The purpose of the call is to increase opportunities for SMEs as well as small and medium-size municipalities to develop ideas that can lead to innovation. This can also involve getting the chance to work on previously developed ideas that require testing on a smaller scale prior to implementation or scale-up in day-to-day operations. The call, in accordance with Smart Built Environment goals, will contribute to the sustainable development of the built environment. Digitalisation and industrial processes should be central methods in the project activities that are funded. Applications can address processes, forms of collaboration, business models, technology or a combination of these.
Normally, projects in this call are expected to lead to an idea that can be developed on a higher level towards a solution. The next step for the project can involve funding of major initiatives through Smart Built Environment’s other calls, or through other capital investments. In exceptional cases, funding from this call can be deemed to be able to lead directly to implementation.
The projects applying for grants must:
- Contribute to a sustainable built environment, with digitalisation and industrial processes in focus.
- If relevant, contribute to greater equity and equality in the built environment and, when applicable, clearly describe in the application how the project does this. See Smart Built Environment Equality Guide External link. (in Swedish)
- Develop ideas or solutions that are scalable and applicable in different environments (for example, in planning and permitting processes in municipalities, regions or in construction projects).
The projects should address at least one of the four thematic areas of Smart Built Environment External link.. Projects must contribute to and address one or more of the short-term impacts for 2024 as described in Smart Built Environment Impact Logic External link. (in Swedish).
Webinar Innovation Ideas
Welcome to Smart Built Environment's webinar about the call. The webinar will be held in Swedish
When? Friday 19 Augusti 2022 12.00–13.00 CET
Read more and sign up
The Smart Built Environment strategic innovation programme is a platform that brings together stakeholders across the entire built environment sector to achieve the overall objectives and impacts of the programme for a more sustainable built environment, with digitalisation and industrial processes as enablers.
Digitalisation and industrialised construction are advancing at a rapid pace both within and outside the programme, so the sector must ramp up the transition to create new work approaches and methods. Smart Built Environment conducts a major annual call each year. Larger research, innovation and development projects are the focus of the annual call, in which multiple stakeholders collaborate in projects that run from one to four years. This call complements the annual call and provides the opportunity to test ideas or previously developed solutions on a smaller scale, and to enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular to apply.
SMEs (according to the EU definition of SMEs) as well as small and medium-sized municipalities (group C) according to the classification from the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions External link. can apply for a grant. Larger organisations, higher education institutions and research institutes can apply, but the application should clearly indicate how SMEs or small/medium-size municipalities will benefit from the results, in accordance with the purpose of the call.
For organisations engaged in economic activity, such as municipal companies, private companies and other organisations, Formas applies EU state aid rules. See “State aid rules for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity” in this call document.
Before you apply
All information about the contents of an application, the application process and the assessment process is described in the sections below.
The applicant must be a Swedish organisation, meaning a legal entity that has a corporate identity number.
The principal applicant’s organisation must be able to receive and administer the funds that Formas pays out to an awarded project. Formas distinguishes between administrating organisations who can receive funds in all Formas calls, and administrating organisations who are approved to receive funds in an individual call. The principal applicant’s organisation must be approved as an administrating organisation in one of these two forms. Learn more under “How to apply”.
All projects seeking funding from Formas must have a responsible project manager. The project must be carried out by the individuals stated in the application. An applicant is not allowed to submit the same application with different principal applicants. Applications that have the same content will be rejected.
The requirement for co-funding from projects seeking funding is at least 50% of the total project budget. Private companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity that want to apply for a grant from Formas are subject to state aid regulations. See the section “State aid rules for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity”.
Formas strives for an equitable, gender-balanced and inclusive development of society. Applicants should therefore design the project so that its results can benefit a diverse group of people, and the team should consider the gender distribution of project members. How influence is distributed in the team should also be taken into account.
Applicants who so wish can register their interest in receiving coaching for Smart Built Environment well in advance before the call closes. The coaching process is an opportunity for applicants to have their idea tested by experienced coaches and get advice that can improve their application to Formas. The use of a coach is an opportunity, but not a requirement, when submitting the application in the Innovation Ideas call.
When you apply for project funding, you can apply for a grant to cover both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include staff expenses, equipment and travel. Indirect costs are costs that are shared with others in your organisation, such as for administration, IT and renting of premises. Indirect costs are also called overhead costs.
