Open Call INNOSUP-02-2016: European SME Innovation Associate - Pilot

European Commission This SME-led pilot is an innovation capacity building action to provide at European level a grant to visionary SMEs which have experienced difficulty in recruiting the relevant skills nationally. SMEs are supported to employ a highly-skilled experienced researcher e.g an 'associate' for one year from September 2017. With their associate, these SMEs will explore for one year the potential of their innovative idea and turn it into an innovation project.

The action will consist of:

  • SMEs are encouraged to publish a vacancy notice for highly specialised skills on the EURAXESS portal and other relevant platforms and media. This shall liaise them with interested specialist and be used to assess the attractiveness of the proposed package and help in fine-tuning their application to the pilot. SMEs would indicate in the vacancy notice their intention to apply for support under the pilot action and an eventual conditionality of the job offer to the award of a grant. SMEs are free to recruit immediately interested specialists; this would however prevent them from receiving a grant under the pilot action.
  • The evaluation will focus on the demonstrated benefits of recruiting transnationally i.e. the impact for the SME to get access to skills not available on the national labour market; the excellence and impact of the innovative idea, as well as the coherence and effectiveness of the recruitment plan.
  • Once awarded the grant, successful SMEs will be able to advertise their vacancy on EURAXESS and other relevant platforms and media, with clear indication that the pilot grant was awarded..

SMEs will employ for 12 months an associate to identify the potential of their innovation idea and turn it, or not, into a research or innovation project and hopefully further employment.

During these 12 months of employment, every associate is requested to participate in a core training programme on industrial innovation and business management. Also during that period, SMEs get financial support to implement a training and development plan specifically for the associate, tailored to the needs of the associate and the enterprise to make the associate fully operational in the company.

In line with the orientation of the action and with the aim to accelerate the integration of the associate in the company's staff, the following costs shall be eligible for reimbursement under the grant: personnel costs of the associate and cost directly related to company's and the associates participation in the pilot action: in particular relocation costs of the associate, travel subsistence costs to the core training programme and costs, including travel and subsistence) for tailored training (as described in the personal development plan). Other costs like recruitment costs or travel costs to action specific workshops by the supervisor in the enterprise would have to be covered under indirect costs.

It is intended to support up to 90 assignments from the indicative budget.

The following criteria will have to be met by the associate: i) PhD holder, ii) an expertise in line with the job advertisement; iii) transnational mobility as defined in the mobility rule of the Marie Slodowska Curie Actions (MSCA).

The execution of the action will start on the starting date of the associates' employment, in September 2017 (exact date to be determined during the grant preparation phase). In case of non-execution, the Commission reserves the right to terminate the grant agreement according to article 50.3.1.l.ii of the General mono-beneficiary grant agreement for the Horizon 2020 programme.

The associates are expected to be offered employment contracts or equivalent by the hosting SMEs. It is expected that the 'associate' will commit him/herself for a full-time position, for the full duration of the grant.

To promote the pilot, innovating SMEs experiencing skills shortages will be contacted by the Enterprise Europe Network innovation consultants and assisted in formulating a vacancy notice to address the identified skills' shortages.

An accompanying study[5] will evaluate the impact of the pilot action and the satisfaction levels of awarded SMEs and associates as well as of a sample of non-awarded SMEs.

Deadline Date: 30 June 2016 17:00:00

Type of action: CSA Coordination and support action

For topic conditions, documents and submission service, please visit:
http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/6087-innosup-02-2016.html

PS: Find your partners or consortia preparing a project proposal
If you are working on Horizon 2020 research project proposals and you would be interested in a SME partner from Germany, please contact us, we are ready to share our experience, expertise and knowledge. If you need help to identify a potential partner with particular competences, facilities or experience, please explore and join our project, (HEALTH IT) SPACE, at www.healthitspace.eu.

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