Innovation Factory 2022

Who can participate in Innovation Factory 2022?

I am not an EIT Digital Partner, can I participate in an Innovation Factory 2022 proposal?

As a general rule, only EIT Digital Partners (Members, Linked Third Parties, External Partners) can participate in Innovation Factory 2022. Organisations that are not formal Partners can apply to become EIT Digital Partners. In order to be included in a proposal for cut-off 3, organisations should have at least registered via the EIT Digital website and sent their letter of intent by January 1 , 2022.

If the activity is selected, organisations must complete the partnership to be eligible to participate in the activity.

Please note that Partnership decisions are pending approval of the relevant EIT Digital governance bodies.

Can an individual or team of individuals participate?

If you are an individual or team of individuals that are committed to create a startup, you can participate in Venture Creation activities. The new company must be created very early in the activity timeframe to be eligible to receive funding. It is not possible to report costs in the new company before it has been formalized and it is registered as an EIT Digital Partner.

Is there a list of partners who are already working with EIT Digital?

The list of partners is available on the EIT Digital website, in the “Become a partner” section.

Can organisations from any country participate in Innovation Factory 2022?

Countries are sorted into 3 categories. EU countries, Horizon Europe associated countries and third countries.

EU countries: organisations from EU countries can become partners and participate in a proposal. 

Horizon Europe associated countries: are Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine. Organisations established in an Horizon Europe Associated country may apply to become EIT Digital Partners and participate in a proposal. Please see the Partnership Process Document on the EIT Digital Innovation Factory 2022 webpage which also includes a country to Node mapping for further information. 

Third countries (not EU, not Horizon Europe Associated): organisations registered in other countries may become EIT Digital "International Partners", but cannot receive any direct funding as Partner (but may bring co-funding). In very specific cases they may be involved as third parties (see above FAQ related to sub-granting and subcontracting).

Can I involve an organisation or individual which is not a Partner in a proposal?

It is highly recommended that all organisations involved in a proposal are, or plan to become EIT Digital Partners. However in a very limited number of justified cases third parties can be involved in the form of a sub-grant (C1a category) or sub-contract (B category). For instance, some organisations may not fit the EIT Digital partnership criteria. The Partner carrying the sub-granting or sub-contracting budget then retains the sole responsibility of the correct implementation by the third party. The Partner will need to select the third party as per specific principles, have specific contractual arrangements with the third party and report on their behalf. Also, please note that, in general, a proposal relying heavily on third parties is less strong than a proposal with a balanced set of Partners. 

For those special cases, please refer to the AMGA (Annotated Model Grant Agreement) in the EU website info.

Innovation Activity Team

Is there a minimum number of participating countries and Partners required in a proposal?

For the Innovation Factory: 2 to 4 complementary organisations with at least 1 Business Partner involved. From at least 2 different countries (which can be linked to the same EIT Digital Node); Sub-grantees and Sub-contractors do not count.

Are there any requirements for the Activity implementation team?

For the Innovation Factory, FTE requirements and the ideal implementation team setup are detailed in the Innovation Factory 2022 Document.

In more general terms, a commitment lower than 0.2 FTE per Partner and Task Leader/Contributor is discouraged. 

In the Innovation Factory, what is a 'Business Champion'?

This is a term used only in Innovation Factory proposals. In Innovation Factory 2022, the Business Champion is always the startup to be created or boosted, and have the specific role of designing/packaging the product and bringing it to the market

In the Innovation Factory, do you support already existing startups?

The EIT Digital Innovation Factory focuses on supporting pan-European entrepreneurial teams to launch new startups or boost existing early-stage ones.

Startups already created need to apply to be an EIT Digital Partner to submit a new proposal or join an existing proposal team. Please connect to your Node Director for more information and to discuss your specific case.

Can a company older than 3-year old apply for venture boosting?

The age limit for a company applying for venture boosting is 3 years. Nevertheless, in the case of companies older but with some special situation that drove to a recent re-launching, contact with the EIT Digital Regional team to discuss your case.

In the Innovation Factory, once a new startup is established, can it become an EIT Digital Partner and participate as a Partner?

Yes. This is the recommended path to allocate the EIT funding to the new startup as stated in the EIT Digital 2022 document. However, the startup must be aware of the pre-financing model to avoid cashflow issues. It is recommended that the other partners in the activity waive their pre-financing to support the startup costs. 

