This month, a new member has joined us: IDConsortium.
IDConsortium was founded in Spain, in 2009 with the aim of helping researchers and businesses to internationalise and showcase their R&D by joining international consortiums to pursue different lines of research, development, and innovation.
IDConsortium provides strategic advice in the following areas: Industrial Biotechnology, Advanced production systems in Agriculture, Livestock and Aquaculture based on Industry 4.0., and Innovative systems while promoting active, healthy, and sustainable aging.
We are delighted to have IDConsortium's expertise as a part of our team of European Innovation Consultants.
The most relevant European companies in innovation consultancy join efforts to boost the competitiveness in the research and innovation ecosystem.
On Thursday 5 November 2020, the European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) was launched. Created at the initiative of the French Association of Innovation Consultants (ACI) as an informal gathering in a working group back in September 2019, the creation of the EAIC was formalised yesterday by its 42 members active across Europe. A board of 8 members as well as a president was elected.
The Association is now being established as a formal entity, its objective: to become the voice of European consulting companies specialized in Research, Development & Innovation (RDI) financing and management.
The Association aims in particular to:
Since September 2019, when they first decided to work together as an unformal working group, the members of EAIC initiated several actions such as
The EAIC recently elected 8 board members. Their role is to ensure progress towards the structuration of EAIC’s activities.
The 8 Board members are:
On the occasion of its first meeting, the Board elected the EAIC’s President, Pekka Koponen.
Welcoming the decision, Pekka said: “Innovation consultants play an important role as the glue and catalyst between European innovators from largest enterprises to growth companies and academic organizations. We transfer the latest information on public funding to our clients, help them build and raise funding for their innovation and manage resulting projects and ecosystems professionally for new business, other impact and finally, competitiveness of European industry that keeps the whole innovation system running. EAIC also stands to make sure that our members do their work with strictest code of ethics and professionalism, always walking the extra mile needed for success.”
The European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) gathers active Innovation Consultants in the field of European research and innovation projects. The group aims to facilitate exchange and promotion of best practices and success stories, as well as to uphold professional skills and expertise in European RDI projects. Today the group gathers 42 members, active in more than 18 countries around Europe.
Marie Latour - +32 4 73 89 63 74 – email@example.com
Pekka Koponen - +358 40 545 0008 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Rodrigo Sanz, Manager European Funds at Euro-Funding
Climate change and environmental degradation are the existential threats facing Europe and the rest of the world today. To overcome these challenges, Europe needs a new growth strategy to transform the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy. The European Union will therefore respond to these challenges through the Green Deal call, based on sustainable growth that aims to end net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 so that economic growth is decoupled from resource use.
The EU strategy is based on a transition towards fair and inclusive sustainability, putting people first and bringing citizens together in all their diversity. This is done through a model of cross-cutting measures that supports behavioural, social and cultural changes wherever they are most needed so that no one is left behind.
This call is also in charge of addressing the urgent challenge of contributing to Europe's recovery from the crisis generated by the Covid-19, by participating directly in the EU Plan Europe’s moment: Repair and Prepare for the Next Generation, EC COM -2020-
In this context, the topics of the Green Deal work programme have recently been published, organised into 10 thematic areas, 8 reflecting the main lines of the European green pact and two focused on strengthening citizen knowledge.
Area 1: Increasing Climate Ambition: Cross sectoral challenges
The deadline for submitting proposals to this call began on 22 September 2020 and will remain open until 26 January 2021.
Read more here.
The European Commission’s DG for Research and Innovation (DG RTD) has launched a Manifesto for EU COVID-19 Research, which aims to maximise the accessibility of COVID-19 research results that benefit from EU funding.
Today, EWGIC has signed this manifesto and commits to sharing research results related to COVID-19 prevention, testing and treatment.
By signing this manifesto, EWGIC and its members commit to
This initiative is in line with the Coronavirus Global Response, launched by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EC, as well as with the Solidarity Call to Action, established by the World Health Organisation.
Read the full Manifesto here.
More information here.
Author: Marie Latour, Head of Office, Zabala Brussels
This week, the EU research ministers have agreed on the final details of Horizon Europe:
To begin with, they agree on a linear cut across its programmes to reflect the outcome of the July budget summit (from €94.4 billion to €80.9 billion in 2018 prices) this represents a decrease of more than 14% from the European Commission's (EC) original proposal. In current prices, this is equivalent to a budget of €90.9 billion, of which €5.4 billion comes from the Next Generation EU budget, as part of the recovery plan.
