Smart Pilots (Interreg Europe) survey: improving policies for shared pilot facilities

What is the aim of the SmartPilots Survey?
The survey aims to collect information for thorough analysis of availability and use of funding mechanisms for USERS of Shared Pilot Facilities for the bio-economy.

The survey is aimed at organizations that:
- Have used the services of shared pilot facilities in the past
- Never used SPF services in the past (to find out why not…)
You can find the survey via this link, it will be available until February 20th, 2017. We invite all users, new-users and non-users to complete the survey and/or to attend the Interregional Seminar 16th of March.

The results of this survey will be used to:
- improve funding mechanisms for users of shared pilot facilities
- better align funding mechanisms to the actual needs of users of shared pilot facilities
The results of this survey will be discussed during the Interregional Seminar on Indirect Support for Shared Pilot Facilities, to be held at the Centre for Process Innovation on March 16th, 2017.

What is SmartPilots?

SmartPilots: Improving policies in support of shared pilot facilities to increase their impact on the Key Enabling Technology Industrial Biotech and the European Bioeconomy

Shared pilot facilities are open access test sites that bring bioeconomy innovations from the laboratory into industrial practice. They are open to all companies and research institutes, and can thus be seen as shared investments in innovation equipment. They have proven to be successful in helping innovators, especially SMEs, to bridge the so called Valley of Death, i.e. the innovation phase between laboratory and successful market introduction that comes with a high technological and financial risk. Typically, initial funding from governments is available to build a Shared Pilot Facility, but it is a challenge to safeguard their long-term existence, especially since bioeconomy is relatively new and dedicated policies are currently lacking in many regions.

SmartPilots aims to improve regional policies to provide support in a cost-effective and impact oriented manner. This will be done by:
• Optimizing direct support for shared pilot facilities
• Optimizing indirect support i.e. direct support for users of shared pilot facilities
• Facilitating interregional cooperation regarding Shared Pilot Facilities.

Phase 1 (2016-2018): The project partners, regions that locate a SPF or have a high interest and SPFs, each make a thorough regional analysis of availability and use of funding mechanisms for SPF and their users (through study visits and questionnaires to relevant stakeholders). During three interregional seminars, the results of these regional analyses will be compared and discussed and best-practices will be exchanged. The findings of the seminars will be summarized in Regional Factsheets, used to draw up regional action plans.
Phase 2 (2018-2020): Regional implementation of the action plans and monitoring of the results of the implementation.

The Shared Pilot Facilities and regions involved are Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (lead partner) and the department of Economy, Science and Innovation from Flanders (Belgium), Centre for Process Innovation from Tees Valley (UK), VTT from Helsinki Uusimaa (Finland), Bioprocess Pilot Facility and Provincie Zuid-Holland (the Netherlands), Innovhub SSI from Lombardy (Italy), and ARD (France) and CBP Fraunhofer (Germany) as Case Studies.