1. Formulate the problem that needs to be solved.
Formulate the issue or problem which requires investigation and for the solution of which you need the applied research or product development options provided by a research institution. Assistance is available from Enterprise Estonia’s business development programme, which provides advice on how to plan development.
2. Choose business partners
Research partner – the company has to choose a service provider from among universities and/or R&D institutions to carry out an applied study or product development project within a smart specialisation area. A list of Estonian institutions that can provide research services is available here.
Business partner – the company may involve other companies in the pool of project partners in order to utilise the new knowledge.
An application may be filled via Structural funds e-support environment https://etoetus.struktuurifondid.ee
4. Preparation of development and business plans
A development plan is prepared by the research partner based on the terms of reference and expected results that have been received from the company. Here, specify the time-frame and action plan for the study or product development, broken down into stages. It is important to make the costs of the R&D service explicit. The development plan may be considered a quote. When commissioning the best priced service, either three independent quotes need to be submitted or the selection made needs to be explained.
Instructions for drawing up a development plan are available here.
A business plan is submitted by the entrepreneur (along with its business partners). A business plan provides an overview of how the results of the R&D project will be implemented. Here, also describe any risks and how to manage them. Furthermore, it is important to elaborate on how it is planned to cover the company’s own contribution.
Instructions for drawing up a business plan are available here.
A preliminary agreement is also needed between the applicant, the business partners and the R&D institution providing the service, with regard to the subsequent ownership of any intellectual property rights to be created over the course of the project.
Once an application has been submitted, it may take up to 60 business days to be processed. Should any additional questions or a need for remedying any deficiencies arise, the processing time may be longer.
Applications for support are evaluated by the steering committee at ETAG. Experts are involved in the evaluation. The evaluation instructions are available here.
The evaluation criteria and their share in the cumulative score are as follows:
|Criterion||Share in the cumulative score|
|1. Impact of the project on achieving the objectives of the measure||30%|
|2. Economic impact and effectiveness of the project||30%|
|3. Rationale for and feasibility of the project||30%|
|4. Impact of the project on cross-cutting issues||10%|
6. Implementation of plans
An applied research or a product development project is implemented in accordance with the agreed action plan. Any expenses incurred will be reimbursed by Archimedes Foundation retroactively based on the expense records.
Depending on the duration of the project, an interim report has to be submitted via e-support environment at least every six months. It provides an overview of whether research done conforms to the originally agreed.
Upon the termination of the project, the company will submit a final report via e-support environment.
If a project lasts less than six months, only a final report will be submitted.
8. Payment of support
Support may be disbursed in instalments based on actual expenses. For this, the company submits a payment application to Archimedes Foundation via e-support environment once every four months. It may take up to 60 business days from the submission of a payment application until its disbursement.
Up to 80% of the support amount is disbursed by the time the final report is approved.