About EDI

What is EDI?

The European Data Incubator (EDI) is an Innovation Action project co-funded by the European Union. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 779790. Furthermore, EDI is part of the Big Data Value PPP within a group of projects known as the Big Data Value PPP projects.

The objective of EDI is to facilitate the uptake of Big Data tools whilst increasing the technical and business skills of the selected start-ups/SMEs. The final aim is to give place to sustainable business incubation around Big Data.

How can EDI help me?

EDI can help you through clearly defined set of free technical and business services to develop a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and reach commercial and/or investment agreements with data providers, corporates and/or private investors. Check them out at our website.

Is there any support for applicants without a selected idea?

No. Only the selected beneficiaries will be benefiting from EDI services.

What are the services like for the selected projects?

EDI will offer different services at each phase. Check section 8 ‘Services by EDI of the Guidelines for Applicants’ for further information.

So, are you financing my initiative?

Your project idea could be financed if you are selected in any of the EDI calls. Conditions are found in the Guidelines for Applicants. A selected project could be funded up to €100k.

How does EDI work?

EDI  is divided in phases. After the open call for proposals, the selected teams will join the programme comprising 3-phases of incubation/acceleration:

  • EXPLORE – up to 50 projects will enter this phase.
  • EXPERIMENT – the best 17 projects from EXPLORE will participate in this phase.
  • EVOLVE – up to 7 start-ups/SMEs will access this last step.
What kind of projects are you looking for?

We are looking for commercial products and/or services to sort out major business challenges in a variety of domains and making use of a set of data assets provided by EDI data. Think about your business model as well as the technical stuff. The financial sustainability of what you propose is as important as the technology.

Where does the funding come from?

Funding is given by the EDI consortium under a Sub-Grantee Agreement signed by the selected proposers, EDI consortium and the corresponding Data Provider. The funds are given by the European Commission (Horizon 2020 Framework Programme), which uses EDI incubator as intermediary.

What if I secure funds from other national or regional authorities for the same project?
The funds of the project come from the H2020 Programme. This means its regulation will apply to the funds. If you get additional public funding from other entities it will be your responsibility to assure the compatibleness of the different sources of funding.

Besides this, remember, double funding with Data Pitch is not allowed.

How does the funding mechanism work?

The aid provided is relying on a cascade-funding scheme involving H2020 funds. The scheme is based on a Grant Agreement signed by the European Commission and the European Data Incubator Consortium partners. The Consortium partners as such receive the H2020 funds which are then transferred to the winners of our open calls based on the rules and regulations explained in the Guidelines for Applicants available at our website. This means that funds that will be received by the call winners are H2020 funds.

Due to BREXIT, is there any effect for UK companies to be able to apply to EDI?

As long as the Brexit has not been formalised, it is business as usual for H2020 projects. We don’t know exactly what will happen afterwards – it is not 100% guaranteed that the EU funding will automatically continue. We will let you know when the line to take has been decided.


How to Participate

Who is eligible in the calls?

The accepted applicants for EDI open calls are start-ups in the form of SMEs or group of individuals (that is, a start-up may be legally incorporated or not):

  • SME: Individual projects (1 SME) of an SME/start-up legally established in an eligible country as described below.
  • Group of individuals: When there is not a constituted SME, the applicants could be a group between 2 to 4 individuals legally established in an eligible country (as described below) and with a written commitment to have set up a legally registered SME if reaching “Experiment” phase.

A SME will be considered as such if accomplishing with the Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC and the SME user guide. As a summary, the criteria which define a SME are:

  • Headcount in Annual Work Unit (AWU) less than 250.
  • Annual turnover less or equal to €50 million or annual balance sheet total, less or equal to €43 million.

Only applicants legally established, and working, in the case of the individuals, in any of the following countries will be eligible:

How do I apply?

The F6S platform is the entry point for all proposals at https://www.f6s.com/edincubator. Submissions received by any other channel will be automatically discarded.

Remember to read the Guidelines for Applicants to get all the information you need to apply successfully. 

How should the "Half and Half" challenges (track 2) be addressed?

At least two datasets must be used: one dataset from EDI Data Catalogue, and one external dataset. Other datasets (from EDI or outside) can be added on top of that.


Can I apply to ”Free choice” challenges (track 3 ) using my own data or open source data?

No, it is not possible. To apply to track 3, to bring a Data Provider providing data is a requirement. The Data Provider could be any legal entity (from SMEs to corporates) sharing data to solve a business challenge. The Data Provider will confirm its commitment at proposal stage by filling a form that is linked to the startup application in F6S.

Should I use the datasets at proposal stage?

At proposal stage, the datasets are just a sample to help you to define your proposal and explain how you will solve the challenge. If selected, you will be provided with a full dataset that you will have to work with to solve the challenge.

Can I submit several projects?

Only one proposal will be accepted for funding per SME or team of individuals.

Given the fact this call is a competitive one, and the teams will focus in a specific challenge or project, only one proposal per SME or team will be evaluated.

In the case of a multi-submission by a SME or team, only the last one received (timestamp of the system) will enter into our evaluation process, being the rest declared as non-eligible.

