How Spinbase supports City of Rotterdam to be more proactive and strategic with EU funding
"So far we have not been disappointed by Spinbase in any way. We were able to use it to connect Europe to our focus areas and ambitions. Spinbase has become a part of the process in finding context, opportunities and partners. It has been very helpful."
Jochem Cooiman, Innovation Officer, Municipality of Rotterdam.
Customer story in numbers
saved every search
in EU funding commitments since 2019
From mostly reacting to partner invitations, the City of Rotterdam now transitions to approach EU opportunities with a proactive mindset first. Our intent is to utilize EU-level funding in enabling innovation and digital capabilities of the region. In this journey, Spinbase becomes a tool to empower every colleague in the municipality to take advantage of funding calls.
The story of Gemeente Rotterdam is an inspirational tale of how a region can take advantage of EU opportunities.
Gemeente Rotterdam has been involved in 10 initiatives and received more than 14 M€ in EU funding in 2019 and 2020 (EC Financial Transparency System). The municipality also participated in 5 projects under Horizon 2020 Program with a focus on energy transition and digitalization of the urban environment and government.
Up to 2019, the municipality was mainly reacting to the opportunities that came knocking on their doors. This reactive approach usually leads to a rush in making proposals and forsakes the relevance to the city’s own strategy and partnership. It also means missing out on opportunities of strategic importance to the region.
In addition, the breadth and depth of information on EU funding are just too time-consuming to make sense and take advantage of. Researching and reaching an understanding of strategically relevant funding calls can take days for the team. Jochem Cooiman – founder and head of the Digital Office Europe in the Rotterdam Municipality – was the first to realize this problem and started making changes in 2019.
This is where Spinbase comes in to help.
Efficient and time-saving way to find opportunities
Being at the center of Rotterdam’s innovation ecosystem, Jochem’s instruments are his understanding of the digital strategy and the innovative ideas he gathered from this ecosystem. Using Spinbase, he can search for the most relevant funding options in just 2 clicks.
“Spinbase is the far more efficient and easy way of finding EU funding calls and partners. I simply type in my project ideas, press enter and within seconds, a shortlist of relevant calls is presented to me. It’s like a search engine, but then specifically for EU funding.”
Jochem emphasizes that Spinbase is a worthy investment since his team can save hours and days from researching different funding programmes.
Project search helps put proposals into a wider context
A helpful feature of Spinbase is the ‘past project search’. This functionality is especially helpful when writing proposals.
“You want to benchmark your proposals with what has been done before. So you can firstly determine how innovative your project is and secondly build on the past outcomes. In this way, your proposal will better fit to the EU big picture and be more evidential rather than just writing what you want to do.”
The bottom line: being more proactive and scaling EU capabilities through useful tools like Spinbase
One challenge which Jochem encounters is to raise awareness of stakeholders about EU opportunities. Spinbase is part of Jochem’s arsenal in addressing this challenge. Overall, because Spinbase allows such a fast and comprehensive search, the city has been able to approach EU funding way more proactively and strategically.
When asked what his future ambitions are, Jochem continues to emphasize the importance for civil servants and city developers to look beyond their immediate pool and into EU collaborations.
"EU projects can take a lot of work and efforts but the more you do it, the earlier you can get into action, the easier it gets, the higher the success rate and the bigger your dreams can become. Start small to learn the process and get network and then scale up to bigger 20M€-sized projects. Basically it is a maturing process.”