Luckily, there are many gifted and enterprising individuals who create new modern merchandise with the potential for development… At this time, nonetheless, the success of many SMEs depends upon their skill to commercialise their product for a worldwide market, which requires an quantity of capital, sources and know-how that not everybody possesses… however assist is accessible.About 37 miles outdoors Copenhagen, we discover the small Danish high-tech firm Q-Interline. The corporate develops analytical gear – each {hardware} and software program – for high quality and course of management in areas corresponding to meals, feed, agricultural and dairy manufacturing. The 30-man firm was based in 1996 and has developed numerous high-tech analysers that includes the distinctive FT-NIR spectroscopy know-how over time. Q-Interline has exported their merchandise to the Nordics and elements of the EU virtually from the onset, however competitors is fierce – particularly when, as a small enterprise, you’re up towards giant international companies with loads of capital and 1000’s of workers, together with specialists for each process.At Q-Interline, nonetheless, there was by no means any doubt in regards to the potential of the merchandise, the applied sciences used or the advantages for patrons. Creating the high-tech evaluation units requires lots of sources although. This has made it troublesome to search out sources for commercialisation of the merchandise – and that may be a problem in a globalised world.Headhunted for EU help One wet day in November 2016, CEO and associate at Q-Interline, Martin Roithner Henriksen acquired a cellphone name. It was Enterprise Growth Centre Zealand (Vaeksthus Zealand) – a enterprise affiliation underneath the Danish Enterprise Authority – who had been screening the native space for potential beneficiaries of a enterprise help programme underneath the EU: Horizon 2020. Q-Interline had been recognized as a potential beneficiary.Thanks… however no thanks!“Positive, we had been flattered at first… however help grants… and from the EU… the epitome of sluggish, unworldly paperwork… it was all very removed from our DNA. My associate Anders Larsen, founder and technical director of the corporate, and I didn’t suppose very extremely of an EU-based grant undertaking and thus kindly declined the provide”, the energetic CEO explains.What’s Horizon 2020?Nonetheless, Vaeksthus Zealand didn’t quit so simply. They elaborated on the undertaking’s alternatives and potential and even supplied to pay an exterior consulting agency to hold out a qualifying preliminary research of the undertaking. On this foundation, the identical consultancy would then have the ability to assist put together the precise software. However what’s Horizon 2020 actually about?Horizon 2020 is the largest EU analysis and innovation programme ever, with practically €80 billion of funding obtainable over seven years (2014 to 2020). Seen as a method of driving financial development and creating jobs, Horizon 2020 was launched to offer industrial help for SMEs with a transparent development and export potential. The objective for the EU is to make sure that Europe produces world-class science, improves industrial management and removes boundaries to innovation.No remedy, no payA variety of skilled consultancies specialising in getting ready advanced functions for public authorities, non-public foundations and EU help programmes had been recognized to Q-Interline. Of those, Nordic Innovators (NI) had been chosen because the associate to assist draft the appliance for Horizon 2020. The remuneration of Nordic Innovators is in accordance with the no remedy/no pay precept, the place the charge is a small proportion of the subsidies obtained. Armed with new information of Horizon 2020’s potential for the corporate, and with the prospect {of professional} assist planning the appliance, Q-Interline launched into the undertaking. This could show to be a defining enterprise journey for the corporate with an enormous export potential.Uniqueness is RequiredMartin Roithner Henriksen factors out that the folks behind Horizon 2020 require sturdy market potential for the product or idea for which help is desired – and so they need one thing distinctive. “Subsequently, we selected our newest evaluation system, InSight Professional, as an object for the appliance. InSight Professional is especially aimed on the high quality and course of management of dairies. It’s a patented, cost-effective, online-based analyser that builds on the newest era of Fourier remodel near-infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy know-how – a pioneering evaluation know-how that gives essentially the most safe and correct evaluation outcomes available on the market,” Martin Roithner Henriksen says, persevering with: “InSight Professional combines on-line measurements with clever, cloud-based features that ship measurable ends in actual time through an app, on to the manufacturing high quality and course of controllers. Due to the know-how and turnkey design, the