Frequently Asked Questions
11. What is a KETs Technology Centre?
KETs Technology Centres are public or private organisations carrying out applied research and innovation in technology readiness levels TRL 2 to 8 in key enabling technologies (KETs); providing at least one type of technological service and infrastructure to industry and SMEs in TRL 5 to 8; comprising technological service and infrastructure for validation, demonstration, proof of concept/lab testing, prototype development and testing, pilot production, demonstration/pilot lines/pre-series and product validation/certification. This definition is based on KET TC mapping by the European Commission’s DG Growth.
23. Which sectors are supported by KET Technology Centres?
- Aeronautics &space
- Chemical industry
- Construction and building sector
- Electronics, computer, communication
- Medical and Healthcare
35. What is the definition of clean production in the KET4CleanProduction call for a micro grant?
The definition of clean production comprises one of the following:
- Development of new production processes,
- Improvement of the manufacturing of existing products by reducing production costs,
- Improvement of the manufacturing of existing products by reducing the reliance on raw materials,
- Improvement of the manufacturing of existing products by reducing the consumption of energy during the whole life cycle of products,
- Diminution of the adverse impacts on the environment by reducing the generation of waste and pollution emission.
47. What could the services of KET Technology Centres include?
The services of KET Technology Centres could include:
- Research and innovation activities in the range from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 to 8, with a focus on higher TRLs;
- Research and innovation activities at state-of-the-art technology facilities, including for example demonstration, testing, pilot production and related engineering activities.
- advice on business planning,
- market analysis,
- advice on training of workers on their involvement in the company project,
- advice on the work organisations at the factory floor,
- brokerage to private finance for further investment etc.
- o as necessary to ensure the success of the projects and maximize their impacts for the SMEs.
59. Can SMEs receive the micro grant multiple times?
No. Each SME can receive financial support through a micro grant only once.
611. What is the maximum amount of a micro grant?
The maximum amount of the financial support is EUR 50 000 per applicant (30% of total project costs should be carried by SME). SME has EUR 50 000 to pay for the KET-TCs' services and has to cover their internal costs from the 30% own contribution. The total project costs of EUR 71 429 is a theoretical figure demonstrating that the SME also contributes to the project costs. There is, however, no direct cash contribution to make from the SME's side.
713. Where and how can I submit my technology request?
Interested SMEs should download technology request (TR) form via KET4CleanProduction web platform (www.ket4sme.eu/micro-grants) and send them as a PDF document per e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “KET4CP | Technology Request | Submission”. The SME will receive an e-mail acknowledging the receipt of the submission.
815. How long is the duration of a micro grant project?
The maximum duration of the micro grant project is six months.
917. Can I submit a micro grant proposal several times as long as it wasn’t granted once?
Yes, as long as your proposal has not been successful (granted) you can rewrite your micro grant proposal and re-submit it.
1019. What if my proposal is late?
Late proposals can only be considered in the next cut-off date. If the last cut-off day has passed, the proposals will not be evaluated.
1121. Do I have to submit a technology request or can I directly submit a full micro grant proposal?
You have to submit a technology request first, to receive a list of suitable KET TCs that expressed some interest for your requests. Based on this you can decide with which KET TCs you would like to work with. If you already know two KET TCs, that are able to support you in a clean production challenges, are interested in the submission of the proposal and are registered (1) on the KET TC mapping by the European Commission’s DG Growth on and (2) on the KET4CP mapping you can go straight away to the proposal writing and submission.
1223. What are the rules for the sustainability phase (period after 01/2021)?
The sustainability phase starts in January 2021 after the end of the KET4CleanProduction project. During this phase KET TCs and EEN partners are invited to register on the ket4sme.eu platform and benefit from an automatic matching service linking SMEs with KET TCs across Europe. The format for sustainability phase is still developing. Additionally, on the web portal ket4sme.eu, time lines for the three phases of the KET4CleanProduction project are shown.
1325. Is funding possible in sustainability phase?
In sustainability phase, no micro grant is given. The SME pays the KET TCs totally with its own budget.
1427. The call for the micro grants is also published on the EU Participant Portal and is very similar to H2020 calls, which involve third party funding. Are there any specific regulations (conditions etc.) which are relevant and compulsory for the SME?
Indeed it is required by the European Commission to publish the call on the EU Participant Portal. That is the case for all EU-H2020 Projects, that involve the third party funding. To our best knowledge, all relevant documents, definitions and guidelines related to the open call for the micro grants in the framework of the KET4CleanProduction Call has been published at www.ket4sme.eu/microgrants. There are NO additional separate requirements coming from H2020, that needs to be considered by the SME applicant.
