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Feasibility Guidelines

By Brenda Baker,2014-05-17 12:47
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The feasibility studies must focus on opportunities that can either, attract follow-on funding from existing sources, demonstrate a clear route to market or

    Feasibility Study Application Guidelines

    HI Links Feasibility Awards

    HI Links feasibility study awards are aimed at building relationships between

    Highlands and Islands (H&Is) based SMEs (Small to Medium sized Enterprises) and

    HEIs (Higher Education Institutes), and at stimulating collaborative work that will lead

    to new products, processes or routes to markets that will hopefully benefit both the

    enterprises and the institutions involved.

The feasibility studies must focus on opportunities that can either, attract follow-on

    funding from existing sources, demonstrate a clear route to market or indicate a step

    change in current processes within a company.

The grants are up to a maximum of ?5000 and are paid as de minimis aid funding.

    For more information on this please see the notes in section 5 about ‘Previous

    Grants or Funding’

The output of the feasibility studies should, preferably, reflect the interdisciplinary or

    cross sectoral nature of the work, the value to be obtained from any partnerships on

    an ongoing basis and the potential to develop a product or process that can give

    benefit to both the participants in the study.

Applications are invited from SMEs working in any sector as long as they are based

    within the Highlands and Islands. Feasibility study funding can only be offered to

    Highlands and Islands companies who are going to be working with Scottish

    Academics. Applications can be submitted at any time for consideration by the HI

    Links feasibility study awards panel. It is anticipated that applications will be

    assessed and a decision, as to whether they are successful, given to SMEs within 4

    weeks of submission.

    1

    HI Links is a project supported by a

    SEEKIT grant from the Scottish

    Government, Highlands and Islands Mar08 Enterprise and UHI”

    Feasibility Study Application Guidelines

It is advised that prior to submission of your final application that a draft

    application is sent to the HI Links team. This will allow for feedback to be

    given, and possibly changes made prior to the final application being

    submitted to the approval panel. It is recommended that an electronic draft be

    sent to speed this process up. An electronic copy of the final application must

    also be sent along with a fully signed, hard copy.

Application forms are available on the HI Links website or by emailing one of the HI

    Links team directly. They must be completed and returned to Joe Irvine (HI Links

    Project Leader).

All successful feasibility study applicants will be expected to complete a short report

    following completion of the study. Guidelines for what is expected to appear in this

    report will be given to successful applicants prior to commencement of the study. In

    some cases (usually where the duration of the feasibility study exceeds six months)

    applicants will be required to complete a brief interim report(s) at a designated point(s)

    in the study.

The feasibility study funding is exempt from VAT and counts as de minimis aid

    from the date of the official offer letter, whether or not the aid is actually paid

    out. It will be paid in arrears on satisfactory completion and submission of this report and copy of an invoice from the academic for any work they have

    completed as part of the study. In cases where interim reports are required

    and submitted satisfactorily a proportion of the funding may be paid

    accordingly.

Please note that all deadlines and timeframes set for the study must be realistic and

    achievable. Where deadlines are not met, a discretionary percentage of the total

    feasibility funding (up to 5%) may be withheld.

    2

    HI Links is a project supported by a

    SEEKIT grant from the Scottish

    Government, Highlands and Islands Mar08 Enterprise and UHI”

    Feasibility Study Application Guidelines

    Section 1: SME Partner Details

    Details of SME Partner

    Most of the details to be entered in this section are straight forward.

    Details of SME Contribution to the Project (In Cash or Kind and value in ?:)

    SMEs are required to detail what contribution they are making to the overall feasibility

    study. There is no minimum or maximum required contribution, however, a realistic

    breakdown of contribution and total value of this contribution should be outlined.

    SMEs may wish to provide a list of tasks, estimated actual costs of those tasks and

    what contribution they are making in kind to complete these tasks as a separate

    sheet in the application form.

Details of Intellectual Property Agreements or Confidentiality Agreements:

    Please detail any agreements that have been made between you the company and

    the chosen academic partner in relation to this project.

    If Intellectual Property (IP) has not been addressed it must be addressed or at least discussed by both parties as part of the feasibility study. If this is the case, simply

    enter in this section: “To be addressed as part of the feasibility study”. It should then be included as a task to outline IP discussions / negations under the ‘Details of Project’ section.

