DEMETER Open Call #2 update

To increase the outreach of the DEMETER value proposition, beyond the 20 agri-food pilots currently running, DEMETER launched its Open Call #2 – DEPLOY to fund small consortia of 2-3 partners for the deployment of new, high-value pilots in the agri-food sector.

These new pilots will focus on employing DEMETER methodologies and technologies, addressing clear farmer needs, with particular focus on EU geographic regions not currently represented within DEMETER pilots: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Slovakia and Sweden.

The DEMETER Open Call #2 – DEPLOY was open between the 14th of December 2021 and the 16th of February 2022. A total of 94 applications were started and 60 finalised, corresponding to a submission rate of 64%.

The 60 consortia that applied represent 158 applicants: 123 SMEs (77%), 11 Research institutes (7%), 4 Secondary or higher education establishments (3%) and 20 Other not-for profit research entities (13%).

In terms of geographic coverage, the applicants are from 32 different countries, with a prevalence of applications submitted by entities from France (12%), Hungary (12%), Spain (7%), Austria (6%), The Netherlands (6%) and Croatia (6%).

DEMETER Open Call applications by country

Figure 1: Open Call applications by country

After an eligibility check to discard applications that eventually do not meet the eligibility criteria defined in the guidelines for applicants, a group of external agri-tech experts will evaluate the proposals according to 4 criteria: Excellence & innovation, Impact, Implementation, and Value for money.

The applicants representing the top 8 proposals will be invited to an online interview to pitch their project and answer evaluators’ questions. At the end of the evaluation process, the proposals will be ranked taking into account the revised scores from the online interview phase and the top ranked proposals will be selected until reaching the available funding of €740,000.

The selected applicants are expected to start their activities in April 2022 and for a period of 12 months, to fully implement the new proposed pilots that will boost the European agro-business sector.