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Seal of Excellence

Seal of Excellence This quality label is awarded to project proposals submitted for funding under Horizon 2020, which succeeded in passing all of the stringent selection and award criteria but could not be funded under the available Call budget. The 'Seal' identifies project proposals which merit funding from alternative sources (public or private, national, regional, European or international).
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Strengthening synergies between Horizon 2020 and the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) is about building meaningful interactions between investment strategies and interventions as a way to have significant impacts on the economy, combining place-based innovation investments in smart specialisation priorities with world-class research and innovation initiatives, thus ensuring a higher impact of the funds.
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News Highlights

22 September 2016

First steps of Seal implementation in Germany

The European Investment Fund states that the Seal of Excellence proofs SMEs to be innovative. It also qualifies them as a potential beneficiary for InnovFin-supported financing products. This means that companies with the Commission's Seal of Excellence can apply for the InnovFin SME guarantee Facility. The InnovFin SME Guarantee Facility will be set up by eligible local banks, leasing companies, guarantee institutions, etc. which are selected after the launch of a Call for Expression of Interest. Once selected by the EIF, these local partners act as financial intermediaries.
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13 September 2016

New Seal of Excellence working group by French Clusters to support SMEs

The French Association of Innovative Clusters (AFPC) recently launched a working group on the Seal of Excellence. The AFPC represents the interests of more than 50 clusters and their members to French and European authorities. The Seal of Excellence working group will investigate alternative funding possibilities for their SME members, help them navigate the funding landscape and stay involved in European projects. Afterwards, the French working group will be happy to share its findings and create exchanges with other European intermediary bodies interested in the implementation of the Seal of Excellence.
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5 September 2016

Seal of Excellence holders from Czech Republic's South Moravian region invited to apply to SME Instrument Brno programme

Brno City Municipality invites Seal of Excellence holders who submitted to Phase 1 of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument and who are located in the Czech Republic's South Moravian region, to apply the SME Instrument Brno programme. Successful applicants will receive a grant of €50,000 in addition to business coaching. This will help them develop feasibility studies and create a market validation plan.
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2 August 2016

Welcome to our newly revamped website

Our website received a facelift! We made it easier for you to navigate so you can quickly find what you are looking for. Information on the Seal of Excellence has been reshuffled into four different categories and is tailored to both recipients of the Seal as well as authorities looking to fund awarded projects. On the testimonials page you can read stories from our frontrunners that have implemented Seal-friendly support schemes in their regions or Member States. We are always looking for success stories and 'seal' friendly schemes to promote, let us know and you might get featured on the website! You can also engage on Twitter by using the #sealofexcellence.

1 August 2016

Opportunity for Seal of Excellence holders to present project to potential investors

Startup Olé, co-organised by the European Commission, connects tech/digital talent with corporates, investors, accelerators, universities and media from all over Europe. Activities include a startup fair, panel sessions, pitches, an accelerator assembly, matchmaking events and networking opportunities. You can apply now to take part in the European pitch session. If you are selected you will also have the opportunity to participate in the Startup Fair and present your projects to investors, potential customers and public.
Startup Olé takes place on 7 & 8 September 2016 in Salamanca, Spain
Apply to present your SME/startup
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Perspectives for Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation in the wider context of the Europe 2020 Growth Strategy

The existence of a national or regional Research and Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) is the 'ex-ante conditionality' for the use of European Structural and Investment Funds to support R&I. This report by a group of independent experts examines the contribution of RIS3 to the Europe 2020 Growth Strategy in the wider context of research and innovation policies.

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