1. How do the Calls for Proposals works?
The Calls invite Brazilian companies to create a partnership with foreign companies and present a joint project for research, development and innovation aiming to launch new products, processes or services. Once approved in the Call, projects may be funded by BNDES and other funding agencies, on the Brazilian side, and by the other countries´ national funding instruments. Therefore, the Calls give the approved projects the opportunity to be jointly funded by both sides of the partnership.
2. Who can participate?
Any Brazilian company that is willing to start a joint project for research, development and innovation in partnership with Israeli, French or German companies.
3. Is it possible to present a project between just an enterprise from one country and a research institute from the other? And between two research institutes?
No. There must be at least one participating enterprise from each country. Research institutes and other companies can participate in the cooperation project as partners or subcontractors, respecting each country’s funding rule.
4. Is it possible to have a project with more than one company from the same country?
Yes. As long as there is at least one company from each country participating in the project, other companies may be involved as partners or subcontractors on the cooperation project, respecting each country’s funding rule.
5. How does the project evaluation work? Who evaluates them?
On the Brazilian side, the project evaluation is carried out by a Steering Committee composed of representatives of the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade of Brazil (MDIC) the National Development Bank (BNDES) and/or the Brazilian Company for Industrial Research and Innovation (EMBRAPII) depending on the kind of financial support sought by the companies.
The projects are evaluated by Steering Committee as they are presented, along the length of calls. If approved, they are directed to fostering agencies to analyze the funding.
6. How does the funding for Brazilian companies work? And for foreign companies?
Proposals approved by the Brazilian Steering Committee are sent to national funding agencies to be framed in any of its credit lines directed to innovation. In the case of BNDES, these lines would probably be PSI Innovation (http://www.bndes.gov.br/SiteBNDES/bndes/bndes_pt/Institucional/Apoio_Financeiro/Programas_e_Fundos/Psi/psi_inovacao.html) for larger companies and MSME Innovative for micro, small and medium enterprises(http://www.bndes.gov.br/mpmeinovadora). Please note that both of these lines are credit (refundable). Approved projects on the merit of innovation by the Committee must submit to credit analysis of financial institutions for the grant of funding. If the Committee consider other financing lines more appropriate to the nature of the proposal, it is possible that any of the other BNDES existing lines will be indicated.
Micro and small Brazilian companies can also count on the support of the Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Enterprises (Sebrae) for hiring technical services supported by Sebraetec Program.
If the project is relevant to lines of action and operational guidelines of the Brazilian Company for Industrial Research and Innovation (Embrapii), and there is interest from the Brazilian partner in developing it in partnership with an Embrapii Unit, Embrapii can grant subvention (non-refundable) for 1/3 of the cost of the project, and another third would be invested by Embrapii Unit. Thus, it is for the company to bear one third of the project cost, necessarily with financial resources. This 1/3 of the company may, however, be financed by BNDES credit. More information at: www.embrapii.org.br
Funding to foreign companies is the responsibility of partner countries in each Call and is dependent on the funding mechanisms, laws and regulations of each country.
In Israel, the projects are analyzed and financed by MATIMOP (Israeli Industry Center for R&D) attached to the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Economy. More information at: http://www.matimop.org.il/.
In France, a committee led by the Directorate General for Enterprise (DGE) of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Digital Sector (MEIN) evaluates the project and sends them to the Bpifrance, the French investment bank, for funding. More information at: http://www.entreprises.gouv.fr/ and http://www.bpifrance.fr/.
In Germany, the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) reviews and funds projects through the Innovation Center Program for Small and Medium Enterprises (ZIM Program). More information at: www.zim-bmwi.de/kooperationsprojekte and http://www.aif-projekt-gmbh.de/home.html.
7. Can foreign companies be funded by the Brazilian side? And Brazilian companies be funded be the foreign side?
No. Brazilian funding agencies fund the Brazilian part of the approved projects and foreign agencies fund the foreign part.
8. Which countries have open Calls with Brazil and what are the deadlines for the submission of projects?
9. In which sectors projects can be submitted?
Israel: open to all sectors
Germany: open to all sectors
10. What are the minimum requirements to present a project?
11. What should I do if I don’t already have a Brazilian partner?
MDIC, aiming to support Brazilian companies search for partners to develop a project, has launched the International Cooperation on Innovation Portal. In it, Israeli, French and German companies can sign up and search for Brazilian companies by area of expertise, and find all the relevant documents to submit a cooperation proposal.
12. Who will have access to the information in the project submission forms?
The information provided in cooperation forms will be accessed only by the institutions of the Steering Committee. The financial data provided in Appendix 1 of the forms will only be accessed by financial institutions of the Committee.
13. What's EMBRAPII's model of operation?
The EMBRAPII operates through cooperation with scientific and technological research institutions, public or private, focusing on the business demands and target the risk-sharing in the pre-competitive stage of innovation. By sharing the risk of projects with the private sector, EMBRAPII aims to stimulate the industrial sector to innovate more and more technology-intensive to thereby enhance the competitive strength of companies both domestically and on the international market.
