Frequently Asked Questions

1. About Big Data Value PPP

1.1. What is the Big Data Value Association?

The Big Data Value Association AISBL (BDVA) is a fully self-financed non–for-profit organization under Belgian law. The BDVA is the private counterpart to the EU Commission to implement the BDV PPP programme (Big Data Value PPP). BDVA has over 150 members all over Europe with a well-balanced composition of large and small and medium-sized industries as well as research organizations. (

1.2. What is the Big Data Value PPP?

The Big Data Value PPP signature on 13th October 2014 was the first step towards building a thriving data community in the EU. This signature marks the commitment by the European Commission, industry and academia partners to build a data-driven economy across Europe, mastering the generation of value from Big Data and creating a significant competitive advantage for European industry, boosting economic growth and jobs.

The Big Data Value PPP commenced in 2015, starting with first projects in 2016 and it will run until 2020. Covering the multidimensional character of Big Data, the PPP activities will address technology and applications development, business model discovery, ecosystem validation, skills profiling, regulatory and IPR environment and social aspects.

The Big Data Value PPP will lead to a comprehensive innovation ecosystem for achieving and sustaining European leadership on Big Data, and for delivering maximum economic and societal benefit to Europe – its business and its citizens.

1.3. What is the link between REACH and the Big Data Value PPP?

REACH is part of the Big Data Value PPP within a group of projects known as the Big Data Value PPP projects (

2. About REACH

2.1. What is REACH?

The “EuRopEAn incubator for trusted and secure data value CHain (REACH)” is an Innovation Action project co-funded by the European Union. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 951981. Furthermore, REACH is part of the Big Data Value PPP within a group of projects known as the Big Data Value PPP projects.

The objective of REACH is to facilitate the uptake of Big Data tools by the start-ups whilst increasing the technical and business skills of the selected start-ups/SMEs. The final aim is to give place to sustainable business incubation around Big Data.

2.2. How can REACH help me?

REACH can help you through clearly defined set of free technical and business services to develop a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and reach commercial and/or investment agreements with data providers, corporates and/or private investors. Check them out at our website.


2.3. Is there any support for applicants without a selected idea?

No. Only the selected beneficiaries will be benefiting from REACH services.

2.4. What are the services like for the selected projects?

REACH will offer different services at each incubation phase. Check section 8 ‘Technical Services, Infrastructure and Events by REACH’ of the Guidelines for Applicants’ for further information.

2.5. So, are you financing my initiative?

Your project idea could be financed if you are selected in any of the REACH calls. Conditions are found in the Guidelines for Applicants. A selected project could be funded up to €120k.

2.6. Who is eligible in the calls?

The accepted applicants for REACH open calls are start-ups in the form of SMEs.

An SME will be considered as such if accomplishing with the Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC and the SME user guide. As a summary, the criteria which define an SME are:

  • Headcount in Annual Work Unit (AWU) less than 250.
  • Annual turnover less or equal to €50 million or annual balance sheet total, less or equal to €43 million.

Both SMEs and DPs must be established in a Horizon2020 eligible country.

The Member States (MS) of the European Union (EU), including their outermost regions;

2.7. How does REACH work?

REACH is divided into phases. After the 3rd open call for proposals, the selected teams will join the programme comprising of 4-phases of incubation/acceleration:

  • EXPLORE – between 30-40 projects will enter this phase. In the first Open Call, there will be 30 projects.
  • EXPERIMENT – around the best 10 projects from EXPLORE will participate in this phase.
  • EVOLVE – the around 5 selected start-ups/SMEs from EXPERIMENT will have access this phase.
  • EXPOSE – Subgrantees having reached EXPERIMENT will be supported in private fund raising through a mission voucher scheme.

2.8. How do I apply?

The F6S platform is the entry point for all proposals at Apply to REACH – 3rd open call for startups/SMEs | F6S . Submissions received by any other channel will be automatically discarded. 

2.9. Are there any kind of restrictions we need to be aware of?

Yes. If applying to Track 2 (Ready-Made), REACH applicants will need to making use of data assets offered by project data providers for experimentation available at REACH Data Catalogue:

If applying to Track 3 (Free choice), teams can bring their own data provider with a specific challenge to be solved and specific datasets to be used for that purpose. However, the data provider will have to comply with the country eligibility rules, data ownership or compliance with GDPR, among others. Check section 4 and 6 in the Guidelines for Applicants for further detail.

If applying to Track 1 (Theme driven), REACH will fund initiatives making use of data assets offered by project data providers for experimentation available at REACH Data Catalogue and/or will allow teams to bring their own data provider with a specific challenge to be solved and specific datasets to be used for that purpose. As above, if the applicant brings any data provider that is not part of REACH, the data provider will have to comply with the country eligibility rules, data ownership or compliance with GDPR, among others. Check section 4 and 6 in the Guidelines for applicants for further detail.

