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The initial statistics of the first phase 2 SME call have just been announced (thanks to Steve Bradley via LinkedIn for the alert)..These show a total of 580 validated proposals were received of which 7 address the space theme. The country distribution is similar to phase 1; Italy (70), Spain (69), UK (61). Some 78% of the proposals came from single companies. Results of the awards will be made public next April.

Just to recall that phase 2 is for "Demonstration, Market Replication, R&D" and can lead to.€0.5m to €2.5m for a 1-2 years project.

In the meantime the 2nd call for Phase 1 has also closed. Phase 1 is for "Concept and Feasibility" with funding of 50k over 6 months to develop an initial business plan. A total of 1944 proposals were received of which 57 were within the space priority. A comparison of the 2 calls is given below. What stands out is the lack of success rate for space proposals; only 6.5% of those validated were successful compared to close to 50% across the whole programme.

Call

(Phase 1)

 

Total

Received

EvaluatedSelected

Success

Rate

June 2014Total266631715548.9%
 Space Priority1286146.5%
September 2014Total1944   
 Space Priority57   

This led me to look at the previous results and the proposals which were successful since the 155 awards have been announced also.

Of these 4, only 1 is in the domain of EO although I did find two others which could have an EO component.

PriorityCompanyCountryTopic
SpaceIPTSATItalyEO Farming
 Space StructuresGermanyApplication of tailored fibre placement technology in integral composite structures for ultra-lightweight space applications
 Solar MEMS TechnologySpainMulti-Payload satellite as an innovative service for technology experimentation in space
 AcordeSpainGNSS/INS Low-Cost Attitude Determination System
    
Urban Critical InfrastructureSkytek LtdIrelandPreventative Operational procedures for space weAtheR threats to CrItical InfraStructure
Low CarbonTEA SistemiItalyA Thermal-Visual Integrated System Mounted on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for 3D energy performance mapping and forecasting and damage evaluation

Overall the results are very disappointing. Given the predominance of SME's working in the EO sector I would have expected to see a stronger showing. Are companies unaware, do they not need funding, or do they find their early funding elsewhere? We shall promote the H2020 SME opportunity more strongly (and we held our first EO focused research networking meeting recently) but with a 6.5% success rate it will not be easy to encourage companies to devote time to preparing proposals. I'll watch the outcome of future calls with interest.

 

 

 

 

 

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