Successful applicants to open SME calls and open disruptive technologies calls can benefit from business coaching.
Coaches will guide SMEs in their business challenges to ensure the SME can accelerate growth and transition quicker from the research to the development phase or from the development phase to the market
Rewards and Benefits
Successful SME beneficiaries in selected calls will be invited to take advantage of coaching services.
In the first year of the project, SMEs can receive guidance from experienced entrepreneurs and experts in the defence sector to boost growth.
These services are offered for free and focus on specific business challenges SMEs face, such as human resources, legal and financial challenges, market analysis, and accessing the defence market.
How does it work?
- The EDF Work Programme defines the calls for which business coaching will be provided
- The successful SME beneficiaries in those calls will be offered access to a pool of coaches after their EDF project has started.
- The SMEs can select the best matching coach, based on their needs. The SME and the coach initially define the goals of the partnership and decide how often they meet. The coaching sessions themselves take place in the first year (after the EDF project has started).
Business coaching adds additional support and empowerment to SMEs participating in EUDIS. It is only available for SMEs that have received a EDF grant (e.g., successful applications to an open SME or disruptive technologies call) in selected calls.
The following eligibility criteria apply to business coaches:
- Able to coach in a personal capacity;
- Possessing EU or Norwegian nationality and residence of at least 5 years;
- PSC or confirmation of absence of criminal record;
- At least 3 years’ experience as a coach;
- At least 5 years demonstrated experience in one of the following areas: defence technology, defence industry, EU procurement of defence products in the EU;
- Experience in at least one of the sectors covered by the EDF Calls (list of sectors);
- Fluency in English (level C1 or C2);
- Fluency in an EU MS language or Norwegian (level C1 or C2);
The Commission will start recruiting for coaches in July 2023. The Commission intends to reach out to
- Industry associations;
- Other EU coaching programs;
- National Focal Points in Horizon Europe;
- National Focal Points in the EDF;
- EU defence & space accelerators, think tanks, and academia;
who will receive a call to further distribute the information on the recruitment.
The SME can search in a pool of coaches for the best match.
Coaching will be provided in the first year of the EDF project. The coach is assigned to the SME, addressing business challenges. The services are provided for free and depending on the number of SME participants can last up to 10 days a year.
SMEs will receive coaching after the grant agreement has been signed, and the coaching services itself will be available during the first year of the project.
Business coaching is addressing business challenges, such as:
- Human resources
- Legal and financial challenges
- Market analysis & accessing the defence market
- Helping to define and find the right cooperation partners