Official Rules for “MATCHER – Open Innovation Program”


MATCHER is an open innovation program for Companies and Startups promoted by the Emilia-Romagna Region, carried out by ART-ER with the support of Deloitte/Officine Innovazione, that has been selected through the public call 2019_OI, CIG: 7823215140, published on ART-ER website on March 7th, 2019.

The program aims to engage top regional companies and the most promising startups/scaleups selected through an international call in an Open Innovation Program.

The present document states the rules that startups and scaleups need to follow to apply to participate in the program.

1. Definitions

In this Official Rules, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words and expressions shall have the meanings hereby assigned to them:

“Application” or collectively “Applications”The process for applying to participate in the Program
“ART-ER”ART-ER, is the Emilia Romagna Region consortium company limited by shares, incorporated under Italian law, with registered office in Bologna, via Piero Gobetti 101, VAT no. 03786281208 with the purpose of fostering the region’s sustainable growth by developing innovation and knowledge, attractiveness and internationalization of the regional system.
“Call”The process used to recruit and select the Participants to the Program
ChallengesThe needs of the companies operating in the Emilia Romagna Region in the sectors of Healthcare & Wellbeing, Smart Mobility, and Future of Packaging that have expressed their interest to participate in this pilot project
“ER Corporates”Companies operating in the Emilia Romagna Region that have expressed their interest to participate in this pilot through a letter of partnership and have been interviewed to define the Challenges
“Evaluation Panel”The board composed by representatives of ART-ER and other experts in the sectors of Healthcare & Wellbeing, Smart Mobility, and Future of Packaging
MATCHER – Open Innovation ProgramMATCHER – Open Innovation Program includes both Call and Program
“OI”Officine Innovazione S.r.l., a limited liability company, incorporated under Italian law, with registered office in Milan, Via Tortona 25, VAT no. 10230520966 that technically supports ART-ER in the Program
“Participant” or collectively “Participants”Italian or foreign startups or scaleups that will apply to the Call
“Project” or collectively “Projects”Idea(s)/solution(s) that are submitted by the Participants through the Application, to satisfy a market need or a market problem as described in the Challenges
“Selected Project” or collectively “Selected Projects”Project that successfully passed the evaluation phase and attends the Final Event
Startup and ScaleupsFor the purposes of the present call: A startup is a company that is in the first stage of its operations developing a product or service for which it believes there is a demand. A scaleup (company) is a company who has an average annualized return of at least 20% in the past 3 years with at least 10 employees in the beginning of the period (OECD, 2007)
“Final Event”The Event that will be organized by ART-ER on November 13-14th, 2019
“Website”The online platform where the Participants have to make the Application, submitting the information therein requested

2. Program Objective

The Program aims at empowering innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem in three sectors: Healthcare & Wellbeing, Smart Mobility, and Future of Packaging. The Program objective is to select startups and scaleups that can provide innovative solutions in collaboration with one or more ER Corporates to improve their core business and potentially create new businesses for the future.

The startups and scaleups will be selected with a structured process described in these Official Rules.

In order to participate in the Program, teams have to submit their Application on the official Website, by clicking on the “apply tab” and filling in all the mandatory information required before September 30th, 2019.

The Call is open to Projects with a particular focus on the following Challenges:

0. Future of packaging

  • Interactive Packaging
  • Intelligent Packaging
  • New Materials
  • Sustainable Packaging
  • Packaging Optimization

1. Healthcare & Wellbeing

  • Internet of medical things
  • Wearable Device
  • Precision Medicine
  • Nutrition as Prevention
  • Advanced Technology
  • Digital Reality
  • Gene Editing

2. Smart Mobility

  • Innovative infrastructure
  • Electric vehicles
  • Connected vehicles
  • Autonomous drive
  • Intermodal transport
  • SMART logistics
  • Micro mobility

3. Who can apply

Italian and foreign startups and scaleups which respond to the requirements of the MATCHER Program are eligible for this Call.

3.1. How to participate

Applications can be submitted from July 15th, 2019 to September 30th (1 pm +1 CET) 2019 through the online form available on website. To take part in the program, participants will be requested to expressly accept these Official Rules.

Projects sent via other channels will not be admitted. Applications that are not complete with all the information required or that are submitted after 30th of September 2019 (13.00 CET+1 time) will be excluded from the Call.

To complete the Application, Participants are asked to upload the following documents, which are also clearly listed in the application form:

  • Presentation of the Project in pdf format, including the following information: description of the idea, market size, team, competitive scenario, product/service, development roadmap, and the main economics with key numbers if available;
  • Shareholder structure (e.g. Cap table);
  • Video presentation of the Project (max 3 minutes)

For any difficulties in accessing the Website or uploading an Application, participants can refer to

4. Evaluation of the Projects

The evaluation of the Projects will be carried out in 2 phases:

  1. Phase 1 – Evaluation of the Project Proposal;
  2. Phase 2 – Appointment of the Selected Projects.

Project Proposal – Phase 1

Dates: 15/07/2019, 12:00 AM – 30/09/2019, 1:00 PM + 1 CET

Phase 1 evaluation will be carried on through the whole period during which the call will remain open. During this period, received applications will be assessed and processed following the order of arrival. The objective of Phase 1 is to select the Projects that have the highest matching rate with the Challenges. This selection will be made on the basis of the received documents (described in point 3.1).

Technical criteria (score: from 1 to 10):

  • Team: assessment on the key members and their commitment to pursue the development of the product/solution;
  • Product: degree to which the product/solution is innovative, disruptive, or creates new markets; the stage of development of the product/solution, degree to which the product/solution is feasible and viable in legal and technological terms;
  • Market: attractiveness level of the product/solution in the reference market, growth of the reference market
  • Business Model: level of scalability and sustainability;
  • Economics: potential financial/economical attractiveness of product/solution;
  • Growth: potential to increase main economic units exponentially.

