SmartAgriHubs offers funding to digital innovation services providers. This includes the overall lifecyle for developing, seting-up, offerring, providing, testing, validating, refining as well as enhancing services for Digital Transformation and Innovation. You can receive either 70 or 100% of funding to cover your eligible costs. This shall help you to:
• Become a regional partner for innovation in the agri-food domain,
• Support preparation & realisation of Innovation Experiments for free, and/or
• Join a pan-European Innovation Network as a Node in your region
Proposed work shall be coordinated by Digital Innovations Hubs (DIHs). As we consider a “Digital Innovation Hub” as a Role of an organisation than its only purpose, all kinds of organisations could apply that aim at the set-up and offering of DIH services. The fol-lowing figure presents typical examples for innovation services SAH considers very valuable to promote digital transformation in the European Agri-Food Sectors.
Those innovation services are usually provided to teams of stakeholders that are realising so called Innovation Experiments. The strategic objective is to help those teams to lower innovation barriers, facilitate knowledge exchange as well as learn about available solutions, costs, benefits and potential pitfalls.
SmartAgriHubs organised different open calls that are designed in accordance to different activ-ities realised by established or new DIHs. The following figure provides some information about the purpose of the different SmartAgriHubs Open Calls as well as indicating the max. funding that can be requested. It starts with the question, if the team(s) that shall be supported has/have already appropriate ideas for realising an innovation experiment.
Open Call for hackathon type of activities that will contribute to the RESTART of the European Agri-Food Economy with short and medium-term impact to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
Open Call for Digital Innovation Hubs that are supporting the realisation of Innovation Experiments, mobilising the related stakeholders, and facilitating the access to Competence Centre related services.
The RESTART & EXPAND Open Calls were published on July, 08th 2020. The RESTART Open Call will close in 29th September 2021, 17:00 (Brussels time). The EXPAND Open Call will close in June 2022. At several deadlines during that period, batches of proposals will be evaluated and are started after each evaluation batch. This means that until the final deadline you can submit your proposal to the Open Calls, receive a response and start your project before the final deadline. The deadlines for evaluation batches are available below.
SmartAgriHubs organised two additional open calls - the RESPOND & PREPARE open calls. They are already closed and no further submission can be accepted. The projects selected in the RESPOND open call are already finalised and results were published in different webinars. The projects selected in the PREPARE open call start in mid 2021.
Next Open Call submission
You want 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. You can find in this page more information about the aim of our Open Calls.
Please use the Proposal Submission Tool to register and submit your proposal before the deadlines.
Please check the FAQ in a first instance. If you have further doubts, please use the Open Call Forum to contact the SAH Open Call team and get assistance.
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.
Digital Innovation Hub
Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) are support organisations that aim to make businesses more competitive by speeding up the development and uptake of digital innovations. They provide these services close to the end-users (“at working distance”) and thereby cater to the needs of agricultural producers and food processors in a specific region.
These can be (agricultural) research institutes at universities, experiment stations or farms, extension agencies or seed companies. The organisation acting as a Competence Centre may also play the role of the Digital Innovation Hub orchestrator, taking a coordinating, organising and/or an agenda setting role.
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 and offers 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.
The current COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the agri-food economy has pushed the SmartAgriHubs team to design the Open Call approach responding to the needs of the sector in these critical times. We launched the RESTART and EXPAND open calls that are addressing the overall agri-food economy, making available up to 5,000,000€ funding specifically for the RESTART and EXPAND open calls. These open calls are addressing Digital Innovation Hubs that are coordinating and submitting proposals for supporting diverse stakeholders in the agri-food economy and specifically SMEs as drivers for digital innovation.
Figure 1: Overall timing of the planned open calls by SmartAgriHubs
SmartAgriHubs launched 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.
What are the kind of projects to be funded by the RESTART Open Call?
Proposed projects 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.
- • SDGs: Initiatives in the agri-food economy that contribute significantly to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- • Introducing principles of circular economy in the agri-food sector.
