The EIC Fund – the equity investment arm of the European Innovation Council (EIC), which is a key component of the New European Innovation Agenda to identify, develop and scale up deep tech innovations, has taken 35 investment decisions, the first batch under Horizon Europe. The announcement has been made today by Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, at Slush, a leading startup event in Helsinki.
The 35 decisions amount to a total equity investment of around €190 million. Two of these have been already followed by investment agreements:
- Apix Analytics: a company with the first miniaturised universal gas analyser for all renewable gases;
- Lattice Medical: a company working on breast self-reconstruction with patients’ own tissue.
This follows the very first investment in the company SiPearl in June 2022. In addition, 24 deals have been submitted to the investment approval process of the EIC Fund, with further decisions expected in the coming weeks.
This marks a significant step forward for the implementation of the investment component of the EIC Accelerator after the required restructuring of the EIC Fund and the appointment of an external fund manager, and complements the rapid progress in providing the grant component. The EIC Fund is now fully operational and up to speed to support high-risk, deep-tech innovative start-ups to bring their innovative technologies to market and scale up.
Under the EIC Accelerator, offering grants and equity investments, 313 companies have been selected for support since June 2021. The total grant funding to these companies is €680 million and 185 grant agreements have already been signed. Over half of the 313 companies (184) are also proposed to receive equity investments ranging from €0.5 to €15 million each through the EIC Fund. The 35 companies announced today are the first of this group to have their investment decisions taken after the rigorous due diligence process performed by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The EIC Fund is fully engaged to deal with the backlog of equity investments.
With the appointment of an external fund manager back in September, the Commission has taken a major step in restructuring the European Innovation Council Fund. The external Fund Manager, Alter Domus Management Company S.A., is responsible for taking investment decisions on the high risk – high impact companies following the rigorous selection process for the EIC Accelerator and due diligence by the European Investment Bank. The Fund Manager follows the EIC Fund’s Investment Guidelines and benefits from an expert advisory committee.
Out of 184 companies proposed to receive equity investments through the EIC Fund under Horizon Europe, 58 investment recommendations have been submitted to the EIC Fund for investment decisions. Of these, 43 have been discussed in the advisory committee, with 35 investment decisions taken by the investment committee and two investment agreements concluded.
The EIC Accelerator offers deep-tech start-ups and SMEs working to bring their innovative technologies to the market grants of up to €2.5 million combined with equity investments through the EIC Fund ranging from €0.5 to €15 million or more. In addition to financial support, all projects benefit from a range of Business Acceleration Services that provide access to leading expertise, corporates, investors and ecosystem actors.