EU support to innovation: Commissioner Gabriel welcomes CEOs of successful European unicorns

Today, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, met the founders and CEOs of 35 EU unicorns, i.e. start-up companies with a value of over $1 billion. The meeting comes upon the invitation of the Commissioner to listen to the experiences of these unicorns of their growth process from a small start-up to a substantial tech player. The meeting takes place against the backdrop of the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon Europe), the Innovation Transformation of Higher Education institutions, and the Commission’s recent Digital Decade Communication that calls to double the number of unicorns in Europe by 2030, to around 250. Commissioner Gabriel said: “We need European unicorns to ensure EU leadership in deep tech start-ups to pave the way towards Europe’s sustainable and resilient recovery, accelerate the green and digital transitions, innovation cohesion across EU, and ensure Europe’s technological sovereignty.” The companies – software and hardware, deep tech and green tech start-ups – shared their experiences, visions and ideas on how to achieve this target and to further strengthen the European innovation ecosystem. In January, the European Innovation Council (EIC) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), the two pillars of EU support to entrepreneurs, signed a Memorandum of understanding to enable innovators, innovative SMEs and start-ups, higher education institutions and research organisations to receive quality support services to deploy and scale up innovations faster and with greater impact.