6 new projects are starting

18 feb 2020

This month, 6 new projects are starting. At a ceremony on 3 February, they received their Grant Letter. 3 projects address our objective Innovation; the other 3 deal with our investment priority Innovation.



Innovative material design and advanced manufacturing provide large opportunities for SMEs. New materials such as composites can make their way to a wide array of sectors like transportation, especially automotive, building and infrastructure, consumer products and machine tool industry. At the same time, such innovation poses risks to SMEs. They should invest in expertise, skills, human resources, demonstrations and testing.
AACOMA will support advanced composite manufacturing in close cooperation with companies and research institutes. To demonstrate feasibility, quality and productivity, it will use advanced technologies in material’s systems development and integrative lightweight manufacturing.

Lead Partner: CENTEXBEL
​Support from European Regional Development Fund: € 1.478.453,06


The Einstein Telescope will provide new insights into the beginning of the universe. Its infrastructure will be buried  300 meter below the surface to reduce human-, wind- and ground-induced vibrations and movements. E-TEST is an important component of Einstein Telescope. It will run an underground study to map and model the geology of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine. This should help identify the optimal design and location of the Einstein Telescope. E-TEST will also build a prototype - a large mirror suspended at cryogenic temperature – to validate the telescope’s technology.

Lead Partner: Liège Interface Entreprises
Support from European Regional Development Fund: € 7.498.398,10

GYM – Generate Your Muscle

GYM is an acronym is ‘Generate your Muscle’. Maintaining the muscle mass and muscle strength are essential to a healthy life. Unfortunately, diseases and ageing cause the loss of muscle mass. Until now, no methods are available to treat muscle breakdown.
However, recent discoveries have shown that muscle stem cells can encourage the production of healthy muscle fibres. Generate Your Muscle will test such muscle stem cells therapy. Specifically, it will address the therapy’s safety and effectiveness for patients with muscle disorders. Ultimately, the project wants to scale up muscle stem cell production in a new spin-off company. This should make the therapy affordable and broadly available.

Lead Partner: Maastricht University
Support from European Regional Development Fund: € 1.422.888,23




SMEs need an international and digital mindset. DigitSME will strengthen SMEs in those fields. The project will first map their digital and international maturity levels. Then, in cross-border clusters and with the help from experts, the companies will improve their digital and international competences. Finally, the entrepreneurs will receive coaching to shift towards digital marketing and successfully enter markets abroad.

Lead Partner: IHK Aachen
​Support from European Regional Development Fund: € 761.282,35


The scarcity of natural materials calls for a circular economy that uses sustainable materials. New materials do not only require less resources; they also bring about opportunities in innovative product development and product design. ST®EAM brings together scientific and technological expertise on new sustainable materials. The project coaches and guides SMEs in this transition. In a co-creation process, it will develop 40 prototypes of innovative circular materials. While capitalising on the latest developments and insights from the design sector, ST®EAM will encourage new forms of entrepreneurship.

Lead Partner: UC Leuven & Limburg
​Support from European Regional Development Fund: € 1.947.073,07


Customers expect fast delivery times and highly customized products. This forces SMEs to transform their production processes to a new way of manufacturing. Speeding up manufacturing requires human-centered process innovation (‘Quick Response Manufacturing’) and innovative digital technologies (‘Industry 4.0’).
QRM4.0 will support SMEs in their Quick Response Manufacturing journey through coaching, training and the sharing of expertise and best practices. Participating SMEs will receive practical know-how and will learn from hands-on workshops, company visits, demonstrations and interactions with innovation leaders. Through a voucher system, they will receive support and coaching to transform and digitize their production process. A learning network of manufacturing SMEs and IT solution providers will serve as a platform to exchange best practices.

Lead Partner: SIRRIS
Support from European Regional Development Fund: € 1.682.154,27