Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, you can find answers to the questions most frequently asked by SMEs participating in the INCluSilver project.

If your question is not featured below, please contact us.

INCluSilver is a 3-year project (supported by the EU Horizon 2020 program) aiming to support SMEs in generating and validating innovative ideas in the field of personalised nutrition for the silver economy. Special financial support is available for SMEs by applying for the INCluSilver Innovation Vouchers.

According to EU rules, SMEs are defined as:

Company category Staff headcount Turnover or Balance sheet total
Medium-sized < 250 ≤ € 50 m ≤ € 43 m
Small < 50 ≤ € 10 m ≤ € 10 m
Micro < 10 ≤ € 2 m ≤ € 2 m

NB! A firm that is part of a larger group may need to include staff headcount and turnover/balance sheet data from that group too.

For the full definition of an SME, read more here.

By applying for the INCluSilver open call that is available from September 15, 2017. Innovative ideas and projects in personalised nutrition targeting cross-border and cross-sectoral cooperation are welcome. For more on the types of ideas and projects that can qualify for financial support, see here.

The definition of “INCluSilver Innovation Vouchers” is a maximum of €60,000 in financial support provided to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to

  • purchase services from public knowledge providers with a view to introducing innovations (new products, processes, or services) in their business operations. The IPR & PIV Vouchers facilitate the access of SMEs to knowhow and technology and give incentives to knowledge/service providers (universities, research centres, private companies, etc.) to collaborate with SMEs.
  • build new relationships between SMEs and public research institutions. The 2IV voucher will support participation in INCluSilver Innovation Training and Networking Events in order to form cross-border and cross-sectoral relationships between SMEs.

The innovation voucher is an ‘allowance’ which can be used to purchase innovation services provided by knowledge/service providers (innovation experts).  SMEs’ are free to choose their experts during the innovation voucher project implementation. But note that an INCluSilver knowledge/service provider must be restricted to entities only directly validated by the INCluSilver consortium partners.

Only SMEs and micro-entrepreneurs from one of the INCluSilver countries: Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (and Italy – see note underneath).

NB: It is not possible for Italian projects to apply for vouchers in the final application round.

SMEs are defined as:

Company category Staff headcount Turnover or Balance sheet total
Medium-sized < 250 ≤ € 50 m ≤ € 43 m
Small < 50 ≤ € 10 m ≤ € 10 m
Micro < 10 ≤ € 2 m ≤ € 2 m


NB! A firm that is part of a larger group may need to include staff headcount and turnover/balance sheet data from that group too.

NCluSilver project only grant SMEs. Universities and other similar organisations may be funded indirectly if they have positioned themselves as providing technical expertise relevant to the INCluSilver project thematic and/or a specific project problematic highlighted by project applicants. The SME can then use a voucher to purchase the requested service.

Read more about the definition of SMEs here, and the application criteria here.

Yes, supporting new innovative companies without any audited accounts yet is in line with the project’s aim.

Basically, we offer three different INCluSilver Innovation Voucher types which an SME can apply for in order to receive financial support if they meet the application criteria.  Details on the types of vouchers are available here.

Demo vouchers are ment for: Demonstration of technology readiness in operational environment, in collaboration with living labs and large scale demonstrators.

In order to apply for a demo voucher at least 2 SMEs from 2 different sectors are necessary, in order for the application to be eligible.

That depends on which type of voucher you are applying for. Two different application processes will be available:

  • Ideas Innovation Voucher (2IV)
  • Intellectual Property Right (IPR) Innovation Voucher (IPR IV) and Proposal Innovation Voucher (PIV) Applications

When applying, you must complete and submit a proposal. This is done by filling out the word template and submitting it on the online platform in PDF format (click here). The proposal must not exceed 10 pages. If the proposal is longer than 10 pages, it will be rejected.

NB! English is the official language for the open call, so all proposals must be in English.

The last version submitted within the deadline is the one that will be evaluated.

More details are available in the Third Party Service Providers’ Handbook and the Guide for Applicants.

Yes! The completion of the first 6 pages of the template shall not exceed the 10 pages. CVs & appendices do not count in the 10-page limit. If the 10 page limit is exceeded, the application will be rejected.

As noted on the website “The application must not exceed 10 pages. CVs & appendices do not count in the 10-page limit.” 

Apart from CVs, the appendix can include any charts, tables or images (eg. Gantt, Management Structure chart, WP structure etc.). There shouldn’t be any additional information regarding the project’s aim, innovation capacity or concept. Please also keep in mind, that in case the application exceeds the 10 pages limit (appendices apart), the application will be considered as non-eligible.

Only key resource individuals have to be attached. The CVs are there to evaluate the competence and experience of the applicants.

  1. To fill the application without a pre-identified service-provider (in this case after the award of the voucher will select one from the INCluSilver 3rd Party Knowledge/Service Providers List  or will identify one to be included and selected for the 3rd Party Knowledge/Service Providers List)
  2. To provide the details of the service provider in the application, in the chapter Innovation actor(s) partner(s). In this case, the service provider can be either already approved and included in the INCluSilver 3rd Party Knowledge/Service Providers List or it will apply to be included.The positive evaluation of an application submitted by the SME does not mean that the service provider identified under the chapter Innovation actor(s) partner(s), if not already included in the INCluSilver 3rd Party Knowledge/Service Providers List, is validated by INCluSilver.

No. The TRL information required in the application form will indicate the TRL level before the support and will help measuring the impact in case the TRL level will increase during the implementation phase.

The main challenges addressed during project implementation are listed here.

Innovation Support Services are areas in which applicants can receive assistance from the INCLuSilver partners. You can see which services are offered and by which partners, as well as the value of each service below. If you wish to read more, download this PDF here.

Services Partners
Branding and PR Danish Food Cluster, Skaane Food Innovation Network & Corallia Clusters Intiative
Business Model Skaane Food Innovation Network, Asociación Clúster Alimentario de Galicia & Corallia Clusters Initiative
Fundraising/Access to Finance and Pitching Investors Corallia Clusters Initiative & Distretto Agroalimentare Regionale scrl
Internationalisation Asociación Clúster Alimentario de Galicia, INNOSKART ICT Cluster, Agropolis International & Corallia Clusters Initiative
Incubation/Co-location Surrey University, Asociación Clúster Alimentario de Galicia & Corallia Clusters Initiative

ITNE stands for Innovation Training and Networking Events. These events are part of the 2IV voucher package. For more on the 2IV, click here.

Yes, the consortium must be led by an SME based in INCluSilver member countries, but the partners (SMEs, universities, research institutions, other innovation actors, SMEs, etc.) can come from any EU member states and countries associated with Horizon 2020. Only the project coordinator of the SME will submit the proposal and declare the consent of other team members participating in the proposal.

In the consortium there are several actors and at least 2 SMEs If they apply for maximum 60,000 Euro you need one cost table and a contract/project plan for the consortium that describes who gets what. That is the base for the sub grant agreement.

Further answers: It is not forbidden to have a negative balance sheet. However, in you evaluation of the applicant you must carefully evaluate their ability to implement the project.

An evaluator can be a knowledge provider. However he/she cannot have connections to the applicant (ownership, family ties or similar things) that are unethical. The evaluation is one phase, the project another. When a voucher is given to an applicant it is abolutely free for the applicant to choose knowledge provider. 

The project coordinator leads the project partners during the preparation period and coordinates implementation of all project activities. The project coordinator is the only contractual party to the INCluSilver Innovation Voucher fund. The project coordinator is responsible for communication with the INCluSilver partners and for the reporting, too.

You must submit the report (Progress Report and Final Report) no later than the given deadline stipulated in the Sub-Grant Agreement. During the project preparation phase, you must plan at least 1 milestone and the Progress Report is connected to that. The Final Report must be submitted after completing the project. In case of the 2IV voucher, only the Final Report is compulsory.

The report must contain only those costs that are to be covered by the INCluSilver fund.

Project partners should be actively involved in project preparation and implementation. Each partner can have specific tasks that complement each other.

Yes, all EU member states and Horizon 2020 associated countries can be targeted to build consortium.

Yes, it is possible but the project is ranked higher when there is a cross-border collaboration.

It is not a prerequisite to have an identified knowledge provider from the list of approved providers. SMEs are permitted to identify their own third-party expert, or they can ask for help from their National Implementing Body. The expert can then, if he wishes, to be added to the list of the website as well

The deliverables required by the contract and report template shall be written in English, including a summary of the services provided. The services and other deliverables (e.g.: strategies, dossiers, other written deliverables/outputs) may be in local language. 

Yes, we can through the Innovation Training and Networking Events that support partnership building (see calendar). SMEs’ participation in these events can be funded (travel and accommodation costs) by the 2IV voucher.

We have also created the INCluSilver Ideanote (CVE) which is a collaborative forum that can be used to ask questions, discuss, receive advice from knowledge providers, and find like-minded SMEs

Yes, provided the partner issues a document of taxable supply (contract, invoice, receipt, bill, etc.) to the consortium leader SME (Sub-Grantee). No advance payments to the project partners will be granted prior to receiving an invoice related to the project implementation.

Typically, H2020 project funding allows for 10% budget flexibility between different budget categories.  Beyond this figure, a clear justification would need to be presented to the relevant INCluSilver project partners and validated before being accepted as an eligible expenditure. The request should be considered and assessed according to the particulars. It is certainly easier to do after approval and before contracting, than during implementation.

Under the eligibility criteria, it is not forbidden to submit a new proposal if the company has not already been funded by INCluSilver with € 60,000.00 (which is the maximum amount a company can receive).

The Open Call evaluation process is structured in the following way:

Pre-Filtering: A review will be performed by the INCluSilver Consortium (completeness of documents submitted, the compliance with call requirements)

Evaluation by Experts: Applications are to be evaluated by the Funding Release Management Board (FRMB members are the innovation actors delegated by each INCluSilver Consortium Partner).

Click here for more information. Download this document for extensive details on the evaluation criteria.

The IncluSilver team will communicate the results to the INCluSilver applicants via email.  Ineligible proposals will not be contacted directly, but they will be published in the INCluSilver portal. Details to come.

Selected SMEs from among the open call applicants will have to sign a Sub-Grant Agreement and will have to submit proof of:

  • Legal existence: registration, tax certificates
  • Financial statements: Profit and loss statement, balance sheets (from the previous year). In case it is your first year and you lack a previous balance sheet, you will not be asked for any further information
  • Bank Account Information
  • Internal Consortium Agreement between the sub-granted project participants (in free form)

All documentation for grant preparation is to be submitted electronically via email.

Once the administrative formalities are ready, and the Sub-Grant Agreement is signed by both parties, the SME can start the project and will be able to benefit from the Innovation Voucher and support provided by the knowledge/service providers (experts) to implement their project.

There is no limit for maximum contractual period for project implementation. The duration of the project will be defined in the Sub-Grant Agreement. The only condition is that all projects must be completed before November 2019.

Funds will be disbursed to the applicant (only SMEs) in two steps:

The voucher can cover the full cost of the beneficiary’s project as long as they are eligible under Member States provisions. Only the costs related to the project implementation that occurred during the given contractual period can be covered by the INCluSilver fund.

The voucher is not covering VAT costs attached to the services the SME receives.

See the guidelines for the complete list of eligible expenses in the Guide for Applicants (section 3.1, table 4).

Patent Cooperation Treaty application expenses are eligible under the IPR voucher if it applies for the collaborative project.

Please refer to the respective section of the Model Grant Agreement for H2020 funded projects (page 47 here)

The sub-grant agreement under Article 9-Financial contribution states: “The total amount of the grant shall be used only to cover expenses during the implementation period ….”. The implementation period is further defined in Article 6-Duration, whereas it is also explicitly stated that the project’s starting date is after the date of entry into force of the sub-grant agreement. So any expenses before the starting date of the project are not eligible. 

The categories of costs that are covered by each voucher cannot be changed. Should the applicant need to execute other costs it would have to finance them with costs not coming from the INCluSilver voucher.

Any cost which is not included in your budget plan in your application cannot be covered.

See the guidelines for the complete list of eligible expenses in the Guide for Applicants (section 3.1, table 4).

The SME will transfer the fee when the task is completed as it was planned in the proposal.

The Sub-Grantee is obligated to implement the project in compliance with the time frame and financial and other conditions stipulated in the Sub-Grantee Agreement. The Sub-Grantee shall immediately inform the Contractor in written form of any circumstances which may affect the realization of the Project or of any changes in contractual conditions. The Contractor shall decide upon such circumstances and changes.

For more details on the obligations of the Sub-Grantee read the Sub-Grant agreement here.

It depends on the nature of the voucher. If it is an IPR or Demonstration voucher a deliverable applies with a report on how the Knowledge provider helped in the development of the project. In the case of Scalability or Economic Feasibility vouchers, respective studies should be provided at the end of the project.  In general, the cooperation with the Third Knowledge Provider is defined on the agreement between the Coordinator of the sub-granted project and the Third Knowledge provider.

In the sub-grant agreement it should be stated how the sub-grantee intends to work with the project. They are expected to follow that plan.

INCluSilver includes partners from:

Covering the agro-food, health, ICT, packaging, and creative industries sectors (part of five emerging industries comprised of Food, Personalised Medicine, Mobile Services, Mobility, and Creative)