FRIEND CCI: 2nd Open Call for project proposals dedicated to SMEs to reinforce innovation and internationalisation in Cultural and Creative Industries
The project FRIEND CCI aims at contributing to an improved resilience of the European Industrial Ecosystem of Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) and to its green and digital transformation, by supporting the SMEs by offering them financial support in the form of grants, directed to the development and implementation of cross-sectoral projects aimed to bring innovation both at the level of products and at the level of processes/ technologies, with a specific eye on the needs linked to the twin transition. To this end, the support will entail mandatory training and upskilling/ reskilling activities, according to the specific needs of SMEs, and including skills needed for the green and digital transition. Also, as part of the support, SMEs will be asked to include activities to go international, based on their level of readiness.
FRIEND CCI will publish two calls for proposals in total, the 1st call has already closed. This call constitutes the 2nd call for proposals that will be pursuing the same objectives of the 1st call.
Throughout the first and second call for proposal, at least 21 cooperation projects will be funded, with the requirement that at least two SMEs from two different industrial ecosystems are involved in each project (of which one must represent the CCI ecosystem), with the aim of fostering cross-fertilization and innovation between SMEs of different sectors. Through 2 open calls for SMEs, FRIEND CCI project expects to fund a minimum of 21 to a maximum of 53 projects, supporting at least 42 enterprises from 10 European countries.
The 2nd call aims at supporting SMEs in:
● Developing and implementing cross-sectoral projects aimed to bring innovation at the level of products and/or at the level of processes/ technologies, with a specific focus on the needs linked to the twin transition;
● Fostering cross-fertilization and innovation between SMEs of different ecosystems;
● Go international, to boost access to global supply and value chains.
The support will entail mandatory training and upskilling/ reskilling activities, according to the specific needs of SMEs, and including skills needed for the green and digital transition. Also, as part of the support, SMEs will be asked to include activities to go international, based on their level of readiness to internationalise.
The call for proposals gives the possibility to choose at least one between two mandatory objectives. Applicant consortiums must aim at submitting joint projects that target at least one, or both mandatory objectives:
1. Introduce or enhance product innovations;
2. Adopt processes and technologies to reinforce transformation into a greener and more digital economy.
Submission & evaluation process
How to apply:
Check elegibility criteria at p. 6 of the 2nd call. SMEs will be allowed to participate only one time as Partners or Lead Partners of a consortium of SME, in maximum one application in the second call for proposal. SMEs that participated to the first call and were not awarded for funding, are allowed to participate again submitting a different project.
Submit your proposal on Cluster Submission Platform https://clustersubmissionplatform.eu/eurocluster_post/friend-cci-2nd-op… by registering and filling-in the required fields in a 3 steps submission:
Step 1: APPLICANT INFORMATION. Please complete the fields with your business information;
Step 2: PROJECT INFORMATION. Please complete the fields with project information;
Step 3: ANNEXES. In this step it is required to upload the mandatory annexes in the requested format.
The evaluation process is described in detail from p.13 of the call (refer to the document that can be found on the CSP).
Communication of results:
After the evaluation period, which is tentatively foreseen to last until end of January 2024, FRIEND CCI Eurocluster will inform each applicant consortium about their obtained score and evaluation results. The list of winners, will be published on the Cluster Submission Platform with the respective score, as well as disseminated via other channels. Winners will be notified by email, for this reason applicants should be sure to insert in the application emails that are checked frequently.