Knowledge is the basis of everything! Who knows how many times you've heard that. Yet, although the concept is clear in theory, the practice is different, often simply because one is not informed about the existing possibilities. Take, for example, funding from the European Union…
In the EU programs for the next few years there are billions of euros for new technologies, part of these, even non-refundable, are dedicated to cyber or atArtificial intelligence.
But how many companies do you know that have used European funds? I very few.
I thought it might be appropriate to disseminate a minimum of information on how it is possible to access funds from European programmes, at least to raise awareness of the possible financing instrument for those wishing to try.
Let's start from the beginning: there is a portal called "Funding & tender opportunities" which you can find at the link Funding & tenders (europa.eu) which facilitates the search for funds and participation in projects.
The first thing you need to know is that the portal is mainly in English, in fact even if you can select the language at the top right, many pages will be presented in English. Seeing is believing!
First tip: if you don't know English, get help from someone who does!
Let's continue browsing.
After selecting the Italian language, you can see the result in the image:
We can begin the search. Since this is a column dedicated to cyber and new technologies let's try to understand if there is the possibility of participating in a project concerning the sector.
To do this, enter the word "cyber" in the search bar at the top of the page. In particular, assuming you are a small company doing research in the field cyber e Artificial Intelligence also enter these terms in the search bar and see what happens:
It would seem that there are no programs that cover both areas.
However, since I think wrongly, I try the search again by inserting the two topics in reverse order:
And here comes the first program, I was right to repeat the search.
Second tip: never think that things are done right, always make a second and a third attempt.
I especially recommend doing one-term searches and exploring all the programs you find.
Here's what you'll find when you search for “Artificial Intelligence”:
The list is long. If we start scrolling through it we discover that many programs are already closed.
This is because all the checks in the "submission status" box are checked. If you want to see only the programs still open or only those that will soon be added, select the boxes that interest you. In any case, closed programs are an interesting source of information, so it's always worth spending some time studying them in search of a useful starting point.
Good. To continue illustrating the site, let's open the only project available that deals with the two sectors of our interest.
The program is called "Security of robust AI systems", it is a program that will be released in mid-2023 (June 29) and the deadline for submitting proposals is November 23, 2023.
The page clearly illustrates the objectives of the programme, in particular the EU expects the projects presented to have the expected result of contributing to one or more of the following objectives:
- Security-by-design concept and attack resilience;
- Inclusion of "context awareness" in machine learning systems to increase resilience.
More detailed explanations and links to useful documentation follow.
Let's assume that the program is of interest to us and see in what form we can participate.
If we scroll down the page we find the paragraph "General Condition", in which we find all the useful information to understand if we can present a project or participate in a project presented by others.
Let's be patient and download the document "Horizon Europe Work Program General Annexes".
Third tip: to do things well you need patience!
After carefully reading the entire document, we discovered that our company can present the project for which we can proceed with entering the required data,
following the "Standard Application Form" step-by-step and inserting the data in the "Electronic Submission System".
To access the system, simply click on “Start Submission”.
Before going further it is better to have a look at the partnership offers or, if necessary, look for partners for the project.
A project generally doesn't require expertise in only one specific field and diversity is often the key to success.
For example, if our project involves the dissemination of information on cyber (or on any other topic) by creating a network of partners, it is probably appropriate to find a partner who is an expert in communication and helps us to clearly disseminate our objectives to facilitate the creation of the network we need.
Therefore, even if your field of work was not included among those of foreseen funding, do not be discouraged and be creative, aiming to give support, and therefore added value, to other projects already presented.
Having said that, all that remains is to wish everyone a good job!
Fourth and last tip: in life you can't know everything, but if you know where to look or who to ask, you're already halfway there, so if you want to learn more: How to participate (europa.eu).