The RESTART & EXPAND open calls were published on July 08th 2020. It is possible to submit proposals until July 28th 2021. At several deadlines during that period, batches of proposals will be evaluated and can be started accordingly.
The next deadline for submission is November 05th 2020.
The SmartAgriHubs Open Call for proposals has as a key objective to expand the existing SmartAgriHubs community network with additional stakeholders and to promote the realisation of innovation experiments. The collaboration with new and existing Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) and Competence Centres (CCs) shall result in a joint effort of an active and dynamic community that creates knowledge and practical experience that will ultimately facilitate and disseminate digital innovation in the agri-food domain.
SmartAgriHubs supports this with its available team, knowledge, and tools:
- The existing DIH network in SmartAgriHubs offers collaboration with additional and new Digital Innovation Hubs to facilitate experience exchange.
- The network of Competence Centres is helping to identify the most appropriate technology related expertise required for a successful realisation of an innovation experiment.
- Community of SMEs, startups and scaleups, helping to find promising tech suppliers, partners as well as reference end-users.
- Flagship Innovation Experiments from SmartAgriHubs and use cases from IoF2020 serving as show cases for digitisation and innovation in the agri-food domains and
- Excellent, well-equipped support team present in most European regions, familiar with local and sector specific challenges.
Facilitated by an Open Call, SmartAgriHubs will complement and connect existing and upcoming programmes that are supporting innovation and funding stakeholders (i.e. from both public and private sources) in the agri-food community.
Subsequently, these activities shall generate a critical mass of digital innovation experiments, where stakeholders share experiences gained and build an international community of regional hubs (DIHs) and knowledge transfer centres (CCs) that will result in a sustainable European network dedicated to closing the gap between research, innovation and business development.
The current COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the agri-food economy has pushed the SmartAgriHubs team to redesign the Open Call approach to respond to the needs of the sector in these critical times. In accordance to the current COVID-19 related situation and the importance of the food system’s resilience, two individual open calls were launched in May 2020 as an immediate RESPOND to the crisis (open call closed on June 3rd 2020). We are following-up with the RESTART and EXPAND open calls that will address the agri-food economy on the medium term. SmartAgriHubs will assign up to 5,000,000€ funding to the RESTART and EXPAND open calls, addressing Digital Innovation Hubs that are supporting diverse stakeholders in the agri-food economy and specifically SMEs as drivers for digital innovation.
The RESTART & EXPAND open calls were published on July 08th 2020. It is possible to submit proposals until July 28th2021. At several deadlines during that period, batches of proposals will be evaluated and can be started accordingly.
The next deadline is November 05th 2020.
Figure 1: Overall timing of the planned open calls by SmartAgriHubs (RESPOND open call closed on June 3rd 2020).
RESTART the Economy around Food Systems
SmartAgriHubs will realise a focused open call for hackathon type of activities that will RESTART the economy around the agri-food related sectors and affected food systems. The main objective is to generate ideas for potential Innovation Experiments that can be realised by related teams, going beyond initial conceptual implementations. Generally, such activities shall facilitate networking of organisations and individuals, aimed at the mobilisation of talent and enable the realisation of digital innovations that address current challenges, opportunities and threats.
Proposals could realise hackathons, challenges and datathons that have a direct and indirect impact to mitigate effects of the COVID-19 or similar (future) pandemics. Such initiatives should facilitate the RESTART of the agri-food economy after the COVID-19 crisis. The underlying idea is to support the European agri-food economy to better cope with the requirements of the “new normal” and maintain its global competitive position, for example by:
- • Helping specific sub-sectors and regional economies to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic impact, through new opportunities for digital innovation.
- • Stimulating private investments in the agri-food sector and promoting opportunities across the European investment community.
- • Making food systems fair, healthy and environmentally friendly, in line with the Farm to Fork Strategy that is at the heart of the European Green Deal.
- • Initiatives in the agri-food economy that contribute significantly to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
- • Introducing principles of circular economy in the agri-food sector.
