Open Call 2 FAQs
This page includes some frequently asked questions about the MIND4MACHINES Open Call 2. All information is included in the Guide for Applicants.
What is the Mind4Machines’budget allocation?
MIND4MACHINES allocates EUR 3.3 million to SMEs in the form of grants to be distributed as direct financial support to SMEs via two Open Calls.
This 2nd Open Call, running in 2023, has a budget of EUR 1 620 800 that will be allocated by adopting two funding schemes:
- EUR 1 080 000 for the INNOVATION SUPPORT Scheme
- EUR 540 800 for the GO-TO-MARKET SUPPORT Scheme
The consortium reserves the right not to award all available funds or to transfer funds between both schemes.
What is the main objective of the open call?
The main objective of the call is to raise the efficiency and competitiveness of the manufacturing industry by adopting the latest digital technologies for a smarter and greener transformation aligned with the latest EU policies.
The present call funds the development, testing, validation and market uptake of INDUSTRY 4.0 solutions by increasing the Technology Readiness Level (TRL)/maturity of the proposed solutions in delivering innovative goods, services and processes.
Which maturity level should the innovation solutions have?
The call is adapted to two maturity technology readiness levels to be targeted according to the maturity of the solution to be developed:
- For applying to the Innovation Support Scheme: the solution must have a minimum TRL of 4 and, by the end of the project, expected to reach the range of TRL of 5-7.
- For applying to the Go-to-Market Support Scheme: the solution must have a minimum TRL of 7 and, by the end of the project, should reach the minimum TRL of 8.
Technology validated in lab
Technology validated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
Technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies
System prototype demonstration in operational environment
System complete and qualified
Actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies; or in space)
For further information about TRL fit, you can check the detailed information on the TRL Assessment tool and guide from the NCP Portal.
How many projects will be funded?
With a dedicated budget of EUR 1 620 800 for this second open call, MIND4MACHINES aims to support a minimum of 18 sub-projects, within the two financial schemes (Innovation Support and Go-to-Market Support).
Who is the main applicant for the Mind4Machines open call?
The main applicant of the MIND4MACHINES Open Call is a technology provider SME (including startups), legally established and registered in countries eligible for H2020, according to the criteria set by the EU regulated definitions below:
- SME: “The category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million.” These ceilings apply to the figures for individual firms only. A firm which is part of larger grouping may need to include employee/turnover/balance sheet data from that grouping too.
- Startup: as a sub-category of the SME category, that has an incorporated legal entity, separate from and independent of owners or shareholders and is set up to trade actively (not dormant). Startup companies are at stage of the development of an enterprise that may be in the process of being set up or may have been in business for a short time, may have completed the product development stage but require funds to initiate commercial manufacturing and/or sales.
The field of activity (primary or secondary) of the applicants will have to correspond to an authorised NACE code which would allow them to perform one of the following roles:
- ICT service providers working in Industry 4.0 topics as smart digital technology developers under NACE CODES J620 or J631
- Producers of machinery, tools and robots (as a technology provider) for the use of the manufacturing industry, operating under NACE CODES C26, C27, C28 or C33.
Who is the industry partner?
Any company legally established in a country eligible for funding under H2020, representing a manufacturing case with activity corresponding to a NACE Code from Category C. However, only SMEs are eligible to receive funding from MIND4MACHINES.
Do applicants have to be based on EU?
All applicants [technology supplier applicant(s), industry partner must be registered in one of the EU27 Member States or in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries. The list of the countries associated with Horizon 2020 is available here.
Can the industry partner and the technology provider be from the same country or should they be from different ones?
Yes, one proposal can have both the applicant(s) and industry partner legally established in the same country. However, MIND4MACHINES encourages cross-border collaboration.
Can large companies be part of the projects?
Large companies can take part in the proposal only with a signed Letter of Intent with explicit agreement to test or implement the project solution. They can take role as industry partner in the projects, but are not eligible for funding.
Is an industry partner compulsory for an application?
Yes. For both funding schemes, Innovation Support and Go-to-Market Support, proposals must include an industry partner.
What is the role of technology providers?
