DIGITbrain Open Calls


The 2nd open call of DIGITbrain Project is closed now!


Find here all Open Call documents, which you need for your application:

What does DIGITbrain Project offer to beneficiaries:

Open Call FAQs

When does the 2nd Open Call start and until when can I hand in my application?

The 2nd Open Call for application experiments will be open from 28th February 2022, 10:00h (CET Time), and closes 31st May 2022, 17:00h (CEST Time).

Why is DIGITbrain launching two Open Calls?

H2020 DIGITbrain project, funded by EC under the Grant Agreement number 952071, includes Financial Support to Third Parties (FSTP) under two open calls. DIGITbrain has the ambition to transform the CloudiFacturing Solution and ecosystem (developed in the H2020 CloudiFacturing Project) towards the requirements of Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS), utilising the Digital Brain and its underlying technology components as the main innovation of the project.

Is there a third Open Call in 2023?

No. DIGITbrain project is conducting only two Open Calls in 2021 and 2022:

  • The 1st Open Call for application experiments has been open from 31st March 2021 for three months until the End of June 2021.
  • The 2nd Open Call for application experiments will be open from 28th February 2022 for three months until the End of May 2022.

Take the chance and apply now!

When does the call close?

31st May 2022, at 17:00h (Brussels local time)

Who can apply?

Who can apply?


SME or MidCap end-users from the manufacturing sector (they will be driving the experiments).

Technology providers:

  • Independent Software Vendors (ISVs);
  • Engineering or software consultants.
  • High-Performance Computing (HPC) providers.
  • Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) only if they have the SME status.
  • NB: An application experiment consortium must include at least one end-user and one technical partner.
How much money is available for experiments in total?

1.4M€ has been kept for both Open Calls, 684,600 EUR are left to be disseminated via the second Open Call.

Where can I find all the information that I need to know for applying?

You can find all documents you need for your application on this site.

The contain a lot of hints that you should read to prepare a sound and eligible proposal.

We recommend you read all of them very carefully.

Who can I contact with If I have doubts or questions? Where to find help and support?

For questions regarding Open Calls process, DIGITbrain Open Call Portal,  administrative issues or other general questions, please contact us in the email address: opencall@digitbrain-dev.innen.it. This email account is managed by CTA, as cascade funding manager.

Regarding your application experiment proposal, you can contact directly with a DIH  involved in the project.  There are six DIHs in the DIGITbrain current consortium that will support you with your questions and ideas and they will help you to prepare a high-quality proposal for your application experiment that well suits our 2nd Open Call and have a high potential impact.   See the regional coverage of the DIH here.

The mail adresses of people in charge of providing this support are listed in the Annex of Guide for Applicants Document.
When it is recommended to contact the DIHs?

For this 2nd Open  Call, it is strongly recommended for Applicants to contact DIGITbrain's Digital Innovation hubs (DIHs) in the first stages of the Open Call launch to maximize the impact of the proposal  preparation and Experiment presentation. 

To see Horizon 2020 country profiles, refer to the following link: https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/statistics/framework-programme-facts-and-figures/horizon-2020-country-profiles_en

How much funding is available for the Application Experiments?

DIGITbrain considers that proposals requesting a contribution of up to 97,800 EUR per application experiment would allow the specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The maximum amount of financial support to be granted to one Third Party for one application experiment must not exceed EUR 60,000.  Notices that according to the EC rules, no Third Party is allowed to have received more than EUR 100,000 from Horizon 2020 I4MS and SAE Open Calls.

Can a company be part of more than one experiment?
Yes, but the partner need to comply with all open call requirements. Specifically, the sum of the budgets presented  amongst the several experiments shall not exceed 60.000€. 
What is a “third party”?
Partners in experiments become third parties to the DIGITbrain project if they are selected for funding.Only SMEs and mid-cap companies are entitled to became third parties in this 2nd Open Call.
Third party is a term coined by the European Commission (EC).
What kind of experiment will be supported?