- • Relieving agri-food stakeholders (e.g. farmers) from tasks without added value, e.g. by automating monitoring and/or control of farming activities.
- • Increasing the resilience of the agri-food chain.
- • Increasing the availability and the shelf-life of food products.
- • Tracking & tracing of food and related products from farm to fork, facilitating regional sourcing.
- • Helping consumers to make informed decisions about food choices.
- • Facilitating access to data and services for an easier digital innovation in the agri-food sectors
Proposers shall consider the following key characteristics that need to be taken into account for being able to submit an eligible proposal for the RESTART open call:
- • The funding is exclusively available to fund the efforts/costs of one or more Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) preparing and realising hackathons, datathons or focused challenges.
- • Depending on the type of organisations, DIHs’ costs are funded with 70% (for profit organisations) or 100% (non-profit organisations).
- • SmartAgriHubs considers that proposals for hackathon type of activities requesting a contribution from SmartAgriHubs of 10,000 to 60,000 Euro would allow appropriate support for a range of activities.
- • The efforts/costs of third parties involved in the hackathon type of activities (e.g. person effort, offered infrastructure, or provided data sets) or effort/costs of teams participating in the specific hackathons (e.g. effort, equipment, travel, accommodation, prizes) are not funded.
- • For balancing efforts/costs of DIHs versus the number of supporters and participants in the hackathon type of activities, it is expected that the DIH part is generally not exceeding 20% of the overall effort/costs required.
EXPAND the network
The major amount of funding will be assigned to the implementation of programmes by DIHs to support the realisation of Innovation Experiments. This shall specifically contribute to the expansion of the network of DIHs and CCs as well as making available new knowledge and results from digital innovation activities. The EXPAND the Network open call is specifically targeting at DIHs as the main proposers thereby facilitating the realisation of innovation experiments, while the services of CCs would be logically consumed when implementing an innovation experiment. The main objective is to stimulate initiatives involving all of those and even fostering the collaboration of different type of DIHs, engaging DIHs with diverse maturity levels, to elaborate blueprints to facilitate the expansion of the community.
Proposers should take into account the following key characteristics, in order to submit an eligible proposal for the EXPAND the Network open call:
- • The funding is exclusively available for developing, maturing, and providing Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) innovation services, that are used by teams realising an innovation experiment (IE).
- • For being eligible to receive this funding, DIHs need to support one or more Innovation Experiments with their services.
- • DIHs’ costs are funded with 70% (for profit organisations) or 100% (non-profit organisations).
- • Proposals shall explain the overall initiative – DIH services funded by SmartAgriHubs as well as the efforts/budget of IE(s) that are not directly funded by SmartAgriHubs.
- • For balancing such initiatives in terms of efforts/budget, it is expected that the DIH part is generally not exceeding 20% of the overall effort/budget required.
- • One DIH could ask for a maximum of 100,000 Euro funding in total from SmartAgriHubs in one or also several proposals. A team of several DIHs could request up to 500,000 Euro for providing support services and programmes in one proposal/project.
Call for Proposals and Evaluation Procedure
Proposals are called under a continuous submission scheme. Proposals will be evaluated after reception in varying intervals after the open call publishing. The deadlines for submission will be regularly via the open call website. Currently, it is planned to close all open calls latest on July, 28th 2021, 17:00 h CEST, or at an earlier date, in case the budget that is reserved for open calls in SmartAgriHubs (i.e. for this and other SAH open calls) is completely allocated.
During that period, batches of proposals will be evaluated at several deadlines and can start immediately after the proposal evaluation & selection is completed.
Proposals will be evaluated and selected by experts based on the Evaluation Criteria. To be considered for funding, your proposal must score above a certain threshold for each criterion, and above an overall threshold.
Figure 2: Timing for the RESTART and EXPAND Open Calls.
The detailed funding conditions, evaluation procedure and eligibility criteria for RESTART the Economy around Food Systems and EXPAND the Network can be found in the Open Call publications and the SmartAgriHubs Open Call Programme.
