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Co-Innovation platform for research infrastructure technologies

The aim is the establishment of an open initiative oriented towards a novel research and innovation collaborative framework engaging both the research communities in Europe using Research Infrastructures and the industry (including SMEs), for the mutual benefit of these stakeholders and the European society at large.

Under the previous Work Programme, through a pilot action, support has been provided to a wide number of proofs of concept demonstrating the potential for industrial application and exploitation of innovative solutions based on research infrastructure technologies. Proposals under this topic should focus on the most promising outcomes of the past pilot action[[]] as well as on other valuable opportunities of exploitation of research infrastructure technologies for industrial applications, to further support their development and substantially raise their TRL. These opportunities should have breakthrough potential across Europe, be feasible and scalable, as well as exploitable for industrial applications having societal value.

This action allows for the provision of financial support to third parties in line with the conditions set out in Part K of the General Annexes. Being the financial support to third parties the primary aim of the action, at least 80% of the EU contribution should be used to this scope. Due to the nature of the work to be supported and taking into account that the support for the proofs of concept was already in the order of EUR 100 000 each, the contribution to a third party will go beyond EUR 60 000. The selection of the third parties to be supported under the grant will be based on an external independent peer review of their proposed work.

The calls to be launched within the grant for the selection of third parties should respect the rules and conditions laid out in Annex K of the Work Programme, in particular as regard transparency, equal treatment, conflict of interest and confidentiality.

While the past pilot action mainly addressed the industrial applications of detection and imaging technologies in the fields of medicine, manufacturing industry, aerospace, ICT, engineering, environmental sciences, proposals under this topic can also encompass different research infrastructure technologies.

Particular attention should be given to impact, dissemination strategy and the appropriate management of the IPR of the involved research infrastructures as well as to the cost efficiency and transparency of project administration. Proposals should enable the best conditions for the full exploitation by industrial partners of the innovation potential of research infrastructures and support technology and innovation transfer and joint development of high-tech products

Proposals should include clear indicators to monitor and assess the progress towards the action objectives.

Grants awarded under this topic should cooperate with the actions awarded under topic INFRAINNOV-04-2020 to identify and better exploit related synergies and to avoid overlaps. To this extent, proposals should foresee a dedicated task or work package and earmark appropriate resources. Cooperation with the projects funded under topic INFRAINNOV-02-2019 is also encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 35 million would allow this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Research infrastructures, as providers of advanced services and as procurers of leading-edge technologies, have an innovation potential that has not always been sufficiently exploited. Opportunities provided by the development of components, instruments, services and knowledge for the implementation and upgrade of research infrastructures, could be better exploited to push the limits of existing technologies. There is a clear innovation potential associated with procurement from industry during the construction and upgrade of research infrastructures.

A co-innovation approach to continuously generate, scale and deploy breakthrough technologies with market and social value needs to be adopted by research infrastructures.

This activity will:

  • establish a co-innovation platform to transparently promote the use of research infrastructure technologies for industrial applications across Europe
  • increase the capacity to generate, absorb and use new technologies in Europe;
  • enhance the innovation capability of European Research Infrastructures;
  • raise the awareness of industry (including SMEs) regarding opportunities offered by research infrastructure to improve their products, e.g. as experimental test facilities, innovation hubs, knowledge-based centres;
  • support the integration of research infrastructures into local, regional and global innovation systems;
  • when applicable, the socio-economic impact of past investments in research infrastructures from the European Structural and Investment Funds is enhanced.