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Cascading grants: a real plus for SMEs
Cascading grants: a real plus for SMEs

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Cascading grants: a real plus for SMEs

The Cascade Funding is a little-known instrument of the research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, that provides financial support to third parties (FSTP), offering significant opportunities for companies to accelerate the time to market of their innovative products, services and processes.

If for an SME, participating in a European project under the Horizon 2020 programme also means having to deal with European bureaucratic machinery, there is another simpler and more attractive mechanism for companies, set up by the European Commission: the cascading grants.

Concretely, these are sub-grants, which are managed and paid by the beneficiaries of the initial funding. Thus, calls for proposals and funding decisions are no longer the responsibility of the European Commission, but of the academic and industrial organisations leading the project. It is up to them to publish their own calls for proposals, commonly known as “Open Calls”, in order to attract specific groups of potential beneficiaries, in particular start-ups and SMEs. Hence, applying to Open Calls give the opportunity to SMEs to receive public funding from an ongoing H2020 project to execute specific research and innovation activities within the broader context offered by such projects. The amount of grants awarded ranges from 50,000 to 200,000 euros for each of the selected third parties.

The advantage of these calls for applications is that they are less voluminous (about ten pages on average) and evaluation times are shorter.

Most of this cascade grant covers digital themes – particularly around Industry 4.0 – and nanomaterials. The funding can be allocated to specific kinds of activities, from studies, to experiments, pilots, developments, etc.

The following platform identifies the opportunities:

In these type of projects, Intellectual Property Rights belong only to partners, who have indeed generated it. Consequently, additional project third parties have the right to access and use project results already generated by core partners before their accession to the contract only for the activities related to the sub-project; furthermore additional project third parties must also ensure confidentiality on information related to the sub-project results generated by core partners.

PONS IP, through its European Projects Office, assists potential and current third parties taking part in EU funded projects on Intellectual Property Rights issues, and in particular on EU diffusion and protection rules and issues relating to IPR in international projects.

Gloria Villar

European Projects Office Director

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