What is a partnership innovation project?

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Partnership Innovation Project, Definition:

A partnership innovation project, or collaborative innovation project, is an innovation project involving several players. These are called "partners" and form a "consortium". These different types of organization work together over a defined period to achieve specific common objectives, such as pooling R&D expenditure or sharing development risks.

One of the strong points of partnership innovation projects is that they allowaccess to partial or, in some exceptional cases, totalfinancial aid. This assistance can range from a few thousand euros to several million.

Funding agencies, or "funding windows", such as Horizon 2020, InnoEnergy - formerly known as KIC InnoEnergy, Eurostars, FUI, ADEME, etc., operate at European and national levels. They regularly set up funding programs. These financial aids, in the form of grants and/or reimbursable advances, support innovation projects according to the nature of their activities such as: R&D, industrial investments, demonstration actions in industrial environments, etc...

Beyond the financial support, collaborative projects are above all real levers to accelerate your developments and open new collaboration and business opportunities. Indeed, thanks to these collaborative innovation projects, your company will be able to forge strong commercial ties with its partners. These collaborations can extend even beyond the life of the project, securing your business with trusted partners or through end users who have taken part in the project.

Each partner contributes according to its own skills and resources. The objective of collaborative projects is to provide each partner with skills and tools that are not available internally, thus creating real synergies. Smaller structures, such as startups, can benefit from the expertise of large groups that would have been inaccessible without participating in a collaborative research and development project and thus access more quickly to exploitable results than by being alone.

The benefits of an innovation project in partnership

  • Collaborative projects make it easier to develop innovative projects thanks to the joint expertise of companies working together.
  • Access skills and tools that you don't have in-house.
  • Acquire funding for your project quickly and easily by responding to European and national collaborative programs and calls for projects.
  • Pool your research and developmentexpenses.
  • Share the risks related to your developments.
  • Start the commercialization phase (collaboration with beta-testers and future customers, commercial agreements with partners, etc.)

Companies concerned by innovation projects in partnership

These projects and funding opportunities are intended for any type of structure, whether private or public. But be careful, each call for projects has its own specificities in terms of expected partners.

For example, some calls for proposals do not fund large groups, while others are exclusively reserved for SMEs (e.g. the SME Instrument of the H2020 funding program). It is therefore important to analyze the various calls for proposals in detail to ensure that your project is eligible before you start preparing your application.

Example of an innovation project in partnership

One of the key examples of our support is the PRESTIGE project.

PRESTIGE is a European project led by CEA, the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission, in response to the H2020 initiative, one of Europe's largest investment programs. Carried out in collaboration with Dynergie, this project focuses on the development of new high-functionality printed materials for consumer applications, to meet the contemporary challenges of urban life. The result: a €6 million project with sixteen partners, each with a key technology, in eight countries: Finland, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Spain, Greece, the UK and France. Sixteen complementary players have been working hand in hand for 18 months now, using a design-based methodology with international ambitions.

Innovation partnership projects are open and accessible to all if the participants are well prepared. They are, above all, real levers to accelerate your developments and open up new collaboration and business opportunities.

Want to learn more about collaborative projects? Discover in our white paper examples and key points to know before you start.

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