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TAF Workshop for Project Managers

ReConfirm warmly invites you to attend the upcoming TAF workshop “From project idea to successful business plan” which will take place on Friday 4th October 2019 in Brussels.

The Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) scheme provides free-of-charge expert advice to eligible interregional investment projects generated through the Smart Specialisation Platform. It aims to help project managers to overcome obstacles on the path to investment readiness and bankability – see
The purpose of the workshop will be to support project managers to strengthen the viability of projects that have been generated through, or are supported by, the Smart Specialisation Platform ( The workshop will also help project managers to prepare successful TAF applications. The focus of the workshop will be on how to build a project idea into a draft business plan covering the elements that make up a mature investment project.
A draft agenda for the workshop is below. To participate in the workshop, please register by filling in this form no later than Friday 27th September.

Date: Friday 4 October 2019

Venue: Hotel Bloom, Rue Royale 250, 1210 Brussels, Belgium
If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact the TAF team at:

From project idea to successful business plan

Main features
A one-day ‘hands on’ workshop for project managers responsible for specific international investment projects eligible for TAF support. The focus of the workshop will be on how to build a project idea into a draft business plan and prepare a successful TAF application, covering the elements that make up a mature investment project.

The workshop will be split into two halves.

  • The morning will be focused on presentations going through the TAF application form section by section, using the form as a ‘jumping off’ point to explain the essential elements of a successful project – from project idea, to business plan development, to costs and revenues giving examples on best practices. It will also include general feedback from the 1st application round
  • The afternoon will be based on two practical exercises. Participants will be divided into groups of maximum 6 people each, to facilitate interaction and discussion. Work session #1 will be based on critically assessing a fictional TAF application or business plan. Work session #2 will further build on this, looking at real existing projects across S3P-Industry consortia to make constructive improvements. In this session, participating project managers will be asked to share and discuss elements from their own inter-regional investment projects

The workshop will finish with a summary of key messages from the day.

Expected results
A clear and thorough understanding of the key elements to be considered when developing an initial (draft) business plan, and maximising your chances of success when applying for TAF support.

Participant profile
The workshop will target project managers leading investment projects under the Thematic Smart Specialisation Platform for Industrial Modernisation.

Draft Agenda
9.00 – 9.30     Registration & welcome coffee

9.30 – 9.45     Welcome & Introduction
  • Expectations of the European Commission for TAF applicants
  • Introduction and Objectives of the Workshop

9.45 – 10.00     Update on the state of play of the TAF
The TAF team will set the scene by providing insights from the 1st selection round covering:
  • Key findings from the first set of applications
  • Recommendations by the TAF Selection Committee

10.00 – 10.30     Basic elements of a successful project
The session will provide best practice examples from business plans, elaborating on aspects related to the establishment of a TAF ready project and the formation of project teams:
  • Moving from regional partnerships to investment projects
  • Engaging relevant actors including businesses and mobilising commitment (including the joint agreement, MoU or similar)
  • Unique value proposition – business nature of projects
  • Balancing roles and responsibilities within the consortium

10.30 – 10.45     Coffee break

10.45 – 11.15     How to build project maturity and capture this in your business plan
The session will examine the main components in a good business plan:
  • The project idea - what market gap/need does the project react to
  • Business plan development – the main components of an investment project
  • Costs and revenues – financing needs and alignment with investment options

11.15 – 12.30     Work session 1: identifying key success factors in a business plan
Using the TAF application form as a window into the business plan, this session will be implemented in the form of small working groups, where participants will learn to identify strengths and weaknesses of a good business plan based on a fictional example. The assessment will be conducted in a participatory form moderated by an expert on business plan assessments.

13.30 – 14.00     Key learning effects from work session 1
  • Presentation of group conclusions (group rapporteurs from work session 1)
  • Wrap-up on key success factors
14.00 – 15.30     Work session 2 – Elaborating your own idea and/or application
In small groups, under the guidance of an expert the participants will develop key components of actual (or potential) business plans and TAF applications. Participating project managers will be asked to share and discuss elements from their own interregional investment projects. They will specifically focus on the following aspects:
  • Project idea
  • Business model development
  • Costs and revenues
15.30 – 16.00     Summary out key outcomes - Q&A

16.00– 16.15     Closing remarks
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