EmPowering Industrial eCosystems
to boost clustEr facilitated greeN
and digiTal tRansition in Europe

Are you a SME or Startup?

We invite you to submit project proposals
that address a set of challenges
provided by corporates.

Are you a SME or Startup?

We invite you to
submit project proposals
that address a set of challenges
provided by corporates.


EPICENTRE is a project funded by the Single Market Programme (SMP), call Joint Cluster Initiatives (Euroclusters) for Europe’s recovery, from the European Comission.

EPICENTRE aims to:

1.  Create new cross-sectoral value chains from Digital and Fintech to Health and Agri-food.

2. Deliver a strong combination of support instruments and tools for scaling up innovation, matchmaking and demonstrating innovative market-oriented applications developed by outstanding SMEs that respond to the challenge of a more digitized and green European Industry.

3. Select and engage 50 innovative concepts with high market and growth potential in a dynamic and challenging business support program aimed at facilitating the  adoption of new processes and technologies by SMEs, and comprising 3-phases:  LAUNCH-SUSTAIN-DRIVE.

4. Provide an end-to-end business support services program to support the SMEs.

5. Deliver a “Go International Programme” for EPICENTRE clusters.

6. Take a comprehensive strategy to effectively carry out communication and  dissemination activities.



September 2022


36 months


1.400.000 €


1.050.000 €


EPICENTRE aims to support SMEs and Start-ups in the development of innovative solutions in collaborations with Corporates that make a significant impact in the sectors and value chains they belong to.

EPICENTRE envisions to create new cross-sectoral/border value chains by establishing a SMEs – Clusters – Mid-Caps and Corporates in the following areas: ICT, Fintech, Health and Agri-food. It is a program of accompaniment, acceleration, validation, and transfer to the market innovative solutions between SMEs and Mid-Cap and Big Companies (corporates) in 2 calls for proposals.

The EPICENTRE Acceleration Program is a 3-step funnel acceleration programme divided in the LAUNCH, SUSTAIN and DRIVE phase.

Each phase looks forward to advancing SMEs projects to achieve at least TRL 8, in collaboration with Corporates and by enhancing their hard and soft skills and competences, with an innovation and entrepreneurship approach.

The figure below summarises the EPICENTRE support program:

Epicentre - Support program summary



4th October 2023


5th December 2023
(at 17h CET)


January 2024

SMEs and Startups will be invited to submit a project proposal to solve a set of challenges provided by the Corporates from the Health, Agrifood and Digital-Fintech sectors. The applications selected, will enter the EPICENTRE Acceleration program and enrol in the EPICENTRE Academy.

Innovation challenges in Europe are focused on the development of new or improved solutions that increase the digitalisation, resilience, sustainability and greening of the EU industrial ecosystems enabling the strengthening of the industrial value chains and the creation of new ones, creating interlinkages, increasing the SMEs capabilities, fostering cross-sectoral and cross-regional collaborations with corporates and Midcaps, scaling-up early-stage businesses.

The application is now closed, thank you for your interest.


The EPICENTRE project has identified two challenges per topic or Innovation Action Lines:

Topic 1: Fostering Cross-Sectoral innovation in Digital and Fintech


Digital-Fintech Challenge 1

How to apply digital finance solution (fintech) to cross- sectoral fields (data science, AI, blockchain, machine-learning, cybersecurity)

  • New ways to apply biometrics in application security
  • New types of secure authentication for digital channel transactions
  • New mechanisms to detect fraudulent transactions
  • Multichannel support bots to interact in contact centers or applications
  • Tools for end user to detect call and message spoofing to prevent fraud
  • Training and gaming tools to improve cyber fraud prevention
  • Strengthening the strategy in order to be prepared to the new financial impact
  • Cost reduction and enhanced performance of PV systems
  • Open Solutions ready to market

Digital-Fintech Challenge 2

Digital Payment and Digital Identity (block chain, data sharing, digital transformation,  gamification)

  • How to manage Identity in a Digital world
  • Blockchain solution for secure management of medical data related Digital Identity and security
  • Open solutions to improve security

Topic 2: Fostering Cross-Sectoral innovation in Agrifood


Agrifood Challenge 1

Monitoring the health status of food production and shelf life extension (security)

  • Detection of foreign bodies in bottling lines
  • a DLT to trace biomasses in the wood value chain Fire prevention: an early warning and alert system based on AI
  • Monitoring key welfare indicators, improving livestock farming standards
  • Product quality and safety
  • Active packaging and shelf-life extension
  • Automatic detection and tracking during production
  • Alternative raw materials as feed
  • Portable Wine analyser based on FT-IR spectroscopy to help monitor the stages of winemaking
  • Advanced monitoring indoor pollution systems, energy saving with all applications, recycling materials
  • Food service traceability “end-to-end” in our supply chain
  • Development of new systems for cold chain

