EU grants 314 million to innovative companies to fight the virus

A total of 72 innovative companies, many of them start-ups, are the beneficiaries of a multi-million EU grant approved this week to fight the coronavirus and contribute to Europe’s recovery plan.

On Monday 8 June, the Commission announced the award of some 166 million euros to 36 companies to fight the pandemic. A further 148 million was attributed to 36 others for the recovery plan. This brings the total investment of Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, to 314 million in this round.

The award was made through the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator pilot project.

In this context Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The enormous talent and ground-breaking ideas of innovative European companies fill us with hope. Our increased support for the European Innovation Council will unleash its potential to better fight the coronavirus and support our recovery”.

Fighting the pandemic

The 36 companies selected to fight the virus will work on pioneering projects, among them:

  • the expansion of the production of bio-polluting wipes,
  • the development of special assisted ventilation control systems. These systems provide frontline clinicians with real-time data on the quality of patient ventilation,
  • the development of an antibody platform to treat severe cases of infection.

In addition, 139 companies also fighting the coronavirus pandemic that were unable to receive funding in this round received the new COVID-19 Seal of Excellence, in recognition of the value of their proposal and to help them attract support from other funding sources.

Recovery plan

The other beneficiaries of the aid that will support the recovery plan will work in numerous sectors and projects. It is also worth noting:

  • the development of stronger and taller wind turbine towers from wooden modules, with the potential to drastically reduce the cost of wind energy
  • a compost production system
  • a blockchain-based solution for recycling processes applied by manufacturers

Also, 679 seals of excellence were awarded to high quality proposals, which passed the criteria but could not be funded due to a limited budget.

This is certainly a great time for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises. More than 1,400 have already proposed innovations related to the coronavirus pandemic to the EU since March. This is why an additional EUR 150 million has recently been allocated to this financing round, bringing the cumulative total to more than EUR 314 million.

At the end of May, the Commission launched a new campaign with Global Citizen to combat the virus.

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