FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Answers to frequently asked questions are kept short to highlight the key aspects that are relevant to a potential applicant.
Q. What is WEAR Sustain looking for?
A. WEAR Sustain is looking for projects where Artists / Designers with Technologists or Engineers co-create a wearables/smart textiles prototype with a final goal to develop it into a commercial activity. Projects should start from Technology Readiness Level 3 (experimental proof of concept) and should align proposals with the sustainability objectives of WEAR Sustain – See more on this topic below.
Q. What is WEAR Sustain NOT looking for?
A. WEAR Sustain is not looking for individual ideas but strongly focusses on the equal participation of proposal collaborators from ethical/sustainable, artistic/design, technological/engineering backgrounds with business intentions for their proposal. If the review committee feels that there is no equal contribution to this project, projects will be denied.
Q. How many applications does the project expect to fund?
A. WEAR Sustain will fund a maximum of 48 projects across 2 Open Calls.
Q. What topics can be addressed in my proposal?
A. Proposals that address topics which address real world issues and try to “solve problems through art /design & technology collaboration ”, such as:
- environment (from mineral mining to e-waste on soil, water, animals, climate change/ atmosphere, waveforms: radio, mobile, WiFi, emg);
- body/physiology/somatics (toxicity of plastics and metals, emg waves, electronics away from heart, spinal cord etc, comfort, implants evasiveness);
- emotional/mental health (privacy, intimacy, relationships);
- social/cultural/economic (equality, surveillance, labour issues such as employer-forced wearable devices);
- materials (compostable, zero waste, non-blood minerals (sourcing), cleaning the environment, emissions, non-toxic dyes and fabrics, natural, organic sustainable, bio-fabrics);
- energy (harvesting from body, sun, air (instead of batteries)) and
- use/ reuse and waste (incl. recycling and reusing existing products) exploring materials, upcycling, rethinking.
Q. What are the key benefits for applicants in the WEAR Sustain programme?
A. Participation in the WEAR Sustain programme opens you up to a unique pan-European ecosystem of creative hubs involved in the creation of wearables and smart/e-textiles and will introduce you to new business opportunities. Please refer to our Open Call Themes for more details.
The €35-40,000 funding will minimise your financial risk and the developments resulting from the development of your project remain your intellectual property (IP). You will receive a mentor who will be assigned to support your project.
In addition, €10-15,000 (in innovation vouchers) will be allocated to each successful team to be used towards the cost of different kinds of support services (design, ethics, technology, data, business, venturing, promotion etc.)
Q. How can I apply?
A. Prepare a proposal, including prototype plan, explaining the design and arts context, ethics and sustainability context, technical context, the business value, a detailed budget and a timeline/Gantt chart. Submit your proposal before the call deadline via the WEAR Sustain F6S Portal, accessible via the WEAR Sustain website at www.wearsustain.eu/open-calls.
Q. Does WEAR Sustain predefine solutions that should be developed?
A. No. We are open to strong ideas that adhere to the WEAR sustain rules, themes and legibility in the context of sustainable wearables, smart and e-textiles, promising a business value. Moreover, the project should be a collaborative project between artists and/or designers together with technologists and/or engineers.
Q. If I am not part of a start-up, can I still apply?
A. Yes. This F6S application platform was designed for start-ups, but we are using it for our purposes and you need not be a start-up to apply.
Q. In the F6S application platform basic information section about my team, it asks for “Short Description of Startup” and “What’s different/interesting about your Startup?” If I am an independent freelance artist, designer, programmer, engineer or other related expert, can I still apply?
A. Yes. This is a predefined platform designed for start-ups that was chosen for its efficient function, but we acknowledge that some of questions may not apply to all profiles, especially artists, designers, and technologists who are not startups. Just try to give the most appropriate answer, and if you still have doubts or questions, please contact email@example.com.
Q. On the F6s application platform basic information section, if I don’t know which are my ‘markets’, can I still apply?
A. Yes. This basically means that you need to reflect upon what could be the potential uses of your developed prototype. See also above answer.
Q. Can our team promote our project and its outcomes publicly outside of the WEAR and EC related ones channels?
A. Yes, and we encourage you to do so. However, any dissemination action needs to state that the research and work leading to the results has received funding from the European Union H2020 Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 732098.
Q. Can we present two or more proposals for different software applications?
A. No, we ask you to only submit your best proposal, the idea that best fits the objectives of WEAR Sustain with the highest potential to succeed.
