Vouchers call: Q&A

Find out more on our vouchers call through this Q&A. The questions were asked by the participants of the information session organised on 24 November.

 

Do all 4 the eligibility criteria have to be met? 
 
Yes. 

 

Applicant
 

  1. Q 1.1 What if the company is involved in crickets for food and feed?
    Q 1.2 We are a rearing company and our systems can be used for food & feed. Is this a problem? 
    This is no problem. The case supported by the voucher scheme however has to involve the food part. 
  1. Must it be a food application for humans, or can it be for pets?
    It must be a food application for human consumption. 
  1. Can new companies apply for the support?
    Yes, as long as they have the SME status. 
  1. Can one company submit more than one application?
    But cases cannot be related to avoid creating different vouchers for 1 case to obtain more than 40.000 euro. 
  1. Can more than one company apply?
    But in this case one company has to take the lead and is the official beneficiary of the voucher.
  1. Can national edible insect Organizations apply? For example, to increase consumer acceptance?
    This is possible if the organization is an SME. 
  1. If someone is affiliated to a University and is already involved in Tenebrio Molitor (mealworm) research, can he apply for research funding?
    Only existing SME’s can apply. Universities are no SME’s. 
  1. Can you please clarify about University. Can they be the "network " partner for the company.
    It is only possible to apply if you are an SME. SMEs can have partners but the application should be led by the SME 
  1. We understand the project is also open to a UK based company. Do you foresee any impact caused by Brexit ?
    At the moment we foresee no impact caused by Brexit. 

 

Location

  1. Q 10.1: Why France is cut into 2 parts on the map?
    Q 10.2: Can UK based companies apply? 
    Q 10.3: Is Italy included in the North-West Europe Region? 
    Q 10.4: Can companies from  Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) apply for support? 
    Q 10.5: We are located in France but South of France. On your map only North of France was highlighted. I guess the program included all France? 
    Q 10.6: Why are provinces of north of the Netherlands outside the NW-region? 
     
    ValuSect is an Interreg North-West Europe project. The North-West Europe area is pre-defined by the EU and is not a choice of the ValuSect project. The NWE area involves Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and parts of France, Germany and the Netherlands.  
    More info on https://www.nweurope.eu/about-the-programme/the-nwe-area/  
  1. Does the development need to take place in the North-West Europe region? e.g. operations take place in the region but production facilities are outside of it.
    If the company is located in the NWE-region this should be OK. 
  1. Does the applicant have to be a resident in one of the North-West countries involved in the ValuSect project at the moment of the application?
     Yes.
  1. If the applying company is outside of the Region, but the production facilities are located in it, would it be possible to apply. We are located in Berlin and we produce in CH.
    Question pending.  
  1. Would you open in the future to companies from other EU countries?
    In this project that will not be possible. 
      

Studied species
 

  1. Why only these three insects (crickets, grasshopers and mealworms)?
    To start with a specie variety which is likely to being approved as food by EFSA soon, the project organisation decided to choose the - at that time- most relevant ones. 
  1. Would be all projects equally divided among the insect species?
    Ideally all 3 insect species should receive the same amount of support. But there is no obligation for an equal distribution of the vouchers over the 3 insect species involved. 
  1. What about the Alphitobius Diaperinus, which is a mealworm as well?
    The Alphitobius Diaperinus is not included in the ValuSect project. 

 

Services
 

  1. Do all projects have to run for 3 years?
    The length of the voucher support depends on the case and the availability of the project partners. At the start the timing of the services will be agreed upon in consultation with all parties involved. In general we aim for a support period of one year. 
  1. Q 20.1 : Who does the research?
    Q 20.2 : Do the services come from full partners only? 
    Q 20.3 : What kind of services are included? 
     
    The services are provided by the full partners of the ValuSect consortium. 
    There is a wide range of services available. These services can be consulted in the Menu of Services.
  1. What would be the commitment of participating companies?
    Engagement and collaboration in providing the necessary support so the project partners are able to deliver the services on time. 
    In the service contract agreements will be made for following up and monitoring progress on a regular base.  
  1. Can you spend the voucher yourself based on the proposal, or will the 18 partners do the works?
    The voucher represents services delivered by the project partners. In your application you can use the Menu of Services to choose the services that seem useful to you. This can be a combination of services provided by different partners. After approval, the services of the voucher are defined in a service contract. These services have a certain value and are meant to finance the innovation proposed by the SME and will be performed by the consortium partners. It is not possible to exchange it in cash. 
  1. Who has to offer the menu? The participating universities or all universities based in the eligible area?
    The full project partners of ValuSect offer the services. These are summed up in the Menu of Services.  No other organizations are involved or can perform services. 
  1. What is meant by the service contract?
    The vouchers represent services provided by the project partners. Before the services start a service contract is concluded with the applicant to define the services, the timing and other relevant agreements.  
  1. 1: Can the development be ''executed'' at a location of the entrepreneurs?
    Q25.2: Will members of the project come to visit our production?

