1 Guide for applicants
1.1 Background and general objectives
The European manufacturing industry is constantly undergoing a modernization process. The Internet of Things (IoT) technologies have already entered into manufacturing and this trend will increase, towards a so- called “Industry 4.0”. Europe’s manufacturing industry is investing continuously in its modernization, which includes the massive introduction of new ICT technologies and in particular IoT, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity. In the future, all forms of advanced industry will have to become more data- driven and more “intelligent” in order to compete effectively. This intelligence will also rely on advances through IoT, since data and intelligence will come from advanced connected objects that provide sensing, measurement, control, power management and communication, both wired and wireless. This process has already started in large companies which have the potential to fully involve ICT and research departments but requires facilitations in smaller companies in order to keep them competitive and exploit their full potential, creativity and flexibility.
The general objective of this call is to enhance the productivity, profitability and innovation capacities of European manufacturing SMEs by enabling their access to IoT technologies.
It also seeks to accelerate the access to the market to new products and services provided by technology SMEs, strengthening innovation and growth in Europe.
This is the first of two calls foreseen by IoT4Industry project and will open on September 20th and close on December 20th at 17 CET. A second call will open on March 10th, 2019 with a Deadline on June 10th 2019 at 17 CET.
1.2 Scope and expectations
The call is focused on the application of IoT technologies in the manufacturing environment. It will finance small and market-oriented projects involving SMEs, consisting of the integration and the use of IoT technologies (including Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Security) into machines, robots, manufacturing tools, industrial processes, and factories environments.
Projects shall gather at least one entity representing the “IoT” side (technology offer) AND another entity representing the industry side (demand) which could be a machine or tool manufacturer or a factory, as shown in the figure below. At least one of these entities shall be a European SME (see 1.5 Eligibility conditions for more detail).
Smart manufacturing tool implementation
Machine / tool
Direct technology integration
Projects shall have a strong international dimension, involving entities from at least two different NUTS 1 regions of Europe (see 1.5 Eligibility conditions for more detail).
Projects are expected to be innovative, i.e. going beyond the state-of-the art in terms of technologies used and use cases addressed.
A clear industrial application is expected involving a final customer/end user.
If the final user (industry/factory) is not involved in the consortium, applicants are invited to insert a letter of support of the final user telling that he/she is interested in implementing the solution in its factory.
The expected technologies addressed in this call are sensors and data acquisition (including big data and analytics), cybersecurity, robotics and automation (including communication technology), simulation and modelling (including virtual reality and augmented reality), batteries and energy harvesting, chips and electronic components, smart systems, embedded software, low-energy, RFID, communication protocols & networks, gateways, cloud/fog/edge computing, High Performance Computing, Artificial Intelligence (machine learning, deep learning, neural networks ...), biometry, human-machine interaction, cognitive computing, mobility and wearables.
1.2.2 Industrial applications
The expected industrial applications addressed in this call are predictive maintenance, logistics & supply chain, track and trace, monitoring applications, process analysis, data analysis and management, assets management, re-configuration, quality control, safety & security, energy saving and sustainability smart advice, decision support, smart elaboration, process/product improvement, ergonomic, product life cycle management, smart packaging, additive manufacturing.
1.2.3 Vertical sectors
The targeted vertical sectors include – electronics, nanotechnologies, automotive, mechanicals, aerospace, defence, medical & pharmaceutical, construction, energy & utilities, marine (naval industries), metal working, chemicals, food & beverage, logistics, print, textile, luxury, cosmetics, wood, paper, furniture, consumer products, etc.
Projects shall demonstrate that the integration and application of IoT technologies can improve the market competitiveness of the involved SMEs. In particular, projects must demonstrate:
the increase in efficiency of the production means of the manufacturing company, improving its competitiveness on the international market;
the growth opportunity for technology providers of the implementation of their technology into a machine or a factory and the replicability and scalability of the same solutions in other industries and use cases;
by means of KPI (employment, turnover, market share, environmental impact ...) the sustainability and
scalability of the approach and the business perspective for both technology providers and manufacturing actors
1.4 Type of proposals and maximum financial contribution
This call shall provide support to three types of actions, namely:
Feasibility studies will target companies having an idea of the intended project a purpose but with needs for further analysing the technical aspects, the intellectual property issues, the design study, etc. Actions of this type target Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 4–5.