1529. When preparing a "Micro Grant Proposal", the participating KET Technology Centers issue a "Service Offer" in which they individually explain to the SME which service(s) they can offer at which price. Is it correct to assume that the "Lump Sum" support for SMEs of 50.000 € can be regarded as a theoretically available net budget of 50.000 €, or do KET Technology Centers have to include VAT (at locally varying rate) in their offers? Of course, the SME additionally has to declare on honor that the 50.000 € grant will cover max. 70% of the total costs of the project, while the remaining 30% will be provided by the SME (= as in-kind contribution).
As the budget used for the innovation services is EU money, it is also in principle exempt from VAT. So beneficiaries and third party service providers writing an invoice for an SME for example can take the VAT free sum as the total (so in your case EUR 50.000). In case a member state tax authority complaints in the context of the annual tax declaration, beneficiaries and third party service providers can get a certificate from the European Commission as a proof.
1631. Am I obliged to keep records when receiving a KET4CleanProduction microgrant?
As micro grants are given out as a lump sum, it is NOT necessary to keep records on the actual costs incurred. The beneficiary must, however, keep detailed records and other supporting documents to prove that the action tasks described have been carried out in accordance with the grant agreement. Furthermore, it is important to notice that the rules in the Grant Agreement do not affect national laws on keeping documents (which may require additional measures).
1733. Are micro grants also considered as a service from the program DE Minimis?
Even though KET4CleanProduction micro grants are given to a particular SME, they are centrally managed by the European Commission, and therefore not considered as De-Minimis state aid. Consequently, KET4CleanProduction micro grants should not be taken into account when determining maximum overall funding allowed per beneficiary (according to De-Minimis).
1835. Can an SME choose which KET centres to work with?
Upon submission of a technology request, KET service providers that are EU-certified and listed on the KET4CleanProduction map will formulate concrete service offers tailored to the SME's particular needs. From a short list of such expressions of interest, the SME can then select the 2-3 KET technology centres best matching its needs and then proceed in writing a micro grant proposal with the selected KET centres.
1937. In what way does BREXIT affect the ability of British companies to take part in this programme?
SME applicants from the United Kingdom (UK) should be aware about the possible effect on their KET4CleanProduction micro grants depending on the UK exit scenario from the European Union. In the case of a no deal exit, for example, no proposals can be accepted and micro grants paid to UK applicants anymore, as the KET4CleanProduction call is limited to EU member states and H2020 associated countries.
12. What is the KET4CleanProduction call opening date?
Opening date of the call: 1.06.2018
24. What is the KET4CleanProduction call closing date?
Closing date of the call: 30.06.2020
36. Who is going to evaluate the applications for a micro grant?
The evaluation is done by the KET4CleanProduction External Evaluation Board. The applications are evaluated by three independent external experts in the field. It is assured that there is no potential conflict of interest. A non-disclosure agreement between evaluators and coordinator will be signed to ensure the confidentiality of the proposal.
48. What is going to be evaluated in a micro grant proposal?
Evaluation criteria for micro grant proposals are closely aligned with the criteria for research and innovation actions under the research and innovation programme H2020 comprising:
- Criteria 1: Excellence (considering the soundness of service concept and its innovation potential);
- Criteria 2: Impact (considering impact including industrial relevance and business strategy);
- Criteria 3: Quality of implementation (considering quality of work plan and resource deployment).
510. Can applicants withdraw from the process and for what reason?
Some exit points are foreseen in the process, where either SME or KET TCs can withdraw from the process. The withdrawal from the process is possible if:
- Offered KET TC and technical challenge of SME do not fit together;
- SME cannot ensure provision of the co-financing;
- KET TC(s) is/are cannot provide sufficient work as planned with the SME
- Compliance criteria either of an SME and/or an SME’s request do not fit to the necessary requirements of the KET4CleanProduction project;
612. Where can I find more information on the KET4CleanProduction micro grant call?
The complete information on the call for micro grants you can find in the Guide for Applicants, that is downloadable on KET4CleanProduction webpage via: https://www.ket4sme.eu/micro-grants
714. Where and how can I submit my proposal for a micro grant?
Interested SMEs should download application documents via the KET4CleanProduction web platform (www.ket4sme.eu/micro-grants) and send them as one PDF document per e-mail to email@example.com with the subject “KET4CP | MGP | Submission”. The SME will receive an e-mail acknowledging the receipt of the submission.
816. Can the application for a micro grant be submitted in any language?
No. The proposal must be written in English.