2.10. Due to BREXIT, is there any effect on UK companies to be able to apply?

UK applicants are eligible under the Withdrawal Agreement, as UK will continue to participate in programmes funded under the current 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) until their closure.

2.11. Are proposals coming from Russian entities eligible?

Regarding the current Russian-Ukrainian war, the European Commission has taken sides with Ukraine and decided:

  • not to engage into further cooperation projects with Russian entities,
  • put on hold the signing of any new contracts until further notice, and
  • suspend any payment to Russian entities under existing contracts.

In accordance with this statement, REACH will not finance proposals from applicants with residency/established in Russia. This does also apply to proposals from a team of applicants with one or more team members resident or established in Russia. You can find the statement of the European Commission here.

(REACH reserves the right to adjust these conditions according to changes in EU laws/directives/regulations)

2.12. What kind of projects are you looking for?

We are looking for secured and trusted data-fuelled solutions which utilize proprietary, often multi-stakeholder, industrial and personal data. REACH will go beyond previous incubators, such as European Data Incubator (EDI), not only by connecting data corporations with European innovators, but also by engaging Digital Innovation Hubs in the conception of high potential data value-chains and value-added services. Think about your business model as well as the technical stuff. The financial sustainability of what you propose is as important as the technology.

2.13. Is the data in the public catalogue open?

Every dataset in the public catalogue contains its legal restrictions defined. Check them out

2.14. Is the data in the public catalogue the only data we will have access to?

The public catalogue contains only samples of the full datasets from the data providers of each challenge. Once the start-ups and SMEs reach the Experiment phase access will be granted to the full datasets for the challenge.

2.15. What about the property of my app/tool/software?

You are free to decide the type of licensing you will provide. Just consider the data you are using to build the mock-up or MVP might have copyright restrictions you will need to sort out with the data provider.

2.16. What are the preferred domains?

All proposals must link to any of the Theme-Driven (track1), Ready-made (track2) or Free choice (track3) participation tracks.

1. Theme-Driven

REACH consortium, with great support from DIHs, will generate cross-sectorial DVC themes to be tackled by Open Call participants. Discover these themes at

The datasets to be used in this track could be a combination of the following:

  • Dataset provided by REACH data providers and available at REACH Data Catalogue
  • Dataset or datasets, external to REACH Data Catalogue (i.e. open data), as long as the applicant has access and processing rights to the data in compliance with data protection regulations, and has legal permission to include them in a commercial solution.
  • Dataset or datasets provided by Data Provider/s applicants bring to the project.

2. Ready-Made:

Driven by industry/data provider issued challenges, where data providers will provide sample datasets and specify a set of challenges in a variety of sectors to be approached by sub-grantees Defined in the REACH Challenge Catalogue

Applicants are encouraged to combine these datasets available in the REACH Catalogue with other from other sectors (i.e. Open data).

3. Free choice challenges:

Give the applicants more freedom to devise novel DVCs by bringing their own data providers and/or their own datasets, with those facilitated within REACH data catalogue. The applicant SME will apply together with their own Data Provider/s (at least one) proposing a joint challenge.

Datasets to be used are a combination of the following:

  • Dataset or datasets provided by the Data Provider/s brought to the project.
  • Dataset provided REACH data providers and available at REACH data catalogue.
  • Dataset or datasets, external to REACH data catalogue (i.e. open source), as long as the applicant has access and processing rights to the data in compliance with data protection regulations, and has legal permission to include them in a commercial solution.

2.17. What if I bring my own Data Provider/s? Is there a specific issue I need to be aware of?

For Track 1 (THEME DRIVEN) and Track 3 (FREE CHOICE), if the applicant brings their own data provider, the data provider will have to comply with the country eligibility rules (section 4.2 of the Guidelines for Applicants) and follow the same rules of current REACH data providers. To sum up: 

  • to complete the Data Providers application form, as indicated in the Application Form to be filled in by the Applicant. 
  • to sign a MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with REACH project coordinator, F6S NETWORK LIMITED (F6S), at the time of the application and before 1st April 2023. The MoU model is available here
  • to sign the Sub-Grant Agreement in case of selection of the Applicant before the beginning of the incubation in April 2023. A Sub-Grant Agreement template is available here
  • Provide access to the data and assistance to the Sub-grantee if selected. 
  • Participate in the meetings with the Sub-grantee organised by the project and in the evaluations in the corresponding pitches and events, if selected.

2.18. Is there any preferred track or expected number of proposals to be funded in each track?

The following table summarizes important issues regarding the type of proposals that are expected to be funded:


2.19. What is a Data Value Chain?

A Data Value Chain (DVC) is a multi-stakeholder data-driven business model where data is securely exchanged among parties, either persons or organisations, with the aim of creating value for all involved stakeholders. The data lifecycle occurs thus throughout different parties. Data is generated (recording and capturing data), collected (validating and storing it), analysed (processing and analysing the data to generate new insights and knowledge) and exploited (putting the outputs to use, whether internally or by trading them) by different partners. DVCs address the demand for multi-stakeholder heterogenous data correlation in order to generate insights.

