How do I apply?
If you have a solution to the challenges defined by ESMERA you can apply. You can find the detailed challenges here. Please check our ESMERA-SOCE Guide For Applicants document to see more details regarding the aim of the project, the eligibility criteria and the proposal evaluation procedure. All applicants must use the defined ESMERA-SOCE_Proposal Template. A detailed guideline for the Open Call Management Platform can be found here.
What is the expected funding for an experiment?
ESMERA has two phases for each experiment.
- In Phase I: 16 experiments will be selected to compete in proving their concept. In this phase, they will be funded up to €75.000.
- In Phase II: 8 winners will be selected, and they gain industrial leadership and business support to advance their path towards industrializing and commercializing their solutions. In Phase II, the experiments will be funded up to €125.000.
How long do the experiments last?
For each phase, experiments will be executed in the duration of 9 months.
I am not sure if my solution is suitable. Is there a chance to get feedback on whether it makes sense at all to apply before submitting the proposal?
In ESMERA we do offer a pre-proposal service. Pre-proposals can be submitted via the ESMERA Open Call Platform during the first nine weeks after the Open Call publication. A member of the ESMERA project will respond to pre-proposers within a reasonable period. In case this is expected to take longer than five business days, the applicants will be informed accordingly. The response will be limited to clarifying whether the proposal fits into the scope of the call. Please note that it is not mandatory to submit a pre-proposal, and it has no influence on the evaluation of the full, final proposal. ESMERA-SOCE_Preproposal Template ESMERA-SOCE_Proposal Template
What does the timeline for the ESMERA project look like?
For now, the most important timings are the following:
October 31st, 2018: Deadline for the first open call
January 2019: Notification of proposal acceptance
April 2019: Start of experiments´ phase one (max 9 month for each phase)
What if we miss the deadline?
ESMERA has a strict deadline and applicants must submit their proposal before the deadline.
Applicants are also allowed to propose a sub-challenge with an existing end-user on their own. How does that work?
Yes. Within our challenge areas applicants can come up with a sub-challenge on their own, fitting into the requirements of the challenge areas´ focus. Applicants can then hand in a proposal for a solution to that specific sub-challenge. In this case, we strongly recommend the use of the pre-proposal template for clarifying the suitability beforehand.
Is equipment purchase eligible?
ESMERA assumes that SMEs already have available novel prototypes that wish to advance in the context of ESMERA, by the equipment/services that are available in the Competence Centers. Thus, ESMERA does not foresee any budget for equipment purchase. In case you need additional equipment, leasing of equipment is allowed; however, the proposal has to provide a convincing implementation plan for them. You can see the detailed equipment list for each CC here.
How can the ESMERA Competence Centers support me in my experiment?
The ESMERA CCs are making available their equipment and expertise to assist the SMEs in advancing their robotic solutions. If you have a prototype that you wish to enhance or test, you may check the available equipment/services offered by each CC and design a set of activities that you can include in your proposal. For instance you may request assistance in the design of a component or the integration of a sensor in your solution. You may also request that some of the equipment by the CC is made available for a period within the experiment for you to test/experiment in order to enhance your solution. You may contact the CCs for such requests during the proposal writing at the dedicated mail addresses:
Three facilitators – Blue Ocean Robotics, COMAU and R.U. Robots – offer mentoring and support in developing business cases and managing the complete chain from idea to market. You can reach them via the following mail address:
What is the minimum required TRL for the proposed solutions?
For Phase I, the minimum required TRL level is TRL 3.
Is it mandatory that the SME works in robotics?
SMEs can be in any field as long as the whole consortium develops new robotic technologies.
Is it possible to collaborate with a research partner to provide a challenge solution?
SMEs can propose an experiment on their own or, form a small consortium with different partners, teaming up with R&D organizations or other companies/institutions supplementing their competences.
If two partners are forming a consortium, can they be from the same country?
Yes, they can be from any of the countries on the list of countries eligible for funding (see here).
Can a mid-cap company (2000 people) apply to a challenge?
You can see the SME definition provided by European commission here: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/business-friendly-environment/sme-definition_en
If you have a solution one of the ESMERA-FOCE challenges and your company is not defined as an SME, you can form a consortium with a related SME and can still apply to ESMERA.
Is a consortium of three companies accepted?
If the partners are from any of the countries on the list of countries eligible for funding (see here) and there is at least one SME in the consortium, you can apply.
Is it possible to apply ESMERA more than one proposal?
No. You can submit only one proposal within the second Open Call. However, if you are unsure in the beginning, which challenge fits best to you, you are welcome to hand in more than one pre-proposal and wait for our feedback.
If you have participated in the first Open Call of ESMERA and you have been granted funding, it is also not allowed to participate again.
Are product certification costs eligible for refunding?
Product certification costs can be eligible for ESMERA, but they must be comparable to the rest of the efforts and well-justified.
How can I enter the budget details for the company that I created?
After you create a new organization, you should search it and then select it from the existing organizations. The budget for the company will appear afterward.
Is it possible to apply without a PIC number?
Yes, you can submit a proposal without a PIC number.
What are the Conflict of Interest (CoI) rules between solution providers and ESMERA Partners?
We follow the following Conflict of Interest rules:
a) A CoI exists, if a member of the core consortium was involved in the preparation of a proposal.
b) A CoI exists, if a member of the core consortium benefits directly or indirectly if a proposal is accepted.
c) A CoI exists, if a member of the core consortium has a close family or personal relationship with any person representing an applicant.
d) A CoI exists, if a member of the core consortium is a director, trustee or partner or is in any way involved in the management of an applicant.
Our company is ||GbR|| and is it possible to apply to ESMERA?
We have not specified the legal form of the SME in ESMERA. If your company satisfy the conditions given in EC web-page, you are eligible for ESMERA.