Innovation projects in enterprises:

Innovation projects in small and medium-sized companies - autumn 2019

Closes in 7 weeks

We provide funding for small and medium-sized companies that want to start and run innovation projects in the development phase where other funding is difficult to get.

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Are you a limited company with up to 249 employees who want to start and run innovation projects in the development phase where other funding is difficult to get?

In this call  we fund projects that will lead to products, services or processes that primarily:

We no longer offer the opportunity to get funding for investigating market or intellectual property conditions. We expect these aspects will be investigated before you submit your proposal. 

A successful project result will create the right conditions for sustainable growth in Sweden.

 

The offer in brief

What can you apply for?

Development activities, such as prototype development, demonstration, test and validation of new products, services or processes.

Who can apply?

Limited companies (so called "aktiebolag") with up to 249 employees and permanent establishment in Sweden.

How much can you apply for?

Up to 2 million SEK or 50 percent av the total eligible costs.

Important dates

  • Description of the call

    • Small and medium-sized companies make up a significant part of the Swedish business community in terms of the number of companies and the number of employees.

      As part of our mission, Vinnova wants to strengthen the innovation capacity of small and medium-sized companies and promote their competitiveness, attractiveness and long-term perspective.

      We do this by funding activities that are capable of promoting economic development and contributing to a sustainable society. This can be done partly as a return on the investment we make with public funds and partly by the fact that sustainability opens up new opportunities and can lead to increased attractiveness, increased investments and increased profits.

      Since gender equality is an important part of sustainability, we also want to see that our funding benefit both women and men, and that our investments lead to a more diversified and more equal business and society.

      With the call "Innovation projects in small and medium-sized companies" we want to achieve this:

      • Create or improve the conditions for SMEs to strengthen their competitiveness, both nationally and internationally. We do this by investing in project that are clearly different from ordinary development of the company's existing products, services or processes.
      • Create or improve the conditions for SMEs to strengthen their long-term competitiveness and attractiveness. We do this by investing in the development of sustainable innovations, ie new products, services and processes that contribute to meeting one or some of the goals of sustainable development in Agenda 2030.
      • Reduce the risk of small and medium-sized enterprises who want to start and operate the project in development stages where other funding is difficult to get.
      • Give companies the opportunity to develop new knowledge and develop other unique assets.
      • Strive for a diversified and equal business and social development that makes Sweden an international example. Read more about our work for equal innovation (only in Swedish).

      About sustainability

      The goals for sustainable development offer great opportunities for the business community to develop their businesses. As global demand for sustainable products, services and infrastructure increases, integrating a sustainable perspective into its activities a strong success activities. More and more companies have realized how their work with the global goals can act as a lever for increased growth and competitiveness.

      For example, there are companies that actively and consciously work on power and norm-critical by including a variety of perspectives in their activities and their business. They thus contribute to objective 9: Sustainable industry, innovations and infrastructure, and objective 10: Reduced inequality.

      Read more about Vinnova's work to achieve the global goals

      See more examples of how companies contribute to global goals (in Swedish) 

    • The call "Innovationsprojekt in SMEs" is aimed at SMEs that want to start and run innovation projects in the development phase where other funding is difficult to get.

      To be able to apply, the company must be a limited company with a maximum of 249 employees.

      The company has to be establishmed in Sweden. The intended project has to be run at the Swedish site and the costs of the project are taken by the Swedish site.

      To ensure the company's ability to finance its share of the project cost, we require the company to show net sales or equity amounting to at least 25 percent of the total project cost (amount applied for and own funding ). If the eligibility requirements are not met in the most recent annual report must be an auditor's certificate or certificate from a certified accountant attached indicating that the requirement is fulfilled at the time of proposal.

      For granted project, the project manager responsible for reporting to Vinnova is also employed or a company signer in the applicant company, at the latest when submitting the initial report.

    • We finance project that will lead to products, services or processes that:

      • are new or significantly better than what is already in the relevant market (national or international)
      • have great commercial potential in relevant market (national or international)
      • are sustainable in line with some or all of the goals for sustainable development in Agenda 2030.