Q. Can I apply with a co-applicant from the same institution as me? (for example a university)
You are allowed to do so but please note that we value interdisciplinarity and cross-border collaboration. Therefore, other things equal, a competing team with members from different institutions would have better chances.
Q. Can I be a reviewer while applying to the Open Call?
A. No, because this is considered as a conflict of interest. This is also the case for other experts involved in WEAR Sustain (mentors, hub leaders). The rule is that one cannot be on both sides of applicant and expert in the same Call. You either apply for funding, or you are expert (reviewer, mentor, hub leader). In the same way, applicants cannot apply through a hub (or other organisations involved) that they belong to. However, they can apply as an individual or team, even though they are a part of the hub. Finally, one cannot be an expert in the first Call, and apply in the second. However one can apply in the first Call, and be an expert in the second Call.
Q. Can I be a mentor while applying to the Open Call?
A. No, because this is considered as a conflict of interest. This is also the case for other experts as mentioned above. You either apply for funding first and then become a mentor in the 2nd Call, but not in the reverse order.
Q. What language should the proposal be submitted in?
A. Proposals should be submitted in ENGLISH.
Q. How do I prove the excellence of my team?
A. Your submitted short presentation of your organisation shall outline your key competencies and previous experience with respect to relevant implementations, projects and/or products. Moreover, you need to provide short biographies of the individuals that will mainly work in your project – please do not supply biographies for any individuals that will not be working on the project or have a minor role in your proposed work. Your biog (approx. 3-5 lines of text) shall reflect your education and previous experiences that is relevant for the work proposed.
Q. Can a team of people from Moldova and Ukraine apply?
A. Yes. More generally, participants can come from the EU or from countries associated to H2020.
Q. How should the proposal be submitted?
A. There is a submission link to the f6s.com platform here WEAR Sustain f6s application system
Q. Does WEAR sustain fund artwork?
A. WEAR sustain funds projects that have the ultimate goal of becoming products or commercial services. So while we don’t fund the making of an original artwork as an artefact, we would fund tools and / or services that are of interest to a group of users, and have potential for going to the market.
Q. Does WEAR sustain fund research?
A. WEAR does not provide funding for research projects. However, research activities will be expected to be part of your project, whether it be artistic, scientific, humanities, economic, social, business, marketing, practitioner or technological research. The bulk of your project research needs to be practical, i.e. via making and prototyping for your project, but you will also need to undertake product, market and business research once your prototype is near completed.
Q. Do you fund the development of services, processes and techniques, or do we have to create a physical wearable tech artefact?
A. We will also fund the development of services, processes and techniques, as long as they comply to the sustainability and ethics themes listed in the Open Call topics, and benefit from an interdisciplinary and creative approach.
Q. Is there a minimum and/or maximum number of members that constitute a team?
A. Minimum is two, there is no maximum, but keep in mind the costs and other considerations when managing a large team. Also, all team MUST have one artist/designer AND one technologist (engineer/programmer) not one of these and other types of professionals.
Q. Can I apply for funding as a university member?
A. In principle yes, as long as your university can issue invoices to claim the team’s budget. We would advise against this as it is usually a cumbersome claim process and the university may take some of the money as research income. Our advice is that once you are selected that you register as a small company or consultancy for the duration of the project and your collaboration as a team and then claim your WEAR funding through this company.
Q.What does it mean ‘the team members need to be part of a legal entity’?
A. In order to claim your budget, you need to be able to invoice the WEAR coordinator imec. This can usually be done by freelancers, start-ups, SMEs or any kind of registered company, as university, non-profit or other organisations. Please refer to your home country’s procedures on how to register as one of these.
Q. What do you mean by sustainability?
A. We are aware that there are a number of sustainability definitions and models both in academic and business contexts. Our definition of sustainability is based on the EU Sustainability Guidelines here: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/sustainable-development/index_en.htm and here http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:52005DC0218&from=EN for more information.
We look forward to hearing your opinion both as expert and applying team, and are open to alternative and diverse suggestions and ways of addressing sustainability.
Q. What do you mean by ethical?
A. The ethics we are concerned with are those of personal privacy and data ethics, based on the EU’s guidelines: https://edps.europa.eu/data-protection/our-work/ethics_en and their report “Towards a New Digital Ethics” https://edps.europa.eu/sites/edp/files/publication/15-09-11_data_ethics_en.pdf
We look forward to hearing your opinion both as expert and applying team, and are open to alternative and diverse suggestions and ways of addressing ethics in wearables, electronic and smart textiles..
