This is an initiative developed by the European Commission to support companies and organisations looking for funding opportunities.
It is an important first step in a longer term process of better connecting the Horizon 2020 programme and the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). It will help innovative companies access and enhance the knowledge economy in their regions, thus contributing to the implementation of smart specialisation strategies.
Every year, thousands of organisations in the EU apply to the Horizon 2020 Programme. In an evaluation process carried out by international independent experts, applicants are assessed according to three criteria: excellence, impact, and quality and efficiency of implementation. The evaluation identifies those proposals not eligible for funding (below quality threshold) and those eligible (above threshold). Only some of the above threshold proposals receive funding, depending on the available Horizon 2020 budget.
The ‘Seal of Excellence’ certificate will be awarded to above threshold applicants that are not granted funding. A holder of the certificate can then approach alternative funding sources (regional, national, private or public), including the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), and present the certificate as a label of a high quality project proposal.
More information: https://ec.europa.eu/research/regions/index.cfm?pg=soe
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