Agrifood Challenge 2

New packaging materials and smart use of resources (sustainability, automation and security)

  • The connectivity between machines and the cloud, and the automation of the machines for better use of resources
  • Alternatives to shrink plastic
  • CO2 capture systems
  • Alternative methodologies for water descaling
  • Robotization of packing lines and sustainability
  • Increasing circular economy projects
  • Sustainability measures into the distribution service
  • Indoor pollution monitoring, AI applications, energy metering and energy saving, recycling of raw materials exhausted
  • New products made from hardware scrap
  • Digital solutions for lowering CO2 emissions simultaneously focusing on agriculture productivity growth
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Clean label

Topic 3: Fostering Cross-Sectoral innovation in Health


Health Challenge 1

Development of new digital solutions in the learning and behavioural sphere that can be used by patients and families (virtual care and new products)

  • Mobile solutions for patients monitoring
  • virtual reality solution for physical rehabilitation of patients
  • artificial intelligence algorithm for the recognition of specific pathologies
  • AI to support monitoring of cognitive diseases
  • Healthcare, patient monitoring technology
  • Develop/identify innovative solution for the baby development which are relevant for the consumer target
  • Gamification and digital solution for kids Heath monitoring
  • Personalized training and education courses and empowering education
  • Hardware peripherals for the gaming sector
  • Digital therapy and software development
  • New advanced Digital Twin solutions in the following domains: Health, Utilities, Cultural Heritage and Environment & Territory. As follows, some examples: telemedicine, remote maintenance, remote sensing etc.
  • AI to support monitoring of cognitive deseases
  • Development of a platform that includes an app to provide nutritional support to the oncology patient and a back-office for the healthcare professional who follows up the patient, with the aim of carrying out a proof of concept

Health Challenge 2

New therapeutic solutions derived from natural products and organic extractions (sustainability and new products)

  • Plant based food products
  • Ameliorating natural drug technique, regenerative medicine
  • New proteins


The call for proposals is designed as an Open Innovation Challenge competition.

The funding support applying for each Beneficiary SMEs-project are the followings:

Total amount for funding support for SME’s projects

Allocated for the EPICENTRE Acceleration Program

Allocated for the EPICENTRE Academy

Maximum amounts of financial support that an SMEs-project can directly receive

EPICENTRE Acceleration Program

Amount per project (EUR)


Amount per project (EUR)

Total per phase

Amount per project (EUR)


1st call: 25 SMEs-projects selected
2nd call: 25 SMEs-projects selected



1st call: 12 SMEs-projects selected
2nd call: 13 SMEs-projects selected



1st call: 3 SMEs-projects selected
2nd call: 3 SMEs-projects selected

Total funding support
per SMEs projects


EPICENTRE Acceleration Program is a 3-step funnel acceleration programme divided in the LAUNCH, SUSTAIN and DRIVE phase.

Within the program, the beneficiary SME’s projects will receiving training via the EPICENTRE Academy.


All 50 selected proposals will enter in the Phase 1: LAUNCH of the Accelerator Program (25 proposals on the first cut-off and 25 proposal on the second cut-off). This phase runs during the first 4 months after the selection of proposals. Projects will be requested to attend the EPICENTRE Bootcamp provided by Worsley Acceleration Services. In this bootcamp, SMEs will be guided on how to work with Corporates, receiving additional coaching support to prepare a video pitch presenting their value proposition. SME’s will also have the chance to participate in networking activities. At the end of the LAUNCH phase, the EPICENTRE corporate board will evaluate and select a group of the best 12 projects on the first cut-off and 13 projects on the second cut-off to enter into the SUSTAIN phase.

The main outcome of the LAUNCH phase is the submission of the “Video pitch with value offer to the Corporates” (D1). This video must be delivered within 3 months from the formal start of the project. Upon completion and approval of the “Video pitch with value offer to the Corporates” (D1) all 50 selected projects will receive EUR 1.400 financial support.

Within the EPICENTRE Academy, all EPICENTRE 50 selected projects for the LAUNCH phase will attend the dedicated bootcamp. They will be trained on the methodology to be followed during the acceleration program as well as on the Pitch Deck preparation for the Corporates.  The bootcamp will be held online, in English language, and its open to SMEs belonging to the EU member states. Projects will receive up to 16 hours of mentoring support to apply the bootcamp learnings.

