The European Commission’s European Innovation Council has selected 65 innovative start-ups and SMEs in 16 different countries to receive €363 million of funding for breakthrough innovations. Each company will receive a combination of grant financing and equity investment of up to €17 million to develop and scale up their ground-breaking innovations in healthcare, digital technologies, energy, biotechnology, space and other. This is the first batch of companies that will be funded under the fully-fledged European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator.
The companies were selected following a new two-step process, introduced under Horizon Europe. Applications were rigorously assessed by external experts and followed by an interview with a jury of experienced investors and entrepreneurs.
Among the start-ups to receive a grant was traceless, a Germany-based circular bio-economy start-up founded in 2020, about which the jury wrote:
“The proposed innovation represents a true breakthrough in the field of plastic materials as it combines a circular and sustainable approach, based upon agricultural waste, innovative transformation steps, and final characteristics of the materials, which are beyond the state of the art and will bring a fully biodegradable solution in many sectors. The combination of biodegradability with specific thermomechanical, barrier and compatibility properties, can generate relevant market opportunities, especially from the packaging industry.”
The funds will be used, said the company, to further accelerate its scale up.
“We plan to build a demonstration production plant, which will enable a first market entry for traceless materials. When hearing about the successsful application, our whole team was beyond excited and enthusiastic – we all can’t wait for this next step of our journey to start!” said Dr. Anne Lamp, CEO and founder of traceless. “The funding enables us to speed up our development even more, and bring traceless to market fast – so that we can make our contribution to solve global plastic pollution!”
The EIC is Europe’s new flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations. The programme was officially launched in March 2021 – after a successful pilot phase – as a major novelty under the Horizon Europe programme. With a budget of over €10 billion, the programme supports game changing innovations throughout the lifecycle – from early-stage research to proof of concept, technology transfer, and the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs. By investing in new solutions for the health, environmental and societal challenges faced, the EIC aims to bring Europe to the forefront of innovation and new technologies.