The Region of Murcia launches the ‘Info Sherpa’ service to help companies participate and lead European R&D&I projects

It uses a pioneering methodology to connect companies, research centres and universities to improve access to international calls under the Horizon Europe Programme

The regional ministry of Economy, Finance and Business, through the Regional development Agency, Instituto de Fomento (INFO), has launched a new service to help regional companies lead and participate in European R& D&I projects.

Info Sherpa”connects companies with research centers and universities in the Region through the creation of working groups, in order to improve access to international calls and increase their competitiveness.

The director of the Info, Joaquín Gómez, inaugurated this morning the first workshop to present the initiative, where he indicated that “we are at a key moment that offers a great opportunity to the regional innovative ecosystem, since in the coming months numerous calls are opening within the Horizon Europe Programme, which has a funding of about 100.000 million euros for the period 2021-2027. A budget dedicated to projects addressing today’s main challenges in which regional companies, universities and research centres have a lot to contribute,” he added.

The programme has been designed together with the regional productive fabric, which has identified its needs to participate in calls for European R & D & I grants. In this way, a pioneering methodology has been developed allowing to create connections step by step between different companies around topics of common relevance and specific calls.

‘Info Sherpa’ “is an on-demand service since it has been designed by and for companies, within a process that beyond listening, it has been developed through authentic co-creation with them, because our goal is to offer help that exactly fits the demands and business priorities,” Gomez said.

To optimise the effectiveness of the service, three steps are followed. First, Info analyses and identifies the best opportunities and calls in which regional sectors are most competitive; information is then collected on the needs of companies and research centres in relation to these topics; and thirdly, advanced working groups are organised where participants have a greater chance of success.

The regional government “wants to open a new door to Europe for companies, startups and organisations in the Region, and with this new service they will be able to submit strong applications that will help them access very interesting funding for their R & D & I projects and, with it, significantly improve their competitiveness”, concluded the director of the Info.

Europe’s largest budget

Horizon Europe is the framework programme for research and innovation (R & I) of the European Union (EU) for the period 2021-2027. This is the key instrument for implementing EU R & D & I policies. The main objective is to achieve a scientific, technological, economic and social impact by strengthening its scientific and technological bases and promoting the competitiveness of all member states.

With a budget of EUR 95.517 million for this seven-year period, Horizon Europe is the framework programme with the largest budget to date, with the potential to generate significant benefits. It is estimated that Horizon Europe will create up to 320.000 new highly skilled jobs by 2040 and consolidate Europe’s leadership in Research and Innovation. The programme is designed with an investment mindset rather than an exclusively financing instrument and has planning to help the EU make the transition to a prosperous and sustainable future.

The updated data up to the first half of the year 2023 indicate that 77 entities from the regional innovative ecosystem have obtained under the European Union’s R & D & I Framework Programme called Horizon Europe (2021-2027), aid exceeding EUR 24 million.

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