Understanding and supporting business model innovation: EU Research & Innovation Call for New forms of innovation [closed]

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Maribor, March 11th, 2014- The European Commission has published a research and innovation call for New forms of innovation with a topic Understanding and supporting business model innovation. Our partners from dŠola Ljutomer, international postgraduate business design school intend to apply for the call. The call deadline is April 29th, 2014. If you and your organisation has the interest in the business model innovation research, contact us.

General introduction to the Horizon 2020 work programme

There is untapped potential for the European economy to be more innovative, productive and competitive whilst using fewer resources and reducing environmental impact. New knowledge, technologies and innovations can turn these challenges into opportunities.

The key drivers are as follows: + focusing on parts of the societal challenges with high potential for sustainable competitiveness, innovation and growth; + using dedicated measures to leverage and boost engagement of industry, including SMEs; + providing access to finance, which is an essential condition for successful innovation; + developing the new knowledge and contributing to skills, which underpin excellent research and innovation, and promoting EU excellence; + boosting the industrial deployment of enabling technologies; + addressing the research and innovation divide; + supporting strong partnership with Member States; and + ensuring a strategic approach to international cooperation, to facilitate access to the best researchers and the best sources of expertise globally.

These key drivers, although providing the determining factors for the first Work Programme, will also be of crucial importance to the whole of Horizon 2020.

Specific challenge of this call

The value of technologies is determined by the business models used and capabilities of organizations, companies and innovators to bring them to a market. However, many European enterprises, whether large or small and medium sized, lack awareness and tools to innovate their business models.

This call, and specifically the topic Understanding and supporting business model innovation is aiming to facilitate innovation in business models and allow a maximum number of companies to innovate their business models.

Scope of the action

Within the scope of the proposed research and innovation actions is to explore new knowledge, how it happens and investigate access to this knowledge and the capacity of companies to adjust their existing business models.

The focus should be in addressing the following four dimensions, with equal weight, on:

  • First. Advancing existing knowledge about business model innovation, e.g. by identifying patterns, exploring management structures, analysing the potential of transfer across sectors and EU member states;
  • Second. Making this knowledge easily accessible;
  • Third. Developing mechanisms how to adjust the knowledge to individual companies; and
  • Fourth. Reaching out, possibly via existing channels, to a maximum number of companies.

In the scope of this action, different models of ownership and different management structures, including those that make use of employee involvement and emphasise workplace innovation, should be included. Also, due attention should be given to the gender dimension in developing business models and multi-disciplinary, as well as to the broader social and environmental aspects of business model development and implementation.

It is mentioned that specific sectors can be targeted as long as the transfer of business models across sectors is included in the approach. All with the aim to turn the approach into a self-sustainable platform after the end of the EU funding.

The European Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of € 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact

Research and innovation should address and as expected to advance current understanding and awareness of business model innovation. It should produce new knowledge on business model innovation which will in return enhance European competitiveness and help address social challenges. It is expected that European companies, including SMEs, will examine and change their business models, and not least adopt solutions that increase their competitiveness.

It is stated that at least 10% of Europe’s 20 million SMEs should be reached, including the micro-enterprises with up to 10 employees and achieving a broad geographical coverage across the European Union. Another direction of expected impact is an increase of Europe’s attractiveness for innovators and contribution to the overall objectives of Innovation Union. And at the company level, the published call for research and innovation should help companies to develop new or strengthen existing business models and thus grow in terms of jobs and turnover.

Type: Research and innovation actions

Published call is a Research and Innovation action.

Description of those type of actions: Action primarily consisting of activities aiming to establish new knowledge and/or to explore the feasibility of a new or improved technology, product, process, service or solution. For this purpose they may include basic and applied research, technology development and integration, testing and validation on a small-scale prototype in a laboratory or simulated environment.

Projects may contain closely connected but limited demonstration or pilot activities aiming to show technical feasibility in a near to operational environment.

Funding rate: 100%.

Eligibility conditions

At least three legal entities. Each of the three shall be established in a different Member State or associated country. All three legal entities shall be independent of each other.

Legal entities established in the following countries and territories will be eligible to receive funding through Horizon 2020:

  • The Member States of the European Union, including their overseas departments;
  • The Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) linked to the Member States; and
  • All other countries included in funding guide (follow this link for up-to-date information), except where this is explicitly excluded in the call text.

Award criteria

For all actions: Clarity and pertinence of the objectives; Credibility of the proposed approach.

For this specific Research and innovation action: Soundness of the concept, including trans-disciplinary considerations, where relevant. Extent that proposed work is ambitious, has innovation potential, and is beyond the state of the art (e.g. ground-breaking objectives, novel concepts and approaches).

For all actions: The expected impacts listed in the work programme under the relevant topic.

For this specific action: Enhancing innovation capacity and integration of new knowledge. Strengthening the competitiveness and growth of companies by developing innovations meeting the needs of European and global markets; and, where relevant, by delivering such innovations to the markets. Any other environmental and socially important impacts (not already covered above). Effectiveness of the proposed measures to exploit and disseminate the project results (including management of IPR), to communicate the project, and to manage research data where relevant.

Quality and efficiency of the implementation
For all actions: Coherence and effectiveness of the work plan, including appropriateness of the allocation of tasks and resources. Complementarity of the participants within the consortium (when relevant). Appropriateness of the management structures and procedures, including risk and innovation management.

For this specific action: –

Review of the book: Business Model Generation. A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers


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