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TOPIC : Peer learning of innovation agencies

Topic identifier: INNOSUP-05-2018-2020
Publication date: 27 October 2017

Types of action: CSA-LS CSA Lump sum
DeadlineModel:
Opening date:
multiple cut-off
07 November 2017
Cut-off dates: 15 March 2018 17:00:00
18 October 2018 17:00:00
13 March 2019 17:00:00
16 October 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Innovation support agencies, i.e. the regional and national agencies that design and/or implement innovation support programmes for SMEs are important intermediaries for SME innovation. Focus, design and delivery mechanism of innovation support programmes determine to a large extent the economic impact from the supported actions and the satisfaction of the beneficiaries with the support provided. The European Union has supported mutual policy learning and exchange of ‘good practices’ in different programmes, including for example the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the Competiveness and Innovation Framework Programme and INTERREG. However, the transfer of good practices in SME innovation support, the enhancement of existing and the establishment of new innovation support programmes for SME remains slow; and SMEs benefitting from support programmes still often remain dissatisfied with the services received[1].

The PRO-INNO Europe 'INNO-Partnering Forum' (IPF, 2009-2012) has made some significant contributions to formulating the requirements for a permanent learning mechanism for SME innovation support agencies[2] : learning activities have to be based on clear methodologies and they have to be demand driven, launched at the moment agencies themselves recognise the need to revise programme formats. Furthermore peer learning activities need to benefit from a secretariat or an animation structure that assures horizontal flow of information among interested agencies. In a collaborative exercise the IPF has developed two methodologies in this respect: a quality management system implemented through a peer review system based on the EFQM methodology and a 'twinning+' methodology that combines elements of traditional peer reviews and twinning in small learning groups of interested agencies.

It is the objective of this action to make available to national and regional innovation agencies these two methodologies as elements of a permanent peer learning environment and to give incentives to the agencies to engage more frequently in peer learning activities.

Scope:

The proposed activities will provide incentives in the form of small lump sum grants to national and regional innovation agencies for engaging in peer learning on all topics relevant for design and delivery of innovation support programmes for SMEs. This should be challenge-driven, based on an agency's intention to revise its programme formats or introduce a new scheme, and lead to the development of common understanding of a given support service. The support to joint learning activities shall be available at any time when need and opportunity for policy learning in agencies arises. Peer learning is open for all topics for a better innovation support to SMEs. In the context of this action however, only the 'Twinning+' methodology as well as the quality management scheme for innovation agencies based on EFQM are recognised as learning methods. Funding for grants awarded under this topic will take the form of a fixed lump sum of EUR 15.000 / 50.000[3].

Applicants should be aware that this is not purely an action to promote the exchange of good practices. The aim is to investigate and develop by means of peer learning new topics and approaches in innovation support to SMEs with an intention to put newly developed skills into practice.

Expected Impact:
  • The number of innovation agencies engaged in peer learning activities significantly increases.
  • The results of the peer learning are taken up by national and regional innovation support programmes, including those co-financed by European Structural and Investment Funds.
  • A broad range of new topics and approaches in innovation support to SMEs is investigated and developed by peer learning activities of national and regional innovation agencies. Pilot agencies design and implement programmes based on these new approaches
  • The wider use of quality management in innovation agencies enhances efficiency of service delivery and customer satisfaction and accelerates the learning process.

[1]See for example “Making public support for innovation in the EU more effective”, Commission staff working document SEC(2009)1197.

[2]See http://www2.vinnova.se/PageFiles/604825187/IPF%20Synthesis%20report%20including%20appendices.pdf

[3]Decision authorising the reimbursement on the basis of lump sums for the Action INNOSUP-5 'Peer learning for innovation agencies' under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.

 

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.

 

Only entities entrusted by national or regional governments to develop or implement innovation support programmes for SMEs are eligible to apply. The minimum number of partners per project is three.

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.

 

3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.  
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

The following additional aspects will be taken into account:

Excellence: in how far applicants demonstrate concrete opportunities to transmit the results of the projects into the adaptation of existing and/or design of new support programmes. Any supporting documents (such as a letter of intent by the president of the region or the agency or a relevant mention in an innovation strategy endorsed by the government) will be an advantage.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Coordination and Support Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of the consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement, except for actions under the following topics: INNOSUP-02-2019-2020 European SME innovation Associate - pilot (as the action supports single beneficiaries) and INNOSUP-05-2018-2017-2020: Peer learning of innovation agencies (as the actions provides very small grants for activities implemented in a given format, with a result in the public domain).

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

 

8. Additional documents:

Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-20 - Introduction
Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018-20 - Chaper 7. Innovation in SMEs

Horizon 2020 work Programme 2018 - 20 - Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


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Type of Action CSA Lump sum [CSA-LS]
Topic Peer learning of innovation agencies - INNOSUP-05-2018-2020
Guidance on proposal submission: H2020 online manual
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