A pilot service offered by NearUS, the Horizon 2020 initiative supporting the creation of ENRICH - European Network of Research and Innovation Centres and Hubs – in the USA.
Call opened: October 5, 2017 | Call closes: December 5th, 2017 – 23h59 CET
Purpose of NearUS
NearUS is an initiative funded in the framework of Horizon2020, the most comprehensive EU Research and Innovation funding program to date. The NearUS initiative will increase European and US research and innovation collaborations while strengthening the position of Europe as the world´s leading partner in science, technology and innovation. Its overarching aim is to create a sustainable network of centers with US and EU-based nodes, to enable cross-continent R&I partnerships.
During its pilot phase, NearUS proposes a variety of services for researchers and entrepreneurs. The pilot activities will be evaluated to inevitably retain the initiative’s most successful components to ensure a sustainable plan for NearUS in the future.
Services will target various, commercially viable technology maturity levels: Research2Research (R2R), Research2Market (R2M) and Business2Business (B2B) stages. This includes research connection symposia, business matchmaking opportunities, working visits and innovation tours to US organisations to explore technology/product partnerships and/or business development middle / long term opportunities, pitching to potential investors, R2M and B2B boot camps, work space access, hands on business acceleration programmes, media promotion service and more.
The pilot services will be offered separately in specific calls. This call only refers to the Research2Market (R2M) Boot Camp taking place in March 2018.
Services offered in this specific call
NearUS, through partner - the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA, www.inbia.org) - organizes two-week Boot Camps which start in Boston, and provides participants with perspectives on their market in other US regions as well. Those Boot Camps are available for 10 R2M defined individuals. All Boot Camp participants will start and end the program in Boston and engage in unique networking receptions which engage the local Boston innovation ecosystem’s experts, as well as an introductory course in “Conducting Business in the US”. In between, participants will be hosted by a Soft Landing sites in the US which offer programming/services themed to the various industry sectors each entrepreneur’s pursuit is within.
In preparation for the Boot Camps, a two-day pre-departure workshop will be held in Brussels to prepare the participants to make the most of their two weeks in the US.
Day 1 – 2: This course covers two intensive days of corporate culture, US-based resources for product development, legal matters, human resources and other basics leading to the successful deployment of setting up a US subsidiary.
Day 3 – 12: By Day 3 of the program, participants will then travel to a Soft Landing site (participant must arrange and cover their own travel) that has been assigned to them based on their US market of interest and that site’s particular resources available to entrepreneurs within the industry market. Each day, regardless of which site participants are assigned to, InBIA staff will host a one to two hour course on relevant business or product development topics.
Day 13 – 14: On the last two days of the Boot Camp, participants will come back to Boston for an intensive networking opportunity to pitch their idea/demonstrate their product to strategic corporate partners and investors from renowned firms throughout New England. In preparation for the Boot Camps, a two-day kick-off workshop will be held in Brussels to prepare the participants.
Target Group of this Call
Established start-ups from EU Member States or Associated Countries universities or public/private labs are highly recommended to apply. Individuals who are thinking of starting a company can apply, but must meet the requirements outlined below.
NearUS is looking for competitively selected EU R&I actors that are in the early stages of commercializing EU research and/or are pre-revenue start-ups Pre-revenue technology companies spun out of universities or public/private labs are recommended to apply. NearUS will further accept researchers who are interested in founding a company, but must meet the following requirements also required of the established start-ups:
In order to qualify for the provided services, applicants have to be based in EU Member States or Associated Countries.
Start-ups shall be established. R&I actors that are in the early stages of commercializing EU research, and individuals who are thinking of starting a company can apply, but must meet the requirements outlined above. Participants must be able to communicate (read and speak) in English.
This call will fund 10 participants for the R2M Boot Camp and selected participants must attend pre-departure workshops in Brussels. The costs for the venue, materials, guest speakers, meals during Boot Camp, and transportation in the US Associated Hubs cities are covered by grants provided to NearUS selected participants. Participants will however have to cover the costs for flights to and from the United States, travel to and from Brussels, travel from Boston to the US Associated Hubs, and their accommodations, as well as other costs not mentioned above (e.g. ESTA/VISA application costs, health insurance, etc.) by themselves.
All applicants must register at the electronic submission tool PT-Outline https://secure.pt-dlr.de/ptoutline/app/nearus_Services. It is highly advised that applicants submit no later than two days before the participant cycles end of each program, NearUS staff will assist with questions or portal issues for applicants. Besides basic information, applicants must mark checklist for actual criteria and must complete each section of the application.
The Online Submission Form is structured in four different pages, each one including various sections that need to be filled in by the applicant.
On page four you will find the "Application form" and “Pitch deck”, which have to be uploaded at the final submission stage.
No more than 3 pages can be submitted. Failure to comply to these requirements may result in an application unreviewed.
The “application description” will contain the following information:
The application template document requires a weblink for a 90 second video to be created and uploaded to YouTube. Please review the Video Guidelines document in PT-Outline for more information on how to create and upload the video to obtain a link for your application.
This video must contain an interview of the founder/majority stakeholder and any other company representative who will be attending the Boot Camp. The video should show the founder clearly facing the camera answering the below questions. The video should NOT have any images, animations, or video footage of any products/technologies/etc. It MUST only be the potential Boot Camp attendee explaining the following in 90 seconds or less:
Additionally, there is a fifth page for checking and submitting the application.
Note that all proposals have to be submitted in English. Each application process beyond the first background questions, asks whether your application meets initial eligibility requirements.
Evaluation and Selection Procedure
The fundamental principles governing the evaluation of the applications are:
The evaluation process involves three steps:
Applicants will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
October 5, 2017
December 5, 2017 (at 23h59 CET)
Submission of application and call closes
December 20, 2017
Selection of the applicants
December 20, 2017
Information for the applicants if they were chosen or not
Early February, 2018
Pre-departure workshop in Brussels
March 4 - 16, 2018
Boot Camps in Boston (including travel to a
Soft Landing site that has been assigned to them based
on their US market of interest)
For questions regarding the Boot Camps, please contact: