Representation in United Kingdom

European Innovation Council: UK-coordinated project gets funding


Horizon 2020

A European consortium led by UK SME Tube Tech International will receive around €2 million of EU funding to bring its idea of a more energy efficient heat exchanger for the petro-chemical industry to market. The funding is part of the new European Innovation Council (EIC) which will bring together existing Horizon 2020 programmes and novel approaches to support high-risk/high-return, breakthrough research or market creating innovation.


Tube Tech International want to develop a shell-and-tube enhancement for heat exchangers used in the oil, gas, power & chemical process sectors. It has the potential to improve energy efficiency in what is by nature an energy intensive sector. With this funding and extra business acceleration support, the project will be able to finance its close-to-market innovation activities.

This funding comes from the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) – a scheme which already exists, but which will now be a central part of the European Innovation Council. British companies have regularly benefited from the scheme. For example, FTI funding has helped UK companies work on speeding up door-to-door deliveries on motorcycles, improve Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) treatment with a patented, cost effective and clinically promising home treatment solution and more.

Under this latest round of funding, two other UK companies will also receive EU funding. UK SME Crowd Dynamics International Limited is involved in the development of a security management platform that will improve awareness of what is actually happening at large sport and entertainment venues during big events and will help adapt evacuation in real-time. UK SME RayFos LTD is part of a project which aims to establish MSOT (Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography) technology for the non-invasive assessment of intestinal inflammation in patients. RayFos specialises in real-time sensing and image inversion, processing and rendering and has significant experience in optoacoustic tomography algorithms and implementation.

The Fast Track to Innovation scheme targets radically new, breakthrough products, services, processes or business models that open up new markets. The scheme offers up to €3 million to consortia composed of three to five partners including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industrial participants research centers, universities, cluster organisations, industry associations, incubators, investors, and the public sector. 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 next cut-off date for Fast Track to Innovation applications is 23 October 2018.

An initial pilot phase of the European Innovation Council has a €2.7 billion budget for the period 2018-2020. The Commission is proposing to establish a full-scale European Innovation Council in the next seven-year financial framework (2021-2027). It will help identify and fund fast-moving, high-risk innovations and it will offer a one-stop shop for high potential and breakthrough technologies, as well as for innovative companies with potential for scaling up.

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