Call for Innovation Center in Slovakia

Call for Innovation Center in Slovakia

ARISE Europe Call for Innovation Center in Slovakia (2019)

Deadline: The deadline for applications is 20th of March 2019, 23:59:00 CEST

Background of the Call

EIT Digital

EIT Digital is a leading European digital innovation and entrepreneurial education organisation driving Europe’s digital transformation. EIT Digital delivers breakthrough digital innovations to the market and breeds entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and improved quality of life in Europe. It does this by mobilising a pan-European ecosystem of almost 180 top European corporations, SMEs, start-ups, universities and research institutes.

As a Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, EIT Digital is focused on entrepreneurship and is at the forefront of integrating education, research and business by bringing together students, researchers, engineers, business developers and entrepreneurs. This is done in our pan-European network of co-location centres in Berlin, Eindhoven, Helsinki, London, Paris, Stockholm, Trento, as well as in Budapest and Madrid. We also have a hub in Silicon Valley.

For more information about EIT Digital please visit:

Fondazione Bruno Kessler

Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) is a research non-profit public interest entity, partner in EIT Digital.

FBK is a top Research Institute in Italy, ranked at the 1st place for scientific excellence within 3 different subject areas (ICT, History and Sociology) and for the economic and social impact according to the quality of research ANVUR evaluation for the period 2010-2014. Being the result of a history that is more than half a century old, through 2 scientific hubs, 7 research centres, 410 researchers, 2 specialized libraries, 7 laboratories, FBK aims to results of excellence in science and technology with particular emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches and to the applicative dimension.

For more information about FBK please visit:

ARISE Europe

ARISE Europe, part of the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme (RIS), is a program of EIT Digital designed to stimulate regional growth in EU countries where EIT Digital is not present with one of its Node. ARISE Europe mission is to:

  • Connect the most innovative local ecosystems to a network of about 180 Partners representing global companies, leading research centres and top ranked universities;
  • Strengthen Innovation Centres capabilities, linking them to EIT Digital’s Innovation Activities, Business Communities, Access to Market and Access to Finance Services; and
  • Foster entrepreneurial skill development by connecting local talents and educators to our schools.

To fulfill its mission, the ARISE Europe program carries out business innovation projects with selected local Innovation Centers, by providing them the framework for collaboration with EIT Digital and its partners in order to create value through:

  • Co-branded activities for ecosystem stimulation;
  • Joint support to boost technology projects, startups and scaleups at the European level; and
  • High-quality mentoring, market access & fundraising opportunities.

ARISE Europe connects the selected local Innovation Centres to EIT Digital's pan-European innovation and education ecosystem.

Scope of the Call

This Call gives the chance to Innovation Centers based in Slovakia, that have a key role in their innovation ecosystem to:

  • Connect to EIT Digital's EU-wide partnership of more than 180 industry and university partners and a pan-European innovation ecosystem.
  • Improve the services to the Slovakian ecosystem and boost scale-ups’ growth by working together with EIT Digital's business developers and access to finance experts.
  • Support talent growth by connecting them to EIT Digital's innovation and education activities.
  • Extend and strengthen the local ecosystem by jointly mobilising, attracting and involving new stakeholders, with a special focus on industry interested to work with international scale-up companies

EIT Digital will enter into an annual collaboration formalized through a sub-grant agreement with the selected Innovation Centre.

The Sub-Grant Agreement template can be found on the following link. The template is informative and can be subject to changes by FBK or EIT Digital.

Given the multi-annual program mission of ARISE and its medium-term objectives, the sub-grant agreement can be renewed each calendar year, depending on the outcomes of a stage-gate assessment process of the selected Innovation Center’s performance and achieved KPIs.

The detailed specification of activities, expected results, KPIs, reporting and financial reimbursement shall be agreed upon and finalized with the selected Innovation Center and will become part of the agreement.

The sub-grant agreement will be executed by FBK.

The selected Innovation Center shall deliver all planned activities and results until 31 December 2019 for the year 2019.

Activity budget

The selected Innovation Center is entitled to receive a financial support in the form of a sub-grant from EIT Digital’s partner (FBK), covering up to a maximum of EUR 60.000,00 on an annual basis.

The selected Innovation Center will cover part of the costs of the agreed upon activities through own funding. For year 2019, such amount cannot be lower than 40% of said costs.

Eligible costs accrued prior to the completion date only can be reimbursed.

