Yesterday the European Commission announced that it’s committing €90 million to ‘Open and Disruptive Innovation’ over the next 12 months. Some of the 30 tech SMEs and startups that will receive the funding are working on solutions like: a new tool to help doctors communicate with non-responsive patients; a cloud-based irrigation controller to improve water efficiency on farms by up to 30%; an ‘electronic nose’ to better determine how fresh your food is.
The majority of the 30 SMEs selected are from 2-5 years old, and were chosen from 886 proposals, representing innovative businesses and new high tech spin-offs from R&D bodies with a strong commercial dimension. The SMEs from Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and the UK were selected to receive €50 thousand each (€1.5 million overall EU funding) over 6 months maximum, to render their business idea technically and commercially viable.
On the occasion, European Commission Vice-President, Neelie Kroes said: “I always believed SMEs generate the kind of innovative ideas that bring growth and jobs, the ideas Europe needs today. This new instrument was created to precisely unleash this potential, to allow individual SMEs access funding that can allow them make their brilliant idea a reality. I want to congratulate the first set of winners and invite more of Europe’s brilliant innovators to come ahead. The future belongs to you!”
On 24 September, 9 October and 17 December more winning SMEs will be announced. On these three occasions, funding of up to €43 million will be offered to support SMEs from concept creation to commercialisation.
In its core, Open and Disruptive Innovation is an ICT-dedicated funding scheme under Horizon 2020 that aims to transform disruptive ideas into concrete, innovative solutions (products, services, models) and create new markets with a European and global impact. Additionally, applications to this SME instrument are open all year long and are are evaluated at regular intervals.
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