Seventy-five startups and SMEs have been selected in the largest funding round so far under the pilot phase of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator. Among the companies selected is Chrysalix Technologies in Estonia, a university spin-off producing sustainable fuel using organic material; Solenco Power NV in Belgium, to provide solar power nonstop on or off the grid; and Recresco Limited in the UK for the development of x-ray fluorescence, shape recognition, and machine learning for efficient and economic recycling of mixed metals from co-mingled waste.
As a major novelty, 39 of these companies are set to receive both a grant and a direct equity investment. This is the first time that this “blended finance” has been offered, and it allows a much higher level of funding (up to €17.5 million per company) to accelerate the growth of European companies with groundbreaking innovations.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said, “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.”
As well as the financial support, the startups and SMEs will have access to coaching, networking, and business acceleration services to help them build their businesses.