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Specific Challenge: To remain competitive, limit environmental degradation and optimise the efficient use of resources, the development of more resource-efficient and sustainable food production and processing, throughout the food system, at all scales of business, in a competitive and innovative way is required. Current food production and processing systems, especially in the SME sector, need to be revised and optimised with the aim of achieving a significant reduction in water and energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation, while at the same time improving the efficiency in the use of raw materials, increasing climate resilience and ensuring or improving shelf life, food safety and quality. New competitive eco-innovative processes should be developed, within the framework of a transition towards a more resource-efficient, sustainable circular economy.
Scope: The SME instrument consists of three separate phases and a coaching and mentoring service for beneficiaries. Participants can apply to phase 1 with a view to applying to phase 2 at a later date, or directly to phase 2.
In phase 1, a feasibility study shall be developed verifying the technological/practical as well as economic viability of an innovation idea/concept with considerable novelty to the industry sector in which it is presented (new products, processes, design, services and technologies or new market applications of existing technologies). The activities could, for example, comprise risk assessment, market study, user involvement, Intellectual Property (IP) management, innovation strategy development, partner search, feasibility of concept and the like to establish a solid high-potential innovation project aligned to the enterprise strategy and with a European dimension. Bottlenecks in the ability to increase profitability of the enterprise through innovation shall be detected and analysed during phase 1 and addressed during phase 2 to increase the return in investment in innovation activities. The proposal should contain an initial business plan based on the proposed idea/concept.
The proposal should give the specifications of the elaborated business plan, which is to be the outcome of the project and the criteria for success. Funding will be provided in the form of a lump sum of EUR 50,000. Projects should last around 6 months.
In phase 2, innovation projects will be supported that address the specific challenge of Sustainable Food Security and that demonstrate high potential in terms of company competitiveness and growth underpinned by a strategic business plan. Activities should focus on innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, prototyping, piloting, scaling-up, miniaturisation, design, market replication and the like aiming to bring an innovation idea (product, process, service etc.) to industrial readiness and maturity for market introduction, but may also include some research.
Deadline Date16-12-2015 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)Intermediate deadlines(s)18-03-2015 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)17-06-2015 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)17-09-2015 17:00:00 (Brussels local time)