Innovation accelerator to fund 75 small companies

innovation accelerator
© iStock/WichitS

The European Innovation Council’s (EIC) Accelerator programme has announced its largest funding round to date, with 75 projects selected for funding.

The EIC Accelerator pilot programme offers support in the form of funding grants and equity investment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups which are considered to be both high risk and high potential. Companies set to receive funding under the newest round of the Accelerator programme include:

  • Hiberband, a Dutch innovation startup which aims to create the first global Internet of Things network through targeted deployment of low orbit satellites;
  • Chrysalix Technologies, a spinoff from Imperial College London which has developed a proprietary process for converting waste wood and agricultural byproducts to sustainable biomass fuel; and
  • BrainQ, a Jerusalem-based startup which is developing technology powered by Artificial Intelligence to improve the lives of patients who have suffered severe brain trauma.

For the first time, the EIC Accelerator will grant 39 of the 75 successful companies ‘blended finance’: a combination of funding grants and direct equity investments which enables each individual company to receive up to €17.5m. The European Commission has partnered with the European Investment Bank Group to establish a dedicated EIC Fund, which will manage the accelerator’s equity investments. In addition to funding and equity provision, the accelerator will provide startups and SMEs access to support, networking and advice services.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The future European Innovation Council will turn far more of Europe’s world class science and startups to global technology leaders. I am glad that this first offer of combined grant and equity financing saw such a high demand from Europe’s startups and SMEs. 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.”


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