The Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF) announces the Call for Proposals for the «Development and Promotion of Internationally Competitive Innovative Products and Services by Existing Enterprises (INNOVATE)» Programme within the framework of the “RESTART 2016-2020” Programmes for Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RTDI) and invites potential beneficiaries to submit relevant Project Proposals (Proposals).
The present Call is part of the «Competitiveness and Sustainable Development 2014-2020» Operational Programme and is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus.
GENERAL CALL INFORMATION
|Pillar||ΙΙ. SUSTAINABLE RTDI SYSTEM|
|Programme||Development and Promotion of Internationally Competitive Innovative Products and Services by Existing Enterprises|
|Call Budget||5.000.000 Euro|
|Maximun Funding Per Project||1.000.000 Euro|
|Publication Date||03 July 2019|
30 April 2020, 13:00
The English version of the Call, even though an official translation endorsed by the Research and Innovation Foundation, is provided for information purposes only. Only the Greek version of the Call is legally binding and shall prevail in case of any divergence in interpretation.
The objective of the “Development and Promotion of Internationally Competitive Innovative Products and Services by Existing Enterprises (INNOVATE)” Programme is to support existing enterprises from all activity sectors, that will invest in research and innovation, for the development of competitive innovative products or services with quick global market penetration prospects.
Moreover, the Programme facilitates the mobility of private investment funds for the support of rapid development innovative businesses.
RESTART 2016-2020 WORK PROGRAMME
All general rules and procedures for the participation of organisations and individuals, the eligible activities and costs, as well as the specific information regarding the Programme “Development and Promotion of Internationally Competitive Innovative Products and Services by Existing Enterprises (INNOVATE)”, as well as the other RESTART 2016-2020 Programmes, are included in the RESTART 2016-2020 Work Programme, which is the main reference document and an important information source for interested parties and can be found on the Research and Innovation Foundation’s IRIS (Innovation Research Information System) Portal (https://iris.research.org.cy/#/documentlibrary).
Within the framework of the present Call for Proposals the following specific conditions, which are not defined in the RESTART 2016-2020 Work Programme, apply:
- An enterprise cannot be at the same time Host Organisation of a Project in more than one of the following three Programmes: (a) Creation and Initial Development of Startups with International Orientation (PRE-SEED), (b) Development of Internationally Competitive Innovative Products and Services by Startups (SEED) and (c) Development and Promotion of Internationally Competitive Innovative Products and Services by Existing Enterprises (INNOVATE).
Proposals are submitted through the Research and Innovation Foundation’s IRIS Portal (https://iris.research.org.cy).
The Project Coordinator and all local participating organisations in the Project Consortium, should register in advance on the IRIS Portal.
Potential applicants are advised to use the «Guide for Applicants», which contains guidelines and clarifications regarding the Submission procedure and the «IRIS Portal User Manual» which can be found on the IRIS Portal (https://iris.research.org.cy/#/documentlibrary).
The Research and Innovation Foundation encourages in all its Calls for Proposals:
- the participation of women as Project Coordinators, and
- the gender-balanced formation of projects.
The Project Proposal consists of the following parts:
- Part A – General Information & Budget (electronic form (fields) to be completed online through the IRIS Portal).
- Part B – Technical Annex (document to be uploaded as an Annex on the IRIS Portal in PDF format).
- Annex I – Curricula Vitae (document to be uploaded as an Annex on the IRIS Portal in PDF format and includes the CVs of the Coordinator and the key personnel of the project team – Mandatory Submission).
The evaluation procedure of the “Development and Promotion of Internationally Competitive Innovative Products and Services by Existing Enterprises (INNOVATE)” Programme consists of the Preliminary Check, as it is described in the RESTART 2016-2020 Work Programme, and then the Evaluation Stage I and Stage II will follow, as these are described in “Section II – Programmes”, Programme “Development and Promotion of Internationally Competitive Innovative Products and Services by Existing Enterprises (INNOVATE)” of the RESTART 2016-2020 Work Programme.
The Evaluation Committee is expected to meet in January 2020 and in the period April - May 2020, in order to evaluate the proposals that will be submitted by the 25th October 2019 and 21st February 2020 respectively. Representatives of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and of the Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEB) will participate in the work of the Commission as observers.
Prior to the evaluation of each Proposal, according to the evaluation criteria, the evaluators will check the compatibility of the Proposal with the Program's objectives and the provisions of the Call for Proposals. If the Proposal is inconsistent with the objectives of the Program, the Evaluator rejects the Proposal and does not proceed with the examination of the evaluation criteria.
1. Excellence - Weight 30%
- Quality of Project Objectives.
The project proposal refers to the adoption of a business idea with high degree of novelty and prospects of rapid growth, from an existing enterprise aiming to develop and promote competitive innovative products or services with a potential for penetration into the international market. Emphasis is placed on the degree of maturity of proposed ideas and existing technology (where applicable) to enable entry into the international market in the shortest time possible..
- Degree of Innovation and Originality of the Idea in relation to the existing knowledge (state-of- the-art) at international level.
The evaluation of innovation is based on existing knowledge, practice and technology at international level (state-of-the-art). It is evaluated whether the idea refers to a product / service with a high degree of novelty, significantly different in comparison with existing or competing solutions and international practice and is based on factors such as the quality / functionality of the product / service, the cost, the degree of ease of use, etc. Furthermore, the degree of innovation with regards to issues related to tackling climate change, the environment, gender dimension and any other social aspects are taken into account.
Emphasis should be placed on the clear identification of the strengths and weaknesses of the product / service as well as opportunities and threats for successful introduction to the existing market or the successful creation of a new market.
