Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Grant-it: your portal to EU funding schemes

Launched on 17 December, the Grant-it portal was an early Christmas present from SusChem to the European sustainable chemistry community. Grant-it is your ‘one-stop’ shop for information and project building tools for Horizon 2020 and a range of other financing initiatives for collaborative research and innovation projects in Europe.

“During FP7, SusChem initiated and inspired sustainable chemistry projects with a total funding in excess of € 1 billion,” says Jacques Komornicki, SusChem coordinator and Innovation Manager at Cefic. “We have used this experience and expertise to shape the new Grant-it portal to enable SusChem stakeholders to successfully engage with the new opportunities presented by Horizon 2020.”

“The Grant-it website is your ‘one-stop’ access to funding opportunities from the European Commission and from selected national and regional governments in the field of sustainable chemistry,” agrees Pádraig Naughton, Innovation Manager at Cefic, who was heavily involved with the development of the site. “Using Grant-it you can search for funding opportunities, search for and identify project opportunities, propose project ideas, and search for potential project partners. The system also allows searches of past funded EU projects including FP5 to FP7 and other initiatives.”

Grant-it is a password protected free service offered by Cefic to its members and SusChem stakeholders to further boost industry participation in collaborative research and innovation activities.

“SusChem members can log-in with their SusChem username and password,” says Jacques. “While Cefic members can log-in with their click-in username and password.”

Cloud concept
Grant-it is based on the cloud-concept of sharing innovation knowledge, projects and funding between stakeholders in Europe and has been specially developed by Cefic for the SusChem community working with PNO Consultants and its software partner Innovation Engineering.

Grant-it includes a number of dedicated features, such as specially selected Horizon 2020 funding topics that are particularly relevant for the SusChem community.

Experts from CEFIC and PNO screen all relevant project calls that come in and provide support to consortia to further promote participation in EU programmes through partner search and project feedback on request.

“In addition, there are some unique search features that enable users to search on key words across European programmes,” says Ron Weerdmeester of PNO. “This not only covers Horizon 2020, but also covers programmes such as LIFE+, COSME etc, as well as national programmes in a number of LIFE+ countries.”

“Searches will return comprehensive summaries of the relevant grant programmes,” explains Ron. “Alternatively the system allows the user to directly do a free text search in the EU funding programme documents (i.e. the work programmes), quickly read the texts in these work programmes, and download the document of interest.”

“We will continue to improve the system,” says Ron. “And we invite the SusChem community to actively use the system for searching information and partners. The more it is used the better it will get!”

Since its launch the site has received some 17 new potential project ideas and Grant-it is growing in popularity as the web resource for EU funding information amongst SusChem stakeholders.

Prepare for Brokerage!
The SusChem Brokerage and Project Submission Workshop will take place on 31 January, but the deadline for registration is fast approaching: 20 January. Already more than one hundred participants have registered.

This important event takes place at the Sheraton Brussels Hotel, Place Rogier 3, Brussels and the draft agenda for the event is available here.

“The Brokerage event is the best occasion for SusChem stakeholders to present their Horizon 2020 project proposals,” says Pádraig. “And the ideal way to prepare for the event is to input your project proposal through the Grant-it website.”

Submitting a project idea is easy. Just log in with your SusChem username and password and click on ‘Propose a Project’ from the homepage. From there, you will be able to complete a submission form.

“Participants in the workshop will also have the opportunity to work with SusChem’s Innovation Managers and EU funding experts who can advise and guide them on how to further develop project consortia and proposals,” explains Jacques.

In addition the event will include a number of other unique features that will facilitate the development of projects and consortia perfectly suited to the Horizon 2020 calls:

  • A poster exposition that will enable stakeholders to showcase their project proposals to potential partners. A few places are still available if you want to promote your project or competences to the SusChem community
  • A ‘speed dating’ session to enable matching of potential project partners. 
  • A Workshop on Writing a Proposal led by experts in the field of European-financed research and innovation projects.

More information
A link and further information on how to enrol in the ‘speed dating session will be provided to registered workshop participants. If you would like more information on any aspect of the 31 January Brokerage event, including poster display, please contact the SusChem secretariat.

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