Teaming will address this challenge by supporting the creation of new centres of excellence or upgrading the existing ones in low R&I performing countries, building on partnership between leading scientific institutions and partner institutions in low R&I performing countries.”

There might have combined approach on the above aspects BUT any compromise accepted on excellence! They will be implemented by the Member States most in need of the new Cohesion policy for the 2014-2020 programming period.

Teaming action

Focus on: institution building
It consists in associating advanced research institutions to other institutions, agencies or regions for the creation of centres of excellence (CoE).


Focus on: institutional networking
The main goal is to link at least two internationally-leading counterparts in Europe.

ERA Chairs

Focus on: excellence of institutions
It is meant to provide support for universities and other research institutions in order to attract and maintain high quality human resources and implement the structural changes.

Policy Support Facility

Focus on: expert advice to public authorities
It results in improving the design, implementation and evaluation of national/regional research and innovation policies.

NCPs-National Contact Points

Focus on: financial and technical support
It highlights the administrative and operational capacity of transnational networks.

COST-European Cooperation in Science and Technology

Focus on: supporting access to international networks for excellent researchers.


III. First Widening Calls: lessons learnt

Teaming 1: it starts in 2014 – for one year the business plane is developed
Teaming 2: for 60, 84 months
ERA chairs: it starts in 2014 for 60 months
Twinning: it starts in 2015 for 3 years (36 months)
The total has almost doubled: under H2020


The partnership is composed at least of 2 parties:
• The coordinator may be from a widening country
• The advanced partner shall be a University or research organisation with an international reputation

Phase 1: It consists in funding the development of a business plan for the new/upgraded centre of excellence facilitated by a teaming process with a leading counterpart in Europe
Phase 2: It is subjected to the quality of the Business Plan

Teaming under the 2016 17 Work Project

  • Phase 1: It consists in creating a business plan for a centre of excellence (CoE) ->12 M€ funding for business plan
  • Phase 2 in 2018: It concerns 15 M€ starts-up implementation of the CoE – Funding for substantial support for the start-up phase of the CoE

NOVELTIES! -> Standard call phase 1 ≠ Restricted call phase 2
FPA/ SGA concept dropped

So what characteristics should a successful proposal have?
• Marked by clear objectives, vision and excellence
• Long term and innovative strategies
• Clear plans on organisational and resources



Era Chairs calls bring high quality researches and managers
Institutions should implement structural changes to achieve excellence on a sustainable basis

Participants: one single applicant located in a widening country
Bottom up approach but connected with the ERA chair holder expertise
The grant will not cover for infrastructures and research cost!!!

So what characteristics should a successful proposal have?
• Defined objectives towards institutional changes!
• Autonomy of the ERA chair holder
• Management structures need to be well defined and simple
• Long term vision and clear definition of strategy
• Ambitious project
• Better illustration of the scientific qualities of advanced partners and their added value to the project

What does the “Research Excellence” compositor indicator mean?

During the conference, lots of participants wondered about the theoretical framework of “Excellence”:
• How can the evaluators choose the best proposal if there isn’t any coherent and clear definition of excellence provided by the EC?
The lack of “engagement of Science & Technology with society”(not mentioned as a pillar) makes the indicator too abstract, doesn’t it?

Please find below presentation given.

-> Excellence and Widening – Agenda

-> Excellence and Widening – Presentations

EFMC – European Fund Management Consulting

Francesca Festa

25TH January 2016

Centre Borschette, Brussels

Are you planning to submit a proposal under FET Open and FET Proactive about the topic “Emerging themes and communities?

The Research Executive Agency (REA), in cooperation with the EC’s DG for Communications Networks, Content & Technology, organised an Information Day (25th January 2016) on the calls for proposals to be launched in 2016 by the Future and Emerging Technologies Open (FET Open) and the topic “Emerging themes and communities” of the FET Proactive schemes.

Please find below a short summary of the event.

Call deadline: The FET Open calls will close on 11th May 2016 and the FET Proactive calls on 12th April 2016.


I. Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) in Horizon 2020


It supports science and technology research for radically new future technologies. Innovation players will be key to promise new areas, developments and new bold-vision.

FET-Open represents 40% of the overall FET budget in Horizon 2020.


FET-Proactive feeds emerging themes and communities by addressing a number of promising exploratory research themes with the potential to generate a critical mass of inter-related projects.

The objective? To build a European pool of knowledge and excellence.

Technologic impact on business shall be related to the following activities:

  • Digitising our economy: coordination and support measures
  • Cloud computing: heterogeneity + software development
  • 3 innovation activities: focus on open community of develop, creation and innovation ecosystem, smart cities
  • Dimension of experimentation: experimental platforms and standardisation dimension


II. FET Calls

Specific Evaluation Process: which is monitored by independent experts. Proposal follows the award criteria of:

  • Excellence
  • Impact
  • Quality and efficiency of implementation.

No Grant Negotiation Phase: the proposal is evaluated as submitted, not on its potential. There is not anymore recommendation!

Financial aspects:

  • The Grant Agreement: fully contains now the financial rules, (1 single document) with all provisions (Actual costs; Unit costs; Lump sum; Flat rate)
  • Simplified funding model: under H2020, the same funding model is applied to all beneficiaries
  • Single reimbursement rate by action: there is only one reimbursement rate for all organisations. Up to 100 % of the eligible costs for research actions; Up to 70 % for innovation actions (exception for non-profit organisations – up to 100%)
  • Contributions in kind: they are now free of charges or against payment if they meet the eligibility conditions.
  • Cascading grants: they are the financial support for third parties (Equivalent to FP7 Special Clause 42)


III. INNOVATION IN H2020: Net Future

How accelerating and diversifying the innovation drive?