Q. Can you explain the concept of Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) more in detail?
A. We received this question a lot as TRLs can be an unfamiliar concept for artists and designers. To address this we decided to define a WEAR scale of TRLs, with an example of how they could look in practice. Below is an illustrated definition. If you have questions or remarks, please contact us.
Q. Is it possible to produce a ready-for-market prototype in just 6 months?
A. We do not expect the selected teams to reach this stage of commercialisation. However we do expect a significant jump in TRLs, so it depends on your starting point.
Q. Can I apply if my project is not at TRL 3?
A. No, but please review WEAR’s definition of TRLs. In our opinion a rough prototype that shows how the project is supposed to function and how it can be made fulfills the requirements of TRL3. E.g. for an interactive garment, this could be a roughly sewn garment made from calico cloth with loosely fixed circuit. If you have a mock-up, then we suggest you extend it with additional functional e-textile swatches and a description (or video) of the intended functionality.
Here’s an example of TRL 3:
Q. My proposal has been selected for funding, now what?
A. If your funding proposal is successful, the WEAR Sustain project team will inform you and invite you to an individual kick-off meeting in July, to review and fine-tune your project plan if needed. The sub-grant agreement will be based upon this jointly reviewed project plan. As soon as this agreement is signed you can start your work, based on your project plan that will be used as an annex to the sub-grant agreement, detailing the technology dimension, creative process, sustainability guidelines and the go to market activities, along with any other actions to be achieved as part of your final goal.
Q. Who owns the Intellectual Property (e.g. design, software, etc.) that my organisation develops?
A. Your team or your organisation owns the IPR.
Q. Are there specific technical requirements?
Q. What are the Eligible costs?
A. These are explained in detail on the “How to Apply” page.
Q. Can I ask for more information?
A. This website is the main portal information of the WEAR Sustain project, and includes general information. Additionally, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org as the main contact for other questions, which will be addressed by the WEAR Sustain consortium partners.
Q. When do I start?
A. Selected projects from Open Call 1 may start after the evaluation and selection has ended on 30th June 2017, and according to your individual project plan. Your plan will define a start and end date for your project, which can be chosen in a time span of 2 weeks after the signature of the sub-grant agreement with the WEAR Sustain project.
Q. If I am successful, how will I receive the funding?
A. Selected projects will receive a maximum of €50,000 in two forms; A fee (between €35,000 and €40,000) to be spent for prototype development and team’s salaries, and innovation vouchers (between €10,000 and €15,000). Teams will receive this in three instalments, at project start, after the mid term evaluation and once the project is finished, after the end term evaluation.
Unfortunately WEAR will not be able to advance the payments. While voucher invoices will be paid directly by WEAR’s project lead imec, other fees will be paid upon invoice by the team, meaning that costs will need to be advanced by the team.
Q. Can the European Commission ask for an audit and what does this mean?
A. It is neither explicitly planned, nor predefined, but the European Commission may, at any time during the implementation of the project and up to five years after the end of the project, ask for financial audits or a technical audit/review to be carried out, by external auditors/experts, or by the Commission services themselves. You need to keep your contractual documents and documentation of results elaborated at the defined milestones and specifically those main milestones that served for the review of being able to decide on the reimbursement of costs.
Q. What happens if I accomplish my project earlier compared to the initial plan?
A. You can initiate the review procedure of the WEAR Sustain project earlier and update your planning for post project activities. However, due to aspects of efficiency within the overall project, the review might not take place immediately, but tries to group reviews of several accomplished projects. You would be informed accordingly.
Q. What happens if I cannot accomplish the project plan milestones?
A. You will receive the opportunity to justify any non-accomplishment in an Executive Project Management Board hearing. If the hearing outcome is unsatisfactory, no more funding will be granted and you will no longer be eligible for further participation in the WEAR Sustain funded programme.
Q. What happens if I cannot accomplish the project in the planned time?
A. You will have to deliver your project as to your product plan. It is not possible to extend your project duration. If you are not able to deliver within the scope and time defined in your project plan you will get the possibility to justify the non-accomplishment in an Executive Project Management Board hearing. If the outcome of this hearing is unsatisfactory, you will no longer be eligible for further funding.
A. What theoretical perspective is the WEAR Sustain project coming from?
WEAR Sustain is not an academic project and we are not using any political or philosophical “schools” of art &/or design. This is the sort of art/design silo approach that we want to avoid – WEAR Sustain seeks to bring artists / designers together with technologists to make less environmentally damaging and invasive products to market, and to push industry to think and do differently to save the environment and protect people’s rights – it’s does not get more ideological or political than that.