Prototyping instrument will target companies having already carried out a feasibility study, and having the need to develop a prototype, spend efforts in miniaturisation, testing, etc. (TRL 6).
Demonstration/pilot instrument will target companies having already developed and tested a prototype, with the need to demonstrate its efficiency on a larger scale (TRL 7–8).
1.5 Eligibility conditions
Proposals will be eligible if and only if all the following conditions are met:
Applicants are legal entities located in an EU Member State (list here: https://europa.eu/european- union/about-eu/countries_en) or an Horizon 2020 associated country (list here: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/grants_manual/hi/3cpart/h2020-hi-list- ac_en.pdf)
The consortium is composed of at least two legal entities based in two different NUTS 1 regions of European member states and Horizon 2020 associated countries (definition here: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/nuts/nuts-maps-.pdf-);
At least one of these entities is a for-profit SME. “For-profit SMEs” means micro-, small- and medium- sized enterprises, as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC. Definition here: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/sme-definition_en
At least one legal entity of the consortium must be based in a country of one the consortium partners, i.e. France, Italy, Germany, Belgium or United Kingdom;
Proposals respect the conditions described in section 1.4 Type of proposals and maximum financial contribution of this call; namely the type of action is indicated, the TRL envisaged, the maximum financial contributions per beneficiary and per project and the project maximum duration.
Proposals must be submitted through the FundingBox platform (https://iot4industry-innovation- vouchers.fundingbox.com/) before 17:00 CET of the deadline indicated in section 1.7 Calendar of the present call.
Proposals must be written in English, in scope and complete in all the parts indicated in the template section;
The SME Viability Self-Check must be provided in the table in Section 5: Financial capacity table of the template of the proposal to prove the SME financial capacity (https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/lfv/lfvSimulation.do).
For companies asking for demonstrator projects, none of the criteria should be “weak”.
For companies applying for feasibility or prototypes, none of the criteria should be “weak”, except those reflecting the profitability of the company.
1.6 Funding conditions
Successful proposals shall receive the requested financial contribution in the form of a lump sum according to the following timeline:
A pre-funding payment of 20% of the requested financial contribution will be provided at the beginning of the project.
A final payment of 80% of the requested contribution will be provided after the approval of the final technical report by the IoT4Industry consortium. The approval process will check that all the technical2 KPIs (defined by the applicants in section 1) are 100% met and demonstrators and deliverables are satisfactory. Furthermore a physical or virtual meeting with an interactive session will be organised to better verify the quality of the technical results. Should the technical check be unsatisfactory, IoT4Industry Steering Committee can decide to revoke part or all the funding.
20th September 2018: Opening of the call
20th December 2018: Deadline of the call at 17:00 CET
21st December 2018–14th January 2019: Eligibility assessment (administrative check)
18th–22nd February 2019: Evaluation Summary Reports sent to the project proponents
22nd February 2019–1st March 2019: Grant Agreement signature
1st March 2019–29th February 2020 Projects Execution
1.8 Application process
FundingBox, an online tool, is used for the submission of applications. FundingBox is a tool created especially for publishing, managing and evaluation of projects calls.
Proposals shall be submitted to the following web address https://iot4industry-innovation- vouchers.fundingbox.com/
The published link leads to the call front page which lists all information and application conditions with respect to the call.
Guide for applicants and the template for proposal preparation can be downloaded from IoT4Industry website: https://www.IoT4Industry.eu
Clicking the “Apply” button leads to a questionnaire where all the required information is entered as text box or drop down menu or similar.
The proposal text, inserted on the template, must be uploaded in pdf format, as well as other pdf attachments if available (letter of interest or similar)
The last step in the application process is clicking the final submission button. Until that very last step, applicants are able to modify their proposal data. Once, applicants have finally submitted their proposal, they receive an automated e-mail stating that the submission has been entered successfully.
1.9 Template for proposal preparation
Proposals will be submitted in a document of maximum 10 pages according to a pre-defined template (in Annexes section 2.2 Exploitation Strategy).
The proposal will be structured in 5 sections whose expected content is explained in detail in Annex. The sections will be completed filling the template and uploaded on FundingBox in PDF format.
