The EU’s scientific research fund has just announced funding for six small Irish companies. The funding is being allocated under the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument.
Four of the Irish SMEs will receive Phase 2 funding, i.e. grants of 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 business coaching and free business acceleration services. This brings to 33 the total number of Irish SMEs to be granted Phase 2 funding under the SME Instrument since its launch in 2014.
The other two Irish SMEs will receive Phase 1 funding, i.e. a lump-sum of €50,000 to carry out a feasibility study plus three days of business coaching and free business acceleration services. This brings to 56 the total number of Irish SMEs to be granted Phase 1 funding under the SME Instrument since its launch in 2014.
The four Irish SMEs that will receive Phase 2 funding are:
– Pure Fiber Limited of Dublin, coordinator of the BioAXOS project which has developed a novel cost-efficient process to produce best-in-class prebiotics from side-products of the bioethanol industry;
– Eirecomposites Teoranta of Inverin, coordinator of the Seaboat project which has developed sustainable environmentally-friendly advanced-composite zero-emission boats;
– W1dA Experience Limited of Westport, partner in the Seaboat project;
– SoapBox Labs Limited of Dublin, coordinator of the SpeechTech4Literacy project, a multilingual children’s speech assessment platform for literacy and language learning
The two Irish SMEs to receive Phase 1 funding are:
– Ostoform Limited of Ballymun is developing advanced material combinations to improve ostomy skin health.
– Serosep Limited of Limerick is developing an environmentally friendly alternative to revolutionise the use of formaldehyde in the histopathology (human tissue) fixative market.
Opportunities under the European Innovation Council pilot
The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators with funding opportunities and acceleration services. The main focus of the EIC pilot is on radical, market-creating innovations to improve productivity and international competitiveness and generate new jobs and higher standards of living.
The first SME Instrument cut-off dates under the EIC pilot are 10 January 2018 for Phase 2 and 8 February for Phase 1. The major changes brought by the EIC pilot include an intensified focus on market-creating innovation and improvements in the evaluation process. The selection will now be entirely bottom-up, meaning that small innovative companies from all sectors can apply. Projects will also pitch their idea to an innovation jury to be selected for funding under Phase 2.