Yesterday, the European Commission announced that it is committing €90 million to Open and Disruptive Innovation over the next 12 months. Some of the 30 tech SMEs and start-ups to receive EU funding are 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.
Most of the 30 SMEs selected are 2 to 5 years old. Chosen from 886 proposals, they are innovative businesses and new high tech spin-offs from R&D bodies with a strong commercial dimension. SMEs from Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and the UK were selected to receive €50 thousand each (€1.5million overall EU funding) over 6 months at most, 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!”
But, on September 24, on October 9 and on December 17 more winning SMEs will be announced. On these three occasions, funding of up to €43m will be offered to support SMEs from concept creation till 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, the applications to the SMEs instrument are open all year long and are are evaluated at regular intervals.