Company Authorised Signatory and Confirmation of SME Status:

    This application must be signed by the Company Authorised Signatory, and their

    name and position clearly printed or typed, on the understanding the company is an

    SME as defined by the European Commission. Please read the definition of SME

    status in the link provided:

    http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/enterprise_policy/sme_definition/index_en.htm See also the associated documents: http://europa.eu/eur-

    lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2003/l_124/l_12420030520en00360041.pdf

    http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/enterprise_policy/sme_definition/sme_user_guide.pdf

    3

    HI Links is a project supported by a

    SEEKIT grant from the Scottish

    Government, Highlands and Islands Mar08 Enterprise and UHI”

    Feasibility Study Application Guidelines

    Section 2: Academic Partner Details

    Details of Academic Partner

Academic name: Please identify the contact name(s) that you have identified to

    work with within the academic institution.

    Section 3: Details of Project

    Please follow the instructions at the top of the page in this section of the

    application form. Failure to provide any of the requested details in this section

    is likely to result in your application form being returned to you by the approval

    panel so that these missing details may be added.

In this section assign an appropriate project title and outline a list of tasks to be

    completed as part of the feasibility study. This should include discussions on

    Intellectual Property (IP) if it hasn’t been addressed beforehand. In the outline table

    you must show who is completing these tasks within the academic institution and/or

    within the company and the associated time and costs (including any VAT element

    and any contribution in-kind). This must include the rate (hourly, inclusive of any VAT

    element) being charged for completing each activity and a total cost for all activities

    to be undertaken.

You must detail the outputs expected from this feasibility study. This may change

    through conducting the feasibility study, but an accurate estimate must be made at

    the stage of completing the application form.

As part of the final report, to be completed after conducting the feasibility study, you

    will be asked to detail if these outputs have been achieved.

    4

    HI Links is a project supported by a

    SEEKIT grant from the Scottish

    Government, Highlands and Islands Mar08 Enterprise and UHI”

    Feasibility Study Application Guidelines

Project Start and End Date: Please indicate when you expect the project to start

    and end. If your application is approved you will be asked to provide a more

    accurate project start and end date.

Please ensure that you have negotiated with the Academic involved and are satisfied

    that they have the necessary time to participate in this study.

     Section 4: Route to Market

    Route to Market

    You must indicate the estimated route to market, the increased level of private sector

    investment and the projected additional sales that will be generated for any new

    product or process based on the outcome of the feasibility study. At this stage this

    may be an estimate based on the experience of the SME or academic partner.

In addition, you may wish to have the route to market, increased private sector

    investment, and additional sales identified as part of the feasibility study. In this case

    state; “Route to market, increased private sector investment and additional

    sales to be identified as part of the study” and also record it as one of the tasks and outputs in the ‘Details of Project’ section.

    Section 5: Previous Grants or Funding

    Previous Grants or Funding

    You must indicate any funding or grants that any related project has previously

    attracted. Of most importance is to indicate what, if any, de minimis funding the SME

    has had in the last three years.

    5

    HI Links is a project supported by a

    SEEKIT grant from the Scottish

    Government, Highlands and Islands Mar08 Enterprise and UHI”

    Feasibility Study Application Guidelines

Under Commission regulation (EC) No 1998/2006, (EC) No 875/2007 (Fisheries) or

    (EC) No 1860/2004 (Primary Agriculture) this is de minimis aid to an SME. Any de

    minimis aid awarded to you under this grant will be relevant if you wish to apply, or

    have applied, for any other de minimis aid.

Your feasibility study application will not be accepted until such time as you

    confirm to HI Links that any award of feasibility study grant money will not

    bring your SME in excess of the maximum de minimis aid total over a

    qualifying period of three fiscal years for your sector as follows:

    ? primary production in agriculture (<3,000 Euros);

    ? fishing, aquaculture and fish processing (<30,000 Euros);

    ? road transport (<100,000 Euros).

    ? Other sectors < ?200,000

The „qualifying period‟ includes any aid offered in the current fiscal year (6

    April 5 April) plus any aid offered in the previous two fiscal years from the

    date of the legally binding offer.