Trend matching criteria (score: from 1 to 10):

  • Degree of matching between Projects and the ER Corporates’ the Corporate Objectives criteria and the areas identified and described in point 2.

Applications that will receive a score lower than 5 in the “Trend Matching Criteria” will be not be considered as eligible for accessing Phase 2.

Evaluation and selection of the Selected Projects – Phase 2

Dates: 1/10/2019, 09:00 AM – 15/10/2019, 11:59 PM (CET+1)

Applications will receive an additional score, that will be summed to the one received in Phase 1.

Feedback from interviews (score: from 1 to 30).

After the interview, the Selected Projects will receive a score issued by the Evaluation Panel.

Applications that will receive a score lower than 15 from the “Feedback from interviews” will be not be considered as eligible for accessing the final phase.

5. Selected Project Notification:

The Selected Projects will be announced by October, 20th 2019; as result of being selected, startups and scaleups will have to confirm via e-mail ( their availability to attend the Final Event within 3 working days.

The best 10 startups and scaleups coming from outside Italy (i.e. they have been incorporated outside Italy) will receive financial support for their travel and accommodation expenses up to € 500 each.

If one or more of the Selected Projects is not able to respond to the above-mentioned requirements within the deadlines, other projects may be invited to attend the Event according to their placement in the list of the Selected Projects.

6. Participation to the Final Event

The Final Event, organized by ART-ER, will take place on November 13-14th, 2019 at Palazzo Magnani, Via Zamboni 40, Bologna and will be divided as follows:

  • November 13th Elevator pitch event in the morning; Kick off meeting between the ER Corporates from Emilia Romagna and selected Projects in the afternoon; networking event in the evening.
  • November 14th: Brokerage event with one to one meetings in the afternoon: event is open not only to startups and companies participating in the Program but also the other companies, startups, research laboratories of the regional, national or European context that might be interested on the topics of this event. Institutional event dedicated to startups, scaleups, corporates and Institution at international level.

7. Guarantees and indemnity of the Participants

Each Participant represents and warrants that the Project:

  • is an original work, on which the Participant has the relative rights of intellectual property and economic exploitation;
  • determines no infringement of any third parties intellectual property right, in particular, but with no limitation to: the Project does not contain any trademark, logo or other element protected by any third party intellectual and/or industrial property right or copyright, or that, where rights of third parties exist, the Participant has previously provided all the necessary authorizations and licenses from the relative holder;
  • does not violate other rights of third parties, including, inter alia, patents, industrial secrets, rights from contracts or licenses, rights of publicity or rights related to privacy, moral rights or any other right worth of protection;
  • does not constitute the object of a contract with third parties;
  • does not have a conflict of interest with, nor contain any defamatory content, representation, outrageous consideration or any other content that could damage the name, honor or reputation of ART-ER, the Emilia Romagna Region, the ER Corporates, and OI or any other person or company;
  • does not contain any pornographic or sexual content, or content of a discriminatory nature in any way (specifically including discrimination based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion and / or political beliefs of individuals or groups), nor content that promotes violence or injury to any living thing or any other offensive, obscene or inappropriate content;
  • contains no threat or content intended to intimidate, harass, or mistreat a person’s private life;
  • does not constitute a violation of applicable laws and does not contain content that encourages unlawful conduct.

The Participants expressly declare for themselves and their assignees to indemnify and hold harmless ART-ER, the ER Corporates and OI from any claim, claim for damages or request for damages made by any third party, for the violation of one of the provisions included in the present article.

8. Intellectual property relating to the Project and confidentiality

The intellectual and industrial property of the Projects, as well as the Selected Project, is fully owned by the Participants. Each Participant assumes the responsibility for the protection of the inventive and/or original aspects of the Projects.

ART-ER, the Evaluation Panel and OI will keep the information regarding the Projects, as well as the Selected Project as confidential information.

9. General Conditions

ART-ER reserves the right to substitute the ER Corporates and modify the composition of the Evaluation Panel.

ART-ER reserves the right to cancel, modify or suspend, in whole or in part and at any time, the Program, as well as any of its contents, appearance or selective criteria, or to select a number of Participants or Selected Projects lower than what initially intended, upon their sole discretion and upon notice on the Program’s website. Should the suspension or exclusion from the Program be related to one or some Participants only, notice shall be given to them via registered letter or certified email (PEC), anticipated by e-mail.

ART-ER have the right, at any time, upon their sole discretion, to exclude from the Program any Participant which: a) attempts to tamper with the registration process or the operation of the Program; b) acts in violation of these Official Rules; c) behaves in an inappropriate, unsportsmanlike manner and contrary to the interest of a serene and correct development of the Program.

The Application of the Project, the selection and the Call award of Selected Projects do not represent an offer or contract of work with ART-ER and/or OI and/or the ER Corporates.

Each Participant undertake not to make any claim, or to sue, institute or otherwise participate in any legal proceeding (also with respect to proceedings commenced by third parties), directly or indirectly, against ART-ER and/or OI.

10. Accuracy of the information

Participants shall ensure that all information, data and, more generally, any other material provided to ART-ER and OI in the Application and / or at any other stage of the Program, is accurate, correct, truthful and complete. Participants therefore assume full and exclusive responsibility for any violation of the above declaration.

11. Duration

Unless otherwise provided in these Official Rules, the obligations included in the Official Rules will become effective upon presentation of the Application and will remain in force until the end of the Program.

12. Applicable law and jurisdiction

These Official Rules and any rights and obligations thereto, are governed by Italian law.

The Court of Bologna shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all disputes that may arise in relation to these Official Rules.