All the participant selected SMEs will have the opportunity to review and validate their work with the expert coaches assigned to identify additional factors (and/or strengths and weaknesses) to improve.


All the 25 selected projects (12 projects on the first cut-off and 13 projects on the second cut-off) from the LAUNCH phase will enter the phase 2: SUSTAIN. This phase runs during the following 11 months after the project’s selection.

Projects will be requested to fine-tuning their technical requirements and to develop a minimum viable product which serves to (i) verify some key functional aspects of the intended solution, (ii) demonstrate the technical feasibility of the proposed solution under a representative operational environment, (iii) provides technical solutions for all critical functionalities, but usually does not have all the functionalities of a final product.

During this phase, SMEs will receive a full package of Business Support Services, including training activities, mentoring and coaching sessions. 

At the end of the SUSTAIN phase, the EPICENTRE Gala will be held.  SMEs-projects will have to pitch their projects in front of an audience of different innovation actors. The corporate board will evaluate and select the best 3 projects from each group (6 projects in total) that are ready to make a test- bed with corporates, will pass on to the next phase.

The main outcome of the SUSTAIN phase is the submission of the “Strategic and Technical development Plan of the prototype” (D2) and the “Prototype ready to test with Corporates” (D3).

These outcomes must be delivered within 3 months from entering the SUSTAIN phase for D2 and 9 months for D3. Upon completion and approval of the deliverables (D1 and D2) all 25 selected projects will receive EUR 31.000 financial support.

Within the EPICENTRE Academy, the 25 top ranked selected projects for the SUSTAIN phase will be entitled to receive a customized business support package in the form of mentoring and coaching services. Up to 32 hours of mentoring and coaching will be provided to each project. Some sessions could be provided in groups, as training on critical topics is envisioned to be provided.

The one-to-one customized support from these European experts will help bring EPICENTRE SMEs’ projects to the prototype phase, maximizing the success ratio when implementing the strategic plans on collaborating with corporates.  

The EPICENTRE Gala will be held at the end of the EPICENTRE SUSTAIN phase. The 25 top-ranked projects will have the opportunity to present their project results to the Corporates and audience and to exchange and interact with the participating Corporates and other European stakeholders.

The event will be held in Barcelona, all the 25 top-ranked SMEs-projects are invited to attend the event. The language will be English.


The 6 selected projects will enter in the Phase 3: DRIVE of the Accelerator Program (3 projects per cut-off), developing test-beds with Corporates acting as “intrapreneurs in residence”. This phase runs during 5 months after the selection of proposals. Projects will be supported to continue evolving their products/ services in a real corporate environment and to explore opportunities for long-term partnerships with big industrial players and other collaborative business models. Additionally, a number of ad-hoc training and mentoring services will be provided. At the end of the DRIVE phase, SME’s projects will have the chance to participate in an Investment Forum, presenting their products and solutions to private investors.

The main outcome of the DRIVE phase is the submission of the “Product Market Fit Assessment” (D4) document. This document should describe in detail how the technology will be materialized into a new and successful marketable solution.

Upon completion and approval of the deliverable, all 6 selected projects will receive EUR 10.000 financial support.


Within the EPICENTRE Academy, the top 6-ranked projects selected for the DRIVE phase will go through a due diligence to identify missing competences (soft/hard) to be enhanced. For this purpose, SMEs will receive tailor-made business support services for this purpose, up to 4 session of 2 hours.  The format will be online and in English language.

All EPICENTRE selected projects (6 top-ranked projects) will receive focused training workshops aiming at preparing their innovative projects to raise additional external finance beyond EPICENTRE.

Up to 8-hours training will be provided to assist the selected projects to increase their understanding and communication skills concerning the process of raising external financing from private investors and early-stage VC/corporate funds.


To be eligible to apply for EPICENTRE Call for Proposals, your company must meet the following requirements:

Be legally established in an EU Member States or in countries associated to the SMP (as of today: Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein); or in Ukraine, when established in territories that are under the effective control of the Ukrainian authorities at the submission deadline.

Belong to the value chain of the Health, Agri-food, Digital- ICT and Fintech sectors.

Be a SME (including startup) according to the EU definition.


Access all the documents related to the EPICENTRE project:

Call for proposal

Application form

The application is now closed.
Thank you for your interest!

Sub-grant agreement


All the ways to contact the EPICENTRE project:

E-mail address


Twitter profile


LinkedIn profile

Epicentre Eurocluster


If you have more doubts or specific questions, or want to share your ideas related to EPICENTRE, we offer you a forum with technical questions and answers about the project.