How to get EU funding: a case study
How to access EU funding?
There’s no just one answer to this question, as funds can be accessed in various ways. In this article presenting a case study, I will illustrate one of the many paths to follow.
N.B: For privacy reasons, names of people and company will be modified.
Initial contacts and preliminary stage
EcoEnergy is a company specialized in the development of green energy solutions.
EcoEnergy has a small but very efficient R&D team, who has started working on a new innovative project: a technology that allows to heat with greater efficiency, lower costs and respecting the environment. As mentioned here, nowadays projects like this have great potential: EcoEnergy is aware of this, but they need the means to launch the idea on the international market.
This is when EcoEnergy contacted me. They have heard about the opportunities that EU funds can offer and they know that, in order to access funds, they need the assistance of an expert with specific skills.
After an initial briefing with the company, we set a stable advice relationship during which I worked hand in hand with the company managers and the head of R&D evaluating different networking and financing opportunities.
During this phase, I also had the task to understand if the project was in line with the investments foreseen by the company and if the company itself was able to cope with the scale of the project, even at the most advanced stages. Considering features of project and the objectives agreed with the company, I developed a taylor-made action plan.
Through conversations with managerial and technical staff in the company, I started to draft all the documents needed to apply for a project.
A key part of my job was implementing the innovation proposal: in other words, I identified an investment plan including the available resources (human and financial), cash flow and company sustainability. An in-depth market analysis, as well as an analysis of the competitors and of the business model in general were crucial, in order to have a clear picture of the current situation and future expectations during the commercialization and dissemination of the project outcome on the market.
By doing so, I was able to protect EcoEnergy against unexpected investments or advances of them.
In the meantime I started to actively search external partners, necessary to access EU tenders, relying on a network of companies and experts I work with.
During this activity, I also considered a possible collaboration with specialized experts to rely on different incentive tools and to promote the energy efficiency, through tax deduction, thermal FIT and white certificates, as described in this here by EngCon-ec.
Dissemination of the project: web marketing and communication
Depending on the type of call, an efficient presentation of the project idea can be requested. The dissemination and communication phase must not be underestimated once the project has been financed: to access EU funds it is vital that the project is supported by a proper communication campaign.
This is why my work for EcoEnergy also included the management of web marketing and participation in events, thanks to the team of specialized experts with whom I collaborate: our aim was promoting the project and make sure that the project reached the most relevant stakeholders.
What to do once the project has been approved
Our work delivered great results and the application to access EU funding was approved.
After receiving confirmation of approval, I followed EcoEnergy in the next phases of the project: drawing up and delivery of the reports, update of the foreseen outcomes, monitoring if milestones, objectives and deadlines were met, financial reporting and support for the communication.
The innovative project for a sustainable energy efficiency turned EcoEnergy into one of the potential “top” companies in the green technologies sector. The company has opened up new paths and opportunities for the future, which otherwise would have remained unexplored.
During a meeting, I was told: “I’d have never imagined that the most difficult part starts right after getting the funding!”
Would you like further information about the procedure to get EU funding?
EU Funding & Marketing
I am a freelance consultant specialized in applying for and managing European funding for companies and start-ups active in the field of research and innovation.
My work includes the creation of business plans, development plans and marketing plans aiming at applying for European calls for proposals.