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Tag ‘SME Instrument’

EIC Investor Day: Empowering women innovators

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Companies that have women in leading positions consistently perform better than companies that don’t. However, innovative, techy and digital companies still excruciatingly lack women entrepreneurs. On 4 April, 33 innovative companies led by women and funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot met for an EIC Investor Day in Brussels to promote the access of women entrepreneurs to finance. In addition to panel discussions with investors and plenty of networking, 12 innovative companies got to pitch in front of investors. In addition, European Commissioner for Innovation Carlos Moedas announced the 13 finalists for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2019, two of which are funded by the EIC. 

Only 30% of enterpreneurs in Europe are women. “No matter what way you look at it, it poses a problem. Socially, yes, of course, this is a recipe for an unequal society. But how about economically? We know that start-ups founded or co-founded by women generate higher revenues than those by men, and we are missing out”, commented Commissioner Moedas. One of the EU’s initiatives to encourage women to innovate and start their companies by promoting positive role-models is the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2019. The Commissioner announced the 13 finalists for the 2019 prize. Among the finalists are two women co-founders from the EIC backed companies: Nuria Espallargas, a co-founder of Seram Coatings, and Cécile Réal, co-founder and CTO of Endodiag.

Ambassador Luminita Odobescu, Permanent Representative of Romania to the European Union and a mother of two, stressed the importance of educating young boys towards a goal of gender balance. “Political actors and business support organisations need to support women entrepreneurs in access to credit, cut red tape and mainstream gender perspective in all EU policies”.

Gitte Pederson – a co-founder of Genomic Expression, emphasised the significance of networks among entrepreneurs: “It is important that women connect and help each other. You are trained so well in that first stage of the relationship, but since your investors are usually your partners, there is the whole other side to it which is all about getting to know each other”.

The event hosted 17 investors from the private sector and investors from the European Investment Bank.

The EIC Corporate Days link entrepreneurs with international companies to engage in open innovation towards new products, pilot projects and new business models. Since 2017, more than 400 companies funded under the SME InstrumentFast Track to Innovation and FET Open have participated in matchmaking events with large corporates across Europe.

Read the original article on the EASME website here.

Over 1750 small businesses seek funding under the EIC SME Instrument

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The European Commission received 1752 proposals for the European Innovation Council pilot’s SME Instrument Phase 2 before the latest cut-off date on 9 January 2019. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 37 countries submitted proposals. Selected projects will be announced in early March 2019 at the latest.

In this phase of the SME Instrument, each project will receive up to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities like demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. The companies will also benefit from 12 days of free business coaching and acceleration services.

The biggest number of proposals for this batch were submitted by Spanish applicants (266), followed closely by Italian (182) and Israeli applicants (136).

Since 2018, the SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot. A novelty under the EIC pilot is that applications are fully bottom-up. Therefore as there are no longer set topics, proposals are classified according to keywords introduced by applicants. The top keywords introduced were Health, ICT and engineering and technology.

In addition, applications are evaluated in two steps, a remote evaluation and a face-to-face interview with a Jury of business and innovation experts. These interviews will concern around 135 companies, approximately half of which will get the funding. The interviews will happen in Brussels during the week of 11-15 February 2019. For more information read the tips for applicants.

Results are expected to be announced in early March 2019 at the latest.

Read the original article on the EASME website.

Corporates and investors to look out for at #EICSummit18

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The European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot is inviting the small companies it funds to Berlin on 10-11 September to meet investors and big corporate players. Further investors and corporates will be announced but here are the 10 first names not to be missed in Berlin!

The EIC Innovators Summit will bring together small companies, start-ups, innovators and researchers to meet and find potential partners. The two-day conference will be filled with pitches, workshops, networking and matchmaking opportunities.

From the corporate side the following names will be present:

MicrosoftIberdrolaSolvayFaureciaDOWAirbus

The following investors will also join the event:

Balderton,​ EQT VenturesOmnes CapitalGIMV

Registration and Invitees

The event is on invitation only so check out your mailbox; the event registration code is in your email invitation. The event is primarily designed for selected participants of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot programmes (SME InstrumentFast Track to Innovation and FET-OpenEIC Horizon Prizes), which will receive their invitations as a priority. Other invitees will be considered should there be additional spaces avilable. 

Interested in being considered for the guest list? Participate in one of our pitching contests in front of a Jury of investors and try and catch their attention with your idea! When registering you can apply to one of the pitching sessions: life science, medical devices, software, Industry 4.0, new materials, mobility, green energy, Food/Agritech. Places are limited so be sure to sell your case well!

For more information on the event, visit the event website, and follow #EICSummit18 on Twitter.

Read the full article on the EASME website.

SME Instrument companies take home the gold

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What can the SME Instrument do for you? The Instrument, promoted by the European Innovation Council is able to provide support through funding and access to expertise for SMEs looking to grow and innovate. Not only can the support lead to direct success, but can also contribute later down the line as was the case for companies Radisurf and Applied Nano Surfaces. Radisurf took home the prize for the most innovative company and Applied Nanosurfaces won best pitch at an exclusive brokerage event promoted by the European Innovation Council pilot in the world leading industry trade show in Germany. After a very demanding selection process, 70 SME Instrument funded companies were selected to pitch their ideas and vision for the future of industry, under the motto ‘Industry 4.0 and Smart Factory solutions’.