Experiments are expected to:

  • Cover any segments in the manufacturing sector,including (but not limited to) discrete manufacturing, continuous production,or construction. Experiments should aim at covering the development and uptakeof digital technologies especially in segments where these are underexploited.
  • To model behaviour of an Industrial Product (manufacturingmachine, line or mechatronic system) with the means of a Digital Twin. 
  • To demonstrate benefits in different phases of the life cycle of theIndustrial Product, its adaption and/or evolution to new generations of theindustrial product, considering also environmental impact. 
  • It is expected that the software to be used during the experiment already exists, being open source or proprietary.  Experiment partners should have access to the source code or to a programming interface instead, so that the needs of the experiments can be adapted to the DIGITbrain Platform
Can one partner alone run an experiment?
No, we require at least two partners: an end user (manufacturing company)  and a technical partner. Those two partners make up the smallest consortium possible.
Which are the eligible countries?
Third Parties must be legally constituted and established in the European Member StatesAssociated States, or the  United Kingdom.
How to calculate the costs that will be reimbursed by the project?
Financial support will be based on effort and direct costs figures of the 3rd parties that will be part of the experiment proposals. For calculating the amount of financial support, we will apply the H2020 rules for for-profit (70% funding) and non-for-profit (100% funding) organisations, respectively.
Are there any preferences regarding the manufacturing sector?
Consortia have the opportunity to propose use cases from any manufacturing sector to be executed within the framework of the DIGITbrain Solution.
What type of organizations in terms of size are expected to become third parties?
SMEs and also mid-caps are eligible as partners of the application experiments.
To check if your organization is an SME go to: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/smes/sme-definition_en
There is no formal EU definition of mid-cap companies, but are broadly accepted to be those that have between 250 and 3000 employees, no matter the turnover or balance sheet.
Which requirements does a consortium have to fulfill?

Regarding the size of the consortium, the minimum number of partners in an application experiment consortium must include:

  • one end-user (who will lead the experiment) and;
  • one technical partner (who will be practically in the first line, interacting with DIHs and technical core partners).

Regarding the role of the organisations, consortia can consist of the following types of organisations:

  • End users from the manufacturing sector,
  • Independent Software Vendors (ISVs),
  • Engineering or Software Consultants (VARs)
  • High-Performance Computing (HPC) providers,
  • Digital Innovation Hubs,

Regarding the size of the companies involved, SMEs and also Mid-Caps are eligible.

Besides, the consortium doesn’t have to be cross-border. In other words, all partners within the consortium can be from the same country.

Regarding the consortium, do the companies involved need to be independents?

Not necessarily.

If the companies  involved are linked companies (some of them holds more than 25% of the shares of the another) they can apply as linked partners within the same  consortium and also individually to different experiments as individual  partners.  However, they will need to meet the budgeting requirements  as one company group. That means that the sum of the budgets presented  by linked companies amongst the experiments shall not exceed 60.000€.

In which language do I have to write my proposal?
The proposal as well as all corresponding documentation have to be written in English. Proposals submitted in any other language will not be evaluated.
Which are the evaluation criteria for a proposal?

The evaluation criteria are:

  • Industrial Relevance,
  • Dissemination and Exploitation Strategy,
  • Experiment Design,
  • Soundness of Technical Approach,
  • Quality of Work Plan,
  • Resources to be committed, and
  • Appropriateness of the Consortium.

The structure of our proposal template follows exactly the evaluation criteria.

Each section in the proposal template is given a mark ranging from 0 to 5.

Industrial relevance section has a threshold of 3 points. At most two categories can be strictly below 3 points, not including section industrial relevance.

Industrial relevance section has a weight of 4, i.e. its mark is multiplied by 4 before summing up the total score. All others have the weight of 1.

Threshold for the total score is 30 out of 50.

There are another non-technical criteria that will be used as tiebreakers. These are:

  • Number of SMEs involved;
  • Measures to encourage women in the manufacturing and tech community, researchers and start-ups;
  • Countries not covered by current DIGITbrain Consortium;
  • Cross-border experiments;
  • Participation of external DIH.

To apply the rewarding criteria the proposal shall be above the threshold. In other words: the scores obtained with the rewarding criteria do not contribute to reach the minimum threshold.

What is the timeline of this open call? What are the main dates I need to know?

The 2nd Open Call will be open for three months, from 28th February to 31st of May.

