Bilbao PortLab has so far identified around 40 projects with an interest in submitting a proposal to the Ports 4.0 Fund, the first call for which, with a budget of EUR 12 million, was launched at the end of July
The Port Authority of Bilbao continues to move forward with the Bilbao PortLab innovation and research hub and has already identified 40 projects linked to the Port of Bilbao with an interest in submitting proposals to the first call of the Ports 4.0 Fund, which was launched on 27 July.
Furthermore, the process of selecting a coordinator for Bilbao PortLab has also been completed. The responsibilities of the coordinator, who is widely experienced in the sector, are to centralise proposals and bring together the needs of port companies, start-ups, administrative bodies and universities. At the same time, the Port Authority has appointed two new players from the Basque innovation ecosystem onto the executive committee, and certain Port Authority staff members with expertise in innovation, the environment, operations, safety, energy efficiency, human resources and administration and finance have been made available to help take the project forward.
The aim of Bilbao Port Lab is to identify challenges and needs in the field of innovation among port companies, to provide start-ups, entrepreneurs and companies with a living lab environment to test and develop prototypes, to facilitate contact among port companies, to provide a space to develop projects and to support entrepreneurs with the preparation of the corresponding individualised work plans.
The initiative also forms part of the Port Authority Strategy Plan to make the port a reference organisation in innovation and digitalisation. For further information on this issue, contact: email@example.com
Ports 4.0 Fund
The first call of the Ports 4.0 Fund has been launched for a total amount of EUR 12 million, funded by the 28 Port Authorities – including Bilbao – through a contribution equivalent to 1% of their cash flow. The fund is managed by the Spanish State Ports Authority. This is the first time that the Spanish port system has undertaken such an ambitious and innovative programme with respect to the methods and procedures already in place in the logistics chain.
In the case of ideas, the aid will consist of a fixed and invariable amount of EUR 15,000 and the possibility of accessing business idea incubation or consultancy services to enable the idea to grow. These services are provided through regional incubator-accelerator offices associated with the Plan to Promote Entrepreneurship for Innovation within the Port Sector ‘Ports 4.0’, located in Bilbao and in other ports.
With respect to projects, in the pre-commercial phase, the aid will consist of a maximum amount of 60% of the costs associated in the project budget with the component of innovation, with a limit of EUR 1 million, and the possibility of accessing incubation-acceleration or consultancy services to speed up business growth and to ensure the success of the project. Projects involving the granting of aid of less than EUR 50,000 will not be considered.
In the case of projects in the commercial phase, the aid will consist of a maximum amount of 80% of the costs associated in the project budget with the component of innovation, with a limit of EUR 2 million, and the possibility of accessing acceleration or advisory services to speed up commercial deployment and growth and to ensure the business success of the project. Projects involving the granting of aid of less than EUR 100,000 will not be considered.
Deadlines for project submission are as follows:
- Applications for aid for ideas: two months from the day following publication in the Official State Gazette (27 July 2020)
- Applications for aid for projects: three months from the day following publication in the Official State Gazette (27 July 2020)
Details on the call in the Official State Gazette can be found at: https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2020/07/27/pdfs/BOE-A-2020-8608.pdf