European Innovation Council pilot Jury unveiled – 87 investment and innovation experts selected

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European Innovation Council pilot SME Instrument

With the creation of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot, the SME instrument evaluations will undergo a radical change. Starting from the first cut-off on 10 January 2018, companies that pass the initial selection stage for Phase 2 awards, will have to pitch their innovation projects in front of a panel of jury experts, consisting of private investors, business angels and other players in the innovation ecosystem. This complements the existing paper based assessment in order to take full account of the personal qualities and motivations of the applicant innovators. 

A jury composed of 87 experts from 26 countries has been selected to interview applicants face to face, and judge which ones should be awarded funding of up to €2.5 million. The focus is on radical, market-creating innovations that have the potential to scale up onto European and global markets. The Jury consists of around 15% Business Angels, 20% entrepreneurs, 20% venture capitalists, with other experts coming from larger corporates, innovation hubs and accelerators, etc. The majority of the jury experts are women. The list is regularly updated as new experts join the jury.
The EIC SME Instrument supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and accompanying services to scale up and accelerate their innovations onto the market. This will benefit Europe's productivity and international competitiveness and generate new jobs and higher standards of living.
The European Innovation Council is currently in a pilot phase in which new approaches, such as interviews by jury, are being tested within the Horizon 2020 programme. A fully fledged EIC is expected to be part of the next EU research and innovation programme. 


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