June 2014

Any type of company can participate in H2020, from independent contractors to the biggest of multinationals

The programme Horizon 2020 was officially opened in December 2013

Given the highly competitive nature of Framework Programme calls and the relatively low approval rate there is a temptation for those interested in cooperative research to present a number of proposals in order to play the odds. In Vicomtech-IK4 the strategy is to present a small number of high quality proposals in areas where our research activity is strong. 
Any type of company can participate in H2020, from independent contractors to the biggest of multinationals.

In H2020 there is a renewed focus on the importance of SME participation in the framework programme and therefore the rules have been greatly simplified. New in H2020 is a special SME instrument that allows a single company to present a proposal. 

Those who are interested should also look at the EC, CDTI and SPRI websites for information on InfoDays and Brokerge Events

The preferred role for ICT projects, for example, is to act as a bridge between Industry and Academia. When working with High Tech SMEs in smaller projects Vicomtech-IK4 usually assumes the role of coordinator and ensures that the project meets the EC expectations, support the administrative and financial reporting requirements of the partners and endeavour to help shape and direct the project in line with the vision of both the companies and research organisation. 

Of course, the primary goal of Vicomtech-IK4 is always to conduct quality applied research which adds value to project in attempting to ensure that the final results are greater than the sum of their parts.

A typical Innovation project will have a budget from 3-5 Million Euro. However, project funding will range from 50,000 EUR up to 8 million EUR or more.
They are generously financed, in cases up to 100%. Beyond material resources, they allow a company to build networks and partnerships in collaboration with other pioneering organisations in Europe and beyond. 

Given the pan-European nature of the projects and that they are future-looking (2-5 year horizon) they allow a company to address a barrier or leverage an advance in the state of the art or technology that will allow them to gain a competitive advantage over their competition. It is also possible to make the definition of the project proposal compatible with an organisation’s own research, development and innovation plans whilst also providing mechanisms to adequately protect the IP, commercialisation and exploitation rights that result from the project. Participation in FP projects is also a plus point when considering presenting in national or regional programmes and when trying to attract investment. There are cases where companies that have found participation in FP as a selling point with clients as it speaks to their capacity for research and innovation.

Seán Gaines
International Projects Director

More information: European Research Space - Vicomtech-IK4