- • Automations: Relieving agri-food stakeholders (e.g. farmers) from tasks without added value, e.g. by automating monitoring and/or control of farming activities.
- • Resilience: 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.
- • Consumer information: 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
Are you eligible to 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.
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.
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 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.
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 thesupported Innovation Experiments 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 (max. 20% budget for DIH support and 80% effort, budget or in-kind contribution for realising the Innovation Experiment).
- • 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
In the RESTART and EXPAND Open Calls, 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 announced via this Open Call website. Currently, it is planned to close the RESTART open call in September 2021 and the EXPAND open call in June 2022. The open call will be closed 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 PREPARE open call closed definitely on May 26th 2021.
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 26th of May 2021, 17:00 (Brussels time)
• Further dates for batch evaluations in 2021 will be published a certain time after closing the previous batch evaluation.
Latest Open Call Forum Posts
EXPAND: 80% for realising the supported IE08 July 2021
Dear Milena, @Milena.Ferrari Thank you very much for asking. The basic idea is to ask about the KPI of mobilised budget that was facilitated by the DIH support. We also understand that the process of getting an innovation experiment prepared, defined and started is usually a longer experience/journey and might even start before the SmartAgriHubs proposal is written and selected. Also the preparation of a proposal to SmartAgriHubs is part of these efforts. Therefore, if this journey started already before the formal SAH contract signature, you could assign those efforts accordingly. However, please be aware that the DIH’s eligible costs that shall be funded by SAH can only occur after contract signature with SmartAgriHubs. Concerning the documentation, we also understand that those costs of supported IE teams are usually not in the books/accounting of the DIH itself. Therefore, the teams will be asked about an explanation in their reporting/deliverable reviews, helping to understand what was mobilised in which amount. I hope that this answers your question. Best regards, Harald
EXPAND: 80% for realising the supported IE07 July 2021
Thank you Harald. Does these costs to realize IEs, not funded by the EXPAND open call, include the effort and associated costs that have already been carried out to develop the technology of the IE? For example, the DIH will support the IE during the implementation phase, so really the costs of the team realizing the IE for implementing the technology will not be high since much of the development has already been done by that time. But to reach that level of development they had to mobilize a considerable sum from their own funds to carry out their project, so does this investment (already done) counts as the 80% of the overall project, that is not funded? And apart from explaining how we estimated the valuation of the project, do we need to present any supporting documentation?
Clarification - Competence Center participation01 July 2021
Dear Harald, Many thanks for your quick reply. It is all clear to us. Best regards, Chiara
EXPAND: 80% for realising the supported IE30 June 2021
Dear Milena, @MilenaFerrari Thank you very much for asking. As written in the open call fiche: “The overall proposal budget shall assign a maximum of 20% for DIH service provision and a minimum of 80% for realising the supported Innovation Experiment(s).” I am splitting my explanation in the following accordingly: Eligible costs funded by SmartAgriHubs: ** In general, these are costs of the DIH to provide innovation services. Including also costs to cover expenses for external resources required to provide those services (e.g. rooms, infrastructure, support). ** These costs are in the accounting of a DIH. ** Further information about the eligibility is included in the Open Call Programme document. ** These eligible costs are funded either by 70 or 100%, according to the type of organisation (profit or non-profit) Costs not funded by the EXPAND open call: ** 80% of effort, budget, investment or in-kind contribution should be mobilised by additional public, private and/or own sources to realise one or more Innovation Experiments. ** If the DIH is funded at 70%, you can assign the remaining 30% DIH costs also to this category, since we would like to quantify the overall effort, budget, investment, in-kind contribution that is mobilised beyond the SmartAgriHubs funding. I hope that this answers your question. Best regards, Harald
EXPAND: 80% for realising the supported IE29 June 2021
Sundmaeker: This additionally budget need to be presented as a kind of “Key Performance Indicator” in your proposal, shortly explaining how you are calculating this - like explaining the valuation of e.g. stakeholders’ effort or in-kind contributions. Dear Harald, Sorry for returning to this topic, but it is not fully clear to me what type of costs does the 80% not funded by SAH includes and from which entity. For example, does the technical support/effort from the personnel of the DIH to the realization of the IE is valid as a KPI to estimate this 80%? Thank you in advance.
