An ECSEL Innovation Action (IA) primarily consists of activities aiming at pilot lines, test beds, demonstrators, innovation pilots and zones of full-scale testing. These activities produce plans and arrangements or designs for new, altered or improved products, processes, methods and tools or services. For this purpose they may include prototyping, testing, demonstrating, piloting, large-scale product validation and market replication.
A ‘technology or method introduction’ aims at the development, testing, and implementation of new technologies, tools or methods, which are a critical element of innovative products, which will be created in subsequent projects.
A 'demonstration or pilot' aims to validate the technical and economic viability of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution in an operational (or nearly operational) environment, whether industrial or otherwise, involving, where appropriate, a larger scale prototype or demonstrator.
A 'market replication' aims to support the first application/deployment in the market of an innovation that has already been demonstrated but not yet applied/deployed in the market due to market failures/barriers to uptake. 'Market replication' does not cover multiple applications in the market of an innovation that has already been applied successfully once in the market. 'First' means new at least to Europe or new at least to the application sector in question. Often such projects involve a validation of technical and economic performance at system level in real life operating conditions provided by the market.
The activities have their centre of gravity at the TRL 5-8.
An IA proposal in ECSEL JU is characterized by:
Execution by an industrial consortium including universities, institutes, SMEs and large companies:
- Using innovative technology;
- Developing and demonstrating innovative solutions in relation with the ECSEL Strategic Thrusts as outlined in the ECSEL MASP;
Establishment of a new and realistic innovation environment connected with an industrial environment, such as:
- a pilot line facility capable of manufacturing;
- a zone of full-scale testing;
- a development of new processes or tools and their introduction in several domains;
- the development of frameworks or platforms together with the usage of these frameworks or platforms in innovative products.
Having a deployment plan leading to economic value creation in Europe.
In order to maximize effective implementation of the ECSEL top-level objectives, the list of IA proposals to be retained for public funding should constitute a balanced portfolio of projects applying innovative technologies (as defined in the MASP in the essential technology section) and applying them in different domains as defined in the MASP. The domains represent the demand side of technologies, and the development of new technologies represents the supply side of technologies.
Full details of the topics open for proposals, terms and conditions for participation and funding budgets are available in the ECSEL JU Work Plan 2017.