CAROTS – Commercial Analytical Research Organisations Transnational Strategy

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Project duration: 30 months starting from January 2019

Project budget: 2 100 681,05 €

Project coordinator: DESY (Germany)

No. of project partners: 9

Objective of CAROTS is to establish a new type of SME – Commercial Analytical Research Organisations (CARO) – providing services in various fields. CAROs will help enterprises to benefit from knowledge and potential of scientists and research facilities in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). They will facilitate access of companies to research infrastructures (RI) and to scientific expertise needed to solve analytical tasks in areas like e.g. New Materials, NanoTech or Life Sciences and thus significantly expedite innovation.

The market of Commercial Research Organisations in Pharmacy is about $27bm in 2014. CAROTS aims to initiate first steps to enter a similar market in above mentioned areas. The BSR is a test bed for a new type of intermediaries between industry and analytical facilities. It is a rare chance to involve private capital – by investing in CAROs – in collaboration between industries and publicly owned analytical facilities.

Although a few CAROs already exist in Europe, the market fails in generating additional enterprises of this type. Reason for that is a lack of risk capital or loans for the creation of new CAROs. Also, lack of visibility of existing CAROs hinders the creation of additional companies. Improved conditions along with greater visibility, a better knowledge transfer and the availability of more transparent financial data could help to attract entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to support CAROs. CAROTS will analyse the current situation and develop solutions. It will integrate stakeholders from public administration, universities, large-scale RIs, venture capitalists, banks and existing CAROs, who all have influence on improving the framework conditions for CAROs.

In its operational phase, CAROTS will:

  • Collect, analyse and provide market data and financial data about CAROs
  • Improve the visibility of CAROs: on political level by a tight cooperation with the policy area coordinators of the regional EU strategies, the EU Commission and other projects like the Baltic Science Network, on potential customers’ level via chambers of commerce and cluster initiatives and on operators level with universities, innovation parks and large RIs via cooperation in order to support spin-off companies
  • Encourage public support, e.g. via financial support for SMEs using services provided by CAROs or via a privileged access for CAROs to RIs
  • Raise awareness among investors on promising new opportunities in a developing global market
  • Encourage EU/national administration to support CAROs
  • Raise trust among potential commercial customers in the quality of services provided by CAROs
  • Implement 3 new founded CAROs as a pilot activity. This will serve as a test bed for the developed financing and business model.

Following outcomes will be provided:

  • Transferable business model for CAROs
  • Preparation of a follow-up to provide venture capital to CAROs (SME)
  • Policy recommendations
  • 3 pilot companies founded