SUAVE - Stimulating SMEs in new Urban Agriculture Value Chain for sustainable growth in Europe
The SUAVE Euroclusters project for Stimulating SMEs in the new Urban Agriculture Value Chain for sustainable growth in Europe has received funding from the EU’s Single Market Programme under Grant Agreement 101074762 and started in September 2022.
Total funding available: €1,050,000.00.
SUAVE EuroCluster is a 30-months novel pioneering European project focused on boosting European Urban Agriculture (UA) towards sustainable and resilient urban food systems.
Coordinated by VEGEPOLYS VALLEY (France) and powered by four experienced agri-food and digital clusters from Spain (FEMAC), Hungary (INNOSKART), Poland (UNIMOS) and Lithuania (AgriFood Lithuania DIH), the project will support European companies and clusters in holistic development in the field of European Urban Agriculture– a multidisciplinary concept with wide range of areas. Its multifunctionality covers, among others, the development of urban green spaces, alternative models of producing and distributing food, new technologies applied to cities, environmental issues and urban planning, as well as social aspects towards integration, inclusion and community building. UA contributes to making cities more sustainable and favoring economic, ecological, social, educational, and health-related benefits.
The general objective of SUAVE is to financially support European Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the field of European Urban Agriculture so that they have the opportunity to benefit from different types of support services.
Thanks to project activities, European SMEs will be able to:
- build network to improve their resilience and business models
- innovate via grants to develop new solutions and practices for sustainable and resilient urban food systems
- accelerate twin transition towards green and digital economy
- increase competences by trainings for upskilling, networking and learning activities
- expand globally, access to third markets and generate growth from international activities by participating in international missions to targeted markets: Canada, USA and Mexico
SUAVE will assist European SMEs to answer to the following challenges identified for the Urban Agriculture SMEs activities in Europe:
- Diversification of products/service/contents based on digital technologies in the European urban farming sector;
- Supporting the green transition of the European urban farming value chain;
- Bridging the skill-gaps in the European urban farming workforce and supporting a bigger participation of women;
- Increasing business opportunities through internationalisation and synergies along and across value-chains.
These challenges are meant to be indicative and not exhaustive.
SUAVE first calls covers 3 types of Lump Sum:
- Innovation (awarding 25 SMEs with a max. Financial contribution of 20 000 euros per SME of) -
- Travel (awarding 25 SMEs with a max. financial contribution of 1000 euros per SME)
- Diagnosis (awarding 30 SMEs with a maximum of 5000 euros per SME).
The maximum amount to be granted per SME shall not exceed €60 000. Each interested SME can apply to one or several types of support in accordance with its goal, capacity and needs to develop and contribute to European Urban Agriculture but can only be granted with the maximum financial contribution cumulatively.
Prize will also be granted to 3 SMEs under SUAVE 1st calls.
SUAVE first calls will provide financial support to 3 different type of actions:
- Innovation: Deployment of a new-to firm products and/or technology
This type of grant aims at supporting European Urban Agriculture relevant innovation development activities.
The grants will support the implementation of projects for the development and deployment of prototypes having a minimum of level 4 of CRL (Commercial readiness Level) and level 4 of TRL (Technology readiness level).
- Travel: Participation in European Urban Agriculture relevant business mission in Europe
This type of grant will support SMEs that have a project with a strong European dimension in participating in European Urban Agriculture relevant business mission (B2B)/event/fair within EU and countries participating in the SMP.
- Diagnosis: Analysis carried out to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the SME and keys of improvement in terms of digitalization and/or green transition
This type of grant will support European SMEs with the assessment of the green and digital situation at the time of the call.
Green transition assessment will consist on a diagnosis to reduce the footprint of the activity on the environment while preserving the competitiveness of the company. Whether in the activity itself, but also upstream (suppliers) and downstream (marketing, etc.) (ie. LCA approach).
Digital assessment will consist on a diagnosis to implement, accelerate and/or optimize internal company processes thanks to the adoption of new digital solutions (software, website, decision-making tool…):
Assessment will be done by independent experts (Independent experts do not have any connection with or interest in one part or side with the SME applying to the Lump Sum. They are expected to give their opinion based only on their expertise and experience and cannot be employed by the SME applying to the Lump Sum). Internal assessments won’t be accepted.