However, under pressure from Germany and Austria, the ministers decided to increase the funding for Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions by €200 million over the next seven years, with money coming from the European Innovation Council’s (EIC) budget (which sees its budget cut by 2%). Spain and Ireland were opposed to a further cut of the EIC budget or to guarantee the grant part of EIC.
The ministers gathered last Tuesday, also agreed on the possibility to use EU structural funds to finance industrial research partnerships in the future.
They agreed that Horizon Europe should follow “a very flexible approach” in spending the top-up from the recovery fund. The idea is to prioritise projects with high TRL levels that address the health and economic effects related to the coronavirus pandemic.
With regards to Europe’s technology sovereignty, the rules for non-EU countries to participate in Horizon Europe were adopted, including a new provision intended to protect Europe’s technological sovereignty. The provision will limit the participation of legal entities established in the EU, or in associated countries, if the commission and member states find “justified and exceptional reasons.” This is to balance between openness and the need for protection of strategic European interests. The EC could start negotiations with individual countries in 2021 at the earliest, and will have to consult with the Council before making any decision.
Now Horizon Europe’s budget and adoption is the hands of the European Parliament (EP) which will have the final word. While the EP was advocating for a budget of €120 billion in the initial phases of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) negotiations, the position from most active EP members is to maintain the initial budget proposed by the EC in 2018. Some EP members have proposed that Horizon Europe could be topped up with money raised by new taxes levied by the EU. The debate on EU’s own resources is not over.
Read EWGIC’s position paper on the MFF.
European Commission publishes Recommendations on A Robust Innovation Ecosystem for the Future of Europe
Yesterday, the European Commission published the results of a stakeholder consultation in the report “A Robust Innovation Ecosystem for the Future of Europe.”
The report summarises the outcomes of 8 workshops held between October 2019 and February 2020, attended by approximately 350 participants. Resulting in a conference “A Robust Innovation Ecosystem for the Future of Europe” held in Brussels on the 18th of February, 2020, the report was produced by the Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Innovation Council (EIC) Task Force and the Unit of Innovation Ecosystems. It gathers the insights from various stakeholders, including investors, companies, start-up communities, universities, local, regional and national authorities linked to innovation policy. Recommendations from the report will be considered by policy makers shaping EU innovation ecosystems.
In view of enabling the development of Horizon Europe, and in addition to collecting and analysis the feedback from the consultation phase, the report aims to
Online questionnaire results on challenges identified in the innovation ecosystem can be found in the report. These challenges are grouped in 3 major pillars: connectedness of stakeholders, competence and talent, and capital.
To provide an overview of the challenges and main action lines for Horizon Europe’s implementation, throughout the report, stakeholders’ feedback is analysed, structured, and summarised into many interesting insights on the European innovation ecosystem.
Read more here.
One year has passed since fifteen European Innovation Consultants united during the R&I days in Brussels on the 24th of September 2019, launching what has now become the European Working Group of Innovation Consultants (EWGIC).
At EWGIC, we are proud to say that over the course of the past year, although life has changed drastically with the current global health crisis, we have stayed busy and grown, accomplishing several milestones, some of which we would like to recap here:
In addition, EWGIC currently counts
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our members and all those that have supported and contributed to our work with innovative ideas and professional insight.
This year has been challenging but we are excited about the future and looking forward to launching new initiatives.
Is your company a consulting firm active in Innovation funding somewhere in Europe?
Would you like to contribute to making the voice of Innovation Consulting better heard and
recognised by our European Innovation funding institutions?
If you are not yet an EWGIC member, join us!
We are looking to expand our membership further across Europe!
Read more about EWGIC here.
We are pleased to announce our latest member from Spain: Vector Horizonte has just joined us, following our monthly call this September. Welcome to EWGIC!
Is your company active in the field of European research and innovation projects?
Are you looking to join a forum in which best practices, mutual respect, and basic competition rules are promoted?
Press Release - New Position Paper "EIC Accelerator: 15 recommendations to reduce the part of luck vs skills in the selection of future EuropeanDeeptech champions"
This week EWGIC released its position paper on EIC Accelerator under Horizon Europe in view of the ongoing Horizon Europe negotiations. Created in 2014 under the “SME instrument” name, the EIC Accelerator has become the largest and most competitive public funding scheme for deeptech startups in Europe.
With success rates falling rapidly below 1% (over 5,000 submissions expected in October 2020 vs funding available for 30-40 companies), the EIC Accelerator has fallen victim to its popularity. Today, success in this programme requires a very high-quality application, and a fair amount of luck (represented by the subjective opinion of third-party evaluators).