Facilitating disruptive innovation + continuing support ICT contribution to Societal Challenges through:

  • emphasis in the programme -> innovation topics and their impact
  • innovation instruments -> research innovation actions, procurement, fast track to innovation

Different areas have been improved in order to drive innovation activities towards user adoption. Particularly, the mainstream support to start-ups and entrepreneurships and the implementation of road map at any level will improve their ability to produce impact at large scale.

Innovation aspects can be found in the 3 evaluation criteria:

  • innovation potential
  • delivering innovation to the market
  • innovation management

Innovators fulfil market thanks to the potential of their innovations!

The main purpose is to enhance:

STICKY INTERACTIONS -> social hyper gravity

STICKY ENVIRONMENT -> reactive and talkative


IV. Internet of Things – Focus Area (IoT- FA)

The ambition is to establish IoT in Europe and to enable the emergence of IoT ecosystems supported by open technologies and platforms. It will be addressed through:

Large scale pilots

Pilot projects are expected to contribute to the consolidation and coherence work implemented by the CSA. They support the “Horizontal Activities” and cluster their results of horizontal nature.

The objective? Having a large impact on citizens by:

  • Involving all value chain actors
  • Addressing business model validation & standardisation
  • Addressing user validation and acceptability
  • Up-scaling of open platforms

IoT horizontal activities

Support to the IoT focus Area: issues of horizontal nature and topics of common interest (privacy, societal and ethical aspects, etc) need to be coordinated and consolidated across the pilots to maximise the output.

The objective? Ensuring coherence and exchanges between the various activities of the Focus Area, notably cross fertilisation of the various pilots for technological.

The incorporation of users of the pilots may involve financial support to third parties:

Up to 20% of the EU funding requested by the proposal may be allocated to the purpose of financial support to third parties: up to EUR 30 million (pilot 2), up to EUR 20 million (pilot 1), up to EUR 15 million (pilots 3, 4) and up to EUR 20 million (pilot 5).

This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts!


To summarise:

  • Multi actor approach is necessary. The proposal has to fulfil all the aspects and should have different actors coming from the practise and the scientific community.
  • It is important to have an Interlink between the pilot and potential operations
  • Digital innovation is necessary in order to make Europe the most attractive place for investors: Sustainable innovation can drive the economy!
  • Development of European research and innovation eco-systems as seeds of future industrial leadership and potential solutions for societal challenges


Please find below presentations given:

-> FET- agenda

-> FET-Open

-> FET-Proactive


EFMC – European Fund Management Consulting

Francesca Festa

20 January 2016
European Commission, Charlemagne Building,
170 rue de la Loi -1049, Brussels


Are you planning to submit a proposal in the ICT-03 ”SSI-Smart System Integration” call for proposals under Horizon 2020?

The Brokerage event in the field of “Smart System Integration” (Brussels, 20th January 2016) was a big opportunity to get information and network on the Horizon 2020 call for proposals on “Smart System Integration”. Please find below a short summary of the event.

Call Deadline: The ICT-03 SSI-Smart System Integration call for proposals will close on 12 April 2016.


I. H2020 – Evaluation of Proposals

When the proposal is considered eligible and admissible, independent experts will evaluate it in a maximum of 8 months.

The H2020 evaluation process consists in 3 independent steps:

  • the individual reading and reporting
  • consensus meetings
  • a panel review (including the final ranked list)
It follows the award criteria of:
  • Excellence
  • Impact
  • Quality and Efficiency of Implementation.

The project impact has to demonstrate the importance of performances not only at the technological level, but even at the economical and societal ones.

The ICT-03 purpose is to develop technology integration into a Miniaturised and Reliable System.

The objective? Enhancing a cooperative technological ecosystem that makes small companies reach important scores.

II. H2020 – What has been done up to now?

Under FP7, 81 projects have been selected (890 participants) of which 23% SMEs.

Majority of fields: textile, electronics, water quality monitoring, etc.

But new transverse actions about services are more and more widespread to provide innovation and to progress from Lab to Market.

III. H2020 – Access to Risk Finance

Lot of proposals are unsuccessful because commercialisation, market analysis and business opportunities are analysed superficially without consciousness of the Small and Medium sized enterprise (SME) opportunities provided by H2020.

Focusing more on societal challenges and innovation, H2020 is simpler than FP7:

  • Single indirect Cost model (25% Flat Rate): same rate for all beneficiaries and all activities which simplifies participation for SMEs.
  • Objective: minimum of the 20% budgetary target (collaborative projects 13% + SME instrument 7%)
  • SMEs will be allowed to apply for funding and support, particularly Start-Ups. Within the SME instrument, open disruptive innovation scheme is the most popular topic which attracts more than 1/3 of applications.

IV. There are two types of InnovFin financial instruments

  • Direct loans and guarantees: for large projects which are funded directly by the EIB – European Investment Bank → it depends on the bank ability
  • Indirect loans and guarantees: for smaller projects which are funded by financial intermediaries, guaranteed against a portion of their potential losses by the EIB

InnovFin builds on the success of the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility.

  • risk-sharing in the form of loans and guarantees
  • risk finance in the form of equity

It has to be underlined that providing funds in guarantee or venture capital funds by Business Angels or Technical transfer is a decision of the local bank, not of the Commission!

So what is relevant for the EU?

EU is supporting the ecosystem by facilitating a link between the local bank and the company

Europe needs to attract more private investment in research and innovations: SMEs are fundamental to create growth and jobs.

Please find below presentations given:

ICT03 agenda

ICT03 SSI Conference presentations

ICT03 SSI – SME Instrument


EFMC – European Fund Management Consulting

Francesca Festa