In order to contribute to this intensification of the industry innovator effort in the country, EMBRAPII takes a specially formulated role model. The model is based on the formation of a network of scientific and technological institutions EMBRAPII Units called or EMBRAPII Poles IF, each with a clear focus on a technological area of competence.
Institutional innovation is in the fact that the negotiation of the project be carried out directly between the interested company and the unit or EMBRAPII Pole. Accredited units receive the funds in advance for the implementation of RD&I projects established in partnership with the industrial sector. It is up to EMBRAPII to do the 'expost' monitoring and evaluationof the project. There are international references that demonstrate the great potential of this model, which was implemented in countries with high innovation rates and encourage research institutions to cooperate with companies. Examples of organizations that operate similarly to EMBRAPII are Fraunhofer in Germany, the Carnot Institute in France, the TE Centres in Finland, the Catapult in the UK, among others.
It is expected that companies are attracted by the strong base of existing knowledge in accredited institutions and their capacity to generate technological solutions, leveraged by operational efficiency mechanisms and costs and risk sharing introduced by EMBRAPII.
To ensure the companies' commitment to the development of the projects, their financial participation was made mandatory, either with its own funds, with funds obtained through reimbursable financing or mandatory resources (ANP, ANEEL, Law of Informatics, among others). The requirement that the company directly supply funds to the project is one of the axes of the EMBRAPII operating model. It will only make the company has a direct interest in the project development and confidence in the ability of the research institution run it. This dual commitment, of the company with the design and the research institution with the range of results is critical to the success of the model.
The model presents other key factors to encourage companies to undertake RD&I activities. One is the fact that each EMBRAPII unit or EMBRAPII Pole IF should establish a specific technological focus, to allow further development and specialization. Such focus is called area of competence. Its definition should consider the service capacity of the business to meet demands related to the resolution of technological problems, usually with a high degree of expertise.
Added to this, the sharing model, which enables industrial companies to reduce risk and cost in project development . For companies that do not have enough resources to develop an innovation project in isolation, this model offers an even more valuable opportunity.
It is up to accredited Units /Poles the prospecting and negotiation of RD&I projects with companies in the industrial sector, regarding the guidelines and general rules established by EMBRAPII. On the other hand, EMBRAPII should anticipate parcels of agreed resources with its Units for contracted projects, ensuring their implementation in accordance with the conditions negotiated with companies.
All projects supported under the system shall provide EMBRAPII counterparts previously established by EMBRAPII units and partner companies. For all the projects executed in each unit must be in compliance with the general rule on the proportion of funds to be invested:
All projects supported under the system shall provide EMBRAPII counterparts previously established by EMBRAPII units and partner companies (financial contribution). For all the projects implemented in each EU should be subject to the following resource composition rule: the provision for the EMBRAPII contribution will be at most equal to 1/3 of the total; the consideration for the partner companies, at least 1/3 of the total value (financial); and, the remaining amount shall be the counterpart of the accredited institution.
Therefore, all EMBRAPII projects should be co-funded by at least one counterpart. In projects where the resources provided by the companies arise from legal obligations of investment in R&D, the company's share will be at least 50% of the project value. In all other cases, the company's participation can not be less than 10% of the project value. Anyway, the company's participation in the project should always be with own resources and / or obtained through reimbursable financing. The funds released will occur in installments, depending on the implementation capacity of the phases of the projects.
The percentage of contribution of the companies in each project will be defined in negotiations with the EU, based on criteria such as: risk involved in its development; technological challenge; and potential application of the technology.
14. What should I do if search partnership with an EMBRAPII unit?
The company that seeks to cooperate within the framework of international cooperation EMBRAPII / MIDC must first identify a EMBRAPII Unit and / or EMBRAPII Poles IF competence area of interest and to contact the designated person as the focal point to present the proposal of cooperation to the unit.
It will be up to the Unit or the Poles to decide on the suitability and institutional interest in participating in the RD&I project presented by foreign and Brazilian parties in the context of international programs.
It is noteworthy that there is no provision of extra financial transfers by the EMBRAPII to units for expenditure on international partnerships entered into under this program. However, interested companies can rely on the research capacity already installed, with the expertise of highly skilled workforce and all non-financial contribution of the Units and Polos EMBRAPII, which can facilitate and significantly speed up project implementation.
The expectation is that companies and units can act in a complementary manner, further reinforcing the existing knowledge base in accredited institutions, generating technological solutions, leveraged by operational efficiency mechanisms and cost-sharing introduced by EMBRAPII model.
Within this joint program with the ministry, the financing of approved projects will be with BNDES resources, agencies and incentive mechanisms and funding for each partner country, according to its laws, regulations and national regulations.