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

AIRISE Open Call 1

The call aims to support European SMEs and midcaps to create AI applications that support their manufacturing lines in being more sustainable.

AIRISE aims to conduct “experiments” to support European SME’s and mid-caps to develop their idea of using artificial intelligence at their manufacturing shop floor. The AIRISE project provides support through services across all development steps from the idea to running test under realistic manufacturing conditions. The anticipated AI application must address at least one of the following objectives:

– Improve the sustainability of processes and products, significantly reduce or reuse waste and must lower the energy and carbon footprint

– Make industrial processes more agile, secure and resilient to future changes

– Make manufacturing jobs more attractive for humans, whichever the age, gender or social and cultural background, through better human-machine interfaces and more intuitive interaction with digital tools

Applications must be submitted through the AIRISE project website. For more details, please visit

SMEs TRAnsition for an European Circular tourism Ecosystem: TRACE OPEN CALL

Interested applicants, represented by legal representatives of tourism SMEs, are requested to apply online and answer all mandatory questions at: TRACE Application Form link.

Applications are submitted by the SMEs on the EU Survey platform which include questions related to the TRACE programme and specific acknowledgment to the conditions of the programme.

EUSurvey platform will be the entry point for all proposals that will be submitted to TRACE programme.

Questions on the application process can be addressed at:

The open call guidelines can be downloaded at the following link

More info

PULSATE: 2nd Open Call for Adopter Use Cases (Laser-Based Advanced and Additive Manufacturing)

Applications must be submitted via

The selection of the open call proposals will be carried out in a four-step process:

  1. Step 1 will check the proposals against eligibility criteria.
  2. Step 2 will involve external evaluation to assess the proposal according to the criteria.
  3. Step 3 will involve the PULSATE consortium to prioritise the proposals based on the external evaluation results and the objectives of the PULSATE project.
  4. Step 4 legal check before finalists are invited to sign the Sub Grant Agreement.

EUCF 5th call for applications

The EUCF is open to all municipalities/local authorities, their groupings, and local public entities aggregating municipalities/local authorities from the 27 EU Member States, Iceland and Ukraine. Applicants are required to have a climate and/or energy plan. This includes SECAPs (Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans), developed within the Covenant of Mayors initiative, or other climate and/or energy plans with mitigation targets.

Moreover, applicants have to demonstrate political commitment to the development of the Investment Concept through a letter of support, signed by the Mayor or other relevant political representative. The applicant must commit to the EUCF monitoring period of two years.

The grant cannot directly finance the actual investments, but it covers costs to mobilise resources and access services to develop an investment concept.

Applications are evaluated based on 4 evaluation criteria:

  1. Ambition of the proposed investment concept
  2. Governance structure for the development of the investment concept
  3. Stakeholders engagement strategy
  4. Coherence and plausibility

Cross Sectorial Partnerships creating/ adopting new collaboration models that include digital and/or greening technologies

Submission is made through the online submission tool available at by 17:00 CET on the deadlines indicated in section 4.3 of the Guide for Applicants.

Each proposal must be made by a consortium composed of at least 2 SMEs active in at least 2 different sectors out of the 3 targeted: the traditional furniture and living sector, the IT sector, the green/circular economy sector

Beneficiaries will be selected until 31st July 2023. The funding contracts will be signed between 31st of August – 15th of September 2023. SME projects will start not later than 15th of September 2023

Evaluation process

An assessment procedure will be followed safeguarding the principles of transparency and equal treatment as described below.

·       Eligibility check of the Application

·       Individual evaluation of the Application at least 2 independent evaluators

·       Consensus evaluation report for each Application.

·       Final ranking

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