According to the European Commission, Pilot projects are pre-deployment projects occuring last in the chain of projects towards deployment.
The Commission distinguises two types of Pilot projects with respective Funding Instruments:
Pilot Type A ICTPSP instrument supporting large scale actions building on Member States or associated countries existing initiatives that will help to ensure the EUwide interoperability of ICT-based solutions.
This type of pilot focuses on implementing and demonstrating interoperability42 by creating service operations between cooperating Member States and associated countries in the context of agreed policy priorities. Services should be already operational at national, regional or local level in the Member States or associated countries participating in the operation of the proposed pilot. Alternatively the services should be in advanced phase of national/regional testing. The main outcome of this type of pilot is the implementation of an open, common interoperable service solution based on an initial common specification agreed amongst participants in the pilot. During the course of the pilot it is expected that the initial common specification will be further developed and gain a wider agreement in view of eventual scalability. The “Common specifications”, the periodic progress statements and a final assessment of the pilot operation should all be made available in the public domain. Type A pilot projects are expected to demonstrate service interoperability across the Member-States or Associated Countries participating in the pilot and to achieve a sufficient critical mass to realise significant and meaningful impact. The evaluation of proposals will make an assessment in terms of impact at EU level and give priority in terms of funding to those having the highest potential. The participants should anticipate the eventual scalability of the proposed service with a view to wider EU deployment and include the necessary resources to enable proactive work in this respect. In particular, participants should prepare to sustain and scale the services beyond the scope and duration of the proposed pilot. Unless specified otherwise in the chapter 3, the typical duration of the pilot is expected to be up to 36 months within which there should be a 12 month operational phase. An operational phase is defined as the situation in which the interoperable services and technologies are functioning in a real-life setting.
Pilot Type B ICTPSP instrument supporting the implementation and uptake of and innovative service addressing the needs of citizens, governments and businesses. The pilot should be carried out under realistic conditions.
Type B pilots aim at the implementation of an ICT based innovative service addressing the needs of citizens, governments and businesses. Pilot B may also address replication and wide validation of best practices where a given objective in the Work Programme explicitly requests or allows it. The pilots should be carried out under realistic conditions. The emphasis is on fostering innovation in services; consequently the pilot may need to take-up completed R&D work, may extend already tested prototype services or may combine / integrate several partial solutions to realise a new innovative approach. Whichever approach is taken, the outcome of the work shall be an operational pilot service demonstrating significant impact potential. It is considered essential from the outset that the pilot will engage a complete value-chain of stakeholders in the work. The pilot should demonstrate the technical, organisational and legal feasibility of the service and assess the impact of the proposed innovative ICT-based solutions in view of their wider deployment and use. Type B pilot projects are expected to implement their solutions in several Member States or associated countries and proposers should anticipate sustainability and scalability beyond the pilot phase, when making their proposal. Type B pilot projects are expected to share experience and promote the outcomes of the pilot through any relevant dissemination and networking activities. This should be done for building on lessons learnt, facilitating wider deployment and use, in view of EU-wide takeup beyond the participants in the pilot. In particular networking activities with other pilot projects launched in the same areas are strongly encouraged. The duration of the pilot is expected to be 24 to 36 months within which there should be an operational phase of at least 6 months. An operational phase is defined as the situation in which the interoperable services and technologies are functioning in a real-life setting.
Source of information
European Commission ICT PSP Work Programme 2012