The evaluation and selection process will take two months, from 1st June 2022 to 31st July 2022, includingthe eligibility check process during the first two weeks. August is not eligible to be counted in the evaluation process timeline.

The contracting process with Third Parties will take one month, from 1st to 30th September 2022

The experiments will start at the beginning of October 2022 and willtake twelve months, until September 2023.

With whom will I sign the contract for carrying out the work described in the proposal?

The contract will be signed between Corporación  Tecnológica de Andalucía (hereafter CTA). CTA is a Spanish foundation and private Funding Agency that act in DIGITbrain as cascade funding manager.

One contract per experiment consortium will be signed, with the signature of all parties involved in the same contract.

The contract signature is planned to happen in September 2022.

What is the IPR policy within this 2nd Open Call?
The IPR policy in order to ensure the use of the experiments results will be part of the exploitation strategy under conditions that are predefined as part of the business modelling activity accompanying the experiments. Further detailed information about IPR arrangements is provided in the Guide for applicants
Where could I find the list of the countries currently in the Consortium?

The current DIGITbrain Consortium already covers, besides the United Kingdom and Switzerland, the following Member States: Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Romania, Serbia, Finland, France, Austria, Portugal.

What does DIGITbrain Project offer to beneficiaries:

It is not about doing it all on your own!

Get support from your regional Digital Innovation Hub!

In order to maximise the impact of the experiments, each experiment is accompanied by a Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) will provide help from proposal writing to the implementation of the experiment. Click on the button, to see, which Digital Innovation Hub is available in your region.

Expectations for Experiments

Each experiment is required to bring together a manufacturing end-user and technology providers to perform experimentation, in order to validate the DIGITbrain solution.

A total budget of 1.4M€ has been kept for these two Open Calls.

Grounding on the Digital Twin concept, experiments will be focused on enabling the customization of Industrial Products (intended as systems operated by manufacturing companies to support the production of the final consumer products) and facilitating cost-effective distributed and localised production for manufacturing SMEs or mid-caps, by leveraging edge, cloud and HPC-based modelling, simulation, optimisation, analysis, and machine learning tools. 

Experiments can cover any segments in the manufacturing sector at large, including (but not limited to) discrete manufacturing, continuous production, or construction. Experiments should aim at covering the development and uptake of digital technologies, especially in segments where these are underexploited.

Read more about what other experiments have achieved:


Requirements for experiment consortia
  1. The minimum number of partners in an experiment consortium must include:
    • One End User (mainly SMEs); and
    • One Technical partner acting as Independent Software Vendor (ISV), engineering, or software consultant.
  2.  All Third Parties must come from the European Member States, Associated Countries, or the United Kingdom [1]
  3. According to the EC rules, no Third Party is allowed to have received more than 100,000 EUR from Horizon 2020 I4MS and SAE Open Calls[2].


[1] For further information, please visit: https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/statistics/framework-programme-facts-and-figures/horizon-2020-country-profiles_en

[2] DIGITbrain will receive assistance from the European Commission to cross-check if an organization that has been shortlisted for funding under the current DIGITbrain’s OC2 has already received FSTP via an Open Call under any other H2020 I4MS/ SAE Project and to ensure that the right funding is allocated to a Third Party in case it exceeds the above threshold (including any DIGITbrain potential funding).
Types of organizations and companies considered as "Third Parties"
  • End Users from the manufacturing sector (will be driving the experiments. Preferably an SME but also mid-caps.)
  • Independent Software Vendors (ISVs).
  • Engineering or software consultants.
  • Research Organizations.
  • High-Performance Computing (HPC) providers.
  • Any organization that will act as a Digital Innovation Hub (DIH).
Application Experiment strategic focus

This Open Call is focused on attracting Third Parties (especially manufacturing and ISV SMEs and mid-caps) to perform experiments to validate the DIGITbrain solution and to make SMEs more competitive by transferring innovative solutions into the wider manufacturing community.  Experiments will be implemented in close collaboration with Digital Innovation Hubs and technical partners of Competence Centres. This interaction should start during proposal preparation, with DIHs and technical partners of competence centres acting as a business and technical supporters for applicants. This collaboration will then continue during the experiments’ deployment and execution.

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This is how experiments of the first wave have been evaluated:

This is how experiments of the second wave have been evaluated: