On 1 July 2020, the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic launched a new international project where it has the role of the main coordinator. LEEP-SME (LEARNING TO ENHANCE EXPLOITATION POTENTIAL OF SME PROJECT RESULTS) is focused on transfer of experience between the four partners of the consortium in the area of evaluation of publicly funded projects and monitoring of their implementation. The objective of this project is to improve these processes within the consortium and outside of it. TACR as a national funding agency will cooperate with two regional agencies, FICYT and FUNDECYT-PCTEX, and one multinational organization, EUREKA.
The main agenda of the project is to transfer and share experience between the partners of the consortium with the goal of improving their internal processes. The topic of this knowledge transfer and hence the secret ingredient of the seeked improvement is the regard towards projects’ exploitation potential, which is a project’s ability to apply its results in practice. The LEEP-SME partners want to learn how to incorporate the exploitation potential factor into their work with projects from the application stage to the final evaluation stage.
If this ingredient is factored into the evaluation process, for example, it should ensure that only those projects that really bring up applicable solutions will be selected for support. Adding regard for exploitation potential to the way funding providers cooperate with their funded project during the realization phase could help beneficiaries to avoid risks or successfully solve a crisis. In the final evaluation it could help funders to find out what the beneficiaries have achieved and make it easier for them to work with this information further or advise the beneficiaries where to go from there. These improvements should lead to higher commercialization of results, which has a positive effect on the domestic economy
and makes public funding of research and innovation more effective.
During their best practice sharing the partners will focus on, for example, what has or has not not worked in the past and how someone else could learn from it. These outputs will be disseminated to other European providers.
LEEP-SME is the first project financed by the European Framework Program Horizon 2020 (H2020), which is coordinated by the TA CR, and therefore the agency will not only improve project evaluation skills, but also get to learn how to lead H2020 projects and strengthen cooperation with relevant financial organizations from Europe. The duration of LEEP-SME is 12 months and the consortium received a grant of 50 thousand euros
for its implementation.
LEEP-SME has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 94778.