2.20. How can I build a secure Data Value Chain?

For REACH, “data-driven” companies are entities that have the capacity and technology competence to build new products and services on top of Data. So, SMEs working with diverse technologies such as AI, IoT, 5G, blockchain or HPC are good examples of data-driven startups/SMEs, which should be involved in REACH incubator. Project resources will be committed to gathering and building new data value-chains with the collaboration of REACH engaged Data Providers and DIHs.

REACH incubator will nurture Data Value Chain concepts by proposing a set of Theme-Driven challenges which will exemplify possible multi-stakeholder combinations of data and services to establish collaborative value-driven Big Data pipelines. REACH incubator candidates will have the opportunity to participate in solving part of a DVC at Open Call stage. Besides, once in the program, i.e. in EXPLORE stage, they will have the chance to liaise and partake in collaborative experiments with other complementary subgrantees so that they progress into EXPERIMENT stage, i.e. when the MVP is developed, through a joint DVC. REACH aims to foster launching new data-fuelled products and services to the market, leveraged by the capacities of the best data-driven DIHs in Europe. 

2.21. Can I submit several projects?

Only one proposal will be accepted for funding per start-ups/SMEs.

Given the fact this call is a competitive one, and the teams will focus on a specific challenge or project, only one proposal per start-ups or SMEs will be evaluated. In the case of a multi-submission by a start-ups/SMEs, only the last one received (timestamp of the system) will enter into our evaluation process, being the rest declared as non-eligible.

If the last submitted proposal is declared then not eligible or fails the thresholds of the evaluation, the rest of proposals will not be considered for evaluation in any case.

2.22. Can I submit the same proposal to i4Trust?

Double funding is not acceptable. Start-ups or SMEs that have previously been beneficiaries in other incubators approved under the same topic (H2020- DT-ICT-05-2019 subtopic 2), namelyi4Trust, will not be funded by REACH. .

The basic information about a proposal (summary and participants) will be shared with the H2020- DT-ICT-05-2019 subtopic 2 projects to check compatibility. It is possible to submit a proposal to REACH if you have taken part in Data Pitch previously, as long as the data challenge solved is different.

2.23. What if my proposal is not selected in this Open Call?

This call is the last open call. Not additional calls will open afterwards. 

2.24. What’s the deadline for the second open call?

The 21st of February 2023 at 17.00 pm CET. There will not be deadline extensions unless a major problem, caused by REACH and not by the proposers, makes the system unavailable.

2.25. Are you sharing any information about my proposal?

Yes. A summary of the proposals and the participants’ information will be shared with the EC and with the DT-ICT-05-2019 subtopic 2, namely i4TRUST project. Moreover, once the sub-grantee contract is signed, we will publish an Open Dataset with the list of beneficiaries of our open call including their basic information data and funding received in our project website. This dataset will be made available at Zenodo. At the same time, we will populate the wiki-sourced database of Crunchbase to facilitate access to the data of our start-ups and the incubator as such in one of the reference portals in the start-up ecosystem.

All the information that will be made public is clearly indicated in the official documentation of the call. Unless you want you, no technical insights will be published anywhere.

2.26. Where does the funding come from?

Funding is given by the REACH consortium under a Sub-Grantee Agreement signed by the selected proposers and RECH consortium. The funds are given by the European Commission (Horizon 2020 Framework Programme), which uses REACH incubator as intermediary.

2.27. When are we going to be paid?

During the negotiation phase a payment calendar will be included in the Sub-Grantee Agreement that will be signed by the selected teams and the REACH coordinator. As a general rule, there will be no pre-financing, but payments will be divided through milestones across the different phases.

2.28. Do I have to keep track of my expenses to justify the costs?

Not for this project. Payments are a flat rate, which are released if some conditions are met (check the guidelines). Some examples:

For the EXPLORE phase all teams in the Datathon event will be awarded with €5,000.

Payment linked to both EXPERIMENT and EVOLVE phases depend on the accomplishment of the KPIs defined.

If you spend more or less is your business. So administrative speaking, this is easy.

2.29. Is subcontracting allowed?

No. The general rule applicable to REACH project is that beneficiaries must have the appropriate resources to implement the full set of tasks needed within the project. This means it is not allowed to subcontract any part of the project. Examples (not restricted to) of subcontracting are, paying an external developer not in the company or being part of the team of individuals to develop certain parts, paying a research centre or foundation to execute technical tasks, etc. Employees of a company are never considered subcontractors but part of the company itself.

2.30. What if I secure funds from other national or regional authorities for the same project?

The funds of the project come from the H2020 Programme. This means its regulation will apply to the funds. If you get additional public funding from other entities, it will be your responsibility to assure the compatibility of the different sources of funding.

Besides this, remember, double funding with Data Pitch is not allowed for the same data challenge.