The Open Call supports technology providers in developing and testing Industry 4.0 solutions, including the activities listed below.
In the case of Innovation Support Scheme:
- Demonstration and pilot,
- MVP building,
- Validation of the results, and
- Training the industry partner using the solution.
In the case of Go-to-Market Scheme:
- Training the industry partner to use the solution
- Business plan development.
- Market-related consultancy
- Market replication
- Scalability consultancy
- Promotion costs of the innovative product/activities to engage customers
What is the role of the industry partner?
The Open Call expects the involvement of manufacturing companies to test and validate the Industry 4.0 solutions, including the activities listed below.
In the case of Innovation Support Scheme:
- Collaboration for solution testing and utilization
- Collaboration for validation of the result
In the case of Go-to-Market Scheme:
- Product adoption
- Collaboration for validation of the product/ service.
Can a proposal include more than one technology provider?
Yes, a proposal for any of the two funding schemes, Innovation Support or Go-to-Market Support, can include one (individual applicant) or two technology providers. However, the budget limits for the overall project must be followed.
What is the maximum budget per project?
For proposals submitted by an individual applicant, the maximum amount granted per project can be up to EUR 60 000 for the Innovation Scheme and up to EUR 30 000 for the Go-to-Market Scheme.
For proposals submitted by two applicants, the maximum amount granted per project can be up to EUR 120 000 for the Innovation Scheme and up to EUR 60 000 for the Go-to-Market Scheme.
The distribution of the project budget is up to the applicant(s) and their corresponding industry partner and will have to be justified in the application form, with the condition that the industry partner (manufacturing SMEs) can receive up to 20% of the total grant amount requested for the project.
What is the maximum funding an SME can receive?
The budget of each applicant/partner cannot exceed EUR 60 000 under the Innovation Scheme and EUR 30 000 under the Go-to-Market Scheme.
The cumulative maximum amount to be granted to each third party shall not exceed EUR 60 000 in both MIND4MACHINES Open Calls.
What is the budget limit per project for industry partner?
The industry partner involved in the proposal, provided they are eligible for funding, can receive up to 20% of the total budget (requested grant amount) for the project. The distribution of the project budget (requested grant amount) is up to the applicant(s) and their corresponding industry partner and will have to be justified in the application form.
Is co-financing required from the project partner?
Which costs are eligible?
The grant to be distributed will have to cover the activities described in the Application Form based on a justified cost-budget split. The costs are exclusively meant for performing the activities allowed under the two Open Call Schemes (Innovation Support or Go-to-Market) to achieve the deliverables defined under each project. In extension, any costs necessary for achieving set project objectives can be covered and must be justified in the Application Form.
Which amount in Annex 2 (Sheet 2.2) shall I indicate to the question “Requested project budget (Funding)” and “Funding requested by the applicant/industry partner” in the application form?
You are requested to fill in the application form with the corresponding amounts in line “Requested Grant Amount for Project” of Annex 2.2. If only considered necessary, the project partner can indicate a higher amount for the total costs, while the requested grant amount must be within the limits given in this section.
In case the requested project budget (funding) and funding requested by the applicant(s) and SME industry partner filled in the application form on F6S Platform do not comply with the requested grant amount for the project and project partner in the uploaded Annex 2.2, the amounts submitted in the application form on F6S Platform will be taken into account.
Can an SME apply for both types of schemes? Innovation and Go to market.
An applicant can participate in only one application per MIND4MACHINES Open Call; proposals including the same SME (applicant or industry partner) will be rejected .
Are MIND4MACHINES Open Call 1 beneficiaries eligible for the Second Open call?
An SME might be a beneficiary of the MIND4NACHINES Open Call 1 and then apply to the Open Call 2. However, the cumulative maximum amount to be granted by MIND4MACHINES to one SME shall not exceed EUR 60 000 in both Open Calls.
How is IPR managed in these projects?
The results and IPR developed during the sub-project implementation will be the exclusive property of the corresponding SME/Consortium.
The applicants are advised to include Intellectual Property Rights issues and results dissemination generated from the project teams through MIND4MACHINES funding in their internal Consortium Agreement, to be prepared before the contracting procedure.