      An approved project may start no earlier than 26 March 2020 (but no later than 1 June 2020). The project has to finish before 31 December 2021.

      In order for the project to be relevant for funding:

      • the project must clearly differ from the normal development of the company's existing products, services or processes
      • your proposal must credibly justify why other funding is difficult to get
      • the project contains approved activities.

      Activities that can be sought for funding

      The activities you are seeking funding for should be development activities. Activities may include:

      • Preparing a basis for a major development project
      • Developing new knowledge, developing a first working prototype, conduct demonstration, pilot work or testing and validation
      • Performing a so-called Freedom to Operate analysis (FTO).

      More on support levels for different categories of acitvities (see subsequent section)

      Please note thatrelevant market conditions must be well-researched and clearly described in the project application. By this we mean that the company should have good knowledge of the competitive situation, have identified customers, validated customer needs, identified conceivable partners and developed a business model hypothesis.

      However, the fact that the company continues to validate its hypotheses together with potential customers and partners during the project's implementation is, however, development funding that can be sought for funding.

      We do not fund:

      • Investigation of market conditions for the development project (eg identifying customers, customer needs, partners and competitors or developing business models).
      • Work on intellectual property and regulatory conditions and development of intellectual property strategies and protections (with the exception of FTO analyzes).
      • Routine or recurring changes to existing goods, manufacturing methods, manufacturing processes, services or other ongoing activities (ie activities that can be expected to be included in ordinary product development). This is true even if the changes can mean improvements.
      • Marketing and sales, regular business development (eg launch of existing offer in new market), ongoing operations, investments in equipment / tools, quality assurance, certification or equivalent (eg CE marking) and training initiatives and courses.

      What costs we finance

      Our funding is through grant. Grant to organizations engaged in economic activities is limited by the rules on state support.

      The rules govern, among other things, what types of costs and how much of them may be covered by a grant. If the grant incorrectly granted or with an excessive amount, the recipient can become liable to repay.

      In the context of this offer, the following costs are eligible:

      • Personnel costs.
      • Depreciation costs for instruments, equipment and buildings to the extent that they are used for project implementation.
      • Costs for consulting services and licenses to the extent that they arise during the project period and as a direct consequence of the project's implementation.
      • Other direct costs, such as consumables and input materials, and travel expenses.
      • Indirect costs (overhead) to the extent that the company has such for the project. Allowances for indirect costs must correspond to the actual costs incurred by the company and may amount to a maximum of 30 per cent of the eligible personnel costs.

      In order for an expense to be eligible, it must:

      • be real and revisable
      • carried by applicant companies
      • have emerged during the project period
      • be determined in accordance with the company's usual accounting principles and generally accepted accounting principles.

      Accounting for project costs must be distinguishable from the company's other transactions in the accounts. In our guide you can read what costs are considered eligible and the principles for how these costs are calculated.

      Read more on state aid to companies

      Download the Guide to Vinnova's term on eligible costs

      About VAT

      As a rule, all eligible costs must be reported excluding VAT. This means that VAT is not an eligible cost.

      However, if your company is not liable to pay VAT, VAT can be an actual cost and is then an eligible cost. Only if you as a company can prove that VAT is an actual cost to you can it be included and be part of the eligible costs.

      You should then include the VAT together with the cost to which the VAT belongs and not separately.

    • Vinnova can finance up to 50 percent of the company's eligible costs within the proposed project. The financing share depends on the size of the company and on the category of activity for which you are seeking funds.

      The maximum grant that can be granted per project is SEK 2 million.