If the last submitted proposal is declared then not-eligible or fails the thresholds of the evaluation, the rest of proposals will not be considered for evaluation in any case.

In the case of individuals:

  • The same individuals forming a team will be selected for funding only once, as in the case of SMEs.
  • Only the last submitted proposal by the same individuals forming a team will be evaluated, as in the case of SMEs.
  • If an individual is taking part in several teams:
    • The members of the other teams will be informed about the participation of an individual in multiple teams.
    • The individuals participating in multiple teams will be requested to select only one proposal and will be removed from the others. This may affect the eligibility condition of the proposal, if the number of individuals goes under 2.
Can I submit the same proposal to data pitch?

The basic information about a proposal (summary and participants) will be shared with the H2020-ICT DATA PITCH incubator project.

Double funding is not acceptable. A team can submit to both programs but only be selected and supported by DATA PITCH or by EDI. Once a proposal is firstly funded by DATA PITCH or EDI, the team will be withdrawn from the other accelerator.

What’s the deadline for the Open Call 3 for Startups?

17 June 2020 at 12.00 (noon) CEST. There will not be deadline extensions unless a major problem, caused by EDI and not by the proposers, makes the system unavailable.

Are you sharing any information about my proposal?

Yes. A summary of the proposals and the participants’ information will be shared with the EC and with the DATA PITCH project. Moreover, we will publish an Open Dataset with the beneficiaries of our open call including their basic information data and funding received in our project website. This dataset will be made available at FIWARE Lab. At the same time, we will populate the wiki-sourced database of Crunchbase to facilitate access to the data of our start-ups and the incubator as such in one of the reference portals in the start-up ecosystem.

All the information that will be made public is clearly indicated in the official documentation of the call. Unless you want you, no technical insights will be published anywhere.

When filling up the application, should I fill all the fields? i.e. questions about product, market research etc.

It is very important to anticipate in the proposal the business potential of your idea with estimations for all the requested fields. You should focus on the business potential of your creation for EDI.

Which type of information should I include in the market section?

Information of the market/potential market of your company

Can I apply to the 3rd call if I was not selected in the 1st or 2ndCall?

Yes, you can try again in the next calls. The 3rd call opened on 17 March 2020 with a similar schedule (call opening in spring and closure before summer).

What type of challenge will I solve?

EDI offers you 3 different ways of participation:

  • READY-MADE (Track 1 – Domain specific): You pick one of the challenges already defined by the EDI data providers according to their needs. Each of these challenges have associated datasets (contained in the EDI Data Catalogue) that must be used to solve the challenge.
  • HALF AND HALF (Track 2 – Data combination): there is no predefined challenge to be sorted out, so you need to propose one. It is compulsory to use one dataset from the EDI Data Catalogue and one external dataset.
  • FREE CHOICE (Track 3 – Bring your own data provider): bring your own data provider with specific datasets and propose a challenge.
Read the Guidelines for Applicants for further details on the requirements for each track.
What happens if you do not upload the company figures Excel file in the application form (Question 59)?

This information is mandatory.

The Company Figures must be uploaded in the format available in following excel file: bit.ly/2u7FNxE (actual until 2018; estimations from 2019). If the file is empty or incomplete your proposal will be automatically discarded.

It is highly advisable to add estimations for your company development in the coming years, do not leave blank the future figures.

In the case of Groups of individuals, they should just provide their estimation for the next 3 years.

How does a good team look like?

Please note that to be eligible, founder commitment is required. Therefore, the first team member to be listed must be a founder.

Please make sure to include both technical and business profiles in your team to have a balanced and capable team.

Filling in Team Members #1 and #2 is mandatory. Filling in Team Members #3 and #4 is highly advisable.

What is the Automatic Sorting assessment?

As indicated in the Guidelines for Applicants, as part of the EDI evaluation process, stated in Article 6.1.3: “Proposals not passing the automatic sorting will be sent a rejection letter indicating that the proposal does not reach the internal traction indicators needed for accessing the incubator”. 

The concrete indicators have been made public after the third open call for proposals  that closed in June 2020, as agreed by the consortium and the European Commission through Grant Agreement no. 779790. Through the Automatic Sorting assessment, the evaluation process automatically sorts the proposals according to a set of indicators monitoring their previous traction and data about the proposal, used as warnings, to automatically discard proposals, which do not have the structure or enough resources to commit with the proposal. These indicators are key issues which investors verify before an investment, as a go/no-go trigger (also known as red flags).

The applied red flags have been made different for early stage projects (start-ups and SMEs with less than 3 years) than established (SMEs over or 3 years old):

  • Early stage red flags: (1) Dedication of founder(s) to the project; (2) Balanced team composition (technical and  business profiles); (3) claiming there are no competitors; (4) income projections per employee.
  • Established red flags: all the above plus (5) lack of availability of a marketing plan (6) no previous sales or losses during the last periods; (7) founders ownership (%) of the company; (8) relation between income Vs. public-funds.

Selected Participants

When are we going to be paid?

During the negotiation phase a payment calendar will be included in the Sub-Grantee Agreement that will be signed by the selected teams, the EDI coordinator and the corresponding Data Provider. As a general rule there will be no pre-financing, but payments will be divided through milestones across the different phases.

