Smart Built Environment – The Innovation Ideas call

WHAT CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

Apply for funds to develop ideas that can lead to innovations or test previously developed ideas before implementation and/or scale-up in day-to-day operations. Successful project proposals will contribute to the sustainable development of the built environment, with a focus on digitalisation and industrial processes.

WHO CAN APPLY?

Small and medium-sized companies and small or medium-sized municipalities can apply for grants in the call. Larger organisations can apply for funding, but the application needs to clearly explain how small and medium-sized companies and small and medium-sized municipalities, respectively, can benefit from the results.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU APPLY FOR?

The maximum grant is SEK 500,000 (requirement of 50% co-funding). To apply for a maximum grant of SEK 500,000, total costs need to be at least SEK 1,000,000. The project duration is 12 months.

Current: 39 Days left. Apply before: 2024-04-02 14:00

The purpose of the Innovation Ideas call is to increase opportunities for primarily small and medium-sized enterprises and small and medium-sized municipalities to develop ideas that can lead to innovations. The call also enables continued work on previously developed ideas that need small-scale testing before implementation and/or scaling in day-to-day operations.

The call, as per the goals of Smart Built Environments, supports sustainable development of the built environment. Digitalisation and/or industrial processes are to be central for projects awarded grants. Applications can address processes, forms of collaboration, business models and technology.

Projects applying for grants are to:

  • Contribute to a sustainable built environment with a focus on digitalisation and industrial processes.
  • If applicable, contribute to greater equity and equality in the built environment and clearly describe in the application how the project does this. Smart Built Environment Equality Guide External link. (in Swedish)
  • Develop scalable ideas/solutions that are applicable in different environments (including in planning and permitting processes in municipalities, by regional health authorities, or in construction and infrastructure projects).

The project should address at least one of the four Smart Built Environment Thematic Areas External link.. Projects are to contribute to and address one or more of the short-term impacts for 2026 as described in Smart Built Environment Impact Logic 3.0. External link.

The Smart Built Environment strategic innovation programme brings together stakeholders across the entire build environment sector to achieve the programme’s overall objectives and impacts for a more sustainable built environment, with digitalisation and industrial processes as enablers.

With digitalisation and industrialised construction advancing at a rapid pace, both within and outside the programme, the sector needs to ramp up the transition to new work approaches and methods. Each year, Smart Built Environment conducts a major annual call focusing on larger research, innovation, and development initiatives with multiple stakeholders collaborating in projects spanning one to four years. This call complements the annual call. It is designed to be accessible and supportive of small and medium-sized organisations, above all in that the programme offers coaching in the application phase. This is a perfect opportunity to start your innovation journey and contribute to sustainable development within the smart built environment.

The purpose of the call is to expand opportunities for SMEs and small and medium-sized municipalities to develop ideas that can lead to innovations. Additionally, the call can also enable continued work on previously developed ideas that need small-scale testing before implementation and/or scaling in day-to-day operations. The call, as per the goals of Smart Built Environment, supports sustainable development of the built environment. Projects awarded grants are to include digitalisation and industrial processes as central methods. Applications can address processes, forms of collaboration, business models and technology.

Normally, projects in this call are expected to lead to an idea that can be developed towards a solution. The next step for the project can involve funding major initiatives through Smart Built Environment’s other calls or through other capital investments. In exceptional cases, grants from this call could potentially lead directly to implementation.

Projects applying for grants are to:

  • Contribute to a sustainable built environment, with a focus on digitalisation and/or industrial processes.
  • Develop scalable ideas/solutions that are applicable in different environments (such as in planning and permitting processes in municipalities, at regional health authorities, or in construction and infrastructure projects)

Projects should address at least one of the four Smart Built Environment Thematic Areas External link.. Projects are to contribute to and address one or more of the short-term impacts for 2026 as described in the Smart Built Environment Impact Logic 3.0 External link. (in Swedish).

If applicable, contribute to greater equity and equality in the built environment and clearly describe in the application how the project does this. Smart Built Environment Equality Guide External link. (in Swedish)

SMEs (as per the EU definition) and small and medium-sized municipalities (group C as per the classification from the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions External link.) may apply for a grant. Larger organisations, higher education institutions and research institutes may apply, but the application should clearly indicate how SMEs or small and medium-sized municipalities will benefit from the results, as defined in the purpose of the call.