Activity Financials

What is KAVA and what are KAVA costs?

KAVA means KIC Added Value Activity, in other words an Activity.

KAVA costs are the costs necessary to the implementation of an Activity Proposal and mentioned the proposal.

KAVA cost = EIT funding + Co-funding

Can you give us a definition of what the co-funding is? Cash, in-kind, other?

Innovation Factory financial support is based on the actual costs incurred during the activity timeframe that must be reported by the partners (some in-kind –own resources work- and other paid by the partner –travelling, subcontracting,…-). The eligible cost types are described in the Financial Aspects 2022 document. From the total cost reported, EIT funding is the part that will be supported by the grant and co-funding is the part that must be supported by the partners’ own resources and third parties resources (other grants, investors).

Pay attention that EIT Funding and Co-funding are concepts regarding the final allocation of costs, that is finally settled after the reporting, not the available cash-flow during the activity. Partners must consider the cash needs to support the committed resources.

What is the Co-funding Leverage?

A part of the proposal costs will be supported by the EIT Digital grant  (EIT funding) and some by Partners’ own resources or other sources, like other grants or investors (Co-funding). The Co-funding Leverage is the percentage of Co-funding brought in a proposal by the Partners to implement the proposed Activity plan.

The regular formula to calculate Co-funding Leverage is the following: Co-funding Leverage = Co-funding / (EIT funding + Co-funding). Co-funding Leverage is often simply called the % of Co-funding. 

Exception: In an Activity with sub-granting, it is acceptable to exclude the sub-granting budget from the calculation of the Co-funding percentage in certain conditions. It is ok to take it out when the sub-grant is used to directly involve a future customer or a start-up in an Innovation Factory Activity. If it is a sub-grant in the form of prize (C2) please also take out the sub-granted amount when calculating the Co-funding Leverage (% of Co-funding). In these cases, the formula becomes: Co-funding Leverage = Co-Funding / (EIT Funding + Co-funding - subgranting budget). In all other cases the guideline is to include the sub-granting in the calculation and to use the regular formula. 

Where can I include public funding in a proposal?

Horizon Europe rules don’t allow to declare EU funding as co-funding to calculate the minimum co-funding rate. However, additional EU  financial support should be declared in the proposal to show stronger capacity and it is positive for the valuation.

If other national or local public funding is used to finance eligible KAVA costs, then it can be included in the proposal as Co-funding in the funding tab.  

Where can I include investors funding in a proposal?

Investors funding is added to the funding tab under “Other funding”. It will be considered part of the co-funding, Pay attention to the same resource cost can’t be funded by two sources (i.e. reporting one employee to EIT funding and also another grant). 

When and how can I report costs?

Costs are reported after the end of the implementation year at Cost Reporting (mainly July-August 2023). 

Eligible costs included in the approved 2023 Business Plan can be reported from the start date of the Activity (typically 1 Jan 2023) for the partners already eligible on that date or the eligibility date in the Partner Information Form (PIF) for the partners that complete their registration during the activity timeframe. 

What happens if the cost reported are less than the KAVA budget?

The co-funding in the budget is applied in the first place and then the EIT Funding. That could result in a smaller amount for the grant.

It is very important that the activity uses the resources budgeted and avoid underspending.

I have filled in the amounts, and the leverage percentages seem incorrect.

The calculations from the system are there as a help and take all subgranting (including prizes) budget into account. Please however analyse if the sub-granting budget should be taken out for the Co-funding Leverage calculation or not. 

Co-funding Leverage: Co-funding / (Total Catalyst Funding - subgranting budget)

What is Financial Support to Third Parties and how is it implemented?

Financial Support to Third Parties is another name for Sub-granting and should not be confused with Linked Third Parties (which are a Partnership type) or with Subcontracting (used in very different cases). Third parties (Sub-grantees) can be involved in the Activity execution in certain cases through the sub-granting mechanism. Please take note of the strict eligibility and implementation requirements of sub-grants. 

If the activity is delayed, is it possible report cost after the ending activity date?

Initially it is not possible. This means the associated costs would be ineligible. It is important that all reported cost must be completed in the activity timeframe, with the supporting documents dated in that period.

However, under special circumstances, EIT Digital will find the best options for the partners within the possible framework.  

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Co-Funded by the European Union