The Blue Economy Window calls for proposals 2019 address the challenge of developing and bringing to market new products, services, and business models for SMEs that could create profitable activities.
‘BlueInvest Grants’ will support projects accelerating innovation in the blue economy, demonstrating high potential in terms of company competitiveness and growth underpinned by a strategic business plan and aiming to create and maintain high quality jobs in the blue economy.
This call for proposal will be part of a new comprehensive service package offered by the ‘BlueInvest platform’ that supports investment readiness and access to finance for early-stage businesses, SMEs and scale-ups in the blue economy. Projects need to involve the sustainable use of marine resources for innovative and/or circular economic activities and contribute to healthy oceans and Europe’s ‘Green Deal’. They may include deploying, demonstrating, or scaling-up new solutions for the blue economy including technologies, service applications.
The objectives of this call for proposals are to:
- a) Help innovative technologies and/or maritime services improve their market readiness and advance towards market entry;
- b) Facilitate scaling up business models and service concepts;
- c) De-risk investment in these projects to facilitate their access to other financing schemes for the next stages of their activities
In order to achieve the objectives above, proposals should:
- contribute towards the establishment of a product and/or service in the blue economy and
- contribute to one or more EU political objectives including lower greenhouse gas emissions, a more circular economy, energy security, adaptation to climate change, inclusion of coastal communities, creation of high-value blue economy jobs, better protection, sustainable use of natural or cultural capital
- shift existing activities towards these goals
Projects are expected to have Technology Readiness Level (TRL) between 6-8 ((“TRL 6 – technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies))” and 8 (“TRL 8 system complete and qualified”).
Relevant areas for the blue economy include:
- the blue bioeconomy — the cultivation, husbandry or capture of living material from fresh or saltwater and activities based on the use or processing of this material
- digital transformation of ocean and coastal activities
- renewable energy — including energy from wind, sun (floating), tide, wave and thermal gradients; logistic or supporting activities in that area are covered
- enabling technologies such as sensors, corrosion or biofouling resistant materials or coating, digitisation, electricity transmission equipment, multi-purpose platforms
- production of new products from living or non-living resources that would otherwise be wasted
- cleaner shipping
- pollution monitoring, clean-up or management
- new facilities that support the diversification or energy efficiency of ports
- tourism which contributes to the protection or preservation of natural capital.
The duration of the projects will be a maximum of 36 months.
The contribution will cover up to 70% of eligible costs. The grants will be approximately 700,000 to 2,500,000 euros.
The project proposal can be submitted by a consortium (partnership) or by a single participant.
In order to be eligible for a grant, the applicants must:
- be exclusively for-profit SMEs’ e.g. micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises,
- be legally established in EU Member States.
Applicants established in non-EU countries can exceptionally be considered eligible if their involvement is necessary in view of the nature of the action and in order to reach its objectives.
This call is subject to a two-step evaluation procedure:
Under step 1, applications will be checked against the formal requirements (admissibility and eligibility) and then evaluated by an evaluation committee against the operational capacity and award criteria. Proposals that pass to step 2 will be invited for an interview in Brussels during the week of 11-15 May 2020 to clarify their proposal (especially with regard to aspects relating to the award criteria).
All applications must be submitted electronically via the Portal Electronic Submission System, accessible via the Call Topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section.
Deadline for applications is 27th February 2020 (17:00 CET)