Fast2Fibre won a €2.3m grant for phase 2 Innovation Programme in November 2016. Fast2Fibre was 1 of only 4 UK companies to win this level of funding in November 2016.
Horizon 2020 is the largest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020). The goal of the programme is to ensure that Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors in creating innovation. Horizon 2020 offers generous grants in most areas of science and technology aimed for civilian use.
The category F2F won the Horizon 2020 grant from was:
Industrial leadership (approx. EUR 17 billion). The objective is to make Europe more attractive for investment in research and innovation, create jobs and growth, and attract more private and strategic investments to research and innovation. Funding is directed primarily to so-called Key Enabling Technologies including information and communication technologies (ICT), nanotechnologies, advanced materials, advanced manufacturing and processing, biotechnology and space technologies.
F2F application was for Phase 2 Innovation Project (Concept to market maturity, 1-2 years, €0.5–2.5 million)
Phase 2 is the sweet spot of the SME Instrument. Here the company will further develop its proposal through innovation activities (e.g. demonstration, miniaturisation, validation), and will draft a more developed business plan (around 30 pages). Here it´s important to show that you have a proven business model by explaining in detail the unique selling point of your concept, providing information on commercial competence (competitors and limitations of the project and how you will overcome them), and providing a detailed and realistic explanation of how will you organise your team, budget and time.
Tom Fitzherbert CEO of Fast2Fibre said:
“We are very excited by being awarded the €2.3m Horizon 2020 grant as this will enable our clients to deliver a faster fibre optic rollout out, at reduced costs, increased productivity and with a low carbon footprint against many traditional methods.”
The Horizon 2020 announced:
“The SME Instrument provides funding and support for innovative SMEs to help them grow and expand their activities into other countries – in Europe and beyond. Since its launch in 2014, 66 UK SMEs such as Fast2Fibre have received funding under the phase 2 of the SME instrument, second only to Spain with 100 SMEs.”