How is the financial support provided? How many payments?
The budget will be defined as a lump sum at the time of the grant preparation. It will be distributed in two instalments during the project duration, based on milestones achieved and deliverables. This means that MIND4MACHINES will be paying demonstrable results.
The lump sum funding system provides considerable simplification for the applicants as it removes obligations on cost reporting based on timesheets or invoices.
How to apply and submit the proposal?
The proposal is submitted in a single stage through the online platform, following the indicated steps. To submit a proposal, the main applicant will first have to register for an account on the F6S Platform, including the company profile where contact data will be asked.
The electronic application forms will be accessible once logged in to the F6S pre-registered account.
The applicant accesses the corresponding application form according to the type (individual or collaborative) and support scheme (innovation support or go-to-market support):
Proposals must be written in English, the official language for MIND4MACHINES Open Calls. Submissions done in any other language will not be evaluated.
The detailed version of the application form, following the exact chapters required on the Platform, can be found in Annex 4 of the Guide for Applicants.
There are two compulsory Annexes to be uploaded (Annex 1 and Annex 2, existing of 3 separate sheets), while Annex 3 Letter of Intent from large company is only uploaded if applicable. All Annexes must be uploaded as PDF files.
What is the Investment Readiness Level and how does it relate to the Open Call?
The investment readiness level assessment questionnaire allows SMEs/projects to identify their strengths and weaknesses in five areas: competences and structure of the company, product, business and customer, competition and sales, and investment. Once the company completes the questionnaire, they will see their score in each individual area and the overall IRL.
MIND4MACHINES asks all applicants to the Open Call to fill in the IRL questionnaire available here.
The IRL scores enable MIND4MACHINES to tailor services and courses to improve the specific aspects where improvement is needed.
Is there any support to connect with other applicants or find partner?
MIND4MACHINES consortium is organising a series of regional information events to disseminate the Open Call 2, which will also be a good opportunity for potential applicants to ask further questions and meet potential partners.
MIND4MACHINES offers a space to find partners for the Open Call 2, to reach this space please follow this link.
In addition, MIND4MACHINES partners are represented in different matchmaking events organised by Enterprise Europe Network. More information can be found here.
MIND4MACHINES offers an Open Innovation Platform encouraging the interaction between technology providers and manufacturing companies. The platform provides a space for manufacturing companies to express their needs and technology providers to offer their solutions and discuss their ideas. The Open Innovation Platform has a section dedicated to each challenge manufacturing companies are facing towards digitalisation, supporting a more focused and productive interaction. Companies are welcome to share updates, media (videos, photos) or KPIs to any of the sections and comment on content shared by others.
- Flexible manufacturing systems (FMS)
- Predictive maintenance
- Energy efficiency
- Smart packaging
- Decision support systems
- Safety and security
- Supply chain management
What is a Qualified Electronic Sigature?
A qualified electronic signature is an advanced electronic signature which is additionally: created by a qualified signature creation device (QSCD); and is based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures.
Applicants may use any Digital Signature Services that support qualified digital signatures.
The European Commission proposes a demo of DSS (Digital Signature Services), a tool enabling, among other features, the signature of documents.
More information about qualified digital signatures is available here.
Applicants can use e-signatures or other worldwide tools providing authorised electronic tools; they prefer to use.
Can I see the template of the Subgrant Agreement to be signed with the winners of the Open call?
Yes, the template of the MIND4MACHINES Open Call 2 Subgrant Agreement and the relevant Annexes can be found here.
- Do you have a question not covered here? Please reach out to our discussion page on the application platform and we will answer it. Please, review the Guide for Aplicants first.
- Below you can find other resources from our Open Call 2 launch event. However, please don’t forget, that the Guide for Applicants is the only official document for MIND4MACHINES Open Call 2, other resources do not replace the Guide for Applicants.
 Definition under 2017 European Commission Document ‘Assessing Business Startup Procedures in the context of the renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs
Presentation Open call 2 aunch event
Presentation of the Open call - Budget, elegibility criteria, evaluation process