European Innovation Council awards €176 million to 38 start-ups and SMEs

Today, the Commission has selected 38 of Europe’s most promising start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to receive a total of €176 million to develop and scale up ground-breaking innovations in Europe. With 4,200 received applications, this is the last round of funding in the pilot phase of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator, supporting top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists. The innovations include a revolutionary device for rapid detection of sepsis, innovative robotic sorting technology to reduce hazardous waste, as well as the first indoor plant light that can be controlled to cut energy costs. The start-ups and SMEs selected for the EIC Accelerator Pilot come from 18 countries, with the highest number coming from Germany, France and Israel, while at the same time 21% of them are female CEOs. Each company will receive a grant of up to €2.5 million to support the development of their innovation and 19 of them are set to get a direct equity investment of up to €15 million from the recently established EIC Fund. In addition to the financial support, these start-ups and SMEs will have access to coaching, networking and business acceleration services, to help them build their businesses. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “This huge demand for European Innovation Council support demonstrates that Europe has no shortage of excellent ideas for breakthrough technologies and innovations. The new blended financing model is filling a funding gap and the fully-fledged EIC will enable many more of these visionary researchers and entrepreneurs to realise their dreams in Europe.” Since December 2019, a total of 293 companies have been selected for funding worth over €1 billion under the EIC Accelerator. Following this successful pilot phase, the fully-fledged EIC with a budget of €10 billion, will be launched in early 2021 under the next research an innovation programme Horizon Europe (2021-2027). More information is available here.