Funding or Finance Opportunity

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Up2Circ First Open Call

Full name of the EU funded project
Boosting the uptake of circular business model, product and process innovation
Grant agreement number
101091367
Topic
HORIZON-CL4-2022-RESILIENCE-01-26 - 'Innovate to transform' support for SME's sustainability transition (CSA)

Submission & evaluation process

Application process

The application process is one-stage with an online application form accessible through the project website, asking for a description of objectives and value for your business, a detailed work plan and your team description, impacts expected and a thorough estimation of costs. Applicants are also asked to complete a simple ethics self-assessment that supports the thinking and planning around potential ethical issues in your project.

Evaluation process

The evaluation process is composed of two phases:

1) Eligibility check

The eligibility check is carried out by Up2Circ consortium partners and includes the following criteria:

  1. SME status: The applicant must qualify as a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) according to the European Commission's definition.
  2. Geographical eligibility: Applicants must be based in a European Union (EU) Member State.
  3. Circularity assessment: Applicants must have completed the circularity assessment using the Up2Circ Circularity Assessment Tool. For companies located outside the Up2Circ partner regions, the circularity assessment is completed online. For companies located in Up2Circ partner regions, the circularity assessment may also be completed offline with support of Up2Circ team.
  4. Enhanced knowledge and expertise in circular economy: Applicants must have actively participated in the Up2Circ Academy online learning programme. Active involvement is defined as having completed a minimum of 50% of the Up2Circ Academy e-learning modules.
  5. Timely submission: The application must be submitted before the specified deadline.
  6. Single applicant: Applications must be submitted by a single applicant.
  7. Application completeness: The application must be complete, including all required documentation and information.
  8. Language requirement: The application must be completed in English.

2) Independent evaluation 

Eligible applications will be assessed by three evaluators independent from the organisations involved in the Up2Circ consortium and from any applicant. The selected evaluators sign a declaration of confidentiality concerning the contents of the proposals they read, and they also confirm the absence of any conflict of interest.

Each proposal will be evaluated against the following three evaluation criteria:

Concept: Does the project demonstrate a clear alignment with the objectives of the Up2Circ?

  1. Relevance: Are the objectives of the project clearly defined and achievable within the scope of the Up2Circ? Is the description of the problem sufficiently detailed and understandable? Does the project address the transition of the company towards a circular economy, considering the actions taken to date? Are the envisaged measures relevant and meaningful for the circular transition within the context of the company's business model?
  2. Novelty: To what extent does the proposed project introduce new value to the company, regardless of its novelty at a European level? How does the project demonstrate the adoption of advanced technologies and/or social innovation to enable circularity within the company's operations?

Feasibility: Do you have all the necessary resources and capabilities to execute the project proposition?

  1. Workplan: Does the provided work plan outline a clear and achievable timeline with monthly activities, key milestones, and deliverables? Are the planned activities relevant for addressing the stated problem and achieving the project's objectives?
  2. Team and network: How does the composition of the team and network demonstrate relevant expertise and resources to achieve the project objectives? Is collaborative execution of core project tasks and deliverables by the internal staff of the applicant and subcontractors ensured if subcontracting is involved? How does the applicant plan to address any expertise gaps within the current team?
  3. Only for large scale projects: Risk analysis: Are the foreseen technical and business risks relevant, considering the scale of the project, and are the proposed mitigation actions appropriate?

Impact: Has the funding the potential to significantly contribute to enhancing the sustainability of your business?

  1. Environmental and social impact: Have the potential environmental and social impacts been quantified and justified by sound Key Performance Indicators KPI(s)2 related to sustainability? Are the calculations of the baseline and target value(s) of the KPI(s) clear and realistic?
  2. Business and broader impact: What is the expected economic impact of the project for the applicant's company? To what extent is the project expected to influence the relevant industrial sector? What is the anticipated impact, of the project on the region where it will be implemented, and what is its potential for replication?

The evaluators will score each criterion on a scale from 0 to 5 (half point scores may be given):

0 = The proposal fails to address the criteria, or it cannot be assessed due to missing or incomplete information.

1 = Poor – The criterion is inadequately addressed or there are serious inherent weaknesses.

2 = Fair – The proposal broadly addresses the criterion, but there are significant weaknesses.

3 = Good – The proposal addresses the criterion well but there are a certain number of shortcomings.

4 = Very good – There is a small number of shortcomings but overall, the proposal addresses the criterion very well.

5 = Excellent – The proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion with minor or no shortcomings

The maximum overall score is 15. The standard threshold for individual criteria is 3, and the standard overall threshold, applying to the sum of the three individual scores, is 10. The average of the 3 scores and total will be calculated for each proposal. In order to rank applications with same scores, priority will be given to applications that achieve higher scores in the Impact criterion. Additionally, second priority will be assigned to projects with a higher ranking in terms of novelty, while third priority will be given to projects based on the time of submission of the proposal. Proposals failing to achieve the threshold score per individual criteria and the overall threshold will be rejected.

The evaluation results will be available by September 6th, 2024. All applicants will be informed about the evaluation results by email, including the Evaluation Summary Report.

Task description

In its first open call, Up2Circ Accelerator will support up to 47 projects to validate the adoption of circular business models and implement concrete actions towards circular products, processes and services.

Small scale projects: Feasibility studies

Funding: small scale projects of up to €15.000

Expected number of funded small scale projects: 32

Project scope: In-depth validation of technical, economic and social aspects of adoption of circular business models, considering desirability, feasibility, viability and environmental aspects. Projects should focus on one or several circular business models such as circular supply chain, sharing platforms, product as a service, product life extension, recovery and recycling.

Expected outcome: feasibility study including a business plan

Project duration: 6 months

Large scale projects: Piloting and demonstration

Funding: large scale projects of up to €50.000

Expected number of funded large scale projects: 15

Project scope: Pilot and demonstration activities to implement concrete transition measures towards circularity through the implementation of certain technologies, a shift to circular product design, introduction of new products, processes and services. Projects should focus on prototyping, pilot testing, implementation of new business processes, solutions and systems.

Expected outcome: validated prototype

Project duration: 12 months

General Information

Call Type
EU Horizon Europe
Eligible Country/ies
EU + Horizon Europe associated countries
Call Identifier (if any)
HORIZON-CL4-2022-RESILIENCE-01-26
Expected Outcome or Impact
Small scale projects: Feasibility studies

Funding: small scale projects of up to €15.000
Expected number of funded small scale projects: 32
Project scope: In-depth validation of technical, economic and social aspects of adoption of circular business models, considering desirability, feasibility, viability and environmental aspects. Projects should focus on one or several circular business models such as circular supply chain, sharing platforms, product as a service, product life extension, recovery and recycling.

Expected outcome: feasibility study including a business plan
Project duration: 6 months



Large scale projects: Piloting and demonstration

Funding: large scale projects of up to €50.000
Expected number of funded large scale projects: 15

Project scope: Pilot and demonstration activities to implement concrete transition measures towards circularity through the implementation of certain technologies, a shift to circular product design, introduction of new products, processes and services. Projects should focus on prototyping, pilot testing, implementation of new business processes, solutions and systems.

Expected outcome: validated prototype
Project duration: 12 months
Target Groups
Research Institutes, Academia, Small- and Medium Enterprises, Industry, Individuals, Non-government organisations, Start-Ups
Submission Deadlines
Single fixed deadline
(Next) Submission Deadline
31 May 2024
Type of Funding Instrument
Individual Support
Overall budget for all projects [EURO]
1.230.000€

Author Info

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Patric Gerö

Member since 2 years ago
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