Being member country of the European Union has long list of benefits. Of course, we all know about the ease of traveling between EU countries and the ability to pay with our shared currency, but part of the deal is that we can also choose to work from the city that offers us the most opportunity or just happens to be the hometown of our international love. However, it’s not perfect yet, as challenges still exist when dealing with the national legislation (like acquiring your NIE), but the fact remains that we must start working from a more unified perspective in order to compete with the Tigers and BRIC’s of the world in the economic food chain. We need to be smart, “green” and integrated. The European Commission is stimulating this effort through various programs. Lately, a lot of attention is given to the EU’s Horizon 2020 program for research and innovation, and with a budget of €80 billion, there is a lot of potential for the private sector get involved.
The Horizon 2020 venture aims to facilitate increased participation of the private sector in EU-funded research and innovation activities, accelerate scientific and economic progress, and offer the taxpayer better results and a higher return on their “investment”. Hence, the focus shifts from primarily research-based to more testing, prototyping, and pilot-type activities; aka “business-driven R&D”. It promotes a new methodology that will encourage entrepreneurship and risk-taking. I can hear you sighing as you think about the mountain of grant applications, paperwork and reports that have to be handed over, keeping you from actual doing what you want to do. However, Horizon 2020 promises to have a simpler structure with simpler rules, reducing the “time to grant” by 100 days. Furthermore, without talent, there will be no breakthroughs. Therefore, the European Commission also decided to invest more than €22 billion over the next seven years in innovation for sectors that deliver high quality jobs, medicines, aeronautics, bio-based industries, fuel cells and hydrogen, and electronics. But wait, there’s more.
Are you looking for new opportunities to create synergy for your innovative concept? Have a look at some of these programs stimulating to accelerate sustainable and innovative European growth that are now open for new applications. Take a chance!
KIC InnoEnergy is committed to innovation and entrepreneurship in Europe, and one of its main objectives is to support and encourage young ventures engaged in developing the latest technologies for the energy industry. It is focused on 6 themes:
- Sustainable Nuclear & Renewable Energy Convergence
- Smart Electric Grids & Electric Storage
- Clean Coal Technologies
- Intelligent, Energy-Efficient Buildings and Cities
- Chemical Fuels
KIC InnoEnergy is currently open for new project proposals until December 1st . You can find more details and apply here.
In October a special session is organized on how to prepare for the work packages in the call will be organized in Barcelona. The KIC Energy Business Booster event is an excellent possibility for match making with different European ventures and will take place on October 10th and 11th in Barcelona.
Eco-innovation supports the first application and further market uptake of eco-innovative products and services in Europe, and helps overcome those critical barriers that still hamper their commercial success. Calls support Eco-innovative projects in different sectors which aim at the prevention or reduction of environmental impacts or which contribute to the optimal use of resources. However, more specific priorities are being set up considering their important environmental impact and policy priorities of the European Union:
- Materials Recycling
- Sustainable Building Products
- Food and Drink Sector
- Greening businesses
Do you have a great business project that could make Europe “greener”? The European Commission grants up to 50% in a co-funding matching program to finance “green” ideas. The total budget available for the 2013 Call is almost €31.6 Million. The Call CIP-EIP-ECO-INNOVATION-2013 will close on 05 September 2013 at 17:00:00, Brussels local time.
If your project is not fully established yet, have a look at Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs. A cross-border exchange program that aims at helping new entrepreneurs to acquire relevant skills for managing and growing a small or medium-size enterprise by working with an experienced entrepreneur in another EU country for 1 to 6 months. The specific objectives of the program are:
- On-the-job-training for new entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) elsewhere in the EU in order to facilitate a successful start and development of their business ideas;
- Exchanges of experience and information between entrepreneurs on overcoming obstacles and challenges to starting up, developing and growing their businesses;
- To enhance market access and identification of potential partners for new and established businesses in other EU countries;
- Networking by building on knowledge and experience from other European countries.
The stay is partially funded by the European Union. Local contact point is at the Barcelona official Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation on the Avenida Diagonal 452.
If you have other programs on your mind, please leave a comment and help us grow this overview.