      More on support levels for different categories of acitvities (see subsequent section)

    • We will only assess applications that already meet the following formal eligibility requirements at the closing eligibility requirements:

      • Applicant is a limited company with up to 249 employees.
      • The company operates in Sweden. Activities for the proposed project are conducted at the Swedish operation and the costs of the project are borne by the operation.
      • A copy of the latest registered annual report has been attached to the proposal and shows that net sales or equity according to the balance sheet amount to at least 25 percent of the total project cost. If the eligibility requirements are not met in the most recent annual report must be an auditor's certificate or certificate from a certified accountant attached indicating that the requirement is fulfilled at the time of proposal.
      • The amount applied for amounts to a maximum of SEK 2 million and corresponds to a maximum of 50 percent of the project's total eligible costs.
      • When closing this call you have not submitted more than one proposal in this call, nor have you submitted any other proposal that is relevant for assessment within the programs Innovative startups or Social innovation.
      • Any previously granted project within the programs Innovation projects in companies, Innovative startups, Social innovation or VINN-Verifiering have been finalised before a new proposal is submitted in this call for proposals.
      • The activities for which the company is seeking funding have not started.
      • The attached project description is made according to the mandatory template. The description covers a maximum of 14 pages.
      • Proposal is written in Swedish or English.
      • The company's part of the financing is not done with funds from other public actors, such as other government agencies.
    • What do we assess?

      The applications are assessed according to the criteria Relevance, Potential, Feasibility and Actors.

      The criteria are assigned different weights, as shown below. However, the criterion Relevance is absolutely crucial for a proposal to be relevant for funding, which is why that criterion is not included in the weighting.

      Please note that despite different criteria being assigned different weight in the assessment process, an overall assessment is always the basis for our final decision.

      Relevance (decisive, therefore not weighted)

      • The extent to which the proposal credibly justifies why and how the intended product, service or process is new or significantly better than what is already available on the national and or international market.
      • To what extent the proposal credibly describes how the project clearly differs from ordinary development of the company's existing products, services or processes.
      • The extent to which the proposal reliably and convincingly justifies why other funding is difficult to obtain.

      Potential (total 60%)

      The criterion Potential is divided into economic potential and sustainability potential:

      Economic potential (weight: 40%)
      • To what extent the proposal credibly justifies that the intended product, service or process responds to a need or demand with high potential in the relevant market (national or international).
      • To what extent the proposal credibly describes the intended project's importance for the company's continued development.
      • The extent to which the proposal shows credibility in the company's plan for continued funding and commercialization funding, as well as in the company's strategy for managing intangible assets.
      Sustainability potential (weight: 20%)
      • To what extent the proposal credibly argues that the intended product, service or process contributes positively to one or more of the goals for sustainable development in Agenda 2030, and outlines both possible risks in relation to the sustainability goals and planned measures.
        Feasibility (weight: 20%)
      • The extent to which the proposal shows that the budget, plan and approach to the project's implementation are credible and relevant in relation to the project's objective.

      Actors (total 20%)

      The criterion Actor is divided into sub-criteria Competence and Roles and responsibilities:

      Competence (weight: 10%)
      • The extent to which the proposal credibly demonstrates that the team and the company have access to the resources and the skills and experience needed to carry out the project.
      • The extent to which the proposal credibly shows that the company has the conditions to permanently strengthen its competence through the project, especially in the case of external consultants.
      • The extent to which the proposal credibly shows that the company has the conditions to achieve the role and position in the industry or value chain that is required to commercialize the project results at a later stage.
      Roles and responsibilities (weight: 10%)
      • The extent to which the proposal believably and convincingly shows that roles and responsibilities in the project team are equally divided between women and men in terms of both the distribution of key positions and the temporal involvement of personal resources in the planned work.

      Also note

      In order for your project to be relevant for funding:

      For companies that have previously received funding from Vinnova, the implementation and outcome of the previous project will be considered in our decision.

      How do we assess?

      Applications received compete with each other within the framework of the offer budget.

      To assess which project best meet the assessment criteria, we use evaluators from relevant areas and industries. The evaluators are specifically appointed by Vinnova and work under confidentiality.

      The assessment is based on the information contained in the proposal. Each proposal that contains sufficient information to be assessed and that meets all the formal eligibility requirements (see previous section) is evaluated by area or industry by at least four evaluator. The project that are judged to best meet the criteria go further in the selection process and are called for an interview.

      After the interview, Vinnova makes an overall assessment that underlies our final decision.

    • About our decisions

      Funding is granted with the support of section 9 of our regulation (2015: 208) on state support for research and development and innovation. That is, funding of research and development projects pursuant to Article 25 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014. The basis for the support is stated in the decision and also controls which costs are eligible.