Please note that sole proprietorships cannot be granted funding in this call. Companies that do not have a Swedish corporate identity number cannot be granted funding in the call.

For organisations conducting economic activities, such as municipal and private companies, Formas applies EU state aid rules. See the heading “State aid rules for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity”.

Before you apply

Applicants must be a Swedish organisation, meaning a legal entity with a corporate identity number.

The 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 that can receive funds in all Formas calls and administrating organisations that are approved to receive funds in an individual call. The applicant’s organisation must be approved as an administrating organisation under one of these two forms. More information is available below under “How to apply”.

All projects applying for grants must have a responsible project leader. The project must be conducted by the individuals (key project members) stated in the application. An applicant is not allowed to submit the same application multiple times with different applicants. Applications with the same content will be rejected.

Applicants are required co-fund their projects with at least 50% of project costs (see the section “Costs eligible for funding”). 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 heading “State aid rules for companies and other organisations engaged in economic activity”.

Formas strives for equitable and inclusive societal development that ensures gender equality. As such, applicants should design their projects to allow the results to benefit a diverse range of people and that gender balance be considered when putting together their project teams. Consideration should also be given to how influence is distributed among the members.

Applicants interested in receiving coaching for Smart Built Environments should register with the programme office. Registration is open until 1 March. Use the online form External link. (in Swedish) to apply for coaching. The coaching process is an opportunity for applicants to have their idea assessed by experienced coaches and receive advice that can improve their application to the Innovation Ideas call. Taking advantage of the coaching offer is an opportunity, but not a requirement, when submitting an application in the Innovation Ideas call.

When applying for project funding, you can apply for a grant to cover both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are costs that would not have arisen if the project had not been conducted, include staff expenses, equipment and travel. Indirect costs are costs that are not the immediate result of the project but that are still related to it, such as for administration, IT and renting of premises. Indirect costs are also called overhead costs or general expenses.

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 regular activities.

More information about costs eligible for funding by Forma:

Project costs that qualify for funding.

Costs funded by Formas with supporting provisions External link. (in Swedish)

The call’s total budget is approximately SEK 5 million. In this call, you can apply for a maximum of SEK 500,000 in funding. The applicant must cover at least 50% of the project’s costs.

Projects can begin on 1 July 2024 at the earliest and on 31 August 2024 at the latest. The project duration can be a maximum of 12 months. The budget in your application is to specify how you plan to use the funds for each financial year and show the expected actual costs. For administrative reasons, Formas may schedule payments differently from the application’s planned allocation of the budget.

Applications applying for an amount or a project duration outside the above ranges will be rejected.

State aid rules apply when Formas provides grants to organisations engaged in economic activity. The rules are intended to protect competition in the EU’s internal market.

In this call, Formas will apply Article 25 of the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER) (EU Regulation No. 651/2014). Regardless of the size of the organisation, in this call Formas requires co-funding of at least 50% of project costs.

Before making a decision, Formas performs credit checks on organisations engaged in economic activities that may be eligible for funding.

You can read more about the state aid rules that apply to Formas grants at:

State aid rules – for organisations engaged in economic activity

Formas’ legal bases and aid intensity External link. (in Swedish)

We recommend that you write your application in Swedish, since the review panel that will assess your application is Swedish-speaking. You may write your application in English, but it will then be translated into Swedish prior to assessment. Abstracts should be provided in both Swedish and English.

Once submitted to Formas, Swedish law considers your application (including appendices) a public document. This means that anyone can request and read your application. Applicants must specify which information they want to be kept confidential. Before disclosing applications, Formas always conducts a confidentiality assessment but may only redact information as legislated for in the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act (2009:400).

If the project is awarded a grant, the popular science description and project abstracts in Swedish and English will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality assessment. For this reason, the contents of these fields should not include sensitive information. These texts are intended for use by Smart Built Environment’s programme office in external communication about the project.

At Formas, we strive to fund projects that maximise positive and minimise negative impacts on the environment and climate. As such, we encourage applicants to design their projects to enable primarily online collaboration and that any necessary travel occurs in as climate smart way as possible. We also suggest that your project planning includes measures that minimise energy use and other resource consumption, emissions and waste. However, this will not be part of the assessment of your application.

Sustainability at Formas.

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.

Grant applications are completed in our application system, Prisma.

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 in Prisma.

Companies and municipalities must be approved as administrating organisations by Formas for each funding call. A decision to approve administrating organisations is taken when grants are awarded in the call. Prior to decisions, Formas conducts credit checks on all companies and organisations engaged in economic activity that might be relevant to the awarding of a grant.

Organisation account

It is important that the applicant organisation has an account with Formas in Prisma before the project leader starts to apply for this call’s grant. Organisations that already have an account in Prisma must contact 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 well ahead of the deadline but no later than 25 March 2024.

Apply for an organisation account in Prisma External link.

Tick the box for Formas and fill in the “Reason for applying” box, write that you are applying for an organisation account because you want to apply under the Smart Built Environment call, the type of your organisation, and the corporate identity number. If you do not know whether the organisation has an account, contact Research Officer Anna Gellerstedt before applying for a new account.

Your application must be initiated through your organisation account. The organisation account supervisor automatically becomes the project leader. The supervisor can change this by inviting another person to become the project leader. If another person is to be assigned as project leader, they need to have a personal account in Prisma. If the organisation account supervisor is to be the project leader, then a personal account does not need to be linked to the application.

For more information, visit the Prisma support page External link.

Project sites

To register an application, the project site within the organisation must be specified. The organisation must have at least one project site in its organisational structure. The term “project site” refers to the section/department/unit within the organisation that is applying. Project site information is required when submitting the application.

The organisation account supervisor must define a structure with two levels of units and subunits (project sites). This is done in the drop-down menus for Administrating organisation and Project sites. Available project sites are defined in the organisation structure by the organisation account supervisor.

If the organisation lacks sections, define a subsection with the same name as the organisation. Information on how this is done can be found in Prisma’s user manual.

Describe what your organisation looks like (create a structure) External link.

The call is under the organisation account tab in Prisma. Click there and then proceed to the link “Calls for organisations”. Use Prisma’s user manual for instructions on how to find the call in Prisma.

Finding the call in Prisma External link.

All limits for maximum number of characters include spaces. One recommendation is to use the font Arial with font size 12 for the information entered in all text boxes.

The application is to include a clear description of the project using the following sections:

Basic information

  • Number of months applied for.
  • Earliest project start is 1 July 2024; Latest project start is 31 August 2024.
  • Estimated project duration: The project duration is calculated automatically in Prisma based on the start date and the number of months fill in.
  • Project title in Swedish and English (max. 200 characters including spaces)
  • Thematic area: Identify the primary thematic area or areas within Smart Built Environment that the project will contribute to. At least one thematic area must be specified:
    1. Innovations and new areas of applications;
    2. Knowledge and competence;
    3. Information infrastructure;
    4. Value chains and business models
      Read more about these themes at Smart Built Environment Thematic Areas External link.
  • Have you received coaching support External link. for your project idea?
  • Is one of the end-users a small or medium-sized municipality or small and medium-sized company?
  • Popular science description in Swedish (max. 4,500 characters including spaces) If the application is successful, the popular science description will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality assessment. As such, the contents of this field should not include sensitive information.
  • Popular science description in English (max. 4,500 characters including spaces)
  • Abstract in Swedish and English (max. 2,000 characters including spaces for each language version) The abstracts of successful applications will be published in open-access project databases without a confidentiality assessment. As such, the contents of these fields should not include sensitive information.

Project description

Maximum 10 pages. A template for the project description can be downloaded at .
The project description is uploaded as a file (max. size of 4 MB). Do not include a 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.

Budget and other information

The project’s budget and other information about the organisation are provided 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 in digits, for example 3,500,000)
  • Balance sheet total (refers to the sum of the asset side or alternatively the sum of liabilities and equity in a company’s or organisation’s balance sheet. Stated in digits, for example 5,500,000)
  • Number of employees
  • Contact
  • Email to contact person
  • Name of workplace, address, postal code, city, country where the majority of the work will be conducted.

The following budget information is provided in Prisma:

Costs

  • Staff expenses: Eligible staff expenses for companies and other organisations conducting economic activity may be estimated based on the actual cost.
  • Equipment, buildings and land
  • Consultancy and licensing costs and similar 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: 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.

Funding:

There are four types of funding an applicant can specify:

  • Applied for grant from Formas: State the amount applied for from Formas under this call. The amount cannot exceed total costs. If the amount applied for is less than total costs, the remaining amount will be automatically calculated and listed under “Self-funding”.
  • Other aid (state): Not used in this call.
  • Other aid (private): Not used in this call.
  • Self-funding: In this case, self-funding is the project’s co-funding. Self-funding is to total at least 50 per cent of the total project budget. Contact Formas if you are unsure about what counts as co-funding.

Explanation of staff expenses in budget (maximum 500 characters including spaces)

Specify the average hourly cost for budgeted staff expenses. Staff expenses refers to salaries including social insurance contributions. Other costs that require explanation can be specified here.

Prisma automatically calculates the aid intensity and co-funding level. The calculated aid intensity is preliminary and may be adjusted before Formas’ award decision.

Budget specification (max. 2,000 characters including spaces)

In your own words, explain the budget and the overhead costs included in the application.

Also specify any consultancy costs and the scope of the consultant’s participation. You are encouraged to clearly describe all costs related to the project activities.

Classifications

Formas uses the project’s classifications in analyses and supporting documentation on an overall level. These classifications are made when you state the subject area, research topic (SCB code), at least one sustainable development goal that the project can contribute to, and keywords.

  • Subject area

Select the project’s subject area and add a subheading.

  • Research topic (SCB code)

Select at least one research topic and two sublevels that combine to 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 and in order of relevance.

More about the meaning of the goals (In Swedish). External link.

  • Keywords

Enter one to 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 applicant, see the “Organisation account” heading under “How to apply”.
  • Select the project site from the dropdown list. If you cannot find the correct project site, see “Project site” under “How to apply”.

CV

The project leader’s CV must be attached. Attaching CVs for two participants in the project is optional. Maximum two A4 pages per CV.

After the application is completed, it must be registered, submitted and signed by the organisation account supervisor. There are two ways for the organisation account supervisor to sign the application:

  1. If the organisation account supervisor is the same person as the project leader, that person registers the application and signing occurs automatically.
  1. If someone other than the project leader is the organisation account supervisor, then that person finalises the application. Next, the administrating organisation (the organisation account supervisor or user whose role is application manager) registers and submits the application. The application is then signed automatically.

At any time during the application process, the project leader can access the Verify and Register tab. This tab will list any missing required information or other reasons that might prevent the application from being registered.

For more information, visit the Prisma user manual page: https://prismasupport.research.se/user-manual/organisation-account.html

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 required information.
  • No more than SEK 500,000 is applied for in any single project.
  • The project has not applied for more than 12 months of funding.
  • The applicant co-funds at least 50 per cent of the project costs.
  • The applicant is a Swedish organisation, meaning a legal entity with a corporate identity number (not a sole proprietorship).
  • The project description is written using the template provided on the call’s website.
  • Multiple applications with the same content have not been submitted.

All applications are assessed by an external review panel based on the contents of the application. As such, it is important to write the application as clearly as possible and include all important and relevant information.

Summary of the assessment process:

  1. Applications that meet the procedural requirements are assessed by external independent reviewers using assessment criteria. The applications are then ranked and a funding recommendation is made.
  2. Formas decides which projects are awarded funding.
  3. Applicants and the Smart Built Environment’s office are informed of the decisions, and these are published on the websites of Formas and Smart Built Environment.

The project should address at least one of the programme’s four thematic areas External link.. Projects are to contribute to and address one or more of the short-term impacts for 2026 described in Smart Built Environment Impact Logic 3.0 External link..

Applications are assessed based on the following criteria:

Relevance

  • The project can significantly contribute to the purpose and focus of the call.
  • The project’s problem formulation and purpose are clear, logical and well defined.
  • The project addresses at least one thematic area and one or more of the programme’s short-term impacts for 2026 described in Smart Built Environment Impact Logic 3.0 External link..
  • The application clearly states the business or organisational value of the expected results for the applicant organisation or other defined end-user/user.

Potential

  • The project is innovative or significantly better than available solutions in the current
  • It is clear how the project is intended to solve the problem.
  • After implementation on a smaller scale, the idea can be scaled up for a larger market or greater impact, domestically and/or internationally.
  • The results of the project have potential to contribute to greater equality.

Implementation

  • Planned activities and methods are realistic and appropriate for achieving expected results during the project.
  • The timeframe and budget are realistic and appropriate in relation to the purpose and objectives of the project.
  • There is a clearly written and appropriate plan for how the project results will be disseminated, utilised and (if relevant) made accessible.
  • Ethical considerations are described clearly, and the applicant’s plan for managing them is appropriate.
  • Gender equality aspects are well integrated into the implementation of the project. See Smart Built Environment Equality Guide External link. (in Swedish).

Project organisation

  • The project’s organisation and the overall expertise of the project group are appropriate for the implementation, including for utilisation of the project’s results. The roles of the project participants are clearly described.
  • The project is conducted in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.
  • There is gender balance in the project group (key individuals). This applies to project groups of more than 3 people.

Formas expects to make grant award decisions on 25 June. We publish our decisions the following day at the latest on the Formas website, and you will receive an email when you can view the decision in 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 is a defined period after the project has formally concluded, during which unspent granted funds may continue to be used. Incurred costs can continue to be assigned to the project until the availability period has ended and the financial report is to be completed. In certain situations related to the project leader and the administrating organisation, the availability period may be extended due to special circumstances approved by Formas, 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. Formas will provide instructions on what applies to your project. All reports are submitted in Prisma.

Financial reporting in Prisma External link. (in Swedish)

Formas may make requirements on the reporting of the content and results of projects to enable dissemination and utilisation. This will be noted in the award decision. Formas may also require you to participate in conferences and similar events to enable synergies and create platforms for learning and knowledge sharing.

Since this call is within the framework of the Smart Built Environment strategic innovation programme, special terms, conditions and instructions governing reporting, follow-up, communication and other aspects related to the programme may apply. Refer to http://www.smartbuilt.se/verktyg External link. for more information (in Swedish).

The project leader and/or the Project Party are to utilise project results as planned. This can be done through publication, commercialisation, licensing etc. If scholarly publication is used, this should be done using open access and according to instructions from Formas.

As far as possible, data and metadata from the project should be made available in open-access databases, following the principle of being as open as possible, as closed as necessary. The project leader is responsible for ensuring that there is a data management plan for the data produced in the project.

Open access to research results and data External link.

Formas shares information about awarded grants with Swecris External link., a national database of grant-funded research that was instituted by request of the Government.

Definitions

Term

Definition

Project leader

The natural person, or in some cases the legal entity, that submits the application to Formas and leads planning and implementation of the project.

Administrating organisation for an individual project (see section “How to apply”)

The organisation that can apply for funds in individual calls from Formas and be granted funds for an individual project. These can be companies, associations, trade associations, boards, funds and municipalities.

Project sites

A project stie can be a department, a section or a unit within the applicant organisation.

Small and medium-sized enterprises as per User guide to the SME definitions External link.

 

A small enterprise employs between 10 and 49 people and has annual turnover or annual balance sheet total of at most EUR 10 million per year. A medium-sized enterprise has between 50 and 249 employees and has an annual turnover of at most EUR 50 million or an annual balance sheet total of at most EUR 43 million. For micro enterprises, which have less than 10 employees, the same rules apply as for small enterprises. Note that Formas does not award grants to enterprises that are sole proprietorships and any applications from sole proprietorships will be rejected.

 

Revision history

Any post-publication revisions to the call text are listed below.

Contact information

Formas call officer

For administrative questions and questions about Prisma

For questions about budget, funding and grants for companies

For questions regarding the call’s background, purpose and desired impacts

Kristina Gabrielii, Programme Manager, Smart Built Environment
+46 (0)70-259 56 57
kristina.gabrielii@iqs.se

For technical questions about Prisma

Prisma IT-support External link.

Updated:15 February 2024