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75 start-ups, SMEs selected for EU innovation funding pilot

75 start-ups, SMEs selected for EU innovation funding pilot

Innovation - Image Pixabay

(BRUSSELS) - 'Blended' grant and equity financing formed part of a funding package for 75 promising start-ups and smaller businesses announced Thursday, in a pilot offer from the new European Innovation Council.

This is the largest funding round so far under the pilot phase of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator. For the first time, 39 of the companies are to receive both a grant and a direct equity investment.

Among the companies selected is Hiberband, who is creating the first global Internet of Things network using low-cost low-orbit satellites, Chrysalix Technologies, a university spin-off producing sustainable fuel using organic material and BrainQ, who is developing AI-powered technologies to transform the lives of patients with severe brain injuries.

The "blended finance" allows a much higher level of funding (up to EUR 17.5 million per company) to accelerate the growth of European companies with ground-breaking innovations. The Commission has also signed an agreement with the European Investment Bank Group to set up a dedicated EIC Fund to manage the equity investment.

Innovation Commissioner Mariya Gabriel welcomed the high demand from European start-ups and SMEs for the first offer of combined grant and equity financing: "This confirms that the European Innovation Council is filling a gap in funding, and that it is right to set it up as a fully-fledged initiative under the next EU budget."

The start-ups and SMEs selected for EIC Accelerator Pilot support span across 15 EU member states and five associated countries, with France and Israel hosting the maximum number of blended finance projects (six each) and with Switzerland and Germany hosting the maximum number of grant-only projects (9 and 6 respectively).

As well as financial support, the start-ups and SMEs will have access to coaching, networking and business acceleration services to help them build their businesses.

The new EIC Fund will conduct the necessary due diligence in order to make the equity investments in early 2020. The EIC Fund will bring in co-investments and follow up investments by private investors and others.

List of companies selected for funding

Fact sheet: Innovators guide to the EIC

EIC pilot website

EIC country breakdown

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