Editor’s note: This is a sponsored article, which means it’s independently written by our editorial team but financially supported by another organisation, in this case, EASME. If you would like to learn more about sponsored posts on Tech.eu, read this and contact us if you’re interested in partnering with us.
Europe’s tech scene is rapidly maturing, as evidenced by a steady increase in equity funding in tech startups, an amount reaching €25 billion+ in 2017. The region is also now home to 57 ‘unicorns’, according to research by GP Bullhound.
Yet it’s not much of a secret that the increasingly global competition is heating up fast, and that European research should be further developed and supported to create new products, services and business models across the European Union, and get innovations to market faster. Access to financing and cooperation between research, entrepreneurs, investors and the education sector are undoubtedly an essential part of this.
Join the EIC Innovators’ Summit in Berlin
If you are an investor, looking for developed innovation projects with the ambition to reach the global stage – we have the event for you.
The European Innovation Council (aka EIC, currently in its pilot phase), which will be hosting more than 600 top small and medium-sized enterprises, researchers, and entrepreneurs from the most relevant innovation funding programmes of the European Union at its EIC Innovators' Summit, to be held in Berlin, Germany.
They will be joined by investors such as Balderton Capital, and representatives of corporations like Airbus and P&G, from around the world, effectively providing a networking platform for more than 1,000 participants to explore international business and new research opportunities.
If you’re an investor, researcher, entrepreneur or keen on mingling with Europe’s top innovators for a different reason, you’re invited to apply by email (as the EIC Innovators' Summit is an invitation-only event).
The two-day event is scheduled for 10-11 September 2018 at the great ‘STATION Berlin’ venue in the heart of Germany’s capital, and will feature keynote addresses, but also workshops and interactive break-out and pitching sessions.
Also on the menu: satellite tours to Berlin’s innovation hubs (startups, universities, research institutes, think tanks, investors etc.) that will allow participants to experience some of the best the Berlin startup ecosystem has to offer.
Show me the money
For your background, the European Commission aims to turn the European Innovation Council pilot into a veritable one-stop shop for high-potential and breakthrough technologies, as well as for innovative startups that are poised to scale up.
The EIC pilot will build on the €2.7 billion pilot phase for the period 2018-2020, with the objective to help identify and help scale the fast-moving, high-risk startups with strong potential to create entirely new markets. As for the aforementioned funding programmes the EU has to offer to innovators, here’s a quick overview (not including the set of six “crack the challenge” awards known as the EIC Horizon Prizes):
1- SME Instrument
Probably the EIC pilot’s most relevant programme for startups, the SME Instrument offers small and medium-sized companies a substantial grant, coaching and business acceleration services to support them on their growth path.
Since its start in 2014, the SME Instrument has invested €1.6 billion in a unique selection of 3.800 small and medium-sized enterprises to get their breakthrough innovations to market faster.
2- Fast Track to innovation (FTI)
The FTI measure aims to encourage and support cooperation between startups across sectors, as well as research institutions and established industry players, to bring innovations from across Europe to market faster.
The Fast Track to innovation program thus essentially wants to stimulate co-creation and open innovation projects, joint ventures and spin-off companies to enter the market.
The maximum EU contribution per consortium is €3 million, and the FTI call for proposals is running in 2018-2020 on a total budget of €300 million.
3- Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Open
Finally there’s FET Open, a highly competitive challenge that supports the early stages of science, research and innovation around new ideas towards ‘radically new future technologies’ to solve major societal challenges.
FET Open aims to mobilise Europe's most creative and forward-thinking researchers from across disciplines to work together and explore what may become the leading technology paradigms of the future.
All this to say it definitely warrants another look at applying for an invitation to the upcoming EIC Innovators' Summit, which will be a Berlin event to remember.
Interested in joining? Contact EASME by emailing EASME-SME-HELPDESK@ec.europa.eu.
(Full disclosure: Tech.eu co-founder Roxanne Varza, who heads Station F in Paris, serves as one of the high-level advisors to the European Innovation Council)