To address these issues, the EIC Task Force has suggested to implement a radically new evaluation process with a pre-screening stage (short application), a regular written stage (full application) and an interview stage. The scoring scale (out of 15) is replaced with a simple “go / no go” approach. Most importantly, only two submissions would be allowed at each stage before a 24-month cooling off period.
Overall, these changes are likely to be favourable to the best applicants as they will reduce the application “noise” (sub-par applications that will not go through the pre-screening) and reduce the number of resubmissions overall. The EC will thus provide higher quality evaluations of a smaller set of full stage applications, and therefore reducing the “luck factor” of the evaluation process.
However, the approach will also put a higher responsibility on a smaller number of evaluators which, as a result, must be carefully selected and trained in the context of 3 main challenges:
· Challenge 1: reducing oversubscription
· Challenge 2: supporting a fair evaluation with clear evaluation criteria
· Challenge 3: recruiting skilled and trained evaluators
With its members having supported over 1000 successful applicants in the programme, EWGIC is proposing 15 possible improvement areas that should result in a fair and transparent evaluation process (read them here).
Will the new EIC Accelerator reduce the impact of luck vs skills in the selection of the European deeptech champions?
EWGIC believes the suggested changes are supporting a more transparent and fair evaluation, but only when combined with clear and consistent evaluation criteria, as well as a thorough overhaul of the expert pool recruitment and training processes.
Access the short version of the position paper here (4 pages)
Access the full version of the position paper here (12 pages)
The European Commission (EC) is launching a survey on Horizon Europe’s first Strategic Plan, which will guide the work programmes and topics for the next four years. All stakeholders with an interest in EU research and innovation are invited to participate in this consultation, which will end on 18 September 2020.
In view of Horizon Europe's launch in 2021, this Strategic Plan is being developed through a co-design process, for which over 9000 people have contributed, making it the largest consultation ever led by the EC.
The survey’s results will be discussed in the virtual European Research and Innovation Days on 22-24 September 2020, and we look forward to hearing your feedback there.
Find out more here.
On September 22-24, the European Commission invites stakeholders to debate and shape the future research and innovation landscape through a virtual event.
During this annual flagship event and through interactive sessions, participants will provide input on the EU’s research and innovation policy.
Participants include policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and citizens, who will debate the role of funding and research and innovation policies in the EU’s recovery. As a response to the global pandemic, the EU must now enable a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient transition.
This 3-day event will be the occasion to contribute to policy co-designing, thought-provoking panels and participate in matchmaking opportunities.
At EWGIC, we expect this event to be instrumental in the coordination of excellent science and beneficial for Europe’s recovery, as we also look forward to Horizon Europe’s launch event.
Visit this link for more information and to view the full programme.
The Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 is undergoing intense negotiations within the European Institutions. Horizon Europe’s budget has been decreased by 5 billion euros, straying away from the European Commission’s initial ambitious plan. The European Council and Parliament (EP) have just a few months left to complete their negotiations.
EWGIC, the European Working Group of Innovation Consultants, welcomes the European Council’s agreement on the MFF and the Next Generation EU budgets, but regrets the treatment of European research and innovation funding especially related to Horizon Europe.
EWGIC supports Parliament’s stance that the Council’s budget deal needs to be transformed to a more future-oriented approach. We are now calling the European Parliament to ensure Horizon Europe will get back at least to the original proposal that the EC made in 2018 of 83.5 B€ (2018 prices). So that R&I can actually contribute to our continent's recovery and allow for the development of added-value products and solutions developed in Europe.
On 22 June 2020, the European Commission released the Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) 2020, which demonstrates Europe’s improving innovation performance.
According to the EIS, on average, the innovation performance of the EU has increased by 8.9% since 2012, with performance having increased the most in Lithuania, Malta, Latvia, Portugal and Greece.
Sweden continues to be the EU Innovation Leader, followed by Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands. This year Luxembourg (previously a Strong Innovator) joins the group of Innovation Leaders, while Portugal (previously a Moderate Innovator) joins the group of Strong Innovators.
At a global level, it is the second year that the EU surpasses the United States. The EU also continues to have a performance lead over China, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, and India. Since 2012, the EU’s performance gap with South Korea, Australia and Japan has increased, while the EU’s performance lead over the United States, China, Brazil, Russia and South Africa has decreased.
