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European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA)
Call for proposalsClosed

Intellectual Property Licensing Intermediaries (SMP-COSME-2021-IPLI)

The ultimate goal of the proposed services must be helping EU start-ups and SMEs to enter new foreign markets or to grow or to innovate faster.


Publication date
Opening date
Deadline model
Deadline date
22 February 2022, 17:00 (CET)


The objective of this call for proposals is to promote the uptake of IP licensing intermediary services, especially those using modern digital tools (e.g. artificial intelligence). Those services should facilitate the licensing out of technologies or business cases owned by European start-ups and SMEs.


Types of Activities

Applicants must propose activities focused on the achievement of the objectives as described above.

The intermediary services must be transnational, covering at least three EU Member States or SMP associated countries. Services for matching start-ups and SMEs established in eligible countries with companies established in third countries are also possible.

The proposed intermediary services may comprise the following (non-exhaustive list):

  • Mapping available solutions developed in the context of Horizon 2020, COSME (Enterprise Europe Network and clusters) and the digital hubs, and explain how the proposed intermediary services complement the existing offer.
  • Developing strategies to identify “demand” for innovative solutions. This may include demand by entities operating for profit but also demand by entities that do not operate for profit, i.e. public institutions, communities, etc.
  • Interviewing medium and large companies on their challenges to identify their innovation needs and defining matching services accordingly.
  •  Using AI to squat the innovation landscape (including patent databases), to look for projects that would fit the identified needs.
  • Establishing a pool of medium and large companies that may demand innovative solutions.
  • Supporting start-ups and SMEs to prepare their business case properly and assisting them through the licensing process.
  • Developing IT & AI tools to “match” enterprises, which include EU funded projects, for example Horizon Results Platform, clusters, Enterprise Europe Network and digital hubs.
  • Providing related complementary services to the parties involved (e.g. creating, maintaining and expanding a pool of stakeholders who would buy or license innovative solutions; and advisory services for start-ups and SMEs).
  • Developing and using tools for exchange of knowledge between the start-up or the SME and the potential partner in a “safe” environment based on standard non-disclosure agreements, etc.
  • Compiling feedback on the market barriers and challenges and identification of good practices.


Eligibility of Applicants

An application may be submitted by single applicants or by a consortium composed of several eligible applicants.

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
  • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
  • non-EU countries:
    • listed EEA countries and countries associated to the Single Market Programme or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (list of participating countries)

Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).

For further information please refer to the Call for proposals text



Projects should normally range between 12 and 18 months (extensions are possible, if duly justified and through an amendment).


Project budget

The available call budget is EUR 800 000. This budget might be increased by maximum 20%. The call is expected to fund between four and six proposals.

Project budgets (maximum grant amount) are expected to range between EUR 125 000 and EUR 200 000 per project, but this does not preclude the submission/selection of proposals requesting other amounts.


Submission of Proposals

The deadline for electronic submission is 22 February 2022, 17:00 hours (Brussels time).
The link to the submission system is available on the Funding and Tenders Portal.


Timetable and deadlines (indicative)

Call opening:

15 December 2021

Deadline for submission:

22 February 2022 – 17:00:00 CET (Brussels)


March – April  2022

Information on evaluation results:

April-May 2022

GA signature:

June/July 2022


For more information about the submission process (including IT aspects), consult the Online Manual.



For individual questions on the Portal Submission System, please contact the IT Helpdesk.

Non-IT related questions should be sent before 18/02/2022 to the following email address: EISMEA-SMP-COSME-ENQUIRIESatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (EISMEA-SMP-COSME-ENQUIRIES[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu).

Please indicate clearly the reference of the call and topic to which your question relates.