We will invest €110 million in 65 companies under the SME Instrument (Phase 2) and €36.1 million in 15 projects under the Fast Track to Innovation, under the latest cut-offs of these two programmes. With this funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot and extra business acceleration support, innovative companies will be able to finance their close-to-market innovation activities and get on the market faster.
The selected projects include a novel anti-lock braking system for e-bikes, a technology that quickly contains oil spills in the sea, a detection tool for pre-symptomatic signs of Alzheimer’s disease and a scanner that detects bonds in welded material. Launched this year under the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, the EIC pilot supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with bright ideas and the ambition to scale up internationally. It brings together the parts of Horizon 2020 that provide funding, advice and networking opportunities for those at cutting edge of innovation.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Supporting innovation as a source of growth and job creation is at the core of the European Innovation Council. We support close-to-market projects, giving them a head start in the race to the market with a fast access to funding and business innovation support."
65 small companies get support to speed up the pace of their innovation with €110 million under the SME Instrument Phase 2.
The companies were selected following face-to-face interviews with a jury of innovators, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The total amount to be distributed between the SMEs working on 64 projects is €110.073 million. In this phase (the so-called Phase2) of the SME Instrument, each project will receive up to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities like demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. The companies will also benefit from 12 days of free business coaching and acceleration services.
Italian SMEs were the most successful with 9 companies selected for funding. They were followed by 7 companies from Spain and 5 businesses from Denmark, Germany and France. Most selected companies are active in the field of ICT, health and engineering.
15 innovative projects get support to access the market faster with €36.1 million under the Fast Track to Innovation scheme.
The selected projects will receive around €2 million each within this first round of the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) under the EIC pilot. The scheme is for relatively mature ground-breaking technologies, concepts and business models that are close to market. The participating SMEs also have access to free business coaching and acceleration services.
The SME Instrument and the Fast Track to Innovation are now a central part of the EIC pilot, targeting radically new, breakthrough products, services, processes or business models that open up new markets. Between 2018 and 2020, the EIC pilot will provide €2.7 billion to breakthrough, market-creating innovations under Horizon 2020. The next cut-off date for Fast Track to Innovation and SME Instrument Phase 2 are respectively on 31 May 2018 and 10 October 2018.