Open Call FAQs
This page includes some frequently asked questions about the MIND4MACHINES Open Call. 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 1st Open Call, running in 2022, has a budget of EUR 1 650 000 that will be allocated by adopting two funding schemes:
- EUR 1 020 000 for the INNOVATION SUPPORT Scheme
- EUR 630 000 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 or to the 2nd Call depending on the proposals received and the results of the evaluation.
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?
MIND4MACHINES has two financial schemes split according to the technology readiness level (TRL) of the solution proposed:
- INNOVATION SUPPORT – Testing and validating Industry 4.0 solutions [TRL 5-7]
- GO-TO-MARKET SUPPORT – Innovative solutions demonstration and scalability [TRL 8-9]
|TRL Name||TRL Description|
|TRL 5||Laboratory Testing of Integrated/Semi-Integrated System: System Component and/or process validation is achieved in a relevant environment|
|TRL 6||Prototype System Verified: System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (beta prototype system level)|
|TRL 7||Integrated Pilot System Demonstrated: System/process prototype demonstration in an operational environment (integrated pilot system level).|
|TRL 8||System Incorporated in Commercial Design: Actual system/process completed and qualified through test and demonstration (pre-commercial demonstration)|
|TRL 9||System Proven and Ready for Full Commercial Deployment: Actual system proven through successful operations in operating environment, and ready for full commercial deployment|
How many projects will be funded?
With a dedicated budget of EUR 1 650 000 for this first open call, MIND4MACHINES aims to support a minimum of 19 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 SMEs (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
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(s)] 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 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:
- demonstration in real environment,
- training the industry partner using the solution,
- MVP building,
- technical consultancy,
- market related consultancy,
- market replication,
- scalability consultancy, and
- 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; and
- collaboration for validation of the result
In the case of Go-to-Market Scheme:
- collaboration for product testing;
- 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 or more 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 or more 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 budget of each applicant/partner cannot exceed 60 000 EUR under the Innovation Scheme and EUR 30 000 under the Go-to-Market Scheme.
The distribution of the project budget is up to the applicant(s) and their corresponding industry partner(s) and will have to be justified in the application form, with the condition that the industry partner(s) (manufacturing SMEs) can receive up to 20% of the total budget 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 partners?
The industry partner(s) involved in the proposal, provided they are eligible for funding, can receive up to 20% of the total budget for the project. The distribution of the project budget is up to the applicant(s) and their corresponding industry partner(s) and will have to be justified in the application form.
Which costs are eligible?
The grants 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 Calls 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.
Can an SME apply for both types of schemes? Innovation and Go to market.
An applicant can participate in only one application per Call; proposals including the same SME (applicant or industry partner) will be rejected.
An SME can apply for Innovation Support in this 1st Open Call and then apply for the Go-To-Market support in the 2nd Open Call. 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 MIND4MACHINES application form is available on F6S Platform, which is the sole entry point for all application submissions to the MIND4MACHINES Open Call. Submissions received by any other channel will be automatically discarded.
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 form will be accessible once logged in to the F6S pre-registered account.
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 1 of the Guide For Applicants.
There are two compulsory Annexes to be uploaded (Annex 4 and Annex 5), while Annex 2 Administrative Data for multiple applicants/partners and Annex 3 Letter of Intent from large company are 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 partners?
MIND4MACHINES consortium is organising a series of regional information events to disseminate the first Open Call, which will also be a good opportunity for potential applicants to ask further questions and meet potential partners.
In addition, MIND4MACHINES is represented in the Technology & Business Cooperation Days 2022, to be held in Hannover (and online), on 30 May – 2 June 2022. This event includes matchmaking available 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
- 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, there are other resources from our open call launch event where you can find more information to resolve your doubts.
 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 launch event
Presentation of the Open call - Budget, elegibility criteria, evaluation process