European research - FI-PPP
Future Internet Public-Private Partnership (FI-PPP) : Call 3
Future Internet Public-Private Partnership Phase 3
The European Union is providing investment funds and other actors with funding to distribute within their network of SMEs and Web entrepreneurs. On average, 5 million Euro is provided to investment funds and other intermediaries, of which 80% should be forwarded to innovative players in the network of the intermediaries. The funding to SMEs and Web entrepreneurs is used to develop new applications and services on top of innovative technologies, thereby validating those technologies.
The Future Internet Public-Private Partnership is a program set up by the European Commission and European industry to make the business operations ion several domains smarter, and to increase competitiveness of European technology providers.
The 5-year program is implemented via 3 phases and a number of projects (see picture below).
During the first phase, a set of Use Case projects (from ‘FINEST’ to ‘ENVIROFI’ in the picture above) developed use case scenarios in a number of industry domains, e.g. logistics, transport, agriculture, energy, etc. Part of the ICT technology needed to implement these use case scenarios is specific for the domain or use case, and part is more generic. The generic technologies are specified and implemented via so-called ‘Generic Enablers’, i.e. platform building blocks, by the FI-WARE project. The specific technologies are implemented by the Use Case projects via applications and ‘Specific Enablers’, i.e. building blocks for a certain domain, e.g. “Ad-hoc Content Sharing” and “Multimedia Indexing and image/speech recognition” in the media/content domain. At the same time, a dedicated project called ‘INFINITY’ made an inventory of different European infrastructures that can be used to host the technologies, e.g. data centers, testbeds, wireless sensor networks, etc.
The second phase puts the platform components, use case scenarios, and infrastructures together by developing Use Case platforms. The Use Case Trial projects (from ‘cSpace’ to ‘FITMAN’ in the picture above) develop specific applications on top of the Use Case platforms. They also conduct trials with the platforms/applications within their specific industry domain. The platforms and applications run on infrastructures provided by the XIFI project.
The third and last phase puts the Use Case platforms, the Generic Enablers, and the XIFI infrastructures out in the open for large-scale take-up by (typically small) innovative developers (‘Expansion of Use Cases’ in the picture above). The SMEs and Web entrepreneurs develop applications and services on top of the Use Case platforms and Generic Enablers.
The picture below shows the overall flow in the program.
How does phase 3 work?
The objective of the third phase of the FI-PPP is (i) to provide and run a stable infrastructure for the large scale trials and expand the Generic Enablers, and (ii) to involve through open calls SMEs and web entrepreneurs as developers of innovative, data-rich services and applications, building on Use Case platforms and the Generic Enablers. Here we focus only on the second objective.
The outcome of phase 3 is a large set of innovative services and applications in a wide range of Internet usage areas and large scale trials, making innovative use of the technologies and validating the concepts developed under the previous phases of the FI-PPP. These services and applications should make business processes significantly smarter (i.e. more intelligent, more efficient, more sustainable) through tight integration with Internet networking and computing capabilities, and notably exploiting open data.
This objective calls for projects with participants that can rapidly connect to existing communities of small and innovative ICT developers , i.e., SMEs and Web entrepreneurs, to take-up Future Internet technologies developed in previous phases.
Typically projects will bring together partners providing the full ecosystem to successfully involve the SMEs and Web entrepreneurs called to participate, such as partners having access to and experience with SME environments, partners bringing in the innovative ICT infrastructure, trial providers, the user notion, and the public sector to foster local/regional commitment.
Project participants, notably the coordinating organisation, will have to demonstrate their financial viability to receive and manage funds at the level requested, as well as their expertise and capacity in developing and managing the full life-cycle of the open-calls transparently. The projects are encouraged to ensure a sustainable longer-term environment.
The main task of the projects is to scope, organise and manage open calls for small and innovative ICT players such as SMEs and Web entrepreneurs to develop services/applications that present a clear societal and economic value while exceeding a defined minimum level of functional complexity. This way, a very large number of small, innovative services is generated, which build on Use Case platforms and the FI-WARE Generic Enablers. Any IPR generated by the SMEs and Web entrepreneurs shall rest with them. Other tasks include liaising with the other projects selected in defining the open calls, support SMEs and Web entrepreneurs in terms of access to information, tools and services provided by the technology providing projects, notably on functionalities of the Generic Enablers, the testbed, the large scale trials, the infrastructure availability/accessibility and others, in order to get involved SMEs rapidly up to speed/familiarised with the FI-PPP environment and enable them to focus on their innovation task. Finally, the projects should support SMEs and Web entrepreneurs in aspects such as innovation, entrepreneurship and business modelling, training and education for and among entrepreneurs, business sustainability, intellectual property.
At least 80% of the project budget should be reserved for open calls for SMEs and web-entrepreneurs. Projects must publish widely their open calls and adhere to FP7 standards with respect to evaluation, conflict of interest and confidentially. Projects must also promote widely the participation in their open calls, e.g., by tapping into venture capital communities and corporate venture activities, public/private accelerators and others. SMEs and Web entrepreneurs that are successful in the open calls will be granted financial assistance which is typically in the order of EUR 50.000-150.000.
Speed and quality of service to SMEs and Web entrepreneurs as well as their successful and sustainable involvement will be a key success measure.