Three tips for attracting funding through Horizon Europe calls
R&D organizations (companies, research centers, innovation support bodies) in the BioRegion of Catalonia and throughout Europe are actively looking for new projects and partners to take advantage of Horizon Europe funding opportunities for 2023-2024.
Remember, Horizon Europe is structured into three main pillars:
- Excellent Science: Mainly interesting for academic research. This pillar funds research designed and led by the researchers themselves, through the European Research Council (ERC); provides support for research staff development and training through the Marie Sklodowska-Curie (MSCA); and invests in improving and optimizing cross-border access to research facilities.
- Global Challenges and European Industrial Competitiveness: This pillar is broken down into six themed clusters that fund research to address large scale challenges in health, society, safety, digital, climate, energy, food, etc. Organizations in the BioRegion will find the bulk of the opportunities in the health cluster.
- Innovative Europe: This pillar includes the European Innovation Council (EIC), which promotes innovative, disruptive technologies focusing on market creating innovations, and provides support for all kinds of innovations, especially for SMEs and startups; support for European Innovation Ecosystems and activities carried out under the framework of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT).
Know how to make the most of them? Here are three tips:
1. Focus on a hot topic
For companies and research bodies in the BioRegion of Catalonia, the most interesting funding opportunities are in pillars II and III, specifically the 2023-2024 calls in the health cluster, the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the Digital Europe Program. Not purporting to be exhaustive, within these programs there are six main themes that can be an interesting niche for project funding and fit perfectly with some of the main strengths of the BioRegion of Catalonia:
- Better tools for prevention and diagnosis.
- Infectious diseases through the lens of One Health (different sectors working together to improve public health results), and research on the environmental component of non-infectious diseases, incorporating policies from the Green Deal, highly relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Better access to health services, tied to the digital transformation and federated facilities to implement the European Health Data Space.
- Advanced therapies and personalized medicine: including precision nutrition, rare diseases, the Genome of Europe, oncology biomarkers and tissue printing for regenerative medicine, among others.
- Ethical and regulatory aspects of research, non-animal models and drug safety research.
- Deep tech (one of the priorities on the new European innovation agenda) applied to health: includes, among others, micro-nano-bio systems, 2D materials, advanced biomaterials and photonics.
In addition to these six topics, there are some overarching themes that are prioritized in the Horizon Europe programs, which can help enrich projects and improve their chances of getting funding:
- From technology maturation and a first business case to scaling up development of innovations with a great potential for impact.
- Development and scaling up manufacturing focusing on the green and digital transitions: circular biointelligent manufacturing, sustainable packaging, digital passport for products, etc.
- Testbed platforms to test and scale up innovations and improvements to public procurement processes.
- Support for dissemination and exploitation of R&D results.
- Incorporating young Ukrainian entrepreneurs into Erasmus.
2. Finding the right partner for the project
Most of the calls require the consortium that submits the project to include more than three organizations from at least three countries. So, it’s not only important to find the right partner for the project you want to fund but also to analyze the potential partners beyond our home networks to meet the call requirements. Here is a list of tools you can use to find potential partners and see what your competition is doing:
- Funding & tenders partner search: Search for partners by topic, professional profile, country and type of organization. You can also offer your expertise so existing consortia can find you. This tool provided by the European Commission is very popular and has to be filtered properly, but can help launch a partnership.
- Enterprise Europe Network Partnering Opportunities: Collaborations beyond projects. Here you can find almost any kind of match.
- RIS3MCAT: This tool from the Government of Catalonia provides information on projects with Catalan members, the international organizations and projects that collaborate most, networks and themes under the RIS3 agendas on smart specialization.
- Horizon Dashboard: This tool from the European Commission provides complete information on cross-border collaborations, organizations’ performance, success in call applications, etc.
- CORDIS: Another tool from the European Commission, in this case providing specific information on projects and identifying their content, partners, funds received and topics.
- Horizon Results: Once the project has received funding, this other European Commission portal helps communicate the results of the projects to maximize their impact and capitalization. It is particularly useful for consortia or participants in projects looking for collaborators to advance research to investors.
- Horizon Results Booster: This tool provides free support to develop communication, dissemination and exploitation strategies; develop business plans; and even for the commercialization phases.
- Innovation Radar: A tool to identify what the European Commission considers high-potential innovations. It can be a good showcase for your project to attract investment or to map potential competitors.
- Council of European BioRegions (CEBR): CEBR was created to build a European biotechnology sector that is competitive on the world stage. It is made up of a network of over 40 European ecosystems, including Biocat representing the BioRegion of Catalonia and taking an active part in projects. CEBR has work groups that identify European funding opportunities, so if you’re looking for a partner in a specific European bioregion where you don’t have direct ties, Biocat can help! Just drop us a line.
3. Identifying hidden funding opportunities: cascade funding
There are also less visible funding opportunities that, due to a lack of awareness, often go unawarded. These are calls for projects and activities in funded projects, known as cascade funding.
Where can you find these opportunities?
1. . Funding & Tenders: going back to this European Commission website, where you can find cascade funding opportunities by theme:
- Innovative therapies for cardiovascular diseases
- Medical technology
- Artificial intelligence
- Public procurement twinning
- Adopting technology in business for the digital and green transition
- Cross-border research
This ACCIÓ platform has a filter specifically to identify cascade funding opportunities.