For each activity awarded SMEs will be requested to submit deliverables as per Guide for applicants.
SUAVE first calls will also grant prizes for 3 European SMEs. The prizes will reward services and products showing advances and improvements for the European Urban Agriculture food system. They shall center on the challenges of European Urban Agriculture and strongly focus on cross-sectorial collaborations and on the end-user needs. Emphasis will be put on solutions that are ready to be piloted and validated.
a. Be an European SME (employing less than 250 persons with an annual turnover of up to EUR 50 million, or a balance sheet total of no more than EUR 43 million) as per the definition of the European Union in line with the EU recommendation 2003/361.
b. provide services, products, supplies, and technologies for the European Urban Agriculture food system
c. be directly or indirectly linked to at least one of the following types of urban agriculture:
- Allotment garden
- Backyard garden
- Community garden
- Cultural heritage farm
- Educational farm/garden
- Environmental farm
- Experimental farm
- Family garden
- Forest garden
- Greenhouse garden
- Indoor farming
- Intercultural garden
- Leisure farm
- Local food farm
- Rooftop garden
- Rooftop greenhouse
- Social farm
- Squatter garden
- Therapeutic farm/garden
- Urban beekeeping
- Vertical farm/garden
SMEs will be required in their application form to prove their compliance to criteria a, b and c.
Applicants must also fall under the territorial scope of SUAVE:
- All EU countries, and non-EU countries which are associated with the COSME part of the Single Market Programme (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Ukraine).
- Are also invited to apply, SMEs from Outermost Regions of Europe and from less developed and transition regions as indicated in the EU 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy (GDP per capita < 75% EU-27 average: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/cache/RCI/#?vis=nuts2.economy&lang=en).
Applications and supporting documentation must be written in English (applications partially written in another language are not eligible) and must not exceed the maximum number of characters stated in each text box of the template.
Submitted applications will be assessed by the Application Review Panel consisting of 2 reviewers per application representing two SUAVE partners not located in the country of the applicant. In addition to the SUAVE partners, the consortium might request the review from external reviewers. If the evaluation varies significantly from an evaluator to another, an additional evaluation will be requested. The assessment period shall take a maximum of 60 days starting from the closing date of the call. The applicants will receive an email about the outcome of the assessment directly after the assessment is finalised along with instructions for the next steps in case the applicant is awarded. Top ranked proposals will be granted until the budget for the respective support type is exhausted. The successful applicants will be requested to sign a sub-grant agreement with the SUAVE consortium within 60 days after the announcement of the result.
The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the EXCELLENCE, IMPACT and IMPLEMENTATION of each proposal that successfully passed the admissibility and eligibility criteria. The maximum score in each section is 10.
The average for each criterion will be calculated from all reviewer evaluations. The average of all reviewer evaluations for a particular criterion has to be at least 6. If a criterion is rated on average below 6, the application will not be funded. The sum of these averaged scores results in the total evaluation score for each project. Thus, the highest achievable total evaluation score is 30. The minimum total evaluation score for a project to be funded is 18.
After this step, in case proposals remain with equal scores (ex aequo) the following criteria will be applied in strict order:
• The proposals will be ranked based on their higher impact potential (Criterion 2),
• In case there are proposals in the same position (ex-aequo), priority will be given to proposals that have ranked higher in Criterion 1 (excellence).
• Should there still be in an ex-aequo situation, priority will be given to proposals which have higher score in Criterion 3 (implementation).
Guide for applicants can be downloaded from the following link: https://vegepolys-valley.eu/media/working-document-suave-funding-support-scheme-1vpodocx-final-version-edited.pdf. Please note that it will also be available in each consortium partner website and in SUAVE's social medias page (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook).
Applicants must submit their applications through the Good Grants at the following link https://suave.grantplatform.com and fill in the online application form.
Call opens: 28.03.2023, 2pm CET
Call closes: 30.05.2023, 3pm CET. Applications must be submitted prior to the submission deadline.
Evaluation process: 01.06.2023 - 31.07.2023 2023
Publication of the results: 02.08.2023
Contracting phase: 03.08.2023 – 31.09.2023.Euroclusters FSTP