Cascade Funding: tools to foster innovation of European SMEs

Organization and Management

Cascade fundings are grants still quite unknown, but very effective. They are contributions included in other projects financed by the European Union which aim to stimulate innovation in SMEs and Start-Ups also through the provision of contributions.

The European Technology Platform for the Textile sector points out this type of opportunity for European textile SMEs. In particular, two projects-programmes launched the respective calls, with the deadlines in May, in order to obtain contributions. Let’s see together the characteristics of each of them.

SmartEEs2: is an European accelerator programme that has an Open Call for Application Experiments (contributions up to the 70% of the value and up to 100,000 Euros). The aims is to provide support to Innovative Companies to digitalise their businesses and access new markets by integrating Flexible and Wearable Electronics technologies (FWE) into advanced products / series of products and services. Interested companies may apply, by May 5th, for one of the following areas:

  1. Experimenting and testing end-product ideas with FWE technologies
  2. Support to manufacturing of FWE based end-products including upscaling

A regards the first topic, the activities qualified for having support have to be related to industrial and societal adoption of new digital products, services and business models enabled by Flexible and Wearable electronics (for example: smart textiles). Specifically, the aims of Application Experiments for this topic will be: the transformation of a product idea into a functional product demonstrator; the creation of an exploitation plan.

Concerning the second topic, the activities have to be related to the following production technologies: Electronics Printing, High volume component assembly, Post-processing / Finishing, Structural electronics. This topic is open for companies which already have a Flexible and Wearable Electronics demonstrator but do not have the necessary manufacturing capacity to transform the existing demonstrator into production demonstrator for volume manufacturing. the aims of application experiments for this topic will be: mall series of demonstrators, advancement and validation of the exploitation plan (e.g. cost calculation, supply chain, market expansion).

For more information and for applying your proposal, please click here: Open Call – Smartees

GALACTICA is the second project-programme taken into account. It aims to foster the creation of new industrial value chains around the Textile and Aerospace sectors and based on the Advanced Manufacturing. The scope is to to drive cross-sectoral innovation to boost new market opportunities, revenues and improve productivity. The call of proposal is dedicated to European SMEs and Start-ups that foresee to develop innovative solutions and it is open till 19th May 2021 by filling in the templates available after the registration to the dedicated platform:

The call for proposals consists in two diffent types for funding, both provided as vouchers:

  1. “Pioneer Acceleration” will support the exploration of new cross-sectoral value chains feasibility with focus on developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) connecting two or more of the sectors (aerospace, textile, advanced manufacturing).
  2. “Orbital Projects” aims to support the demonstration of the new cross-sectoral value chains through the market tests of the products and services under development.

The“Pioneer Acceleration” provides a lump sum of 20 thousand euros for funding and supports activities such as: building of the prototype in form of a Minimum Viable Product, Testing of the hypothesis with business measurements and user validation tests that will provide crucial information for learning about the hypothesis validity, adjusting the product/service with a dedicated learning process.

The “Orbital Projects” aim to support the implementation of functional prototypes and demonstrators for new cross-sectoral value chains, connecting two or more of the sectors (aerospace, textile, advanced manufacturing), while funding the integration of non-technological innovations for speeding up market match.

Single SMEs or consortia SMEs can apply for “Pioneer projects, instead for the “Orbital projects” it is mandatory the participation of a minimum of two SMEs coming frpom 2 different sectos and the contribution is up to €58,000 per SME and up to €100,000 per project (lump sum).

For more information about how to participate, please click here: GALACTICA open calls for proposals | Galactica (


For more information:

Daniela Nebuloni; R&D