Marek Grzybowski interview with Clémence Le Corff, Chargée de mission Europe/ EU Project manager, Pôle Mer Méditerranée, and Diego Carballo, European projects manager, Aerospace Valley.
Out of the GALATEA Innovation Support Mechanism Call#1, 178 SMEs applied for fundings of which 18 Polish, 20 Romanian, 59 Spanish, 28 Greek and 52 French. 77 vouchers applications have been submitted.
Marek Grzybowski: GALATEA is a continuation of the „NEPTUNE, INNOSUP-1, Blue Growth Accelerator” project. Please let me know what this project was about? What were its effects?
Clémence Le Corff: NEPTUNE which stands for “New Cross Sectoral Value Chains Creation across Europe Facilitated By Clusters for SMEs’ Innovation in Blue Growth” was an innovation action project supported by the HORIZON 2020 programme of the European Commission. The challenge was to develop new cross-sectoral industrial value chains across the EU, by building upon the innovation potential of SMEs.
NEPTUNE’s Blue Growth Accelerator provided a unique opportunity for SMEs active in Water, Maritime, Aerospace, ICT, Agriculture, Logistics, Energy and Mobility sectors to get direct financial support of vouchers up to € 60,000 and access to a wide range of professional coaching and mentoring services to develop innovative technologies, services, and products in the Blue Growth Sector.
Diego Carballo: NEPTUNE was as well a major opportunity for its consortium to get to know better the European opportunities for SMEs offered by H2020, being one of the firsts INNOSUP-01 projects ever funded.
After 2 years and a half of operation, the following important outcomes can be highlighted:
- € 2.8 million of direct financial support;
- 41 innovative projects;
- 72 SMEs and 3 would be entrepreneurs beneficiaries;
- 15 Large scale demonstrators;
- 100+ coaching and mentoring services provided by the clusters partners.
The success of NEPTUNE led to the mobilization of old and new partners in the initiative known today as GALATEA.
Marek Grzybowski: What is the main goal of the GALATEA project?
Clémence Le Corff: GALATEA aims to develop new cross-sectoral and cross-border industrial value-chains integrating technologies and know-how from aerospace and ICT communities to key Blue Growth domains: smart port, smart ships, smart shipyard, and maritime surveillance. In that purpose, we have built a consortium of 8 partners (7 clusters from maritime, ICT and Aerospatiale sectors) and one Research and Technology Organisation (RTO) from 5 European countries: France, Greece, Poland, Romania and Spain).
To reach this objective, GALATEA develops an innovation support mechanism for SMEs with the implementation of Open Call for projects and services giving access to up to € 60 000 per SME and to coaching services provided directly by experts from the high-skilled cluster’s partners.
Diego Carballo: In the current sanitary context, the principle of GALATEA that is concretely to create new bridges between actors from different sectorial and cultural ecosystems is even more necessary. SMEs owners and their teams are facing new difficulties to keep their businesses afloat, representing the aerospace sector we know that breath of fresh air to allow enterprise to conduct activities has become necessary. On GALATEA we are not only talking about punctual grants, but also and mainly about a complement accompaniment of the SMEs in their project concretisation. For this reason we plan services regrading notably internationalisation of the businesses or even sustainability of the projects developed through GALATEA.