Phase 2. Demonstration, Market Replication, R&D
In phase 2, innovation projects will be supported that address the specific challenges identified and that demonstrate high potential in terms of company competitiveness and growth underpinned by a strategic business plan. Activities should focus on innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, prototyping, piloting, scaling-up, miniaturisation, design, market replication and the like aiming to bring an innovation idea (product, process, service etc.) to industrial readiness and maturity for market introduction, but may also include some research. For technological innovation, Technology Readiness Levels of 6 or above (or similar for non-technological innovations) are envisaged.
Proposals shall be based on an elaborate business plan. Particular attention must be paid to IP protection and ownership; applicants will have to present convincing measures to ensure the possibility of commercial exploitation ('freedom to operate'). Proposals shall contain a specification for the outcome of the project and criteria for success. They will include an explanation of how the results of the supported project are to be commercialised and of what kind of impact on the company is expected. The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.5 and 2.5 million would allow phase 2 to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts (higher or lower). Projects should last between 12 and 24 months.
Concept to Market-Maturity (1-2 years)
Assisted by the EU, the SME will further develop its proposal through innovation activities, such as demonstration, testing, piloting, scaling up, and miniaturisation. It will also draft a more developed business plan (around 30 pages).
Proposals will be based on a business plan developed on phase 1 or otherwise. The EU aims to contribute between €0.5 million and €2.5 million.