The EIS functions as an assessment of the performance of research and innovation in EU countries and identifies “performance leaders” in specific areas of innovation. It covers the EU Member States as well as Iceland, Israel, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
The EIS contains 4 “performance groups:”
The innovation performance is measured based on 27 performance indicators, within 10 innovation dimensions and in 4 main categories.
Click here to view the full Q&A document published by the EC on 23 June 2020.
Visit this page for more information on the EIS.
We, the members of EWGIC, are determined to inspire and ensure that trust, integrity, responsibility, fairness, and impartiality are all preserved by European Innovation Consultants during the execution of their professional activities.
To do so, we have adopted a comprehensive Code of Conduct, which aims to promote best practices, mutual respect, and basic competition rules among Innovation Consultants. Through this Code of Conduct, we commit to excellence, and seek to guarantee and demonstrate the highest professional standards in the sector of EU consulting.
The following standards of conduct, behaviour and attitude are detailed in our Code:
1. Trust & Integrity
3. Fairness to others
This Code is in line with the EWGIC’s key missions
The first mission is to create synergies between European consulting companies specialized in Research, Development & Innovation (RDI) financing and management to promote the added value their professional services bring to RDI collaborations in Europe and carry out actions of common interests and benefits for its members.
We intend to enhance a positive image of European professional innovation consulting companies by ensuring and maintaining high professionalism and ethical values among members.
We also aim to represent the EWGIC towards European institutions and stakeholders to defend the specific expertise and professionalism of EWGIC members and acknowledge the increased project impact they deliver to the European research community.
The working group identifies common issues and goals of its members and pursues them in a coordinated manner on a national level by contributing to national concertation and enhancing direct dialogues with the different representations of the EU Member States.
Our activities facilitate knowledge sharing on best practices and information between members on latest evolutions in the European RDI ecosystem.
Finally, our group fosters the participation of the private sector to European RD&I programmes for stronger impact and exploitation of results.
All EWGIC’s members subscribe to and believe that the principles underlined in the Code of Conduct are fundamental for recognition from the European institutions and key stakeholders of the RDI ecosystem towards European Innovation Consultants.
The Code of Conduct was finalised and adopted in May 2020 and will serve as a roadmap for EWGIC’s daily activities.
Download EWGIC’s Code of Conduct here.
The European Commission announced yesterday that over 2,000 sustainable innovation companies from 38 different countries have applied for financial support of €7.8bn from the one-off EIC Accelerator Green Deal call. We can expect a 4% success rate for this call, a similar level as for the October 2019 cut-off.
When Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined Europe’s “green recovery” plan to the European Parliament last week, it was understood that the Green Deal would be placed at the centre of the EU’s recovery effort.
The Green Deal has the capacity to help the EU economy recover from the COVID-19 crisis, with proposals of this specific call focusing on the following aspects:
- climate mitigation
- the transition to a clean & circular economy
- zero pollution ambitions
- toxic free environments
Read more here.
EWGIC is pleased to welcome 12 new members from all over Europe! During its monthly call on April 23, the following new members were approved:
A conference call was held on May 15 to welcome these new members, with participants introducing themselves after viewing a detailed presentation on EWGIC’s mission and objectives, governance structure, and membership criteria, amongst other topics.
Each month, the EWGIC continues to expand as well as the support for the EWGIC’s Manifesto, signed by over 160 consultants, all proud to represent the management of European research & innovation projects.
The next monthly call will be held on May 28, during which the latest membership applications will be reviewed, so stay tuned!
View the full list of EWGIC’s Members here.
Will COVID-19 kill the EIC Accelerator?
Or will the EIC Accelerator be the medical ventilator of distressed European SME champions?
We face the most serious healthcare crisis of the last 100 years, a crisis that is highly impacting all components of our economic infrastructure. Through the release of this new Position Paper, the EWGIC calls on the EU Parliament and European Commission to take immediate action, through implementing an EIC Accelerator Airdrop that can offer liquidity to start-ups and innovative SMEs affected by the current crisis.
This position paper focuses on SMEs and the role that the European Commission must play to protect them, via the Horizon 2020 EIC Accelerator programme.
The EWGIC has summarised the most urgent problems to solve, with regards to the EIC Accelerator Programme, highlighting the following challenges to address:
The EC, along with EASME, REA and the EIB, all have a strong influence on the future of European SMEs, which is why the EWGIC now urges them to save our European SME champions.
Download the EWGIC’s Position Paper below:
Press Release "European Innovation Consultants Working Group Accelerates its Outreach with Website Release Today"
Today the website of the European Working Group of Innovation Consultants (EWGIC) was released, with now 20 members across 18 countries, this new initiative is taking a new step in its formal structuration.
