8 million euros in the call of the Ministry of Industry to support SMEs in competitive improvement

Submitted by Serena Rebollo… on 03 March 2022

0224 - Foto Noticia
  • On Friday, February 18, the new call for aid for collaborative innovation projects carried out by accredited AEIs was published in the BOE, with a total budget of 8 million euros
  • The leading entities Clúster de l'Energia Eficient de Catalunya, INNOVACC Clúster català de la carn i la proteína alternativa, INNOVI Clúster vitivinícola and the Packaging Cluster explained on Friday the financing package that will help develop the industry through new applied technologies.

On February 18, the definitive resolution of the first call of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of 2022 was published, for the support of the AEIs - Agrupaciones Empresariales Innovadoras -, on their way towards the competitive improvement of the SMEs of the territory, through projects for technical feasibility studies, industrial research, experimental development activities, and innovation in terms of organization and/or processes.

The four accredited clusters such as AEI Clúster de l'Energia Eficient de CatalunyaINNOVACC Clúster català de la carn i la proteína alternativa, INNOVI Clúster vitivinícola and the Packaging Cluster, officiated an informative session the same day of the publication in the BOE, where it was explained to the nearly 50 connected companies, the call for funding as an opportunity to generate projects and four examples of initiatives developed with the grant received.

As explained by Cristina Castillo, Strategic & Project Manager of the CEEC, "this is the first call for grants for AEIs of the year, where it is expected to multiply up to 50 million euros in the second call in July 2022. A financing that arrives thanks to the injection of capital by the Next Generation Funds”.

A financing package that can be accessed thanks to key cluster entities, which work to offer tools for change and positive transformation to their sectors of action. These are in charge of channeling project ideas that may have a place, creating a consortium that meets the requirements of the call – in this case, the participation of more than 1 cluster, 2 SMEs and recently created companies is positively valued, less than 5 years -, develop a joint report that responds to the Strategic Plan for Connected Industry 4.0 and promote initiatives that generate economic growth through innovation.

The first of the initiatives explained was Smart & Sparkling, coordinated by the Packaging Cluster and INNOVI, in collaboration with Difmaq, Tai Smart Factory and Masia Vallformosa. Lluís Canyadell, Industrial Director of Vallformosa, was in charge of showing attendees how they are adapting the cava bottling process to the characteristics of Industry 4.0. The Difmaq company, in this case, has analyzed the demands and needs of Vallformosa and will develop different solutions for the different levels of requirements together with TAI Smart Factory, who will develop the software and management system.

Smart Essence 4 Kids, is another proposal from the Packaging Cluster together with KID's Cluster, in collaboration with the Carinsa Group, Sentinel, TEB Cooperative Group and Abacus, which seeks to increase the success of the launch of an aromatizer for masks with which to prevent the spread of the coronavirus through digital tools and neuroscience. Elisabet Roman, Industrial Director of the TEB Food Area, told how the response of young people to the new product has been studied, so that the interaction of the public with the aromatizer is known and the entire value chain is connected. 

Insigna II is a project led by the Clúster de l'Energia Eficient de Catalunya, with the participation of Inergy, ARCbcn and Nasuvinsa, for the design and configuration of energy communities, with a budget of more than €220,000 in its second phase. David Pon, Director of Inergy, explained how consumption systems have been installed for a group of agents in a regional industrial estate in the South of Pamplona, which could share with a system of algorithms, which facilities are the best for a return period more competitive: whether individual or collective self-consumption is appropriate, and distribute surpluses to improve energy efficiency. 

The fourth project, NOVONIR, It has been carried out in collaboration with the INNOVACC, NAGRIDOOD and SECPHO clusters, to design a new technology to measure moisture and water activity in sausages, without affecting the product during the process, as stated by Mariona Pratdesaba, Director INNOVACC R&D Projects Area. NOVONIR will allow a new low-cost miniaturized NIR technology for the determination of quality parameters in-situ in the meat sector. 

To finish, a virtual participatory workshop was held with the attendees, in which the three strategic axes of the AEI support call were discussed: management applications, data processing and manufacturing processes. Ideas, problems and possible solutions were shared with which to apply advanced Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, additive manufacturing, software systems, Open Data or Machine Learning, to accredited SMEs for their competitive improvement.

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