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First DIVA call for solution
Deadline: 01 Feb 2019   - 48 days

EU logo mono DIVA

 Agriculture
 Agrifood
 Aquaculture
 Forest Resources
 Entrepreneurship and SMEs
 Environment
 Electronics and Microelectronics
 IT
 IT Applications
 Robotics

CONTEXT

The DIVA Open Call is supported by DIVA (Boosting innovative DIgitech Value chains for Agrofood, forestry and environment) project, funded by Horizon 2020 program, under Grant Agreement 777890.

In the wake of the Digitising Europe Industry initiative, the DIVA project (www.projectdiva.eu) aims to provide support to the emergence and development of

new industrial digitech value chains with applications to the Agrofood sector and its related sectors Forestry and Environment. The focus is on digital marketplaces, big data, cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, cyber-physical systems, IoT and digital/electronic/photonic components. These new technologies bring new perspectives, either to fulfil existing needs from application sectors or to create and developed new services and products. This particularly fertile framework is favourable to cross-sectorial fertilisation between digital industries, application sectors and other emerging industries such as creative, experimental industries, etc.

The consortium of the DIVA project is composed by 10 partners from 6 countries: France (Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation and Digital Place), Spain (Fundación Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucia and Asociación Multisectorial de Empresas de la electronica, las tecnologias de la información y la comunicación de las telecomunicaciones y de los contenidos digitales – AMETIC), Portugal represented by INESC TEC– Institute for Systems and Computing Engineering, Technology and Science and INOVISA - , Italy (Centro Ricerche produzioni vegetali societa cooperative a responsabilita limitata and H-FARM), Greece (Ethniko diktyu erevnas techonogias), Ireland (Teasgasc) representing 9 European regions, all strongly involved in digitising initiatives for Agrofood, forestry and environment. The partnership combines skills and competences in both digital and application sectors, in order to join the capabilities of clusters and RTD performers. The partners and the activities planned in the DIVA project are anchored in the regional contexts with an expected leverage effect with RIS3 axis actions, and with an ambition towards the creation of value at the EU level.

The DIVA project concept relies on the creation of open-spaces to boost cross- fertilisation between SMEs, stakeholders from the application sectors and operators of the digital economy. Direct and indirect support to SMEs is provided in order to accelerate new ideas all along through the innovation chain, from idea emergence up to the demonstration and the internationalization stages with a focus on the creation of new value chains. Specifically, DIVA partners provide SMEs business support services to mature, improve or internationalise their business and technology in aspects such as: technological feasibility, legal aspects, market potential, IPR, business model, funding, partners identification, commercial strategy, etc.

 

AIM OF THE DOCUMENT

The document hereby aims at establishing the conditions of access to the calls for proposals that DIVA will launch (2018 DIVA Open Call and 2019 DIVA Open Call), the application and selection process, as well as any other guidelines which will conduct these calls, regulating the interaction between the partners and DIVA’s beneficiaries.

 

PURPOSE AND SCOPE OF DIVA OPEN CALLS

The digital sector is rapidly evolving with the regular emergence of new technologies. The Agrofood sector is currently showing a growing interest in new digital technology as an option for improving existing services at farm level or in food industries and creating new services through a global concept of “smart agriculture” or “smart food systems”. In similar sectors, such as forestry, digital technologies can enhance sustainable production and eco- efficient industrial information. For environmental sector, the large amount of data obtained through digital technologies contributes to monitoring effectiveness of bioeconomy policies in terms of security, resource- efficiency and mitigation of climate change.

DIVA Open Calls aim at funding innovative SMEs proposals that contribute to creation and development of new value chains based on technologies, such as digital market places, big data, cloud computing, robotics, artificial intelligence, cyber-physical systems, IoT, digital/electronic/photonic components, under a cross-sectorial approach, targeted on Agrofood, forestry and environment sectors.

DIVA Open Calls aim at funding SMEs innovative projects in order to accelerate new ideas along the innovation chain, from the emergence of new concepts, products or services up to the demonstration and the internationalization stages with the focus on the creation of new value chains. They target entire value chains of the following sectors:

- Agrofood
- Forestry
- Environment
- ICT and all related sectors as robotics, automatics, electronics, machinery, etc.

 

OPERATION

The coordination and management of the DIVA project is carried out by ASOI – Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation, France

The contacts set up under the scope of the program shall be established directly between the partner of the corresponding country of the SME/consortium.

DIVA’s headquarters are based at Agri Sud-Ouest Innovation, located at 8 Chemin de la Crouzette- 31320 Auzeville-Tolosane, France.