ATLAS Open Call 202128 June 2021
The Horizon 2020 project “Agricultural Interoperability and Analysis System (ATLAS)” is searching for interoperability among data-driven services providers to increase farmers’ productivity sustainably. The consortium is looking for innovative solutions via the 2nd open call to develop new services in alignment with agricultural use cases at the consortium’s farming operations. Innovative companies will receive seed funding for the services they provide through the ATLAS interoperability network. Proposed solutions should offer clear added value to customers or stakeholders along the agricultural value chain and focus on integrating services that build on and extend the use cases carried out within the project. Interested companies registered in one of the EU Member States or one of the countries associates with H2020 are welcome to participate. Funding scheme/type of action Seed funding Contract type Sub-grant agreement with details on the milestones and deliverables of the respective use case. Project/research costs and funding • Personnel costs • Engineering, software development, other services • Equipment, material, licences (only depreciation costs corresponding to the period of implementation) • Subcontracting (max. 20% of the proposed budget) • Travel costs EC funding: 70% Contribution by beneficiary: 30% Eligibility requirements The open call aims to bring together innovative SMEs and start-ups that are based in one of the EU Member States or an H2020 associated country (as defined in the H2020 rules of participation) with a strong focus on data-driven agriculture. It also welcomes small and innovative farming operations with an affinity for technology and providing novel solutions to the agricultural community. Only single applicants are eligible to receive funding. ATLAS will provide seed funding to these companies with an eye towards forming sustainable ecosystems around its Innovation Hubs. Only 100% completed proposals will be evaluated and considered for funding. Proposal format Electronic application form ATLAS has established an electronic submission system. https://opencall.atlas-h2020.eu A panel of experts will be assembled to evaluate participants’ proposals based on 5 criteria: Relevance, Impact, Sustainability, Innovativeness, and Feasibility. Further information: https://www.atlas-h2020.eu/open-call/ email@example.com
Clarification - Competence Center participation28 June 2021
Dear Chiara, @Innovacoop Thank you very much for asking. Proposals are also eligible if you aren’t involving a Competence Centre. This could of course make sense, if the DIH is covering the innovation services that are required for the IE set-up and realisation and shall be the focus of validation activities in your strategy/proposal. I hope that this answers your question. Best regards, Harald
Clarification - Competence Center participation25 June 2021
@Sundmaeker: Dear Harald, I would like to ask if the involvement of a Competence Center in a project proposal is compulsory to make the proposal eligible for the EXPAND call. Thank you in advance and best regards, Chiara
EXPAND OPEN CALL: Timeline & IE17 June 2021
Dear Josh, Thank you very much for asking That is a very good question and please do not worry to search for clarification of any question. As communicated before, we are regularly announcing the next deadline for proposal submission and evaluation in this continuous submission scheme. The latest deadline was on May 26th and the next deadline will be September 29th 2021 (17:00 Brussels time). However, you might have in mind the previous date for finally closing the RESTART and EXPAND open calls in end of July. We were able to extend the closure of the open calls until the following dates: RESTART open call closure: September 29th 2021 (17:00 Brussels time) EXPAND open call closure: June 29th 2022 (17:00 Brussels time) This was also the reason not to have a deadline in the middle of the summer and related holidays in several countries. I hope that this will answer your question. Best regards, Harald
EXPAND OPEN CALL: Timeline & IE16 June 2021
Dear Harald; reading your explanation to Chiara, I am confused about the deadlines for presently Open Calls. For some reason, I had seen deadlines (for both RESTART and EXPAND Calls) of July 28, 2021. Yet you relate (as is presently posted on site) to deadline of Sept. 29, 2021. Is there a deadline of July 28 ?? Or is the only deadline now relevant Sept 28 ?? Sorry for the trivial question. Josh