918. What are the cut-off dates to apply for a micro grant project?
Proposals can be submitted any time until 30 June 2020. There are 8 cut-off days in total at 1700h Brussels local time on: 31st July 2018, 31st October 2018, 31st January 2019, 30th April 2019, 31st July 2019, 31st October 2019, 31st January 2020, 30th June 2020 at which submitted proposals will be evaluated.
1020. Who is eligible to participate in the KET4CleanProduction call for a micro grant?
All small and medium-sized enterprises according to the EU definition and that are based in one of the EU member states or H2020 associated countries. For details, see eligibility criteria in the Guide for Applicants.
1122. What are the eligible costs of the grant?
The micro grant will be provided as a lump sum to the SME. That means no evidence of the cost has to be provided. The micro grant must be spent on a micro grant project with two KET TCs as stated in the Micro Grant Proposal.
1224. Who can audit the SME granted 50kEUR in implementation, if there is an audit authority?
The micro grant (50kEUR as 70% funding) will be given as a lump sum. Therefore no audit is planned by KET4CleanProduction authority. However, European Commission can always perform checks, audits etc. in case of irregularities (please see micro grant agreement for SMEs – ARTICLE 15 for more information).
1326. Is there any special rule for IP rights for SMEs and KET TCs according to the result of the project.
IP rights are handled through a bilateral agreement between the SME and KET TCs.
1428. Is it correct to assume that the "Lump Sum" support for SMEs of EUR 50.000 is the available net budget, with no VAT added?
Microgrant is worth EUR 50,000 and no VAT is added. As the micro grant used for the innovation services is EU money, it is exempt from VAT. So service providers writing an invoice for an SME can take the VAT-free sum as the total (up to EUR 50.000 per micro grant project). In case a member state tax authority complaints in the context of the annual tax declaration, beneficiaries and third party service providers can get a certificate from the European Commission as a proof.
1530. In which way do SMEs have to provide the 30% co-funding, when receiving a KET4CleanProduction microgrant of EUR 50.000,00?
As microgrants are given out to the SME as a lump sum and the EC-funding rate for SMEs in general equals 70%, the SME needs to declare on honour that their actual total project costs equal EUR 71.429,00 . Consequently, you can assume that the SME has EUR 50.000,00 to pay for the KET-TCs' services and has to cover their internal costs from the 30% own contribution. The total project costs of EUR 71.429,00 is a theoretical figure demonstrating that the SME also contributes to the project costs. There is, however, no direct cash contribution to make from the SME's side.
1632. Can I declare actual costs in the final reporting?
The beneficiary cannot claim actual costs that incurred. This is why the final financial statement is automatically pre-filled with actual project costs of EUR 71.429,00 and corresponding EU-funding of max. EUR 50.000,00 (reflecting the funding rate for SMEs of 70%).
1734. Could an SME obtain financing from the SME Instrument (or any other EU funded projects dedicated to the same areas as the KET4CleanProduction or the SME Instrument) and the KET4CleanProduction at the same time?
Yes, receiving several grants at the same time can be possible, however, they need to focus on different distinct projects within the SME and may not be used for the same purpose. It is very important for the project for which an SME requests KET4CleanProduction funding to be distinct from any other business or R&D activities for which the SME is already receiving funding for. In micro grant proposal template the SME needs to confirm: - that the implementation of the described KET4CleanProduction micro grant project has not started yet; - not to receive any other public funding for the implementation of the described project.
1836. What are key issues to follow when material is imported or products exported from/to non-EU countries during the micro grant project?
As the Guidelines on How to complete your self-assessment (see attached Section 6, pages 23-29 (specifically p. 29)), the conditions applied to export and import of material are the following: "Import/export of material — If genetic resources are transferred across borders, it may be mandatory under the law of the provider country to obtain an authorization for the transfer. In addition, you must use an agreement which describes the conditions for the export and the terms of utilization and, if applicable, relevant benefit-sharing measures. For transfers of human cells or tissues, see section 3. For data transfers, see section 4." EU makes specific focus on the research activities and materials, which have been imported or exported. Therefore, as to our interpretation, the prime focus is on the process, which requires import/export of certain material from 3rd countries. This means that an SME would need to specifically indicate the materials incl. copies of export license for the processes/ activities or production of the product, which involves 3rd countries, but not the end product. In our context, please make sure the SME includes the indication of the non-EU origin of material in the Ethics Issues Table when submitting the MGP proposal and a statement that the product is approved in the EU. In case of exporting the final product, our understanding of the guidelines for the Ethic Requirements is the following: The subject of the research is the improvement of the current technology (not the product or material). In case of the SME is not exporting neither the material nor the research but the final product, which will be approved by the EU (other way it will not be able to export it) it doesn’t need to provide the export license.