 

BENEFICIARIES

Beneficiaries of DIVA funding are for-profit SMEs, including young companies and start-ups, legally constituted and established in one of the following EU Member States: France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Funded projects can be:

  • -  Individual projects submitted and executed by a single SME. The beneficiary of the funding will be the SME applicant. This SME can subcontract eligible activities.

-  Collaborative projects submitted and carried out by a consortium. Consortium should be composed by 2 to 3 SMES depending of the voucher type. They can be completed by other partners such as mid-cap of big compagnies, but they will not be eligible for funding. One of the SME will act as leader of the consortium and will receive the funds.

R&D organizations can participate in the projects as subcontractors; they must be subcontracted by SME(s) partner(s) of the consortium.

End users can participate in the projects but cannot lead a consortium.

 

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

A beneficiary has to be qualified as an SME, as defined in the EU recommendation 2003/361:

https://eurlex.europa.eu/legalcontent/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32003H0361&from=EN,

Submission must come from SME(s) legally established in one of the 6 DIVA countries: France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Submission may include SMEs from other EU countries as long as the lead applicant is an SME from one of the 6 DIVA countries.

Proposals must be submitted in English. Submissions done in any other language will not be evaluated.

An SME can apply only to one type of instrument per project and per DIVA Open Call. An SME may apply as leader or partner in different projects to the same call. An SME may apply to the 2 DIVA calls. Anyway, the overall accumulated grant for an SME for the whole DIVA period, whatever the number of projects submitted and status as partner or leader, cannot exceed 60.000€.

 

 

TYPE OF INTRUMENT AND ACTIVITY THAT CAN BE FUNDED

DIVA Open Call sets up three types of instruments:

  • -  Maturation instrument (see appendix 1) with 2 types of vouchers:

Business maturation voucher: aims at funding activities to mature a business model supported by innovative products, processes, services and technologies related to digitalisation of Agrofood, environmental or forestry sector.

Technology maturation voucher: aims at funding activities to produce plans and arrangements or design for new, altered or improved products, processes or services, including prototyping or testing, and bringing them from a TRL 4-5 to a TRL 5-6i*. R&D activities may be included.

  • -  Demonstration instrument (see appendix 2) with 2 types of vouchers:

Small scale demonstration voucher: aims at funding activities to validate the technical and economic viability of a new or improved product, process, service, solution or technology in an operational (or near to operational) environment and bring them from TRL 5 to TRL 6. Activities and consortium can address part of a value chain.

Large scale demonstration voucher: aims at funding the same activities than above but from a higher starting technology readiness level, bringing them from TRL 6 to TRL 7. Activities and consortiums should address and demonstrate a whole complete value chain.

  • -  Internationalization instrument (see appendix 3) with 1 type of voucher:

Internationalization voucher: aims at funding activities to foster internationalization of a group of SMEs with a demonstrated value chain, aiming at catalysing their development, facilitating access to an international network of high-level consultants and experts, enabling SMEs to rapidly improve their value proposition thus ensuring their long-term success at an international level.

 

DIVA OPEN CALLS INDICATIVE BUDGET

Two competitive calls for proposals will be launched: the first DIVA Open Call will be launched at the end of 2018, and the second DIVA Open Call at the end of 2019.

Indicative budget will be the following:
- First DIVA Open Call: maximum 1,35M€. - Second DIVA Open Call: maximum 1,35M€.

 

ELIGIBLE COSTS

Only costs generated during the lifetime of the project can be eligible. Costs described in the submitted budget must be determined in accordance with the usual accounting and management principles and practices of the beneficiary. Eligible costs are:

  • -  Direct personnel costs: costs hours of the staff of the beneficiary dedicated to actual work under the project.

  • -  Subcontracting costs: work carried out by a provider which has entered into an agreement on business conditions with the beneficiary.

  • -  Other direct costs: further direct incurred costs can be claimed for travel, equipment, etc. Only the part of equipment costs used for the project, and the usual depreciation rules of the company have to be applied.

  • -  Indirect costs: costs incurred within the context of a project that cannot be attributed directly to the project, e.g. room rent, energy costs or general administration costs. A flat rate of 25% of the direct eligible costs shall be applied.

Period of costs’ eligibility is from the proposal submission date until the end of the project. Expenditures incurred before submission date of the proposal are not eligible. Expenditures incurred after reporting period are not eligible.

