This breakfast briefing in the 'Funding Cleantech' series, takes place on the morning of 27 March 2014. The session will provide an overview of Horizon 2020, a new source of funding for SMEs, the process of applying for funding - and what it takes for a successful application. The event, organised by Cleantech Investor, is sponsored by K&L Gates, ZaZ Ventures and Clean Capital and will be hosted by K&L Gates at their London offices.
The European Commission opened the first series of calls for projects under Horizon 2020, the European Union's new €77 billion research and innovation programme, at the start of 2014. Horizon 2020 is the successor to the EU's FP7 funding programme. However, there are some significant changes from the previous programme - notably a focus on funding for SMEs.
Throughout the collaborative calls of Horizon 2020, there is a greater focus on funding for technologies which are close to market than its predecessor FP7; there is a stronger focus on innovation, rather than research; and the funding programme also benefits from a streamlined review and contract negotiation process compared to FP7.
New to Horizon 2020: The SME Instrument
These new aspects of the EU funding are particularly highlighted in the new SME Instrument. Indeed, the EC has stated its ambition to make Horizon 2020 the most SME-friendly EU support programme in history, releasing a budget of €8.65 billion between 2014 and 2020 dedicated soley to innovation at SMEs. The instrument aims to fund innovation at SMEs that would otherwise be unlikely to come to the fore - and it aims to facilitate this through a simplified and accelerated application process.
Beyond the potential for innovation, the competitive three-stage process is also designed to vet the company for private investment.
Horizon 2020 funding will be worth more than €15 billion over the first two years. Twelve areas will be a focus for action in 2014/2015, including: Advanced Materials; Biotech; Energy; Water; Factories of the Future; Transport and Smart Cities.
More than 300 calls and their budgets have been published with deadlines from early March 2014 to November 2014. A similar number of calls in the same areas have already been published for 2015, giving applicants time to form high quality consortia.
Learn The Secrets of Success
Horizon 2020 proposals require a specific format and are subject to defined evaluation criteria. Proposals are evaluated and ranked by up to three reviewers. Only the very best applications are successfully funded. Proposal development and writing, however, requires a very significant investment in time (it is estimated that a successful proposal takes up to 400 hours to prepare).
This breakfast event will:
- Explain the background to the Horizon 2020 programme
- Describe how the Horizon 2020 programme is run
- Highlight the biggest pitfalls of proposal writing and how to avoid them
- Share the experience of participating in and running a European project through case studies of cleantech companies
Who should attend?
This event is targeted at SMEs and other research organisations which plan to apply for Horizon 2020 funding for technology innovation. The event will also be of value to investors in SMEs seeking additional sources of funding for their portfolio companies. While the event case studies will focus on cleantech companies, most of the content will be relevant to technology companies of any sector.
Speakers at the event will include:
- Experts in EU Horizon 2020 and other innovation grant funding
- Case studies from companies which have successfully received EU funding
- Facilitators of potential EU Horizon 2020 project consortiums