Providing an effective mechanism for inclusion of innovative, agile SMEs in a landscape characterised by strong presence of public pan-European e-infrastructures (in particular the European Data Infrastructure - EDI) that make it difficult for small actors to enter the market and exploit new business opportunities.Scope:
Proposals are expected to propose an outreach approach for identifying and attracting SMEs whose innovation potential could be increased as users of advanced HPC services, and a mechanism involving financial support to third parties which will adequately stimulate such innovation potential of SMEs participating in the action. The focus of the action should be in the areas addressed by the selected Centres of Excellence in the topic INFRAEDI-02-2018: HPC PPP - Centres of Excellence on HPC, and complementary to the sectors already addressed by other Horizon 2020 activities – i.e. manufacturing SMEs are already covered in I4MS.
For grants awarded under this topic and type of action beneficiaries may provide support to third parties as described in part K of the General Annexes of the Work Programme. The support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants. The respective options of Article 15.1 and Article 15.3 of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.
The proposal will define the process of selecting SMEs for which financial support will be granted. Taking into account the complexity of projects involving access to advanced HPC services, typically the financial support will be in the order of EUR 50 000 – 150 000 per party. At least 80% of the EU funding should be allocated to financial support for these third parties.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 7 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.Expected Impact:
In line with Article 23 (7) of the Rules for Participation the amounts referred to in Article 137 of the Financial Regulation may be exceeded where it is necessary to achieve the objectives of the action. Findings from a European Investment Bank study on HPC infrastructures and services, and from the ongoing action Fortissimo, supporting SMEs in manufacturing, show that the cost of this kind of HPC services is very likely to exceed EUR 60 000, and can reach EUR 150 000.