The pilot facilities are free-access research and demonstration infrastructures that provide a broad spectrum of state-of-the-art equipment, as well as the expertise needed to support innovative scale products and technologies, from the laboratory to a pre-commercial scale.
Initially, the pilot production was defined exclusively by the physical infrastructures and equipment necessary for the production of prototypes or small series of pre-commercial products. However, pilot production depends not only on the equipment indexed to the development of new products (pilot line), but also on other activities, such as market studies and engineering for process optimization, as well as internal reorganization of the company and external relations with partners along the value chain.
All these factors are decisive for the development of new business.
An “Innovation Hub” (IH) is an ecosystem through which any company can have access to the knowledge, experience and latest technologies to test and try out their innovative or innovative products, prior to its market launch.
An “Innovation Hub” also promotes investor contact, making it easier for companies to access finance for business development, and links the borrowers and suppliers of innovative products along the value chain.
The added value of the Innovation Hubs lies in the integration of one or several pilot plants that, organized in a network, provide companies with knowledge and equipment, such as laboratories, infrastructures and pilot lines, as well as the connection with other hubs in the chain of innovation.
Since a single core cannot be excellent in several areas of activity, it is necessary to establish channels and networks between Innovation Hubs with complementary expertise and pilot facilities to provide a one-stop shop for companies that includes partners strategic, and necessary to support their innovation activities, such as investors, legal advisors and business development experts.
The applications can be made immediately and the evaluation dates are the 31st of May, 31st of October and, finally, the 19th of February, 2019.
SMEs, start-ups, large industrial companies, private investors and other actors established and implemented in Portugal.
The applicant must have a project related to nanotechnology based concepts, with marketed oriented application.
It is highly valued that the projects have demonstrated feasibility at laboratory scale (minimum TRL 4).
There will be an evaluation session after each cut-off date and for each date the submitted applications will be grouped, reviewed and ranked together.
The evaluation results will be available immediately after the selection process.
Up to four Projects will be selected and entitled of the Nourish Prize.
The four selected projects will be entitled to a prize consisting of:
(a) Mentoring support on design, technical requirements and legal issues related with product certification and intellectual property rights;
(b) A sixty thousand euros (€60,000.00) of in-kind contribution to be used in services of rapid prototyping related with the implementation of the Project and to be executed within a maximum period of six months after its award.
(c) Access to the European Pilot Facility Network, benefitting from all the advantages of being part of an integrated marketplace for pilot production facilities and innovation hubs.