Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Peer learning of innovation agencies

Topic identifier: INNOSUP-05-2016-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: CSA-LS CSA Lump sum
Opening date:
multiple cut-off
10 November 2015
Cut-off dates: 17 March 2016 17:00:00
18 October 2016 17:00:00
08 March 2017 17:00:00
18 October 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Work Programme Part: Innovation in SMEs
Topic Updates
  • 06 January 2017 11:50

    INNOSUP-05-2016-2017 - Peer learning of innovation agencies . At the closing of the second cut-off date (18 October March 2016 17:00:00) a total of 5 proposals were submitted in response to this call.

  • 12 May 2016 11:56

    INNOSUP-05-2016-2017 - Peer learning of innovation agencies . At the closing of the first cut-off date (17 March 2016 17:00:00) a total of 7 proposals were submitted in response to this call.

  • 12 May 2016 11:39

    At the closing 17 March cut-off date a total of 7 proposals were submitted in response to this call.

  • 12 May 2016 11:31

    Number of proposals submitted (17 March cut-off): 7

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 in different programmes, including for example the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the Competiveness and Innovation Framework Programme and INTERREG, supported mutual policy learning and exchange of ‘good practices’. 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.


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. 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. Participating agencies will be entitled to grants in the form of lump sums (EUR 15.000 / 50.000)[3].


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.


[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

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that 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 (follow the links to China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme, with the following exceptions:  Only entities entrusted by national or regional governments to develop/or implement innovation support programmes for SMEs are eligible to apply.

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of evaluation: maximum 5 months after the corresponding cut-off date.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months after the corresponding cut-off date.


Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

Coordination and Support Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates

Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below.

Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
H2020 MGA -Multi-Beneficiary Lump Sum 
Annotated Grant Agreement


  1. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

  2. Additional documents:

H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Innovation in SMEs

H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes

H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme

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