Around 1000 start-ups and other highly innovative companies will receive grants from a new €100m funding round from the European Commission’s Future Internet Public-Private-Partnership to develop apps and other digital services, in areas such as transport, health, smart manufacturing, energy and media.
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: “I promised action at Le Web in Paris last December and now I am delivering. We need more innovation and a more digital economy in Europe and that starts with a better ecosystem for start-ups. We’re putting our money where our mouth is.”
This third stage of the partnership’s funding aims to develop new Internet applications and services for a wide range of areas. Funding will be channelled through 20 consortia – teams from the internet ecosystem - which includes: accelerators, crowd-funding platforms, venture capitalists, co-working spaces, regional funding organisations, technology companies and SME associations, technology companies. The successful consortia will be selected according to how they plan to maximise the economic impact of their funding across the Internet eco-system.
The services and apps will be built around the technologies developed in Commission’s Future Internet Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme.
This funding announcement is the third & final call of the Future Internet PPP, a €500 million partnership launched in 2011 to help businesses and governments capitalise on the mobile Internet and data revolution and to spur innovation and jobs in Europe's digital industries (see IP/11/525).
The Future Internet PPP is working to make infrastructures and business processes smarter (i.e. more intelligent, more efficient, more sustainable) through tighter integration with Internet networking and computing capabilities. The PPP looks at different sectors such as transport, health, media, smart manufacturing and energy. It defines possible innovative business models for these sectors. It has developed unique European technologies and the building blocks for tools and services in areas such as cloud, smart cities, big data, and the internet of things. Five large scale trials started in 2013 to validate the technologies developed in real user settings. The sector-specific platforms developed by these trials will be made available to SMEs and web-entrepreneurs to develop services and applications.
This funding also forms part of the Commission’s StartUp Europe plan for accelerating, connecting and celebrating European entrepreneurship ecosystems so that tech start-ups not only start in Europe, but stay in Europe. It consists of:
- Leaders Club (see IP/13/262) is an independent group of founders in the field of tech entrepreneurship who act as role models for European Web entrepreneurs.
- Awards & competitions. Europioneers: is an initiative to celebrate Europe's finest technology entrepreneurs by rewarding two tech entrepreneurs of the year (see IP/13/359). Tech All Stars: identifies Europe's best young startup and connects them to top EU funding sources, successful entrepreneurs and other influential individuals (see MEMO/13/557).
- Networking. EU Accelerators Network initiates and facilitates the creation of a European network of web business accelerators.
- Foster EU web talent Europe (through education, such as “Massive Online Open Courses”; supporting networks, programs and resources for bartering, acceleration and incubation, as well as mentoring).
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