Do I have to keep track of my expenses for justifying the costs?
Not for this project. Payments are a flat rate, which are released if some conditions are met (check the guidelines). Some examples:

  • For the EXPLORE phase all teams in the Datathon event will be awarded with €5,000.
  • Payment linked to both EXPERIMENT and EVOLVE phases depend on the accomplishment of the KPIs defined.

If you spend more or less is your business.  So administrative speaking, this is easy.

Is subcontracting allowed?

No. The general rule applicable to EDI project is that beneficiaries must have the appropriate resources to implement the full set of tasks needed within the project. This means it is not allowed to subcontract any part of the project. Examples (not restricted to) of subcontracting are, paying an external developer not in the company or being part of the team of individuals to develop certain parts, paying a research centre or foundation to execute technical tasks, etc. Employees of a company are never considered subcontractors but part of the company itself.

Is there any restriction for the SW to be used for the solution integration?

There are not SW restrictions. The selected projects will have access to a free cloud (Engineering’s fiware lab) with open source tools available. Anyway, this is optional (not obligatory).

Is it allowed for the beneficiary to change team members during the project?

If you participate as a team of entrepreneurs, you have to stick to that team. If you are participating as an SME, you are free to add new employees from the firm to the team.

What is a Datathon?

The datathon will be an event held in the Explore phase where at least a couple members of the team should be working on the challenge but also competing in a business pitch in front of a jury. You are paid 5000€ to cover expenses. This is thought as an effective way to physically meet the teams that will enter into the Exploration phase described in our process and that if selected after the pitch+datathon can get up to €80k.

Is physical presence needed at any time for the applicants?

Physical presence is required if you are selected as beneficiary for the EXPLORE phase. At the end of such phase you should attend to a Datathon in Berlin to defend your idea. You would get 5000€ if reaching such stage. During the EXPERIMENT, next phase, it is required to attend two events in Bilbao. During EVOLVE, in case you reach the final stage, you will need to go to Berlin. In all cases you are receiving equity free funding to support your activities, always according to the degree of achievement of previously agreed results expectations with each team.

The Data

Is the data in the public catalogue open?

Every dataset in the public catalogue contains its legal restrictions defined. Check them out here.

Is the data in the public catalogue the only data we will have access to?

The public catalogue contains only samples of the full datasets from the data providers of each challenge. Once the start-ups and SMEs reach the Experiment phase access will be granted to the full datasets for the challenge.

What about the property of my app/tool/software?

You are free to decide the type of licensing you will provide. Just consider the data you are using to build the mock-up or MVP might have copyright restrictions you will need to sort out with the data provider.

Is there a common Data Base with all the data?
The data is different for each challenge. There is not a common repository.

Currently, there is a catalogue with data samples is available to support the proposal preparation. (see https://data.edincubator.eu). The selected companies for experimentation will have access to the full datasets subject to an agreement with the data provider.

Is it allowed to add external data to enrich the proposed solution?
There is no problem on mixing the private data of EDI’s Data Providers with data coming from other sources. The only thing you should comply with is that you respect the access conditions that will be granted by Data Providers to those qualifying for EDI incubation process.
Can the results obtained during the project (methods, algorithms) be published in a research paper?
There is no problem to publish papers with the results providing you give details about your IPR, algorithms or solution. Beware that if you disclose snippets of the dataset you might need permission from its owner, i.e. data provider.
Should I use the datasets at proposal stage?
At proposal stage, the datasets are just a sample to help you to define your proposal and explain how you will solve the challenge. If selected, you will be provided with a full dataset that you will have to work with to solve the challenge.

About Big Data Value PPP

What is the Big Data Value Association?

The Big Data Value Association AISBL (BDVA) is a fully self-financed non–for-profit organisation under Belgian law. The BDVA is the private counterpart to the EU Commission to implement the BDV PPP programme (Big Data Value PPP). BDVA has over 150 members all over Europe with a well-balanced composition of large and small and medium-sized industries as well as research organizations. (http://www.bdva.eu/?q=about)

What is the Big Data Value PPP?

The Big Data Value PPP signature on 13th October 2014 was the first step towards building a thriving data community in the EU. This signature marks the commitment by the European Commission, industry and academia partners to build a data-driven economy across Europe, mastering the generation of value from Big Data and creating a significant competitive advantage for European industry, boosting economic growth and jobs.

The Big Data Value PPP commenced in 2015, starting with first projects in 2016 and it will run until 2020. Covering the multidimensional character of Big Data, the PPP activities will address technology and applications development, business model discovery, ecosystem validation, skills profiling, regulatory and IPR environment and social aspects.
The Big Data Value PPP will lead to a comprehensive innovation ecosystem for achieving and sustaining European leadership on Big Data, and for delivering maximum economic and societal benefit to Europe – its business and its citizens.

What is the link between EDI and the Big Data Value PPP?

EDI is part of the Big Data Value PPP within a group of projects known as the Big Data Value PPP projects (http://www.bdva.eu/?q=ppp-projects)

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