Six months after the start of the call for applications, the project consortium was able to present a positive picture: the PERMIDES project, which is funded by the European Union under the Framework Programme Horizon 2020, has aroused great interest in both the biopharmaceutical and IT sector. By the deadline in mid-October in total 120 applications for innovative projects, each involving one biopharma SME and at least one IT SME had been received with a total requested funding amount of EUR 6.5 m. At the same time, consultancy vouchers totaling approximately EUR 215.000 and travel vouchers for selected matchmaking events with a total value of almost EUR 40.000 had been issued. After the projects of the first round have already been evaluated and funded, the evaluation of the last submissions is now starting.
PERMIDES aims to increase the innovation capability of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the biopharma sector by means of innovation projects conducted in partnership with IT companies. These innovation projects have the objective of digitizing the value chains in the biopharma sector with the aid of IT SMEs. Funding of up to EUR 60,000 is available for each biopharma SME. Depending on the project budget, this can mean subsidies of up to 100% are granted, and for SMEs in particular this is seen as a decisive advantage over other funding schemes.
Subsidized consultancy as a stimulus
An additional element are consultancy vouchers for up to EUR 5,000 each. Biopharma SMEs requiring consulting services from IT SMEs can apply for subsidies of up to EUR 12,000 for various consulting services. Unlike the abovementioned innovation vouchers, the application and assessment process for these vouchers is continuous. Consultancy Voucher applications can be submitted anytime until November 15th 2017. On average, approval of a grant is given approximately one week following receipt of the application. This short processing period and the straightforward application procedure are further factors in the overall success of PERMIDES. As before, part of the project budget also goes towards mentoring and coaching activities offered to SMEs by the participating clusters.