The European Working Group of Innovation Consultants (EWGIC) gathers experts in the field of European research and innovation projects. The group aims to facilitate exchange and promotion of best practices and success stories, as well as to promote professional skills and expertise in European RDI projects. Today the group gathers 20 companies and two national associations, active in more than 18 countries around Europe. It is growing every month.
One of the first actions undertaken by EWGIC has been the publication of a Manifesto to support project management in Horizon Europe. The proposed measures include:
In the particular context of the current COVID-19 Crisis, members of EWGIC have helped in filing a significant number of applications to the Horizon 2020 programme and especially the EIC Accelerator March deadline, which many start-ups in the area could not have reached without professional help.
The website is accessible at www.ewgic.eu . You will find the objectives of the initiative; recent news about EWGIC, the list of members, a link to the Manifesto and the possibility to support it by signing it online, a registration form to request membership to the Working Group
For more information about EWGIC:
Visit our website at www.eaic.eu
The current list of members is the following: https://www.eaic.eu/members.html
Follow our LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/european-association-of-innovation-consultants
Follow us on Twitter: @eu_innovconsult
EWGIC's current members are:
• French Association of Innovation Consultants (ACI)
• Spanish Association for the promotion of R&D (AFIDI)
• Absiskey (France, Poland)
• DRIAD (UK)
• Efund Group (France and Bulgaria)
• Euronovia (France)
• European Fund Management Consulting (Estonia and France)
• Europroject (Bulgaria)
• Fi Group (Spain, France, Portugal)
• Magellan (Portugal, Belgium)
• Navigator Consulting (Cyprus)
• Neovia Innovation (France)
• PNO Consultants Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK)
• Polite Europe (Spain)
• Spinverse (Finland, Germany, Sweden)
• Syncate (Belgium)
• Trustech (UK)
• Zabala Innovation Consulting (Spain, Belgium, France, UK)
• Zaz Ventures (Belgium, Switzerland, UK)
We are very glad to welcome 3 new companies in EWGIC's membership this week! These are
- PNO Consultants - Europe from the Netherlands with presence in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK.
- Efund Group active in France and Bulgaria
- Trustech from UK
We now have active 20 members of which 2 national associations! Altogether these members are present in 18 European countries, including Norway, Switzerland and UK.
How can you participate?
1. Sign our Manifesto – so far already over 150 people have signed it!
2. Register to the Working Group – It is completely free! Your application will be reviewed during the next monthly call of the WG! And we are planning for a physical meeting in Brussels as soon as the COVID crisis will be over.
We aim to represent as many countries in Europe as possible; we are currently missing members from Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia.
This week the European Working Group of Innovation Consultants has welcomed 5 new member companies among its members!
- DRIAD from the UK
- European Fund Management Consulting, located in Estonia and France
- Europroject from Bulgaria
- Innovayt with premises in Denmark, Norway and Portugal
- Polite Europe located in Barcelona, Spain
We are now counting a membership of 17 companies and two national associations, active in 15 countries around Europe! We are looking to expand the group with more members to represent the full diversity of Innovation Consulting across Europe.
What is the EWGIC about? The Working Group aims at elaborating synergies among consultancy companies in Europe and exploring the interest to create a European association in the medium term. By joining forces on goals of common interest, the currently fragmented landscape of consulting companies could enhance the impact of their actions at European level.
How can you participate? - Sign our Manifesto – so far already over 150 people have signed it! - Register to the Working Group. Your application will be reviewed during the next call of the WG.
We've just received the 100th signature of our Manifesto! The European Working Group of Innovation Consultants is looking to expand throughout Europe. Do you represent an Innovation Consulting firm Active in Europe? Would you like to actively participate in the #EWGIC actions?
European Consultants in Innovation ask for greater recognition of Professional project management in Horizon Europe. In 35% of cases, organizations have relied on consulting companies to prepare their proposals for the current R&I funding programme - Horizon 2020.
As the R&I Days kicked-off in Brussels on 24 September, fifteen consultants in Innovation Management from six European countries gathered together to foster a discussion about common interests with a possibility of future collaborations and actions.
The representatives of Innovation Management Consulting Firms addressed the issues concerning the management of European research and innovation projects. The discussion among European consultants also covered the preparations for Horizon Europe, the upcoming Framework Programme.
Currently and as it was revealed during the Research and Innovation Days held last week by the European Commission in Brussels, organizations have relied, in 35% of cases on consulting services to prepare their proposals for Horizon2020, the largest funding and research program in the EU.