- Soundness, credibility and feasibility of the proposed idea.
The soundness, credibility and feasibility of the proposed idea for the development of new products or services are evaluated. Emphasis is placed on the existence of a realistic description of the current stage of development of the idea and of the maturity of the technology (where applicable), in relation to the expectations of the Call. Furthermore, the existence of a clear and realistic description of the planned actions for the transfer of the innovation to the market is evaluated. The following are also evaluated:
- The degree of understanding of both the risks and the opportunities related to the exploitation of the innovation from both technical and commercial points of view.
- The documentation of the technological and financial sustainability of the innovation.
- Whether the objectives of the proposed project, as well as the proposed approach and activities are consistent with the expected benefit of the innovation. Respectively, in case of success the investment may result in a high reward.
- The definition of an appropriate form of the results as well as the success criteria.
During the evaluation it is taken into account that the high degree of novelty of an idea comes with a high chance of failure of the business proposal.
2. Added Value and Benefit - Weight 35%
- Scientific and/or technological and/or social and/or economic impact and measures to maximize it.
The economic, social and other impact that will emerge through the implementation of the proposed project is evaluated, especially in relation to the following:
- The development of a viable and profitable business with rapid growth rates (and business scalability) addressing the international market.
- Strengthening the competitiveness and export activity of the company.
- The company’s potential to attract private investment funds (to the extent required).
- The expected contribution in increasing job opportunities.
- To meet a specific need and/or improve the consumer's experience and quality of life (cost savings, efficiency gains, product / service quality and reliability, etc.).
- The ability to provide solutions to existing social, environmental and other challenges.
- The degree of contribution to the Cypriot economy (e.g. contribution to growth, reinforcement of other industries in various ways, cost of loss if not realized, quantitative benefit to be gained).
Particular emphasis is given to the following elements that should be included in the description of the project proposal:
- Convincing description of the existence of substantial demand for the innovation (including willingness of end users to buy the product / service).
- The total expected market size (existing or new market), its expected growth rate and the market share that the business is targeting.
Effectiveness of the proposed measures for the management of Intellectual Property Rights.
The strategy for the protection and safeguarding of intellectual property rights, which are necessary for the implementation of the business plan of the company in order to achieve the maximum added value and benefit through the project, is evaluated. In particular, the following are evaluated:
- The suitability of the measures taken to ensure the unobstructed commercial exploitation (“freedom to operate”).
- The suitability and reliability of the knowledge protection strategy in order to ensure the “freedom to operate”, including ownership of intellectual property rights, any pending patent applications, as well as issues related to license exploitation.
- The response to any requirements for compatibility with national, European and international laws and/or standards.
3. Implementation - Weight 35%
- Completeness and appropriateness of the Work Packages’ content, the allocation of the various activities, the timetable and the budget.
The completeness, reliability and appropriateness of the content of the project proposal, including the appropriateness of the timetable and the proposed budget, are evaluated. Particular emphasis is placed on the completeness and reliability of the following elements that should be included in the description of the project proposal in order to substantiate the potential to achieve the added value and benefit:
- Reliable description of targeted users or customers of the innovation, how their needs have been addressed and the reasons why they will want to use or buy the product / service compared to already available products / services.
- Realistic and reliable analysis of market conditions and factors that affect the market, including analysis of competitors and competitive offerings, and key market stakeholders.
- Realistic and reliable analysis of market entry strategy for the innovation and the way in which the innovation has the potential to achieve rapid growth-rates.
- Effectiveness of the proposed methodology for the implementation of the Project Proposal.
The effectiveness of the proposed methodology for the implementation of the project proposal is evaluated. Particular emphasis is given to the following:
- The adoption of internationally-established methodologies for the development of innovative products / services that enhance the potential for the successful market penetration of their products and services and minimize the risk involved and the required penetration time;
- The degree of involvement of potential users in the development / validation process of products / services; and
- The inclusion of a suitable Go-To-Market strategy.
- Completeness, quality and capacity of the Consortium (at the level of organisations and/or persons) for the implementation of the Project Proposal and achievement of the proposed objectives.
The team involved in the implementation of the project proposal is assessed, with particular emphasis on the following:
- The availability of appropriate and complementary knowledge and skills among team members for both the technical / scientific part, as well as the economic part and the business environment.
- Having very good knowledge of the market which their products / services are targeting.
- The existence of leadership and management skills within the team, as well as the commitment shown by the team to implement the proposed project.
The capacity and contribution of the Partner Organisations (in the case of a Consortium) to the implementation of the proposed project and the achievement of its objectives, as well as the need to involve third parties (e.g. subcontractors) toprovide skills / technical knowledge that is not available within the team, is evaluated. At the same time, the team’s potential to secure private funds to cover the required own contribution for the project is taken into account.
- Suitability and adequacy of the proposed coordination and management activities, including identification and handling of potential risks (Contingency Plan).
In particular, the coordination and management activities of the proposed project are evaluated. The completeness and reliability of the Contingency Plan for the management of any risks and deviations in the implementation of the proposed project is also evaluated. Among other, emphasis is paid on the following:
- The feasibility of adopting a Minimum Viable Product approach for market entry, with the aim of testing the market and implementing any necessary adjustments; and
- The development of alternative scenarios as well as the possibility of pivot during the implementation of the project.
Proposals that have been deemed eligible for funding following the evaluation procedure, will be selected for funding until the total funding of the approved projects equals the total Call budget. In the case of budget exhaustion in the framework of one of the deadlines, the Evaluation Committee will rank the proposals in a priority order for funding (ranking list) and the top proposals according to their ranking will be selected for funding until the available budget is exhausted.