The SMART program has announced the successful closure of its 7th Call for Project PO (Project Outline) phase, marking a significant milestone in advancing collaborative innovation in advanced manufacturing. This year has been notably successful with a total of 36 proposals received, a significant increase from the 17 proposals received last year. The increase in submissions underscores the growing interest and engagement in the SMART program across the EUREKA network.
A total of 189 partners from 19 different EUREKA countries have contributed to this year’s call, showcasing robust international interest and diverse participation. The United Kingdom led the submissions with 15 proposals, followed closely by Sweden with 12, Germany with 11, the Czech Republic with 10, and Portugal with 8, indicating strong participation from these countries.
Following the submission deadline of January 22nd, the SMART Technical Committee and Public Authorities Board will meet on February 27th to review the Project Outlines submitted to the 7th Call.
The proposals cover a wide range of sectors in advanced manufacturing, indicating the program’s commitment to addressing various key challenges in this field. These include developments in areas such as robotics, material science, and sustainable manufacturing processes, reflecting the diverse innovation landscape within EUREKA member countries.
The proposals involve a total budget of 60.63M€, with the United Kingdom leading the way with 18.42% of the total budget, followed by Sweden with 14.67%. Germany (9.81%), the Czech Republic (8.97%), and Portugal (8.66%) are also strongly represented, while other countries such as Türkiye (7.25%) and Finland (6.38%) have shown notable participation.
All of these projects that address the different domains and sectors mentioned in the SMART Technology Roadmap will be developed by different types of organisations.
In this sense, and according to the type of companies, Small/Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are leading the way, comprising 51.85% of participants. This is followed by industry participants at 19.05%, research institutes at 14.81%, and universities at 14.29%. The predominance of SMEs highlights their vital role in driving innovation, complemented by the substantial contributions of larger industrial firms, research institutions, and universities, each bringing their unique expertise and capabilities to the forefront of advanced manufacturing research and development.
The second step in the SMART evaluation procedure is, for projects that have been accepted at PO level, to submit an FPP. The FPP is a crucial document in SMART’s evaluation procedure. It is utilized for the assessment and labeling of new projects and serves as the foundation for the reporting and monitoring procedure. For more information on the Call process and to download the FPP submission template, visit the SMART website or download FPP template.
For those interested in applying for the FPP phase, without having gone through the PO phase, the SMART program advises them to first contact their National Funding Authority to confirm their eligibility. The deadline for FPP submissions is April 22nd, 2024.
In conclusion, the 7th Call of SMART has successfully attracted a significant number of proposals, indicative of strong global interest and collaborative effort in the advanced manufacturing sector. These projects, supported by substantial financial commitments, are poised to contribute meaningfully to the field, with a focus on medium to long-term research and development goals.