SME Instrument

SME Instrument

Pitch your innovation at BMW Startup Garage

The BMW Startup Garage is the Venture Client unit of the BMW Group. Their goal is to foster innovation speed and quality - through the help from startups - at all BMW Group Divisions. As a Venture Client, the BMW Group becomes the early adopter client of a startup, even if its product, service or technology is still on a prototype stage. The event itself is generally open to all innovations linked to Automotive, mobility and manufacturing, but we also want to focus on other areas (e.g. IT, sales, marketing, HR).

As part of the SME Instrument Business Acceleration Services, we are taking you to automotive tycoon BMW's Startup Garage. During the event hand-picked SME Instrument-funded companies will have the chance to pitch their business cases to potential business partners, network with BMW product managers, research and technology scouts, procurement representatives and meet with affiliated companies. Hurry up as applications close soon!

EIC SME Instrument Jury meetings kick off – may the best ideas win!

EIC SME Instrument

Each applicant for the EIC SME Instrument Phase 2 grant has now gone through a first set of remote evaluations. The best applicants have been invited to pitch their ideas in front of a Jury of experts in investment and innovation. The list of jury members consists of 15% business angels, 20% entrepreneurs, 20% venture capitalists, experts from larger corporates, innovation hubs and accelerators – and a majority of women.

The interviews last for no longer than 30 minutes including:

The SME Instrument evaluations are undergoing a radical change under the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot. From now on, applicants will pitch their innovations to a Jury of professional investors, entrepreneurs and business experts who will evaluate the solidity of their project. Jury interviews for the first SME Instrument cut-off under the EIC start today and last for a week with one set target – finding the best innovators in Europe and investing in their future success.

SME Instrument top innovators pitch their projects to AIRBUS

The companies also shared experiences with other companies and affiliates and got to know the Hamburg aviation cluster at the Centre for applied aviation research (ZAL).

Richard Morby, Director of the aerospace division at NEXTSENSE Worldwide, stated: "Thanks to SME Instrument I had the chance to pitch with Airbus and met the right people here and I think we are going to start doing good business very soon".

As part of the new European Innovation Council pilot (EIC), the SME Instrument business acceleration services offers exclusive services providing investment, dissemination and networking opportunities for the companies participating in the programme. On 29-30 january a selected group of 30 SME Instrument top innovators had the opportunity to pitch their business cases, receive feedback and network with top managers of the global leader in aeronautics AIRBUS

From tyres to tracks: EU startup Greenrail signs € 75 million deal with US company for sustainable railway tracks

Railway sleepers are the horizontal blocks usually made of wood or concrete that are laid underneath the tracks to keep the rail lines in place. Greenrail's sleepers are made of an inner core of concrete covered with recycled plastic and end-of-life tyres. This represents a huge benefit for the environment as for each km (1670 sleepers) 70 tons of plastic and end-of-life tyres are recovered from urban waste. The sleepers are patented in 79 countries.

Getting the first client is a landmark for any company, but signing for 75 million € with the first client is a real record for a start-up. After years of research, testing and certification, Greenrail has signed their first contract with an American company to license their sustainable railway sleepers that close the circular economy loop by using recycled plastic and end-of-life tyres as a material.

SME Instrument top innovators flying high with AIRBUS

During the event, 32 selected innovators will have the opportunity to pitch and present their business cases to top Aribus managers, research and technology scouts, procurement representatives and affiliated companies.

As part of the European Innovation Council pilot (EIC) Business acceleration services, the EIC SME Instrument continues to expand its exclusive services providing investment, dissemination and networking opportunities for the companies participating in the programme. The next event will take place in Hamburg (Germany) on 29th-30th January with global market leader in aeronautics AIRBUS hosting SME Instrument grantees for an exclusive and intensive Corporate Day.

Nearly 80 companies join us in Mobile World Congress!

The MWC is the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry. More than 108,000 professional visitors are expected, with over 2,300 exhibitors and representing more than 208 countries. MWC will bring together executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from across the world.

With the EIC SME Instrument Business Acceleration Services we are taking SME Instrument companies to the event and preparing a fruitful programme with opportunities for finding business and finance partners:

As part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Business acceleration services, the EIC SME Instrument is taking top disruptive innovators from its portfolio to international trade fairs and events to help their business grow, gain visibility and make strategic contacts. From 26 to 28 February, a selection of 79 high-potential SME Instrument companies will come with us to the Mobile World Congress (MWC) and 4YFN in Barcelona (Spain). Get ready for networking, one-to-one meetings and exclusive pitching with EIC SME Instrument companies! 

CES 2018 Las Vegas "Exactly what we had hoped for ", says CardLab CEO Frank Sandelov

SME Instrument companies at CES 2018

Frank Sandelov is the CEO of  Cardlab, a Danish small business that manufactures smart cards. He was part of the 15 companies selected to participate to CES 2018 with the SME Instrument, that made it through a highly competitive process to select innovations expected to drive jobs and growth throughout Europe based on their potential for commercialisation, including in foreign markets. 

The EIC SME Instrument's top smart tech innovators are back from a conducive trip to CES 2018, the largest global gathering of innovation that took place from 9 to 12 January in Las Vegas (US). The SME Instrument showcased 15 cutting-edge European Smart Tech innovators selected through its exclusive SME Instrument – Overseas Trade Fairs (OTF) initiative in the EU’s first official booth at the Consumer Technology Association (CES). 

Join us in Hannover Messe 23-24 April 2018!

Hannover Messe is one of the world's largest industrial technology trade fairs that focusses on key technologies and core areas of industry – from research and development, industrial automation, IT, industrial supply, production technologies and services to energy and mobility technologies. This year the fair will happen on 23-27 April under the main theme “Industry 4.0 reaches the next stage”. 

Over 6,000 exhibitors, 250,000 visitors, the newest technologies and key inventions - prepare your pitch - the SME Instrument is taking you to the world’s leading trade show for industrial technology. Applications to join us with the SME Instrument Business Acceleration Services close on 31 January 2018.

First cut-off of SME Instrument under the EIC pilot: 1163 proposals ask for funding

EIC SME Instrument submission results Phase 2 January 2018 cut-off

Small and medium-sized businesses that seek funding under the EIC SME Instrument can receive from € 0.5 to € 2.5 million from the EU to co-finance up to 70% of their innovation project.

The European Commission received 1163 proposals from 36 countries for SME Instrument Phase 2 before 10 January 2018 – the first cut-off date under the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot. The proposals will now be assessed under a brand new evaluation system. Stay tuned – results are expected for mid-March 2018!

Shape your skills with SME Instrument Academy

The EIC SME Instrument supports top-class innovators and small businesses in bringing their breakthrough innovators on the market thanks to substantial funding and business support services. In this video Norbert Dischinger - a coach for the SME Instrument -  gives insights about the Academy Session he ran with SME Instrument-funded companies.

The SME Instrument Academy aims to help SME Instrument-funded companies build up their skills and knowledge through dedicated workshops with expert speakers and learning from each other. 

The new year starts with plenty of new opportunities to join the SME Instrument Academy sessions. Between February and April, we plan seven new Academy sessions for you to join. More Academy workshops will follow so stay tuned. 


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