The grant must be clearly linked to the project you wish to fund and must be used to fund activities that are not part of your ordinary activities or operations.
The call’s total budget is approximately 3 million kronor. In this call, you can apply for a maximum of 300,000 kronor in funding. The requirement for co-funding from projects seeking funding is at least 50% of the total project budget.
The project start is 1 December 2022. The project can run for a maximum of 12 months. The budget in your application must state how you plan to use the funds, and applicants should record the budget based on how the actual costs are expected to be incurred for each financial year. For administrative reasons, Formas can apply a payout plan that differs from the application’s allocation of the budget over time.
Applications with a different requested amount or a project duration that does not fall within the above range will be rejected.
Private companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity that want to apply for grants from Formas must follow specific regulations on state aid. The regulations are based on the principle of EU law, which states that aid to private enterprises normally distorts competition but that certain exemptions are allowed. Two bases for granting aid are applied in this call, the General Block Exemption Regulation EU 651/2014 and de minimis provisions from Regulation EU 1407/2013.
Note that sole proprietorships cannot be awarded a grant under this call or participate as a party in projects that are applying in Formas’ calls. Companies that do not have a Swedish corporate identity number cannot be awarded a grant in this call, but can instead participate in-kind.
The aid intensity that Formas can offer depends on the size of the organisation and the type of activities in the project. The organisation’s size is assessed using the EU definition of small and medium-sized enterprises. Activities will primarily be assessed on the basis of Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation EU 651/2014. Under the call, state aid is granted only to projects which, under EU state aid rules, are grounded in “industrial research”. Aid intensity depends on the eligibility and the size of the company; learn more in Aid intensities and definitions for grants under Formas’ aid scheme External link.(in Swedish).
The Formas website contains information about de minimis aid rules, Regulation EU 1407/2013, as well as the terms and conditions that apply for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity.
At a later stage of the process, companies and organisations engaged in economic activity must submit proof of de minimis aid in order to qualify for a grant in this call. Formas will notify the relevant organisations of when this statement of proof is due. The statement should indicate the extent of the de minimis aid received, including the amount sought in the call. The statement must show the aid received during the previous two fiscal years and the current fiscal year, meaning during the last three fiscal years. The organisation must submit proof that any de minimis aid received during this period does not exceed a total of the equivalent of 200,000 euros (roughly 2 million kronor). Prior to any decision, we also conduct credit checks on all companies and financial activities that may be relevant to the awarding of a grant.
We recommend that you write your application in Swedish, since the review panel that will assess your application is Swedish-speaking. You can write your application in English, but it will then be translated into Swedish prior to assessment. Abstracts should be available in both Swedish and English.
According to Swedish law, your application and its appendices are considered as general public documents once they have been submitted to Formas. This means that anyone can request and read your application. The applicant must specify which information they want to be classified.
Before Formas discloses any applications, it always conducts a confidentiality assessment but can only hide information as legislated for in the Public Access and Secrecy Act (2009:400).
The popular science description and project abstracts in Swedish and English will, if the project is awarded funding, be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality assessment. Therefore, the contents of these fields should not contain sensitive information. The purpose of these texts is for use by Smart Built Environment’s programme office in external communication about the project.
We at Formas are eager to fund projects that maximise positive and minimise negative impacts on the environment and climate. We therefore encourage grant applicants to design their projects so that collaboration takes place primarily through online meetings and that any necessary travel takes place in a climate-smart way. We also suggest that you include measures that minimise energy use and other resource consumption, emissions and waste in project planning. However, this will not be part of the assessment of your application at this time.
Please read about Formas’ own sustainability work External link..
How to apply
Formas has updated its application process and associated system support for this call. Please read the instructions carefully, even if you have previously applied for a Smart Built Environment grant.
You apply for a grant in our application system, Prisma.
What is an administrating organisation?
An administrating organisation is the organisation that receives the grant money from Formas when a grant is awarded. The organisation listed as the administrating organisation must be the same organisation (corporate identity number) as the coordinating organisation under company information/budget.
Companies and municipalities must be approved as administrating organisations by Formas for each individual funding call. A decision to approve administrating organisations is taken when grants are awarded in the call. Prior to any decision, Formas conducts credit checks on all companies and organisations engaged in economic activity that might be relevant to the awarding of a grant.
Apply for an organisation account before you start
It is important that the organisation has an account with Formas in Prisma before the project manager starts applying for a grant in the call. Organisations that already have an account in Prisma must contact the research officer Anna Gellerstedt to request to be added to the list of possible administrating organisations for this call. This applies even if the organisation has been approved in an earlier round of Smart Built Environment calls.
If your organisation does not have an account in Prisma, an appropriate representative should apply for the organisation account on the Prisma website.
Apply in good time, but no later than 30 September 2022.
Select “Formas”. In the reason for the application, state that you are applying under the Smart Built Environment call, and state the type of organisation and the organisation’s corporate identity number. If you do not know whether the organisation has an account, contact research officer Anna Gellerstedt before you apply for a new account.
The application should be initiated through the organisation account. The person who is responsible for the organisation account then automatically becomes the project manager. The manager can change this by inviting another person to become a project manager. If another person should be the project manager, that person must have a personal account in Prisma. If the manager of the organisation account should be the project manager, then no personal account needs to be connected to the application.
Specify a domicile within your organisation
To be able to register the application, the organisation must specify its domicile. The organisation’s structure must have at least one domicile. Domicile refers to the department, institute or unit within the organisation applying for funding. Information on domicile is mandatory when the applicant submits the application.
The person who manages the organisation account must create a structure of units and sub-units (domiciles) in two levels. This is done in the drop-down menus for Administrating organisation and Project domicile. The domiciles that the applicant can select are retrieved from the organisational structure based on the organisation account settings defined by the person in charge of the organisation account.
If the organisation does not have departments, specify a sub-unit that has the same name as the organisation. Prisma’s user support contains information about how to do this.
The call is located on the Organisation account tab in Prisma. Click that tab, and then go to the link for organisation calls. See Prisma’s user support for instructions on how to find the call in Prisma.
All limits for the maximum number of characters refer to characters including spaces. We recommend that you choose the Arial font in font size 12 for the information you enter in all text boxes.
Your application must include a clear description of the project under the following sections:
- Number of months applied for.
- Project start is 1 December 2022.
- Estimated project duration: The project duration is calculated automatically in Prisma, based on the start date and the number of months filled in.
- Project title in Swedish and English (max. 200 characters including spaces).
- Thematic area: Identify the theme or themes within Smart Built Environment that the project will primarily contribute to. At least one theme should be specified.
- Innovations and new areas of application
- Knowledge and skills
- Information infrastructure
- Value chains and business models
Read more about these themes on the Smart Built Environment website External link..
- Popular science description in Swedish (max. 4,500 characters including spaces). If the project is awarded a grant, the popular science description will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. The contents of this field should therefore not contain sensitive information.
- Popular science description in English (max. 4,500 characters including spaces).
- Abstract in Swedish and English (max. 2,000 characters each, including spaces). Project abstracts for awarded projects will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality review. Therefore, the contents of these fields should not contain sensitive information.
Maximum 10 pages. A project description template , 56.6 kB. is available for download at formas.se. The project description should be uploaded as a file with a maximum size of 4 MB. Please do not include any budget in the project description.
Read the background and the call’s purpose and focus carefully. Also take note of the assessment criteria under “How does the assessment process work?” before completing the description. Address all the criteria in your application.
The project description should clearly describe the project based on the assessment criteria set out under “How the assessment process works”.
Budget and other information
You report the project budget and other information about the organisation in Prisma. The following information must be stated in the project budget:
Information about the organisation:
- Name of the organisation
- Corporate identity number
- Address, postal code, city, country
- Annual turnover (the total sales of the company or organisation during the previous fiscal year), stated using digits. Example: 3 500 000.
- Balance sheet total (the sum of either the assets page or liabilities and equity from the company’s or organisation’s balance sheet), stated using digits. Example: 5 500 000.
- Number of employees
- Contact person
- E-mail of contact person
- Name of the workplace, address, postal code, city and country where most of the work will be carried out.
The following budget information is requested in Prisma:
- Staff expenses: Eligible staff expenses for companies and other organisations conducting economic activity may be estimated at a maximum of 800 kronor per hour.
- Equipment, buildings and land
- Consultancy and licensing costs: For the costs of consultancy services and licenses to be eligible for funding, they must be purchased or licensed from external actors at market prices, and their services and scope must be stated in the project description.
- Other direct costs: Other direct costs can include the cost of consumables, travel, conferences and publication fees for open-access journals and databases.
- Indirect costs: These are overhead costs. You can include overhead of up to 30% of your eligible staff expenses. Formas does not grant funds for overhead on costs that you write off for equipment or premises.
There are four types of funding an applicant can specify in the application:
- Requested grant from Formas: State the amount requested from Formas under this call. The amount cannot exceed the total costs. If the amount sought is less than the total costs, the remaining amounts will be automatically calculated and reported under “Self-funding”.
- Other aid (state): Not used in this call.
- Other aid (private): Not used in this call.
- Self-funding: Self-funding constitutes the project’s co-funding. This portion should amount to at least 50 percent of the total project budget. Contact Formas if you are unsure about what counts as co-funding.
Justification of staff expenses in budget (maximum 500 characters including spaces)
Here, you specify the average hourly cost for budgeted staff expenses. Staff expenses refer to salaries, including social security contributions. Other costs that require explanation can also be entered here.
Prisma automatically calculates the aid intensity and co-funding level. The calculated aid intensity is preliminary and can be adjusted prior to Formas’ award decision.
Budget specification (max. 2,000 characters including spaces)
In the principal applicant’s own words, explain the budget and state the overhead costs included in the application. Formas does not grant funding for overhead costs that you write off for equipment or premises.
You also specify any consultancy costs and the scope of the consultant’s participation. The applicant is encouraged to clearly describe all costs related to the project activities.
Formas uses the project’s classifications in analyses and supporting documentation on an overall level. The classifications are made when the applicant states the subject area, research topic (SCB code), at least one sustainable development goal the project can contribute to, and keywords.
- Subject area
Select the project’s subject area and add a sub-heading.
- Research topic (SCB code)
Select at least one research topic and two sublevels that together form the entire code.
- Sustainable development goals
Select at least one and up to three sustainable development goals (SDGs) the project can help to achieve, in order of relevance.
Enter at least one and a maximum of three keywords describing the project.
Administrating organisation – the organisation receiving the grant
- Select the administrating organisation from the dropdown list. If you cannot find the organisation that will be the principal applicant, see the “Organisation account” heading under “How to apply”.
- Select the domicile from the dropdown list. If you cannot find the correct domicile, see “Domicile” under “How to apply”.
It is mandatory to add the project manager’s CV. It is optional to add CVs for up to two project participants. Maximum 2 A4-pages per CV.
Register and sign your application
After the application is completed, it must be registered, submitted and signed by the person responsible for the organisation account. Signing can be done in two ways:
- If the organisation account manager is the same person as the project manager, that person registers the application and signing takes place by default when the application is registered.
- If someone other than the project manager is the organisation account manager, then that person must finalise the application. Next, the administrating organisation (the organisation account manager or user whose role is application manager) must register and submit the application. The application is then signed automatically after the application is registered.
The project manager can at any time during the application process access the Verify and Register tab. He or she will see any missing mandatory information or other reasons that might prevent the application from being registered.
For more information, visit the Prisma support page External link..
NOTE: After the application period expires, the application can only be supplemented in special cases on request by Formas.
After submitting your application
First, Formas verifies that the application meets the procedural requirements set out in the call. If the application does not meet these requirements, it is rejected.
The following requirements will be verified in this call:
- The application is complete and contains all mandatory information.
- The amount sought per project does not exceed SEK 300 000 million.
- The project has not applied for more than 12 months of funding.
- Co-funding is required and must be at least 50 percent of the total project budget.
- The applicant is a Swedish organisation, i.e. a legal entity that has a corporate identity number (not a sole proprietorship).
- The project description is written using the template provided on the call’s website.
- The principal applicant who has previously received funding from Formas has submitted scientific and financial reports on time.
All applications are assessed by an external review panel based on the contents of your application. It is therefore important to write the application as clearly as possible and include all important and relevant information.
Summary of the assessment process:
- Applications that meet the procedural requirements will be assessed by external independent reviewers using assessment criteria. The applications will then be ranked and a recommendation for funding made.
- Formas takes a decision on which projects are awarded funding.
- Decisions are announced to the applicants and to Smart Built Environment’s offices and published on the websites of Formas and Smart Built Environment.
The projects should address at least one of the four thematic areas External link.. Projects must contribute to and address one or more of the short-term impacts for 2024 as described in Smart Built Environment Impact Logic External link..
The applications are assessed based on the following criteria.
- The project can significantly contribute to the purpose and focus of the call.
- The project addresses at least one thematic area and one or more of the programme’s short-term impacts for 2024 according to the programme’s impact logic External link..
- The application clearly states the business or organisational value of the expected results for the company or organisation.
- The project is innovative or significantly better than available solutions in the current market.
- The problem formulation and purpose of the project are clear, logical and well delineated. It is clear how the project intends to help solve the problem.
- After implementation on a smaller scale, the idea can be scaled up for a larger market or greater impact, nationwide or worldwide.
- The project has potential to contribute to greater equality through its results.
- Planned activities and methods are realistic and appropriate for achieving expected results during the project.
- The time frame and budget are realistic and appropriate in relation to the purpose and objectives of the project.
- A clearly written, fit-for-purpose plan is in place for how the project results will be disseminated, make real-world impact and (if relevant) made accessible.
- Ethical considerations are described clearly, and the applicant’s plan for managing them is appropriate.
- Equity perspectives are well integrated into the implementation of the project.
- The project’s organisation and overall competence of the project group are appropriate for the implementation of the project, including the utilisation of the project’s results. The project participants’ roles are clearly described.
- The project is carried out in collaboration with relevant stakeholders or end users. The involvement of the project participants is well described and appropriate for the objectives of the project.
- The project group (key individuals) as well as the distribution of influence is well balanced between women and men. Relevant for project groups of more than 3 people.
Formas is expected to reach a decision on 30 November 2022 concerning which projects are awarded funding. We publish our decisions the following day at the latest on the Formas website and later by email from Prisma. Grant award decisions cannot be appealed.
Projects have an availability period of three months after the end of the project duration. The availability period for the funds can be extended in specific cases if there are special circumstances that are approved by Formas, the project manager and administrating organisation, such as illness or parental leave.
All awarded projects must submit a report to Formas containing financial and project results within three months of the end of the availability period. Instructions on what applies to your project are provided by Formas. All reports are submitted in Prisma.
Formas may impose requirements on how projects must be reported in terms of content and results to enable distribution and application. In such cases, the award decision will contain more information about this. Formas may also require you to participate in conferences and similar events in order to create synergies and platforms for learning and knowledge sharing.
The Project Manager and/or Project Party must ensure uptake of the project results in accordance with the plan. This can be done through means such as publication, commercialisation or licensing. If the results are published in a scientific journal, they must be published under open access in accordance with Formas’ instructions.
Data and metadata from the project must, as far as possible, be made available in open access databases according to the principle “as open as possible, as limited as necessary”. The Project Manager must ensure that a data management plan is in place for the data produced in the Project.
Formas shares information about awarded grants to SweCRIS, a national database of grant-funded research that was instituted by request of the government.
Coordinating project party (principal applicant)
An organisation that coordinates the project and is an administrating organisation, meaning it receives funding from Formas, reports the project according to instructions and notifies Formas of any changes.
A person appointed by the coordinating project party as the project manager. The project manager leads the work of planning and implementing projects.
Administrating organisation for an individual project
An organisation that can apply for funding from Formas through individual calls and receive funding for an individual project. These are private companies, associations, trade associations, boards of directors, funds and municipalities. See the section “How to apply”.
A domicile can be an institution, department or unit within the applying organisation.
SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) as defined by the EU
A small enterprise is one that employs between 10 and 49 people and has an annual turnover or annual balance sheet total of less than 10 million euros. A medium-sized enterprise is one that employs between 50 and 249 people and has an annual turnover of less than 50 million euros or an annual balance sheet total of less than 43 million euros. For micro enterprises with fewer than 10 employees, the same rules apply as for small enterprises. Note that Formas does not award grants to enterprises that are sole proprietorships, so applications from sole proprietorships will be rejected.