The SAH Portal offers the possibility for potential proposers to connect with different organisations (DIHs, CCs, SMEs, technology providers, NGOs, farmers, etc.) through different functionalities:
- • The SAH Network gathers over 500 organisations in the agri-food and other related sectors all over Europe, identified by organisation type, sector and region. Open Call proposers and interested stakeholders are invited to register and navigate the SAH Network in the search for potential collaborators.
• Open Call proposers are welcome to check the information provided on Hackathons and Datathons that are supported by SmartAgriHubs in the scope of the RESPOND open call. This will provide some insights on regional activities, planned events and potential teams for cooperation.
- • Proposers are invited to check periodically the Open Call Forum to find support from SAH team members on solving doubts and answering questions regarding the Open Call.
Proposals can be submitted for evaluation until closure of the open call and will be evaluated in batches at regular points in time. Currently the following dates are planned for evaluating delivered batches of proposals:
• Next batch evaluation of submitted proposals: before November 05th 2020, 17:00 (Brussels time)
• Dates for batch evaluations in 2021 will be published a certain time after closing the second batch evaluation.
Ready to submit a proposal?
Please use the designated Templates for proposal preparation as presented in the Open Call fiches for the RESTART and EXPAND Open Calls. Templates for proposal preparation.
Please login to the SmartAgriHubs Innovation Portal first before submitting your proposal.
Please check the FAQ in a first instance. If your have further doubts, please use the Open Call Forum to contact the SAH Open Call team and get assistance.
Latest Open Call Forum Posts
DEMETER Open Call webinar27 October 2020
DEMETER, the H2020 project, driving digitisation of the EU agri-food sector is running a second Open Call webinar to look at the challenges being addressed in more detail. The webinar runs on 5th November at 11AM (CEST). The agenda is as follows 11:00-11.10AM (CET): Introduction to DEMETER - Kevin Doolin, TSSG 11:10-11:20AM: How to apply? - Miguel Goncalves, F6S 11:20-11.40AM: Open Call Topics - Nenad Gligoric, DunaVNET 11:40-11.50AM: The DEMETER Reference Architecture & Hub - Yannis Oikonomidis, Intrasoft 11:50-12.00PM: Open Q&A Registration is available here
LAST Open Call Deadline in 2020 - RESTART & EXPAND Open Calls: Nov. 5th 202023 October 2020
The last deadline for proposal evaluation of the RESTART & EXPAND open calls in 2020 is approaching! The evaluation in this Continuous Submission Scheme will take place with evaluating batches of proposals. Last date in 2020 is : November 05th 2020 It is planned to communicate dates for 2021 in next January. Please find information about the individual RESTART & EXPAND open calls in the following. Further details are presented on the open call page in the SmartAgriHubs portal. RESTART Open Call: RESTART Open Call Topic: Open call for hackathon type of activities contributing to a RESTART of the EU Agri-Food Economy after COVID-19 Crisis Proposer: Digital Innovation Hubs Funding: 10,000-60,000 EUR/project, aimed at DIHs, supporting ideation phase of Innovation Experiments. Eligible costs of DIHs are funded by 70% or 100% (for-profit enterprises or non-profit organisations). One DIH could ask for max. 100,000 Euro funding in total from SmartAgriHubs in one or also several proposals Total Funding: 500,000 Euro total funding for the RESTART Open Call –> first come first serve Opening: July 08th 2020 Evaluation: Continuous Submission Scheme with evaluation of submitted batches of proposals – every 2-3 months – next/last deadline in 2020: Nov. 05th Call Closure July 28th 2021, 17:00 (Brussels time) or earlier, in case reserved budget is completely allocated Implementation: latest until Dec. 2021 – usually a project duration of 6-12 months Additional Mobilised Budget Translated from e.g. costs/efforts/investments/prizes/infrastructure used, that are mobilised by additional third parties. These are all those stakeholders that are involved in the preparation/ realisation/ participation/ follow-up of the hackathon type of activities. This budget is not funded by SmartAgriHubs, representing a KPI for project realisation. Therefore, project teams need to rather report about this budget mobilised than preparing financial statements. It is a kind of virtual budget for the DIH(s) itself, as it is usually not transferred via the DIH accounting, but representing costs covered by third parties. The DIH reporting needs to explain the related figures (e.g. an OEM supporting a hackathon preparation mobilises some 5 person months at 5000 EUR). Based on that, related investments, efforts etc. need to be transformed and aggregated in an overall budget KPI. This share shall present some 80% of the total budget required to implement a proposed initiative. If a DIH is funded by 70%, remaining 30% own investment is also part of this additional budget mobilised. Total Budget: Sum of funding requested and additional mobilised budget. EXPAND Open Call: EXPAND Open Call: Topic: Initiatives of DIHs to support digital innovation in their region and facilitate the set-up and realisation of Innovation Experiments (IEs) Proposer: Digital Innovation Hubs Funding: 100,000-500,000 EUR/project, aimed at DIHs, supporting the set-up and realisation of Innovation Experiments. Eligible costs of DIHs are funded by 70% or 100% (for-profit enterprises or non-profit organisations). One DIH could ask for max. 100,000 Euro funding in total from SmartAgriHubs in one or also several proposals Total Funding: 2-4.5 Mio. EUR total funding for the EXPAND Open Call Opening: July 08th 2020 Evaluation: Continuous Submission Scheme with evaluation of submitted batches of proposals –> last date in 2020: Nov. 05th 2020 Call Closure: July 28th 2021, 17:00 (Brussels time) or earlier, in case reserved budget is completely allocated Implementation: latest until July 2022 – usually a project duration of 12-18 months DIH Innovation Services: IEs use the innovation services of DIHs that are funded by SmartAgriHubs. Additional Mobilised Budget: Translated from e.g. costs/efforts/investments/infrastructure used, that are mobilised by additional third parties for realising or supporting the realisation of the Innovation Experiment. This budget is not funded by SmartAgriHubs, representing a KPI for project realisation. Therefore, project teams need to rather report about this budget mobilised than preparing financial statements. It is a kind of virtual budget for the DIH(s) itself, as it is usually not transferred via the DIH accounting, but representing costs covered by third parties. The DIH reporting needs to explain the related figures (e.g. 100 farmers are testing a solution with an effort of 0,1 person month each -> resulting in 10 person month at a regional average farmers’ salary). Based on that, related investments, efforts etc. need to be transformed and aggregated in an overall budget KPI.This share shall present some 80% of the total budget. If a DIH is funded by 70%, remaining 30% own investment is also part of this additional budget mobilised. Total Budget: Sum of funding requested and additional mobilised budget. Further Information: Have a look at the following presentation, providing an overview of the RESTART and EXPAND open calls: 2020-10-23-SAH-OpenCalls-RESTART&EXPAND.pdf (3.3 MB)
Potential proposers30 September 2020
Thank you for your detailed answer. BR, Anneleen
Potential proposers29 September 2020
Dear Anneleen, Thank you very much for asking. I would like to answer your question in several steps, trying to clarify the situation. Anneleen_De_Visscher: not yet registered on the Innovation Portal (but willing to do) DIHs not yet registered are definitely welcome to register and provide a proposal. This is a basic line of our SmartAgriHubs mission as an overall project to welcome new DIHs to expand the community involved in digital innovation for the sake of all as well as for individual regions offering new contact points for digital innovation in the agri-food domain. Anneleen_De_Visscher: not yet SAH beneficiaries Yes, organisations that are not yet SAH beneficiaries are definitely welcome to join. Especially such “new comers” are adding value to the expansion of the community, facilitating to find experience, and support for digital innovation in the regions. Anneleen_De_Visscher: but part of a larger organisation/institute that is an SAH beneficiary (so no separate PIC nr), with another role in the project (a CC or another DIH with another role already registered on the Innovation Portal and already receiving SAH funding) This is contradictory to the bullet before. In accordance to the EC rules, and in simple words, an organisation is either a beneficiary or not. I am not discussing the point of connected organisations here as this would require quite some details and are usually known by the organisations themselves - usually this would also be subject of organisations having different PICs. However, the fact that a different department, other colleagues or the organisation in a different role will realise work does not change anything of the fact that it is already a beneficiary. Therefore, such an organisaiton could not request additional funding from SAH via a new contract, since all financial matters in the project need to be handled via the existing contract. Nevertheless, if we are talking about an existing SAH beneficiary, there are still two possibilities to support the realisation of a proposal and facilitate collaboration with other DIHs, IEs and CCs: Being part of a proposal, but not requesting SAH funding The idea of the RESPOND and EXPAND open calls is to support DIH related activities, while only funding 20% of the overall budget/effort/investment/infrastructure required. If an existing SAH beneficiary would cover their involvement from their own resources (i.e. neither from already assigned funding nor new requested funding), this budget would count on the “80%” side of the proposal that is not funded. Therefore, this could be considered as a kind of assigning additional own investments in the project. Supporting the project as SAH beneficiary We were already considering this possibility in the open call programme document on page 12. It says the following: … “The current SmartAgriHubs beneficiaries (i.e. specifically DIHs and CCs) will however be able to support the proposed project with up to 10% of the funding requested in the proposal. If you expect an added value by an involvement of a SmartAgriHubs beneficiary, please explain this in your proposal. This shall be generally agreed with the related SmartAgriHubs beneficiary before submitting your proposal. The following minimum explanation is required: • Envisaged type and purpose of involvement of current SmartAgriHubs partner(s) • Expected amount of effort required • Type of results and experiences that shall be used from one of the current FIEs, also explaining how it would be (commercially) used • Number of meetings, trips or other activities required by existing partners” … Based on this explanation, during the contracting phase, the max. 10% funding requested would be transferred in the scope of the existing SAH grant agreement in accordance to GA Article 4.2 without an overall contract amendment. I hope that this will answer your question. Best regards, Harald
Webinar - Lauch of the RESTART & EXPAND Open Calls29 September 2020
Dear Mindaugas, Thank you very much for asking. We are differentiating between the following items: Overall proposal budget: This is the overall budget required to realise all aspects of the action. It does not differentiate if it is provided by SmartAgriHubs or any other source. Please keep in mind that this is not just represented by financial transactions, but also represented by efforts/costs mobilised by involved partners for e.g. realising an innovation experiment. For this, the proposal would translate the invested effort (e.g. person months) in terms of budget. Therefore,especially contributors in innovation experiments could commit their effort and need not to “sign money transfers”. Funding by SmartAgriHubs: SmartAgriHubs would fund up to 20% of the overall proposal budget. The costs that would be presented for funding would need to present eligible costs as explained in the programme document. As these costs are mainly dedicated for activities realised by DIHs, their costs would be funded by 70 or 100% according to their type of organisation. Support of SMEs: The 75% are in relation to the overall proposal budget. Whatever budget, effort or investment is assigned to involved SMEs will be considered for this. The related budget counts overall and is not limited to realised innovation experiments. Therefore, if an organisation acting as Digital Innovation Hub is also representing an SME, it would be added to this amount. Also for this, non-financial activities performed by SMEs would also count. I hope that this will answer your question. Best regards, Harald
Potential proposers29 September 2020
Dear Harald, Are new DIHs, not yet registered on the Innovation Portal (but willing to do) not yet SAH beneficiaries but part of a larger organisation/institute that is an SAH beneficiary (so no separate PIC nr), with another role in the project (a CC or another DIH with another role already registered on the Innovation Portal and already receiving SAH funding) allowed to submit a proposal? BR, Anneleen
Webinar - DEMETER Open Call29 September 2020
Yes, it will be recorded and shared across our social media channels. Regards, Gráinne