1.10 Evaluation and selection process
Two independent experts will evaluate independently each proposal according to the following criteria:
Reminder: only for-profit SMEs are eligible to receive funding. The maximum contribution that individual SMEs can receive is applicable to the whole duration of the IoT4Industry project. The cumulative contributions received by individual SMEs taking part in the two calls of the IoT4Industry project cannot be higher than EUR 60,000.
Soundness and pertinence of Objectives with the scope of the call
Credibility of the technological KPIs to measure the results
Concreteness of the technical approach
Coherence of the TRLs and scope with the type of proposal applied for (feasibility,prototype or demonstrator)
Innovativeness of the proposed solution
Industrial and individual relevance
Credibility of targets for business KPIs
Quality of the exploitation, IPR and knowledge protection strategy
Soundness of the workplan, including relevance of the tasks described, and the timing of the activities
Appropriateness of the consortium: evaluate completeness (IoT Technology providers and industrial users are present) and complementarity (the provided solutions match with the needs of the final users)
European dimension (in terms of transnational dimension of the consortium and exploitation intentions towards European countries)
Cost-effectiveness of the workplan
Operational capacity (evaluate the technical capacity of the proposers related to the proposed work, see also Section 4)
A score from 1 to 5 including half scores will be assigned to each the 3 criteria. The meaning of the marks is as follows:
0: The proposal fails to address the criterion under examination or cannot be judged due to missing or incomplete information.
1: Very Poor – The criterion is addressed in an inadequate manner, or there are serious inherent weaknesses.
2: Poor – While the proposal broadly addresses the criterion, there are significant weaknesses.
3: Acceptable – The proposal addresses the criterion, although significant improvements are possible.
4: Good – The proposal addresses the criterion well, although certain improvements are still possible.
5: Very Good – The proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion in question. Any short-comings are minor.
The final mark given to each criterion will be the average of the scores given by the two evaluators.
In order to be successful, proposals shall score at least 3 in each criterion and have an overall score of at least 10 points.
Successful proposals (i.e. above threshold) are funded in descending order until the available sum for the call is totally assigned.
A Selection Committee composed of one representative of each IoT4Industry project’s partner will be reserved the rights of modifying the ranking of successful proposals (in case of equal scores) in order to balance the list of selected projects according to geographical coverage and vertical sectors represented, to better reflect diversity of industrial sectors and countries covered in Europe.
An Evaluation Summary Report containing the scores and both evaluators justifications for each score as well as the Selection Committee ranking justifications will be provided to proposal coordinators.
1.11 Grant signature
Coordinators of proposals selected for funding (IoT4Industry beneficiaries) will be invited to sign a grant agreement with SCS cluster, coordinator of the IoT4Industry project. This grant agreement contains the obligations of the SME funded in the framework of IoT4Industry call and payment process to be proceeded by SCS.
A draft model of the foreseen Grant Agreement is available in Annex 2.
A final report is foreseen at the end of the project after 6 months for feasibility study and after 12 months for prototypes and demonstrators.
An intermediate report is foreseen after 6 months for prototypes and demonstrators. The reports will have the following structure:
Executive summary ready for dissemination
Description of the achieved results
Description of the implemented activities
Status of technical KPIs (defined in the proposal to measure the achieved technical results)
Description of dissemination material and exploitation actions
Plan for remaining activities (only for intermediate report)
Evaluation of the following impact KPIs (only for final report) in feasibility study they should provide a forecast after the implementation end:
Employment created/safeguarded due to the Project (stating also the number of IoT4Industry Beneficiary employees before the Project as well as forecasts for 2020 and 2021)
Impact on turnover due to the Project (stating also forecasts for 2020 and 2021)
Market share acquired due to the Project (stating also forecasts for 2020 and 2021)
Environmental impact (if applicable), (water consumption, energy ...) generated by the Project (stating also forecasts for 2020 and 2021)
Contribution of the Project to new or significantly improved products launched (stating also forecasts for 2020 and 2021)
Contribution of the Project to new or significantly improved methods and processes (stating also forecasts for 2020 and 2021)
Contribution of the Project to introduction of patents
Contribution of the Project to changes in the innovation practices
Advancement of TRL due to the Project
Other forms of finance, such as risk capital or public funds, raised by the Project
A final meeting (physical or virtual) will be organised after the end of the project to better check in an interactive session the quality of the final results.
1.13 Helpdesk and FAQ
The helpdesk is provided by the contact page of the project’s website:
A FAQ section is also available on the FundingBox website: