Commercial Analytical Research Organisations Transnational Strategy
CAROTS
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
1 Innovation
objective
1.1 Research & innovation infrastructures

CAROTS

Thanks to a new type of intermediaries between industry and science, the project CAROTS helped enterprises benefit from advanced research and scientific expertise.
The challenge

Connecting industry with research

There is a gap between basic scientific research and industrial application of research results in new products and technologies. To bridge this gap, some public and private initiatives were undertaken to deliver measurement services for industrial clients. Especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) need a comprehensive package solution, specifically starting with consultation in order to define the required research goals and methods, followed by developing concepts for experiments, the actual measurement and concluding with an interpretation of the results. Thus, intermediaries acting as "translators" between industry and academia, would help to align research and industry. Commercial Analytical Research Organisations (CAROs) or Scientific Service Companies (SSCs) could be translators and educators of methods, results, and data by interpreting scientific insights for industrial customers. SSCs have access toor the potential to use Large Scale Research Infrastructures and/or offer lab technologies. SSCs will help companies to benefit from knowledge and potential of scientists and research facilities and provide companies with much quicker yet complete assistance to solve analytical tasks in areas like e.g. new materials/material sciences (including engineering), NanoTech or Life Sciences/BioTech.

Initiating a new market

Although a few SSCs already exist in Europe, there is a high potential for additional enterprises of this type. Therefore, CAROTS aims to establish this new type of company in the Baltic Sea region. The goal is to initiate a test bed for this new type of intermediaries between industry and Analytical Research Organisations. CAROTS aims to involve private capital – by investing in SSCs – in the collaboration between industries and publicly owned analytical facilities. CAROTS wants to improve conditions for this type of industrial research startups along with greater visibility, better knowledge transfer and attracting entrepreneurs and venture capitalists for support.

Budgets

CAROTS
in numbers
  • 2.10
    Million
    Total
  • 1.51
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.12
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Achievements

For the first time, the CAROTS project (CAROTS stands for Commercial Analytical Research Organisations Transnational Strategy) tested a new business model, market and bottlenecks for the development of Scientific Service Companies (SSCs). SSCs are intermediary companies facilitating access of enterprises to advanced research infrastructures and to scientific expertise needed to solve analytical tasks in areas like e.g. new materials, NanoTech, or Life Sciences. As enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), find it complicated and costly to access advanced research facilities and get an overview of the available research tools and methods, SSCs as intermediaries would facilitate contacts between companies and research representatives and facilitate solutions. Thus, SSCs made more effective use of existing research capacities at research infrastructures and other research institutions.

 

The MIXN network established

The project managed to increase the previously low visibility of SSCs and initiated the European MIXN (Mediators connecting Industry to X-rays and Neutrons) network. The network, established in 2020, will continue its operation representing SSCs’ interests after the project’s end. The aim of the network was to raise awareness about the importance of intermediaries, to reach new clients and to lobby for easier non-academic access and use of analytical research facilities.

The CAROTS Startup School

The CAROTS project established the Startup School and welcomed scientists and engineers working as researchers at universities or research institutions. The programme at the School contained coaching sessions (coaching from specialists that established SSC before) and webinars. As a result, by launching the School for those who want to set up a scientific service company (SSC) based on an advanced analytical technique, the project increased the number of SSCs in Europe as a first step. Out of eleven scientists, two have founded new companies and one entrepreneur has expanded his offer to include scientific services. The Startup School will be continued in the future with the support of the Research Infrastructures and the MIXN network.

Outputs

Letter of Intent for Scientific Service Companies to join the MIXN network

The Letter of Intent is addressed to potential founders of Scientific Service Companies (SSCs) that aim to join the MIXN network. By the project’s end, it was signed by eleven SSCs. The founding members represent organisations from different parts of Europe. The aim of the network is to advocate and speak with one voice towards research facilities and politicians by raising awareness of the importance of intermediaries (SSCs). Besides, the network intends to reach out to new clients and continue collaboration with the existing customers and, finally, promote easier access and use of research facilities. The MIXN network is open to other existing and future Scientific Service Companies.

Startup guide for Scientific Service Companies

The startup guide for Scientific Service Companies (SSCs) aims to support future founders of SSCs by providing hints and useful information about the initiation of this type of intermediary companies. SSCs are very niche and have particular needs. Therefore, this is a tailored guide that will help interested parties on their way to becoming the next Scientific Service Company in Europe. The guide provides an overview of 1) different kinds of business models, 2) the market, 3) how to bring the service to market and sell it, 4) future ideas about intellectual property, and 5) funding opportunities for SSCs.

Project Stories

Partners

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

  • Town
    Hamburg
  • Region
    Hamburg
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
643,332.57
53.55034110.000654

Helmholtz-Zentrum hereon GmbH

  • Town
    Geesthacht
  • Region
    Herzogtum Lauenburg
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
289,821.02
53.439712110.3682538

University of Turku

  • Town
    Turku
  • Region
    Varsinais-Suomi
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
305,321.88
60.451753122.2670522

Foundation of Innovative Initiatives

  • Town
    Krakow
  • Region
    Miasto Kraków
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
129,268.63
50.061947419.9368564

Saint Petersburg State University of Economics

  • Town
    Saint Petersburg
  • Region
    City of St. Petersburg
  • Country
    Russian Federation
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
139,232.65
59.91785735000000630.380619357025516

Lithuanian Innovation Centre

  • Town
    Vilnius
  • Region
    Vilniaus apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
99,202.81
54.687045825.2829111

University of Tartu

  • Town
    Tartu
  • Region
    Lõuna-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
124,745.00
58.380120726.72245

Investment and Development Agency of Latvia

  • Town
    Rīga
  • Region
    Rīga
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
39,252.81
56.949397724.1051846

The Capital Region of Denmark

  • Town
    Hillerød
  • Region
    Københavns omegn
  • Country
    Denmark
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
261,199.84
55.928573512.3063909

WITHDRAWAL (30.06.2020) Danish Technological Institute

  • Town
    Aarhus C
  • Region
    Østjylland
  • Country
    Denmark
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
69,303.84
56.149627810.2134046