      The activities of the project shall fall into one of the following categories:

       

      Maximum aid intensity in% of the total cost of the project, depending on company size

      Category of activities you are looking for support for

      Small business

      Medium sized company

      Big company

      Feasibility Study

      Example: preparation of documentation for a major development project, conducting a Freedom to Operate analysis

      50

      50

      50

      Industrial research

      Example: Developing new knowledge, developing a first working prototype

      50

      50

      50

      Experimental development

      Examples: conducting demonstration, pilot work or testing and validation

      45

      35

      25

      The categories are defined in sections 85, 86 and 87 on page 25 of Regulation (EU) No 651/2014.

      With regard to company size, we use the SME definition in accordance with the EU Commission document User Guide on the definition of SMEs.

      Please note! If your company owns other companies to more than 25 percent, or if your company is more than 25 percent owned by another company or investor, you may not be classified as a small or medium-sized company in the table above. In such cases, the maximum level of aid is adjusted to that applicable to large companies.

      Read the Commission's SME definition or contact Vinnova if you have questions about this.

      Within the framework of the program Innovation projects in companies, we use standardized decision motives. This means that decision motives for rejection will only point out the criterion or criteria where the proposal in competition is not deemed to be strong enough.

      Our decision to approve or reject a proposal cannot be appealed.

      Term for granted applications

      Project may start no later than 26 March 2020 (but no later than 1 June 2020) and end no later than 31 December 2021.

      For granted applications, our general terms and conditions apply. The terms include rules on project agreements, conditions for payment, follow-up, reporting and utilization of results.

      Vinnova's general terms and conditions for funding

      The following special conditions apply to everyone who is granted a grant in this the call for proposal:

      • The project manager responsible for reporting to Vinnova is an employee or company signer in the applicant company, most recently when submitting the initial report.
      • Vinnova's right according to § 7.4 of generalterms and conditions to multiply and disseminate all or part of reports or other information about and from the project does not apply

      Additional special conditions can be decided for individual project.

      If you do not comply with our term, you may become liable for repayment. This also applies if you have been granted a grant incorrectly or with an excessive amount.

    How to apply

    To apply for funding, you need to complete an application form in our application portal, the eServices portal. The form contains questions about your project, project members and budget.

    Attach the correct documents

    In the eServices Portal, you'll need to upload these two mandatory attachments:

    • A project description that follows the structure of the mandatory template.
    • A copy of your latest registered annual report. It should show that your net sales (or equity) exceed at least 25 percent of the total project cost, according to the balance sheet. If these eligibility requirements are not met in the latest annual report, you must attach an auditor's certificate or certificate from an authorized accountant who shows that the requirement is met at the time of proposal.

    We only assess requested pages and attachments. We do not take into account references to web pages, previous project descriptions or final reports.

    Allow enough time to complete the application

    Keep in mind that it takes time to make an application. Completing all mandatory attachments can take several days, because they are based on analyses you have to do. Therefore, start well in advance. You can start completing questions, save and resume at a later date.

    When your application is complete, mark it as done ("klarmarkera"). You can unlock your application at any time until the call closes. If you unlock an application, you must then mark it done (klarmarkera) so that it registers when the call closes.

    After you've submitted your application

    Once your application has been registered, we'll send a confirmation email to the person responsible for the user account, the project manager and the company signer. Please note that this may take a few hours after the call has closed.

    After the closing date, you can't register any new information. You may only add information to your application if we ask for it.

    Who can read your application?

    Applications submitted to us become official documents. However, we don't disclose information about an individual's business or operating conditions, inventions and research results if it can be assumed that someone will suffer economic damage if the information is presented.

    This means that we must disclose the documents if someone requests them. However, we can remove information if we believe it could cause economic harm to the applicant company or another party if it is disclosed.

    Read more about how we handle public documents and privacy

    Any questions?

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us. We answer questions Mondays to Fridays between 9am and 4pm when we're available. 

    Team Innovationsprojekt i företag

    08-473 3190

    Vinnovas IT-support

    Technical questions about our e-service portal

    +46 8 473 32 99

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