analyser is totally maintenance-free over the product’s 5-year service life, which can also be distinctive within the trade. InSight Professional’s many cutting-edge options make the answer a singular evaluation idea that, along with offering substantial manufacturing financial savings, additionally considerably enhance dairies’ high quality and course of controls, thus strengthening their competitiveness.”Full Commercialisation Plan With the intention to be thought of for funding, a reasonably intensive software needed to be drawn up. The appliance was ready as an in depth, phased work plan of how the product can be commercialised for a worldwide market. Nordic Innovators selected to divide the undertaking into six Work Packages with Duties, Deliverables, Milestones and related budgets that may must be rigorously noticed if the undertaking had been awarded funding. The appliance’s kind, content material and stage of element is important in acquiring help. With competent recommendation from Nordic Innovators, the undertaking description started. A tough battle over three rounds After four very intense months, the appliance was submitted in February 2017. “It was no a couple of month earlier than we acquired our reply from H2020. A rejection. With none actual justification, however a rating of 12.6 factors out of 15. The rejection was accompanied by an EU certificates, a “seal of excellence”, as recognition of our software (this requires >12). We had been clearly upset, however Nordic Innovators took the rejection of their stride. It isn’t unusual to be rejected the primary time, they stated, and the 12.6 factors weren’t unhealthy in any respect. They then went into the appliance once more and made numerous modifications and resubmitted in Might 2017. 4 weeks later, we acquired one other refusal, however this time with a factors rating of over 13. Frankly, at this level, we virtually misplaced coronary heart. Nonetheless, NI remained steadfast as soon as once more and altered some minor particulars within the software earlier than they submitted it as soon as extra. One month later, the choice arrived: APPROVED – YES!!! We had been awarded a grant of at least 837,000 EUR. A really great amount for a small firm like ours,” says the enthusiastic CEO.The dealThe undertaking needed to be accomplished in 20 months. The undertaking finance needed to be made up of 70% EU funding and 30% self-financing. The primary 45% of the grant was paid instantly at first of the undertaking. A big quantity of reporting should be executed all through the undertaking to doc that QI has met the respective sub-targets throughout the set deadlines. Vaeksthus Zealand will regularly observe up on the undertaking, getting ready a report on the half-way mark to be submitted to H2020 for approval. After this, the subsequent 45% of the grant will probably be paid out. The reporting continues and is consistently monitored. As soon as the undertaking is full, an exterior auditor should evaluate the complete undertaking’s funds and approve these in a remaining analysis report. The remaining 10% of the funds are then paid out. If the auditor finds inadequate documentation for the prices incurred, H2020 might demand full or partial reimbursement of the grant, which underlines the significance of the reviews being thorough and well timed.Q-Interline’s yieldQ-Interline set a undertaking begin date of 1 October 2017 and simply 5 days later, the primary 45% of the grant was acquired. “After we accomplished the preliminary duties in our plan, we appeared for 2 entrepreneurs with worldwide expertise, 1 engineer, 1 IT specialist and 1 product specialist. 5 workers in complete. The very detailed commercialisation plan made presenting job descriptions, duties and aims to the brand new workers very straightforward and concrete. All people knew their roles, duties, deadlines and success standards from day one,” Martin Roithner Henriksen recounts. Now, only one yr into the method, he can see the outcomes displaying. “Now we have gained entry to Germany’s largest dairy chain, DMK Group, the place we now have an set up up and working. We gained a foothold within the USA, the place we now have a pilot undertaking working at a big dairy in Wisconsin, and we now have already put in a number of InSight Professional methods in bigger dairies in Eire, Norway, England and, after all, in Denmark at Arla, who rank among the many largest in Europe.The CEO concludes: “To us, the advantages of this help scheme have been huge. We discovered rather a lot from the method, which has compelled us to work professionally throughout the complete commercialisation course of. Now we have been given new information and expertise, we now have elevated our workforce with expert and provoking workers, and even gained numerous tangible working strategies and fashions that we will immediately apply to new product launches. Horizon 2020 has given us new and larger horizons to discover and attempt for,” a cheerful Martin Roithner Henriksen sums up.Click on right here to search out out extra.