Following the steps of the Extreme Light Infrastructure project – the first ESFRI-listed project to be funded through Structural Funds – research facilities or infrastructures will increasingly rely on Structural Funds for their implementation or upgrade.
In each country of the European Union, funds are made available for the Thematic Objective 1 “Research and Innovation”. Part of those funds are dedicated to implementing or upgrading research facilities.
Europportunities OÜ boasts a significant experience in applying for non-repayable grants to implement or upgrade research facilities and infrastructures in different countries of Europe. We develop for our clients applications following the guidelines of the relevant Managing Authority with an emphasis on the following five dimensions which we consider as the most critical for the success of an application:
The scientific excellence of the Research Infrastructure, it is probably the dimension that is best understood by scientists involved in the RI project, as this dimension constitutes the ground on which a RI project is built.
The gap that is filled by your RI in the European RI landscape – it is obvious that no investor, and even less so public investors, wants to invest in a RI project that would only duplicate an existing RI. It is therefore an absolute must to provide substantial evidence that (1) your RI project satisfies a demand from one or several scientific communities, and (2) that such a demand is not addressed or very poorly addressed by existing European RIs
The socio-economic value of your RI project. The socio-economic value of RI project is often addressed very late in RI projects. Please remember that RI projects constitute huge investments, borne by taxpayers. Public investors – Member States and the European Commission – want therefore to understand whether and to what extent your RI project is able to contribute directly and indirectly to fostering growth and creating jobs, the ultimate objectives of Europe 2020. Identifying the different channels through which your RI contributes to these objectives, and providing an estimate of the impact is therefore not a minor aspect of your project. See the direct impact assessment and the Cost-benefit analysis.
The sustainability on the long-term of the RI. Most RIs are unable to generate enough revenues to cover their operational costs, let alone operational costs plus initial investment and reinvestments. Understanding how you can secure enough funds over the lifetime of the RI – from the initial investment to the decommissioning – is but a reasonable request.
Your ability to manage the RI project, in the implementation phase as in the operational phase. It is not enough to show the scientific excellence of the RI project, the existence of a non-addressed scientific demand, the socio-economic value of the RI project, and the sustainability of the RI over its lifetime, you need to provide evidence that you have organised the project with partners and stakeholders in a way that best guarantee the successful delivery and operation of the RI