Do you fulfil the application criteria?
Your aim should be to develop an innovative product or service which could be ready to go to market within less than five years.
You have successfully carried out a proof of concept (pilot or type test validation), corresponding to a Technology Readiness Level greater or equal to five (TRL >= 5)
You must be part of a consortium of at least three, but no more than seven, European partners from both the research and industry sectors (InnoEnergy can provide a ‘matchmaking service’ to help you find suitable consortia members if required – find out more here.)
The consortium needs to be made up of partners from at least two different countries and at least one of the companies commercialising the product or service must be involved in the project from the beginning.
Proposal templates, which you may use to develop your proposal offline. Please note that proposals may only be submitted online via this website. All documents can be found below:
Reference documents related to Innovation Projects can be found below:
Accolade Support Material can be found here.
Updated documents for the investment round have been published on 15 February 2019. For details on changes please contact the local office.
Investment Round – The Process
Investment Round 2021 Time Schedule
15 March 2021, 23:59
19 March 2021
Eligibility + handover to TLAC members
22 March – 19 April 2021
TLAC Review (including presentations)
19 April 2021
Handover to KLAC
5 May 2021
KLAC Review Deadline
12 May 2021
20 – 21 May 2021
24 May 2021
KLAC –> EB
24 – 25 May 2021
27 – 28 May 2021
Communication of IR results
Is there a cost to apply and present your proposal?
You do not need to pay anything to apply and present a project.
If you have an innovation - how do you it into a proposal?
You can either contact one of the thematic leaders that is in the area of your innovation project as well as look at the Investment Round website for more information.
What is the success rate of the submitted proposals?
Around one out of every eight proposals are selected. If they are good enough they will all be invested in, but it is important to note that of those that are selected for investment, 30 per cent of them, in agreement with the consortium, will not make itthrough the process. This could be the case if conditions are not met due to external factors, such as a competitive product reaching the market first, or if the proposal does not make good returns on the investment for both the consortium and InnoEnergy.
Do I need to be a InnoEnergy partner before applying?
You do not need to be a partner to apply. If the project is selected, you must then become a partner.
Does the innovation need to be a technology or can it be a business model or process?
The innovation can be a new technology, a new product, a new service or a new process, and we concern ourselves with the business that could be created around this. It is then important for us to understand the rationale, the market and all the competitors surrounding the innovation. We could accept innovations in technology, manufacturing, processes, services, and industrialisation.
What are TRL levels? And what TRL levels are expected?
The Technology Readiness Level or TRL we’re looking for is above four. This means that the majority of the functionality of the system or its component has already been proven – at least at the laboratory level. It’s a level where we can then go to the market and take commercialisation steps.
Is there a deadline or minimum time for the development of products?
Yes, the project should last between two and three years, with the product on the market within five years – any longer and it probably means the research is not complete. We want to support projects which have the proof of concept finished.
Are there any limitations for big companies?
There are no limitations for big companies to apply.
During the application procedure how do you handle confidentiality and if an idea is not yet patented how do I present it?
During the assessment stage, the entire process is handled under a non-disclosure agreement. The assessment is run by the thematic leaders and by industrial professionals who will individually sign the agreements. Not having an IP is no reason not to apply. There are different IP strategies for different markets, and InnoEnergy can work on this with the business.
Does the patent stay with the company or InnoEnergy?
This will be managed in the consortium agreement and will be signed before the end of the feasibility study, during which the consortium will present the results within the first four months of the project. The consortium agreement has to be delivered during this presentation. All partners must agree on how the IP transfers will work during and after the project.
What is the minimum and maximum investment InnoEnergy would give to one project?
We have been investing between 100k euros to 4-5m euros. However, we don’t standardise our investments. We care more about what the project is and then we look at the investment. It depends on how much each investor is willing to put into the project, and it also depends on the technology.
How large can the project be in terms of budget?
The total budget of the project depends on the initiative itself. There is no limit on the project budget. When it comes to funding, part of the project will be financed by InnoEnergy and the other by the partners.
What is the funding structure?
We will consider funding 20 per cent to 80 per cent of the proposed project budget.
What is the co-financing scheme and rates?
Funding partly comes from InnoEnergy and partly from the partners in the project.What we look at is sharing the risk. There are no set rules or limits on how much funding InnoEnergy can provide.
If a company, for example, invested one million euros in developing an innovation, would InnoEnergy see this as the SME’s contribution?
The answer is simple - yes. If you have invested one million euros in developing a prototype, which is then transferred to the market to commercialise it, then this investment will be taken into account.
Can the funding be for a specific function of a semi-developed product?
The Round targets the development or improvement of innovative products or services. In that sense, the development of new innovative functions to enhance an already existing product or service is eligible.
What types of items are eligible for funding e.g. research, assets, payroll?
Cost of personal directly hired and in-house, indirect costs (25 per cent), travel, accommodation, consumables and supplies, sub-contracting and depreciation of equipment.
What percentage of funds must be delivered back to InnoEnergy and in which period of time?
It’s expected that InnoEnergy receives 100 per cent of its ROI within five years after the product or service’s commercialisation. However, the financial relationship between the parties continues afterwards.
Explain the consortium requirements:
Your company needs to be part of an international consortia made up of between three and seven European organisations coming from the industry and research sectors. There are no limitations as to the organisation’s size. We need consortiums that can develop technology, do the market uptake and sell the product. If you don’t have the partners, then InnoEnergy can try to help bring the necessary partners together.
To what extent do we need R&D in the consortium?
This is not compulsory, but you need to consider having the whole value chain within your consortium.
Will the partners need to be European?
This is not obligatory, if, under exceptional circumstances, you have a partner outside Europe we will consider your application. Please contact us about this partner and why you are collaborating with them. We would be interested in considering your proposal.
Do partnerships need to include a research institution?
Not necessarily, but it is encouraged.
Could the research centre be the project manager?
Yes, but our preferred option is that the commercialising partner is the managing partner. But take into account the particular profile needed for your project manager.
Can InnoEnergy help with setting up the project teams, for example distributors,first users etc.?
InnoEnergy has more than 430+ European partners. If your proposal is found to be one that InnoEnergy genuinely believes could be helped, we will try to help you to find the right consortium of partners for your business. A consortium can be made up of large or small businesses, but it must include a commercialisation partner.However, the innovation and the readiness of the technology will need to be evaluated by InnoEnergy to see if the services they offer can be of genuine use to the project at the time.
Why would large companies with plenty of investment need the help of InnoEnergy?
InnoEnergy can provide a trusted network of experts from different markets and regulations.
Thematic field or location – how are the projects assigned?
If you present a project, please read the roadmap to find out which thematic field your project fits in. It is not based on country or location.
How many proposals per thematic field will be selected?
There is no quota per thematic field, the best projects are selected. We prioritise the projects on quality and anticipated outcomes.