How can we make Europe’s SMEs more competitive? An EU-funded project’s second call for proposals is giving innovative SMEs the opportunity to access technologies related to high-performance computing (HPC).

SMEs represent 99 per cent of all businesses in the EU. They provide work for about 100 million people, generate over half of Europe’s gross domestic product and add value to every sector of the economy. Given the central role of SMEs in Europe’s transition to a sustainable and digital economy, the EU-funded FF4EuroHPC project is working to increase their competitiveness by helping them access HPC technologies.

FF4EuroHPC is now calling for proposals on high-quality experiments engaging “innovative, agile SMEs” with strategies based on HPC-related innovations. While proposals can tackle business challenges from various application domains, according to the call for proposals posted on the project website, “a strong preference is given to engineering and manufacturing, or sectors able to demonstrate fast economic growth or particularly strong economic impact for Europe.” In other words, proposals that focus directly on the business challenges faced by manufacturing SMEs will be given the highest priority, followed by consortia centred on SMEs that are new to the use of advanced HPC services. Such services include modelling and simulation, data analytics, machine learning and AI, or combinations of these.

The call has a total funding budget of €5 million, with a maximum allocation of €200,000 per proposal. Closing on 29 September, this is the second open call organised by the project.

The first call, open from 2 November 2020 to 27 January 2021, received “68 high-quality submissions involving 202 partners from 25 European countries (plus Canada),” as reported in a news item on the FF4EuroHPC website. Of the 68 submissions, 16 were selected for funding by a team of 37 external reviewers. The experiments began in early June 2021. The total funding allocated for these projects was EUR 3 million.

First open call in figures

Of the 16 experiments selected in the first call, 5 focused on manufacturing, 3 on professional scientific and technical services, and 2 on human health and social work. The remaining six projects dealt with water supply and waste management, financial and insurance activities, wholesale and retail trade, electricity, agriculture, and transportation and storage.

Most of the proposals in this call were submitted by 3 European countries: Italy (23 proposals), Spain (16) and France (10). These 3 countries also had the highest number of selected proposals, with 5 belonging to Italy (which received €890,000 in funding) and 3 each to Spain and France (allocated €520,000 and €420,000, respectively). Germany (€400,000) and Greece (€340,000) both had 2 of their proposals selected.

SMEs with successful proposals in the FF4EuroHPC (FF4EUROHPC: HPC INNOVATION FOR EUROPEAN SMES) project’s current open call will have the opportunity to develop unique products, create new business opportunities and become more competitive through the use of advanced HPC services. So if you’re ready to usher your SME into the Industry 4.0 era, submit your proposal now!

For more information, please see: FF4EuroHPC project website.


The article Promoting high-performance computing innovation in European SMEs was originally published by CORDIS | European Commission.

Feature image by kiquebg from Pixabay.

Submit a Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment