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A curated list of challenges, programs, funding opportunities, academic research and startups that have caught our eye.

CREAInnovation Lab

The Creative Innovation Lab shall incentivise players from different cultural and creative sectors to design and test innovative digital solutions with a potential positive long-term impact on multiple cultural and creative sectors. The Lab shall facilitate the creation of innovative solutions (e.g. tools, models and methodologies) that can apply to the audiovisual sector and at least another creative and/or cultural sector. Solutions should be easily replicable and have a potential for market penetration. For the purposes of clarity, the project does not necessarily have to be applicable immediately to the audiovisual sector but one that could easily be replicated in this sector.

For the purposes of this year’s call, in addition to recurring objectives and activities, a thematic approach is also being adopted. For the second year of the Creative Innovation Lab the two themes are greening as well as innovative education tools to tackle relevant societal topics such as disinformation. The aim is to foster lifecycle thinking and promote a more sustainable and inclusive living environment and way of life. The Creative Innovation Lab will gather players from different cultural and creative sectors to design and test innovative solutions (e.g. tools, models and methodologies) for a circular economy. These solutions would need to combine sustainability with inclusion and aesthetics, be replicable in different sectors and have a potential for societal behavioural changes.

Horizon – Pilot European innovation gender and diversity index

The limited diversity of talent in the tech world is frequently identified as an issue that can hamper the performance and growth of innovative start-ups and scale-ups, and as such is a concern for the European Innovation Council. In particular, high diversity in terms of gender and ethnicity has been correlated with higher financial performance of private ventures, while diversity at executive level (also including e.g. in socioeconomic status and disability) has been shown to be important for effective decision-making.

  • In order to improve the availability of all talent, and particularly female talent, to the EIC portfolio of projects and companies and the EU innovation eco-system, and following the recommendations of the ScaleUp Europe report, the EIC seeks the development of an innovation gender and diversity index, providing consistent information to the EIC, other investors and funding bodies, market actors and policy makers across Europe. Such information includes gender and diversity data for innovative start-ups and scale-ups as well as for investors and funds investing in such companies and should cover and be comparable across at least all Member States and Associated Countries.

HorizonCreating communities, stakeholder engagement and impact from EIC portfolios

This action aims to raise the visibility and impact of EIC portfolios of projects through novel and creative approaches for:

  • stimulating synergies, inter-disciplinary exchanges and serendipitous effects among the projects in a thematic portfolio;
  • building broader,diverse and gender-inclusive communities around each portfolio, well beyond the beneficiaries of the portfolio projects as such; and
  • reaching out to relevant stakeholders that can further enhance the portfolio’s impacts.

The action will also:

  • promote interactions across EIC portfolios, in particular for co-creating new visions and directions for research and innovation in future deep-tech.

i4Trust – 2nd Open Call

i4Trust is an EU-funded incubator offering a dedicated incubation programme to EU-based SMEs, slightly bigger companies and Digital Innovation Hubs in a form of Bottom-up Experiments to 

  • mobilize DIHs and European Companies to understand the demand for data, establishdata-sharing partnerships and identify concrete use cases relying on trusted and effective sharing of data;
  • support the aforementioned entities in adopting the user-friendly and proven technologies for data sharing based on CEF-compatible iSHARE and FIWARE Building Blocks, which cover all the operational, legal, technical and governance aspects related to data sharing.

Call for Alliances between education providers and enterprises – Digital Skills

Alliances for Education and Enterprises bring together enterprises and both higher education and vocational training providers to work together in partnership. Operating within one economic sector or several different economic sectors, they create reliable and sustainable relations and demonstrate their innovative and transnational character in all aspects. While each partnership must include at least one VET and one higher education organisation, they can address either both or one of these educational fields.

They intend to achieve one or more of the following aims:

Fostering new, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning: fostering innovation in education design and delivery, teaching methods, assessment techniques, learning environments and/or developing new skills; Fostering corporate social responsibility (e.g. equity, inclusion, climate change, environmental protection and sustainable development); Stimulating a sense of initiative and entrepreneurial attitudes, mind-sets and skills in learners, educational staff and other workers, in line with the Entrepreneurship Competence Framework (EntreComp; Improving the quality and relevance of skills developed and certified through education and training systems (including new skills and tackling skills mismatches); Facilitating the flow and co-creation of knowledge between higher education and vocational education and training, research, the public sector and the business sector; Building and supporting effective and efficient higher education and vocational education and training systems, which are connected and inclusive, and contribute to innovation. Duration of the project: 2 – 3 years.

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