This has to be considered case by case. There is no general rule that prohibits this but on the other hand it has to be realistic as well. 

  1. 1: Where can the ValuSect Quick Look guide be found?
    Q26.2: Will this menu of services only be on line after 1-12-2020? 
    All documents will be available on the ValuSect website on 1st December 2020. 
  1. Does approval for other grants preclude approval for this voucher?
    No. But as always double funding is not allowed. 
  1. How is the height of the voucher value determined?
    For the services offered by the project partners, a competitive value is calculated taking into account the cost of the staff involved (such as researchers or technicians), materials, consumables, facilities, etc. that are necessary to carry out your proposal / question. 
  1. 1: It’s easy to find a laboratory to make some tests but really difficult to produce a batch test FOR the food market… So, do you have the possibility to produce something with the food Security agreement?
    Q29.2: Does the product cover a first test batch for the market (just to cover equipment renting and renting a place to produce)? 
    A facility to produce test batches for the market is not part of the Menu of Services and cannot be offered. The vouchers do not cover costs for renting equipment or locations. 
     
    Partners of ValuSect have expertise and offer services on development of innovative food product concept. They can offer insights into practical considerations that will help to accelerate the development of your food product idea. With lab-scale  and other facilities, they/we conduct tests and experiments on   
  • Recipe and ingredient choice 
  • Cost price estimations 
  • Shelf-life assessment 
  • Sensory considerations 
  • Processing technique consideration
  • Introduction into relevant regulation processes / requirements
  • market drivers, competitor positioning, identify potential routes to market, barriers to entry 

It will depend on the proposal and if it fits into one of these services.  

  1. It is possible to have new partner?
    We cannot enter new partners in the project consortium at this stage. 
  1. Is it intended to use this programme to also do tech/knowledge transfer to developing economies or is the focus squarely on developing/improving products and processes for Europe?
    It is an accelerator programme for the EU insect business. The technologies which will be developed and improved stand open for other applications. 
  1. 1: Does the voucher cover product development? Like product manufacturing etc.
    Q32.2: Will quality aspects be covered by the vouchers? 
    Q32.3: Can redesign of rearing systems also be part of the project? 
    Yes, yes and yes. 
  1. Do you provide support also for social events that consider introducing mealworms for human use?
    If the application is done by a SME these kind of activities can be supported. Of course taking into account that an evaluation has to be made of every application.  

 

Procedure
 

  1. 1: Is a refusal definitive or can the application be updated according to your feedback?
    Q34.2: WIll it be possible to ''debate'' the decline? 
    If an application is refused in stage 1 of the first call, the case cannot be re-opened in this call. You will receive feedback on the reasons for declining the application. 
    However, at the end of 2021 there will be a second call in which you can enter your case for a second time. 
  1. Will all selected subjects be revealed upon selection?
    For reporting we have to reveal the selected cases as we are working with EU money and open communication is considered. This does not mean that we have to give all the details. But we will report the name of selected SMEs, the insect specie and where in the value chain the case is located.  
  1. If information is generalized and published, where will other companies find it? In your newsletters? On your website?
    All communication channels used for project communication are possible.  
    Confidentiality agreements will always be respected.
  1. How many applications do you expect in stage 1?
    We hope a lot. But to be honest, we have no idea.
  1. Can the Valusect vouchers be linked to another EU Funding?
    The ValuSect consortium decides independently. There are no links with other project. 
    The de minimis legislation is applicable on the voucher scheme. 
      

Data
 

  1. Will the data being collected during the vouchers be kept secret by the consortium? 
    The original data will be kept confidentially, but, as EU funds these innovations, we are allowed to generalise these new insights and disseminate it to the broad public via eg. newsletters, publications in scientific and/or sector journals, ... 
  1. 1: Who owns IP coming out of the project?
    Q16.2: What happens to ''background'' IP if brought to the project ? 
    Q16.3: Can you guarantee that my innovation idea is not being copied by a member of the consortium? 
     
    The standard procedures on IP and confidentiality used by the different knowledge centers are applicable.  
    If IP needs special attention, this can be integrated in the service contract that is made to make the agreements between the project partner involved and the applicant. 
    Standard IP procedures are described in the complete version of the manual. 
      

EU Novel Food legislation 

  1. And what with the Novel Food dossier? None of the species are already approved.
    For all three species dossiers have been submitted. We expect an approval of them sooner or later in the coming year. 
  1. Does that mean that insects food will soon be authorized throughout Europe?
    Unfortunately we have no impact on that.

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