 

FUNDING SCHEME

Funding scheme of DIVA Open Call is a voucher scheme. Direct funding is addressed to SMEs through vouchers granting, in order to support their innovative business activities. All vouchers granted to SMEs are lump sum amount.

These vouchers cannot be cumulated for the same project. The SME can get only one voucher per instrument and per call, for the same project.

Voucher’s amounts and their eligibility criteria are as follows:

 

A. Maturation instrument

A.1 Business Maturation

Coaching-Mentoring activities related to:

Strategy and business model development

IPR study strategy and technological state of the art

Market and marketing pre-study, feasibility study

Regulation study

10.000€

>= 1 SME(s)

In case of collaborative project: at least 2 SMEs from 2 different countries or sectors**

 

A.2 Technology maturation

Test and technological integration in laboratory. Technological maturation

10.000€

>= 1 SME(s)

In case of collaborative project: at least 2 SMEs from 2 different countries or sectors**

**Targeted sectors are: Agrofood, forestry, environment and ICT

 

B. Demonstration instrument

B.1 Demonstration small-scale

Experimentation, technical and economical tests in real life or similar environments

Applies to partial stages of a value-chain

25.000€

>= 2 SME(s)

From 2 different countries or sectors***

 

B.2 Demonstration large-scale

Experimentation, technical and economical tests in real life or similar environments

A complete value-Chain must be demonstrated

60.000€

>= 2 SME(s)

From 2 different countries or sectors

 

***An eligible consortium could be, for instance:

  • -  Two Agrofood SMEs, one established in Ireland and one in Portugal

  • -  One ICT SME and one forestry SME, both established in France

  • - One environmental SME established in Greece and one ICT SME established inItaly

 

C. Internationalization instrument

International market strategy

Business Model development and Implementation Road MAP

IPR policy implementation

Market and marketing study plan

Regulation policy implementation

30.000€

>= 3 SME(s)

From 2 different countries or sectors

 

 

FIRST DIVA OPEN CALL PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS

The call scheme is in one step submission.

The DIVA Open Call will remain open at least for 2 months, from its launching day.

Applicants must do the submission online, following the submission tool available in the DIVA portal (www.projectdiva.eu), hereafter designated as “application”. Applicants must register to the application, fulfil the administrative form the Description of Work (DoW) following the template provided into the application.

DIVA consortium shall not be liable in the event of loss of submitted proposals namely due to network interruptions. In case of any failures of the DIVA system or website, applicant will have to contact his national contact point.

DIVA consortium shall not consider late submission proposals as valid.

Once the proposal is submitted, the applicant will receive the notification about the proposal registration.

After eligibility check, missing information and/or documentation can be requested to applicants.

The evaluation process is carried out following the evaluation criteria described below. Online or face to face applicant(s)interview may be requested by evaluators in order to facilitate proposal understanding.

The list of selected projects will be available within a period of 2 months from the call closing day.

For collaborative projects, a signed consortium agreement will be required. The consortium must be led by an SME.

The grant agreement will be signed between the beneficiary SME and the DIVA partner situated in the same DIVA country of the beneficiary. In case of collaborative projects, grant agreement will be signed between the leader SME and the DIVA partner situated in the same country as the leader. Grant agreement will be signed at the latest one month after the publication of approved projects list.

For individual projects, funding will be granted to the sole SME beneficiary. In case of collaborative projects, the leader SME will be the funding receiver and will be in charge of its distribution among partners, according to what previously described in the consortium agreement.

Financial solvency of approved SMEs is checked before grant agreement signature. DIVA partner funder may require fulfilment of financial solvency to SME beneficiary and define special conditions to release funding.

Maximum duration of projects is 9 months for maturation projects, 12 months for small scale demonstration projects, 18 months for large-scale demonstration projects, and 12 months for internationalization projects. Project starting date will be, at the latest, one month after grant agreement signature.

At the end of the project, beneficiaries will have to report technical results and achievements of the project to the respective DIVA partner funder, within 1 month from the final day of the project, as defined in the grant agreement.

Selected proposals will be monitored by DIVA national partner in charge. The monitoring procedure includes an initial assessment, the definition of a roadmap and a final assessment (to evaluate the impact of the DIVA support) based on a set of criteria identified in the roadmap.

Application to DIVA call can be subject to particular conditions such as membership fees according to the countries. Applicants are invited to contact their DIVA national contact point published in the DIVA official website to check this and more widely before submitting the application in order to receive technical support during the proposal preparation stage.