The event was organised by the EIC SME Instrument Business Acceleration Services, the Enterprise Europe Network and NBank, as part of a service promoting deals and business ventures between upcoming SMEs funded by the European Innovation Council pilot and corporate leaders.

Learn more about the winning companies:

Radisurf is developing and producing a specialised nanocoating for direct, strong, and tight adhesion between hard materials and polymer materials called Radibond. Radibond is a patented methodology and formulation for producing a nanometer thin, strongly bonded coating on metals, glass, ceramic, or carbon. With the Radibond coating on your materials, you can apply the polymer material through direct overmolding or a variety of standard welding techniques and obtain strong metal-polymer assemblies.

Applied Nano Surfaces has developed unique technologies to treat the surfaces of mechanical parts to lower friction losses, increase durability and minimise the wear in industrial machines and equipment. ANS products consist of: ANS Triboconditioning®, a mechano-chemical surface finishing process that improves the tribological properties of components made of steel and cast iron, ANS TriboNite®, an advanced thermal processing and coating technology that combines the advantages of nitriding processes with the superior properties of solid lubricant coatings and ANS Tricolit®, a series of thermocured surface coatings serving to reduce friction and wear, and suitable for use on a variety of materials.

For more information and the full article, visit the EASME website

European Innovation Council pilot to support 257 SMEs with 13 million EUR

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The EU will support 257 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) from 31 countries who aim to get their innovations faster to the market. The companies have been selected in the latest round of the SME Instrument, which is part of the recently launched European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot. The funding of €12.65 million in total comes from Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.

Examples of the projects selected to receive EU funding include solar street lights, software that uses augmented reality to help industrial plants monitor their production chain, a diagnosis tool for sleep apnoea, an innovative mobile payment technology, a custom-made paint vending machine and a wrapping machine for sustainable packaging.

In this phase of the SME Instrument (the so-called Phase 1), each project will receive €50 000 to draft a business plan. There are 253 projects in total as several companies can team up to propose one project. The companies will also get three days of free coaching and business acceleration services.

Most companies selected for funding work in the field of health, engineering and information and communication technology (ICT). Most companies are based in Spain (45), Italy (28) and Israel (23).

The European Commission received 2009 proposals for this first Phase 1 cut-off of the SME Instrument this year. The next application deadline for SME Instrument Phase 1 is in May 2018.

Applications for phase 1 or phase 2 can be submitted at any time, as the SME Instrument is managed as a permanently open call with several cut off dates per year. Applications are evaluated as soon as there are submitted.

For more information, read the full article here and consult the Horizon 2020 online participant manual.

Towards industry 4.0: a unique pitching contest for Europe’s upcoming SMEs

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Are you a small fast-growing company working on Industry 4.0? The European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot’s SME Instrument invites you to pitch your business cases and ideas to top investors in the South Moravian Innovation Centre (JIC) in Brno, Czech Republic. Apply before 13 May!

On 12 June, a limited number of SME Instrument companies working in Industry 4.0 smart factory solutions will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors and network with corporate representatives and other entrepreneurs in an exclusive event promoted by the SME Instrument Business Acceleration Services.

The event welcomes all innovative approaches to industrial automation and innovative manufacturing technologies. Prepare yourself to make a short pitch about your company (5 minutes), which will be followed by a brief question and answer session. If you are a Phase 1 or Phase 2 SME Instrument company with a solid international business strategy and are committed to participating in the event, we welcome you to apply.

Innovation is the best way to increase productivity and growth. Implementing industry 4.0 solutions and systems might generate enough momentum to ensure the EU’s position as a global manufacturing and industry leader. By enabling innovations across the entire value chain, start-ups and medium-sized companies are in a privileged position to tackle the new challenges posed by digitalisation and interconnection of products.

If you fit the description above then don’t miss out on this opportunity to join the next industrial revolution, and apply here until 13 May.

For more information on the competition, and to learn about similar events, read the full article on the EASME website.

Could you be the next EBAN Scaleup of the Month?

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Are you looking for an opportunity to present your scale up on a European stage? Think you have what it takes to be recognised as a European best practice? Then look no further than the EBAN (the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players), Scaleup of the Month webinar!

The SME Instrument and EBAN are looking to invite participants to the first joint EBAN Scaleup of the Month webinar, where SMEs can present their innovations to a Jury of investors and get a pass and a pitching slot at one of EBAN’s flagship events!

Every month, EBAN holds a one-hour webinar where selected entrepreneurs and the investor who backs them present their projects to a jury of investors and an international audience, for a chance to become the Scaleup of the Month. Each Scaleup of the Month and their investor receive complimentary passes and a pitching slot to one of EBAN’s flagship events as well as premium visibility within the EBAN network.

This month the webinar is organised with the SME Instrument to give visibility to companies that have received investment from an early stage investor or have received an SME Instrument grant.

Companies looking to apply to the Scaleup of the Month initiative need to satisfy the following criteria:

  1. Have received investment in the form of a seed round OR are a beneficiary of SME Instrument 1/SME Instrument 2;
  2. Were incorporated no later than 5 years ago (exceptions made for companies certain industries like life sciences);
  3. Are looking for a follow-on round of equity investment between 1 Million Euros – 5 Million Euros;
  4. Can come from all sectors and industries.

The joint EBAN/EASME Scaleup of the Month webinar is scheduled for the last week of May. The date will be announced shortly. Don’t miss this great opportunity to give your company a boost – apply here or send your investor deck to director@eban.org.

Read the original article on EASME news here.

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