Óscar Salazar: There is a growing need to include business plans in European proposals

Interview with Óscar Salazar Torres, Doctor in Molecular Biology and executive MBA, with more than 15 years of experience in basic research and development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. He is currently Technical Manager in the European Projects unit of Euro-Funding.

If a company is planning to seek European funding for a project, how can you recognize the program that best fits your business activity and strategy?

In principle it is important to know the state of development of the project, whether it is in basic research, applied research, development or near-market innovation activities. To do this, it is essential to position the technology on the TRL where 1 is idea and 10 is market arrival. The European Framework Programme has specific funding calls for all stages of development of a product or technology.

What are the keys within the process of obtaining the to have a real chance of success?

Firstly, to have a clearly new and innovative technological approach disruptive to current alternatives, with added value at the level of innovation. Secondly, to be very clear about the development roadmap until its implementation in a final environment, also considering the regulations European. We must also be clear about all the agents who are going to participate in the value chain of the product, and a market characterization with its correspondingly credible approach to the business plan. All this together with a good implementation, a good multidisciplinary team or consortium and The keys to success are a complementary approach and a well-dimensioned budget. Data additional environmental, social, or gender impacts are definitely a plus.

What will be the main differences between the Horizon 2020 framework programme ending this year and Horizon Europe (2021-2027) and the main challenges of this new framework programme?

The big difference is a marked commitment to innovation. All projects must have a clear development roadmap so that research results can be translated into products and technologies that end up on the market and provide solutions to citizens. Now the participation of industries and SMEs in the consortia is going to be promoted much more, and it is increasingly necessary to include approaches to business plans in the proposals.
Likewise, the range of financing for companies is diversifying with the possibility of financing for SMEs through equity funds. Finally, and not least In the current climate change alert environment, all countries have to be aware of the The projects financed must have a corresponding contribution to the measure as much as possible.

If the company wishes to form a consortium to develop a project in collaboration between several European companies, how can I get partners to form a European consortium?

The European Commission has a service available to find partners for submit proposals to the Horizon 2020 calls. The system is accessible through the Participant’s Portal and is complementary to those already The existing information is provided by the networks of national contact points for the various topics. At present, the system already has the information of the organisations participating in funded projects, coming from the databases of the European Commission. The profile shows the main data of the organisation, the European Union projects in which it participates or has participated, collaborations with other entities and key words linked to the projects, indicating their areas of expertise.

Within the European Commission’s ecosystem, what would you say are the key communication channels, events and partnerships for being informed?

The main tool is the Participant’s Portal, where you are informed in real time about all the news and opening of calls. Also, in the newsroom section you can find all the information related to the call for events and information days.

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