 

PAYMENTS AND BENEFICIARIES’ OBLIGATIONS

Voucher’ payment will be delivered by the DIVA partner funder, as a lump sum to the beneficiary as follows:

- 50% soon after the grant agreement signature (and consortium agreement signature if required),

- 50% two months after technical reporting delivery. If the technical reporting is not considered satisfactory by DIVA partner funder, this second payment will not be carried out.

Beneficiaries obligations are the following:

- Supporting documentation
The SME/consortium must — for a period of five-years after the payment of the balance — keep records and other supporting documentation in order to prove the proper implementation of the action.
They must make them available upon request or in the context of checks, reviews, audits or investigations.
If there are on-going checks, reviews, audits, investigations, litigation or other pursuits of claims under the grant agreement (including the extension of funding), the SME/consortium must keep the records and other supporting documentation until the end of these procedures.
The SME/consortium must keep the original documents. Digital and digitalised documents are considered originals if they are authorised by the applicable national law. Non-original documents may be accepted if they offer a comparable level of assurance.

- Financial capacity:
The SME/consortium must have the financial capacity to carry out the actions described in their proposals and to properly manage the financial support granted to them.
Applicants have to provide some basic information of their financial standing, being assessed by the following criteria:

. Solvency (being capable of covering the medium and long-term commitments)
. Relative indebtedness (net financial debt /EBITDA)

The following evidence should be provided:
. Copy of the profit and loss account and balance sheet for the last three years for which accounts have been closed. Failing that, appropriate statements from banks shall be submitted.

In case of SMEs without a financial history or track-record, an audit of their current fiscal period (certified by an external auditor) or a self-declaration, including a bona fide estimate (business plan) for the on-going financial year is required.

Exceptionally, when it would be considered justified by the evaluator, if a participant is unable to provide the above documents, it may prove its economic and financial capacity by any other document which the evaluator considers appropriate. Nevertheless, this entity must at least be notified of the exceptional reason and its justification in the proposal; and it reserves the right to request any other document enabling it to verify the participant’s financial capacity.

 

EVALUATION

13.1. Evaluation criteria

The eligible proposals will be evaluated and ranked according to the 3 following criteria:

- Impact
o Market Description: potential market dimension, potential scale

up, competitive advantage, competitors

o Business model, implementation road map, commercialization plan

o Cross-sectorial aspect, leverage effect, contribution to new and complete value chains creation, alignment with DIVA priority thematic

- Excellence

o Degree of innovation, risks, contingency measures

o Current state of the art (TRL), innovation stage

o Consistency of technical objectives related to expected innovation

- Implementation

o Technical and business capacities

o Partnerships, complementarity of partners

o Description of activities, timeframe, methodology, risk management

o Budget and activities adequacy

These criteria were validated by DIVA’s partners at the beginning of DIVA project as well as the selection procedure also.

A particular attention will be paid to cross-border projects.

13.2 Scoring

For each criterion, a score must be in the range 0-5. The threshold for individual criterion is 3. The overall threshold is 10.

In case of proposal achieving the same ranking, priority will be given to proposals with the higher impact criterion score.

13.3 Evaluation procedure

Eligibility checking will be carried out by DIVA partner funder.

Evaluation will be carried out by 3 experts from the DIVA consortium, one from the country of the applicant and 2 from other DIVA countries. The expertise of evaluators will be in line with activities submitted: strategy and business model positioning, IPR study and technological state of the art, market and marketing pre-study, certification / regulation positioning or technological maturation.

Each of those 3 experts will score the evaluated proposals and will deliver an individual evaluation report; the average of those 3 scorings will be the final score of the proposal.

An evaluation committee composed by all evaluator experts will validate the final ranking including all winning proposals up to the call funds availability. In case of lack of consensus in one proposal, the evaluation committee will take advice from the DIVA advisory board.

 

FIRST DIVA OPEN CALL FOR PROPOSALS TIMELINE

Opening date for the proposal submission: 30th of November 2018
Closing date for the proposal submission: 1st of February 2019, 17h00 Brussels time

Notification of funded proposals: 29th of March 2019 Grant agreement signature date: from 1st of April 2019

 

BENEFICIARIES RIGHTS

Within the scope of the activities comprised in each DIVA’s call, SME/consortium beneficiaries are entitled to privileged access, in good time, to materials and human resources, as well as coaching, technological assistance, counselling and information services.

DIVA’s partners are responsible and committed to implementing and running the program; its monitorization, consulting and support provision to DIVA’s beneficiaries.

DIVA ensures the utmost rigor, confidentiality and transparency during the entire process.

 

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