Europe Frees up 80 Million Euro for SMEs that Develop Innovative Future Internet Applications

Flemish digital research center iMinds is playing a key role in selecting and supporting SMEs that would like to shape the future of the internet; project proposals can be submitted as of 1 October

Ghent – 1 October 2014. The development of the future internet is a priority for Europe. This ambition goes hand-in-hand with substantial investments, and the European Commission would like to ensure that local SMEs do not miss the boat. That is why Europe – in the context of its Future Internet (FIWARE) program – is freeing up 80 million euro for European SMEs that are developing innovative internet applications. In order to allocate that budget, the European Commission is working closely together with innovation centers such as iMinds. SMEs can submit their ideas to iMinds as of 1 October.

Innovative SMEs are a priority for both Flanders and Europe. In Flanders, digital research center iMinds has been supporting SMEs’ digital product innovation and growth for many years. Now, Europe is also providing money for the development of internet applications by local SMEs in the context of its FIWARE program.

FIWARE has already led to the creation of the building blocks that will shape the internet of tomorrow. In a new phase, Europe is now encouraging SMEs to use these building blocks to develop innovative internet applications. It is part of the European Commission’s objective to create at least 300 successful digital start-ups by the end of the FIWARE program.


iMinds launches its call for projects

iMinds is closely involved in FIWARE and is launching, on behalf of the European Commission, the call for project ideas in the creative and cultural sectors. The focus lies on the development of internet applications in areas such as gaming, advertising and performing arts, but project proposals relating to other creative sectors are also very welcome.

From 1 October, entrepreneurs and developers with ideas can submit their project proposals to www.iminds.be/fiware.

On the basis of this call for projects, over 60 applications will be selected in December 2014; these will then start in January 2015. iMinds will provide the project teams with technical support, business model coaching, support in relation to co-creation, prototype design and development, and will also help them with the technological validation of their new internet applications, e.g. via living lab research.


Unique opportunity for entrepreneurs from across Europe

“FIWARE is more than a call for projects," says Ingrid Willems, Entrepreneur in Residence at iMinds. “It is a vision, and a unique opportunity for European entrepreneurs to really make a difference. Thanks to FIWARE, many new businesses will be created - shaping the future of the internet and having a positive impact on the European economy. Participants can work in an international setting and iMinds will support them in the launch of their ideas.”


About iMinds

iMinds – the digital research center of Flanders, Belgium – combines the strength of its 850+ researchers at five Flemish universities to conduct strategic and applied research in areas such as ICT, Media and Health. Together with its research partners (companies, governments and non-profit organizations), iMinds translates digital know-how into concrete products and services. In addition, iMinds supports researchers, young entrepreneurs and start-ups in the successful market introduction of their ideas. More info at www.iminds.be (Twitter: @iMinds).


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