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Making it possible for a greater number of companies to have access to European research, development and innovation programmes: this is the ambition of the Fit-4-NMP project, a support action launched and financed by the European Commission. It specifically targets the fields of nanotechnologies, advanced materials and new manufacturing processes.

The aim of this project is to open the doors of the Horizon Europe programme to organisations, particularly SMEs, which have not participated in Horizon 2020 projects, but which are nevertheless involved in important research and innovation initiatives at the national and/or international level (projects, patents, marketed products, etc.). The European Commission considers them as “Newcomers”.

Luxinnovation, national contact point

Fit-4-NMP will implement strategic and targeted approaches to facilitate cross-border collaborations between industry and research organisations. In Luxembourg, the national innovation and research agency, Luxinnovation, will act as a contact point. “As the Luxembourg partner in this project, we will analyse the reasons why some innovative projects have not been successful within the Horizon Europe programme and make recommendations and best practices to the relevant stakeholders,” explains Ramona Caulea, European Project Administrator at Luxinnovation.

The stakeholders include the newcomers themselves, but also public research and innovation players and, on a larger scale, innovation agencies from other European countries and the European Commission.

Support and networking

“In concrete terms, we are going to organise innovation workshops in which these companies will participate, but also those already involved in the Horizon 2020 programme,” says Caroline Muller, the manager of the Luxembourg Materials & Manufacturing Cluster managed by Luxinnovation. “In this way, we will facilitate their networking.” The idea is also to use sector mappings carried out by the agency to select innovative companies that have never participated in European projects before.

It will then be possible to provide all these newcomers with training in technology transfer, proposal writing and the use of European networking portals. The ultimate aim is to provide practical support in preparing proposals to respond to Horizon Europe calls for projects.

“The Fit-4-NMP project will lead to positive changes in the whole research and innovation chain around new materials and manufacturing processes. This will for sure contribute to the development of new products and processes that are key innovations for the competitiveness of European industry and the well-being of EU citizens,” concludes Stefano Pozzi Mucelli, PhD, Senior Advisor – European R&D and Innovation Support at Luxinnovation.

The Fit-4-NMP project is scheduled to last until 31 December 2023 and has a total budget of €1.5 million.

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