Submission of applications

Applications are open to Innovation Centers registered as legal entities in Slovakia having:

  • Active and key role in the Slovak innovation ecosystem and scaleup community.
  • A proven track record of working with scaleups, i.e., investments, acceleration programs, matchmaking support for scaleups and corporates or investors etc.
  • A track record in the organization of national and regional scaleup, industry and/or tech community events with an overall reach above 1000 participants will be a plus.
  • Established connections to key innovation ecosystem stakeholders, such as innovation support organisations, industry, investors, government, universities etc.
  • Proved media / social media visibility with access to Tier 1 media;
  • Operational capacity;
  • Demonstrable financial sustainability; and
  • Fit with EIT Digital and ARISE Europe objectives and activities.

Applications will be assessed by the EIT Digital Evaluation Committee.

The application consists of 2 main parts:

  1. administrative part (structured information of the basic administrative data and contact persons, etc.) and
  2. technical part, which consists of a questionnaire about the Innovation Center, its history and past successes, its ecosystem and the service it provides to the latter, its competences, skills and key resources, as well as about its plans for the future and the major benefits they expect from the collaboration with EIT Digital.

Applications must be submitted electronically using the Application Portal.

The deadline for applications is 20th of March 2019, 23:59:00 CEST.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Evaluation and Selection of Innovation Centers’ applications

The selection process shall go through two stages.

During the first stage, all applications submitted within the deadline will be evaluated and scored by EIT Digital Evaluation Committee according to the following 5 criteria:

  • Team: management and operations, experience, good reputation and connections.
  • Traction: past and present activities with scaleups and startups, including a proven track record of working with scaleups and startups I.e., investments, acceleration programs, matchmaking support for scaleups and corporates or investors etc.
  • Network: established partnerships and connections to key innovation ecosystem stakeholders, such as innovation support organisations, industry, investors, government, universities, scaleups, startups, media etc.
  • Organisational capacity: operational capacity, facilities and financial sustainability.
  • Vision for collaboration: complementarity to EIT Digital and ARISE Europe objectives and activities, synergy and added value of the prospective partnership.

Each criterion will be scored on a scale from 0 to 5:

  1. Application fails to address the criterion or cannot be assessed due to missing or incomplete information
  2. Poor – criterion is inadequately addressed or there are serious inherent weaknesses
  3. Fair – application broadly addresses the criterion, but there are significant weaknesses
  4. Good – application addresses the criterion well, but a number of shortcomings are present
  5. Very good – application addresses the criterion very well, but a small number of shortcomings are present
  6. Excellent – application successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion. Any shortcomings are minor.

The maximum overall score attainable is 25.

Each application will be evaluated by minimum 2 experts in the first stage and assigned an average score.

Applications with an average score higher than 14 will be admitted to the second stage of the evaluation process.

In the second stage, EIT Digital Evaluation Committee will interview the admitted Innovation Centers. The discussion will aim at gathering additional information, clarifying possible pending issues, and special focus on potential for joint activities, funding requested, co-financing to be made available, etc. The final selection will be made according to the best balance among the following three elements:

  • Fit and impact of the proposed joint activities and cooperation;
  • Capability of the applicant to execute the proposed activities; and
  • Funding requested from EIT Digital, including proposed co-funding.

Applicants admitted to the second stage will be ranked by the EIT Digital Evaluation Committee through consensual decision and the highest ranking one will be invited to further the negotiation with the dedicated EIT Digital partner - FBK and sign a sub-grant agreement with FBK for 2019.

A dedicated member of the Evaluation Committee will notify all participants about the outcomes of their application.


The dates below are informative and subject to changes by FBK and EIT Digital:

Submissions Deadline 20th March 2019
Selection Until 25th of March 2019
Final decision and publication of the short listUntil 25th of March 2019
Contract signed by Innovation CenterUntil 29th of March 2019
Contract implementation1st of April - 31st December 2019



In addition to the competences described above, it is expected that the selected Innovation Centers shall make a genuine contribution to ensuring that the appropriate EIT Digital key performance indicators are achieved and appropriately documented, e.g. appropriate evidence documentation. This may include the adoption of knowledge generated in the activity and support for the wider business ecosystem as a partner in future enterprises.


All interested parties undertake to preserve the confidentiality of any document, information or other material received that is duly classed as confidential, if disclosure could cause prejudice to the other party. To the maximum extent permitted by law, under no circumstances and under no legal theory whether in tort (including negligence) contract or otherwise shall EIT Digital, FBK nor its partner to be liable for any special indirect, punitive, incidental or consequential damages, including loss of profit.


FBK reserves the right – at its sole discretion - not to sign any sub-granting agreement following the selection of any proposal. In case of an EIT Digital funding, the signature of any sub-grant is in any case subordinated to the signature by FBK of the EIT Partnership Agreement. 

More information

For more information on the ARISE Europe Call for Innovation Center in Slovakia (2019), please contact Jasmina Popovska, ARISE Country Lead, at the following e-mail address:

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