Praxi Network, a non-profit private organisation which links research & industry, promotes innovation & entrepreneurship and fosters transnational cooperation, organized a workshop yesterday, 21/1/2015 about the funding opportunities for IT companies through the FInish project– Future Internet Accelerator for Food, Perishables and Logistics. The workshop was facilitated by Constantine Karamanis, Production & Management Engineer Technology Transfer Consultant at Praxi Network. Agro-Know attended the workshop – we received a kind invitation from George Panagopoulos from Praxi Network and we gladly accepted it so Thodoris and Vassilis from the Business Development team were there.
The speaker was Mr. Reha Senturk, Expert at the Industrial Relations Unit of the EBILTEM Technology Transfer Office of the Ege University, Turkey. Through a number of slides, Mr. Senturk explained the concept of the FInish project and focused on the funding opportunities for IT companies which are interested in developing applications that will have impact on agri-food, logistics, transport & manufacturing (among others).
Concept: The concept of applying for proposals is pretty simple: An IT company / software development house (focusing on SMEs and startups) identifies a need that can be covered by an application (e.g. mobile app). Then it looks for a business partner (e.g. a company activated in the agri-food sector, such as retailers, producers etc) that will benefit from such an app and is willing to spare some resources (in the form of actual funding or in kind contribution) in order to help the development of this app. If there is interest, then the IT company can submit a proposal, describing the concept accompanied by an estimated budget.
Funding: funding ranges between 50K-150K and covers 100% of the budget for the IT company (no need for own contribution). On the other hand, the business partner has to contribute a 20% on top of the total funding acquired by the IT company (e.g. 10K for a 50K funding) as it will benefit from the software to be developed. Funding covers the development of the software (e.g. personnel), marketing activities for the app (e.g. travel/subsistence/fees for participating in related Conferences) but not equipment (with some exceptions). It also includes a 7% overhead, which can be used by the beneficiary without justifications.
- Dates: The 1st call is now closed but the 2nd one will open early March and will stay open for proposals until the end of April 2015;
- Process: the whole process takes place online, so there is no need for paperwork and signatures.
- Duration of the project: Each project may take up to one year (approx.), including piloting/testing;
- The 2nd call is expected to fund about 50 proposals;
- There is no requirement of multinational applications; both partners can derive from the same country;
- Apps need to have direct impact on agri-food (e.g. on perishable food) and not aim at further research;
- The best app (as judged by experts) will also get an additional 50K on top of the grant already received;
- Subcontracting is not allowed;
- The use of FIWARE tools (e.g. APIs) is required; these tools & APIs are well-documented and open for use even for commercial purposes. It should be noted that the apps developed and based on these APIs do not have to be open-source.
About Praxi Network
HELP-FORWARD Hellenic Project for Wider Application of R&D (The PRAXI Network in Greek) was created to provide bridge between Research and Industry in Greece. Since 1991 HELP-FORWARD offers Technology Transfer brokerage services to Greek companies and Research Institutions and provides information, mediation and advisory services to all stages of Technology Transfer and Exploitation of Research Results:
- Funding opportunities identification
- Detection of technological needs
- Technology watch and evaluation
- Partner search
- Technology transfer negotiations support
PRAXI/ HELP-FORWARD Network operates as a distinct entity, under the Central Administration of the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) in cooperation with the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) and the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (FING). It is administered by FORTH, operates as a non-profit private organisation and draws its funds from the European Commission (Competitiveness and Innovation Programme, RTD Framework Programme, Structural Funds) and from services to its clients.