The aim of the European funded project PERMIDES is to promote IT-based innovations in biopharmaceutical industries. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) of the biopharmaceutical sector which want to carry out future-oriented cooperation projects with IT SMEs can apply for several voucher types (consulting, innovation or travel vouchers) via the project PERMIDES which is coordinated by the German IT cluster CyberForum.
Two months after the start of the first round of applications, it becomes apparent that the project which is funded by the European Union in the Horizon 2020 program is of great interest to both the biopharma and the IT sector. With the first cut-off date in mid-May, a total of 46 applications with an overall volume of more than € 2.5 mio have been submitted for innovation projects, each project involving a biopharmaceutical SME and at least one IT SME. 22 of these 46 applications have been awarded for funding with an overall funding amount of more than € 1.25 mio. In this first application round, project proposals were submitted for e.g. the development of intelligently networked sensors for special therapies, innovative interfaces for medical wearables, as well as novel computer-based methods for cancer research.
“Application process was kept very slim and uncomplicated”
In addition, more than 20 consultancy vouchers have already been issued up to now for a total sum of more than € 100,000 and journeys to selected PERMIDES matchmaking events were subsidized by travel vouchers worth around € 14,000 “The great success of PERMIDES is based on the fact that the application process is very slender and uncomplicated, so that it can be mastered very well by small and medium-sized companies. Besides, the period between application and funding spans a maximum of three months”, says Tamara Högler from CyberForum e.V. and adds: “The short duration of the innovation projects, up to half a year, also ensures that the planned results are within easy reach.”
Value chain digitization in the biopharmaceutical industry
The aim of these innovation projects is to digitize the value chains in the biopharmaceutical sector with the help of IT SMEs. For each biopharma SME, up to € 60,000 can be provided for funding through innovation, consultancy and travel vouchers. Depending on the project budget, a funding rate of up to 100 percent can be achieved: This is a decisive advantage over other funding programs, especially for SMEs.
A further module of this digitization support are the consultancy vouchers providing an amount of up to € 5,000 per voucher. Biopharma SMEs, which require consultancy services through IT SMEs can apply for a voucher valued up to € 12,000 to finance the requested consultancy services.
In contrast to the above mentioned innovation vouchers, the submission and evaluation process for these consultancy vouchers is currently subject to no submission deadlines. In this way, the average time between submission and funding is around one week. “The short processing time and easy submissions are also factors that contribute to the success of PERMIDES,” says Tamara Högler.
Furthermore, a part of the project budget flows into mentoring and coaching activities for SMEs, which are offered locally by the participating clusters.
Next application round for IT and biopharma SMEs has started
Until October 10, 2017 interested companies can apply for PERMIDES vouchers. It is important that the applicants fall under the definition of the EU for small and medium-sized enterprises and want to develop an innovative IT solution for problems in the biopharmaceutical value chain. As regards consulting and innovation projects, cooperation between IT and biopharmaceutical SMEs are promoted. Companies that are planning to apply for a PERMIDES application must first register free of charge on the PERMIDES platform (www.permides.eu) and are also supported at partner search via the platform. Requests for consultancy and travel vouchers are not affected by these deadlines and can be submitted without delay.
PERMIDES is conducted by eight partners, including six leading biopharmaceutical and IT clusters from Germany, Austria and Norway. The project is coordinated by CyberForum e.V. as a representative of the Software Cluster, which is the largest IT cluster in Europe. PERMIDES has a total budget of € 4.8 million and is scheduled to run until August 31, 2018.
More Information about the PERMIDES project and funding scheme can be found at www.permides.eu.
PERMIDES has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and Innovation programme under grant Agreement No 691546.