You must outline the total de minimis funding that your SME has received in

    the last three fiscal years.

If your feasibility study application is accepted you will be sent an award letter. This

    award letter will be your official notification that your SME is receiving funding

    classified as de minimis state aid. You only have to keep a note of aid that has been

    received under the de minimis rule; other forms of aid do not count.

More information on de minimis state aid is available on the following State Aid

    Scotland website:

    http://www.stateaidscotland.gov.uk/state_aid/SA_MainView.jsp;jsessionid=CED9887

    8FBCCD6729578C3AAEC5FF30E?pContentID=349&p_applic=CCC&p_service=Co

    ntent.show&

    6

    HI Links is a project supported by a

    SEEKIT grant from the Scottish

    Government, Highlands and Islands Mar08 Enterprise and UHI”

    Feasibility Study Application Guidelines

What you, as an SME, need to ensure is (and the onus is on the company) that you

    do not exceed the maximum amount allowed for your sector over the last three fiscal

    years. The ‘qualifying period’ includes any aid offered in the current fiscal year (6 April 5 April) and in the previous two fiscal years from the date of the legally binding

    offer.

Simply initial the box and date to confirm that this award, should you accept it, would

    not bring you in excess of the allowed de minimis funding.

Please note we may ask you for financial statements to ensure the company is a

    going concern.

    Section 6: Expertise

    In this section both parties must detail what expertise and experience they are

    bringing to the project. If this expertise includes past experience or projects involved

    in, please detail what these projects were and how they relate to the current

    feasibility study being proposed.

Evidence must exist that both parties are bringing different skills, expertise, know-

    how, etc. to the feasibility study.

    Section 7: Publicity

    Should your feasibility study application be successful, HI Links may, in the future,

    wish to use non-sensitive information about your study to promote the HI Links

    project as well as the feasibility study scheme in general.

Prior to any information being used, your company would be informed and the

    promotional article etc. would be shown to your company to confirm that the details

    are okay to be made public.

    7

    HI Links is a project supported by a

    SEEKIT grant from the Scottish

    Government, Highlands and Islands Mar08 Enterprise and UHI”

    Feasibility Study Application Guidelines

As a publicly funded project, HI Links may be asked to provide SME details of those

    conducting feasibility studies to our funding partners. Please state that you are

    happy to have information regarding your feasibility study passed on should it be

    asked of HI Links.

    Section 8: HI Links Declaration Please sign and date to confirm that, to the best of your knowledge, all information

    detailed in the application form is truthful and accurate. Failure to complete this

    section will result in your application being returned in order that you complete it.

    Application Submission ? You may submit an electronic copy also if you are wishing to meet a submission

    deadline. However, please ensure that a physical copy be sent also to the

    address on page 8 of the application form.

    The physical copy with all relevant signatures may be submitted after you have

    been notified your application has been successful. Please note however, that

    the award letter will not be sent, and therefore your feasibility study may not

    commence, until HI Links has received the fully signed and dated paper copy of

    the application form.

    ? Please ensure that you have signed and dated all relevant sections of the

     application form. Please also ensure that the academic partner has signed and

     dated all relevant sections of the application form.

    ? Ensure all relevant sections of the form are completed. Failure to do so is likely

    to result in your application being returned.

    8

    HI Links is a project supported by a

    SEEKIT grant from the Scottish

    Government, Highlands and Islands Mar08 Enterprise and UHI”

Feasibility Study Application Guidelines

    ? All applications will be subject to the same approval process. It is anticipated that

    applicants will be informed if they are successful within 4 weeks of submission of

    the application.

    ? Should you have any queries not covered in this set of guidelines, please

    do not hesitate to contact a member of the HI Links team for further

    assistance.

    ? On behalf of HI Links, good luck with your application and proposed collaborative

    feasibility study.

    Contact Details:

    Joe Irvine (Project Leader): 01595 772 217

    joe.irvine@uhi.ac.uk

    David Chapman: 01463 667 357

    david.chapman@uhi.ac.uk

    Sandra Wright: 01595 772 256

    sandra.wright@uhi.ac.uk

    9

    HI Links is a project supported by a

    SEEKIT grant from the Scottish

    Government, Highlands and Islands Mar08 Enterprise and UHI”

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