Actions should help startups and scaleups achieve market success and mature the innovation excellence of high potential innovators. Actions should support the creation of new jobs and high growth businesses and support their growth on a pan-European and international level. Innovators identified, promoted and supported by the Innovation Radar are expected to enrich and benefit from the Startup Europe ecosystem[[https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/innovation-radar]][[http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/about-startup-europe]][[This includes ICT innovators in EU-funded PCP and PPI procurements in the ICT domain. Innovators targeted by the Innovation Radar include startups, SMEs, spinoffs and research teams.]]. Projects should demonstrate sustainability of proposed actions beyond the life of the project. Where appropriate, the projects should seek synergies with ESIF funds or ESIF supported actions in order to improve the synergies between H2020 and ESIF.
a. Innovation actions
Connecting local deep-tech startup ecosystems and supporting cross-border activities: among the 4-5 startups ecosystems connected by each project, at least half of them will be located in less developed ecosystems. Actively connect them to the Startup Europe one-stop-shop and involve the Digital Innovation Hubs to support individual ecosystems. Cross-border activities will include: connecting deep-tech entrepreneurs with e.g. potential investors, business partners, accessing skills and services helping startups soft land in new markets. Particular focus will be placed on stimulating partnerships between scaleups and corporates with a view to procurement. Special attention will be placed to support digital startups and scaleups wherever situated in Europe, to access public procurement opportunities across borders.
b. Coordination and support actions
- Provide targeted and tailored go-to-market support to SMEs, startups, scaleups, spinoffs and market-oriented researchers, who are supported by EU funded ICT projects[[From Framework Programme 7, Competitiveness and Innovation Program and Horizon 2020 programme.]] and are delivering market-creating innovations that have scale-up potential.
- Insight and intelligence from the Innovation Radar is to be used to detect EU-funded innovators who face the biggest market opportunities (enhancement of Innovation Radar data by merging with relevant third party data sources is welcomed).
- Support for innovators is expected to include mentoring, coaching, investor readiness training, coaching on how to bid for public procurement sales opportunities, connecting innovators with potential customers, business partners and investors (Business Angels, Venture Capital, Crowdfunding and other relevant forms of financing).
The challenge is to scale up innovative businesses across the EU, detect high potential innovations and support innovators in going to market. Actions under this heading reinforce the Startup Europe and Innovation Radar initiatives and link to the activities of the European Innovation Council in a complementary way by targeting exclusively ICT innovators that are not supported by the EIC.
Proposals should address the following and provide appropriate metrics for measuring success with respect to a defined baseline:
a. Innovation actions
- Increased connectedness among members of deep-tech startup ecosystems and their companies (startups and scaleups) and to the larger European business ecosystem seeking maximum synergies
- Increased access to customers, private and public, better access to qualified employees, access to the right combination of finance and prospects for scaling up across border;
- Stimulate European investments in deep-tech digital sectors through increasing the number of cross-border investments; demonstrate sustainability of proposed actions beyond the life of the project.
b. Coordination and Support actions
- Increase the number of digital technology based spin-offs, startups and scale-ups or successfully transferred technology from EU funded projects;
- Enable innovative ICT based companies or technology to reach investment maturity and market introduction readiness, and/or winning for the first time public procurement contracts across the EU.