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European guide and recommendations for the combined funding of large-scale RDI initiatives

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - EU-GREAT (European guide and recommendations for the combined funding of large-scale RDI initiatives)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Large-Scale Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) Initiatives (LSIs) are playing a growing and vital role across Europe for the development and commercialisation of novel products and services. The EU-GREAT! project has explored the best practices as well as barriers faced by stakeholders of LSIs in combining funds from different public and private sources.
EU-GREAT!, funded by the European Commission via Horizon 2020, is a project that explored the diverse approaches, strategies and policy frameworks for boosting the finance of LSIs across Europe.
Europe faces the challenge of translating lab-scale research outcomes into useful and commercialised products and services to increase industrial competitiveness, economic growth and job creation. Next to funding research, a lot of attention and support to turn research outcomes into commercially successful production is becoming the focus of regional, national and European government bodies that expect results of RDI projects to be translated in commercial opportunities and adopted by industry. However, this shift towards market results demands in ambitious projects and additional investments. To strengthen the competitive edge of the European Industry, public and private sectors need to join forces to co-invest in strategically targeted RDI initiatives.
Stakeholders of LSIs often have to deal with the challenges of applying for, and combining, funding from different public and private sources including European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and Horizon 2020 as well as national, regional and private investment programmes, to build and manage a portfolio of synergetic projects.
EU-GREAT! has been coordinated by TECNALIA in consortium with CEA, TNO, VTT, High Value Manufacturing Catapult, INESC Porto, NANOfutures, ARCELORMITTAL and CDTI. BOSCH, PRODINTEC and CCAA were third parties.
To get involved and stay informed, visit EU-GREAT! at http://eu-great.com and register your interest.
The work carried out by the consortium since the project started has followed the work plan, structured into the following Work-Packages (WP) and reached the following main results:
• WP1: Methodological framework.
o Main result has been the definition of what is a LSI (D1.1). Methodological guidelines for WP2-survey (D1.2) and WP3-interviews (D1.3) were also provided.
• WP2: Mapping LSIs using combined funding and selection of cases for further analysis.
o WP2 has provided a long list of LSIs using combined funding (D2.1) a synthesis report of survey results (from about 188 stakeholders of LSIs, including factsheet per initiative) (D2.2) a short list of LSIs for in-depth analysis (D2.3) and a map tool of LSIs on the website (D2.4).
• WP3: In-depth analysis of typical cases in order to better understand how different funding sources can be combined to assemble LSIs.
o WP3 has resulted in a report on interviews (D3.1) a cross case analysis and top LSIs (D3.2) and a report on KPIs assessment Workshop (D3.3).
• WP4: Development of typical cases investment plans.
o WP4 has resulted into an evaluation report of possible case initiatives (D4.1) a methodological framework on case initiative development (D4.2) a report on the case investment plans including the lessons learned and conceptual description of investment plans (D4.3) and a report of the case initiatives assessment Workshop, where experiences were consolidated (D4.4).
• WP5: Development of manuals and assessment reports for combining funding.
o The work under WP5 has resulted into an assessment on drivers, barriers, funding mechanisms of the LSIs (D5.1) an overview of the funding mechanism available, contrasted with an expert group (D5.2) an assessment on the match/mismatch and issues with combined funding (D5.3) and a Manual for setting up investment plans for LSIs on the website (D5.4).
• WP6: Dissemination and networking.
o WP6 has resulted into a dissemination strategy (D6.1) in the design and development of the project website (D6.2) and the final report on dissemination and networking activities (D6.3).
• WP7: Management and Overall coordination.
o WP7 has resulted in two intermediate periodic reports (D7.1 D7.4) describing the tasks; a final report including a project history, conclusions and recommendations (D7.3) and two periodic reports including financial statements (D7.2 D7.5).
The rationale for EU-GREAT! stems from the observation that more funding is needed to bridge the gap between research and market. Both public and private sectors must join forces to increase the number of LSIs in Europe to ultimately boost the commercialisation of new technologies through innovative products and services, able to strengthen the competitive-edge of the European Industry.
In fact, it is common worldwide practice that public administrations, in view of the funding difficulties arising at this late stage of the RDI lifecycle, have set up instruments to provide financial support for LSIs with the conviction that the combination of funds will facilitate synergies, reducing risks and increase the probabilities of complete product deployment. Funding programmes aimed at easing LSI development exist at EU, national and regional levels, but their relative importance varies with the administrative structure of the country and its current financial situation. EU-GREAT! showed that more targeted mechanisms are needed.
The concept of LSI relates to high-TRL (demonstrators), which have been difficult to finance in the past and for which the solutions proposed by the European Commission (financial engineering, mixing funding from heterogeneous sources) are still quite theoretically oriented, not widely known and difficult to implement in practice.
For those reasons, EU-GREAT! has guided to increase the number of projects using combinations of funding instruments by facilitating investments into pilot lines and related activities towards the commercialisation and dissemination of the lessons learned for EU policy making. By doing so, EU-GREAT! intended to influence on:
• The modeling of decision making processes of the different types of initiatives concerning funding and investment.
• The definition and demarcation of LSIs.
• The understanding of the funding needs of these initiatives connected to the decision making process.
• The comprehension of the funding mechanisms available to address the different needs.
• The key issues in combining different funding mechanisms.
The impact of EU-GREAT! comes from facilitating the complete development of ambitious, far-reaching RDI initiatives requiring a combination of different funding mechanisms to go from the conceptual idea to the market. This has been facilitated with concrete deliverables and recommendations to policymakers and private investors to improve the combination of funding, as well as manuals for organizations to setup investment plans for RDI initiatives using a composition of funding mechanisms. EU-GREAT! supported and guided the EC services in designing and delivering further actions to facilitate synergies among public (ESIF and H2020 at European level, programmes and initiatives at national and regional levels) and private funds. EU-GREAT! created awareness, disseminated results and validated them with experts. The EC, national and regional public authorities, private stakeholders, industry representatives and research organisations have been recipients of the project outputs.
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