‘EIC supports visionary entrepreneurs who create transformative solutions for pressing societal and environmental challenges…’
The European Innovation Council (EIC) has awarded more than €307 million to 64 ‘game-changing’ green deal startups and SMEs. The organisations contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal Strategy and the Recovery Plan for Europe.
Winning proposals range from innovative solutions for the automotive, aerospace and maritime sectors through to advanced materials and technologies for the ‘internet-of-things.’
EIC noted that more than one third of the selected companies are led by female CEOs, tripling the number compared with previous funding rounds. The EIC said the increase reflected a pilot measure introduced which guaranteed at least a quarter of the companies invited to final interviews would have female CEOs. The 64 startups and SMEs are based in a wide range of countries, making this funding round the most geographically diverse the EIC added.
EIC offers ‘blended finance’ combining grant and equity. Equity investments are through a recently established EIC Fund, managing equity stakes on behalf of the European Commission. All selected companies also benefit from exclusive business acceleration service opportunities to support rapid growth and scale.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said ‘The European Investment Council supports visionary entrepreneurs who create transformative solutions for pressing societal and environmental challenges, supporting the Green Deal and the Recovery Plan for Europe. These startups and SMEs are set to scale up, creating jobs and growth and giving Europe the global lead in green technologies and solutions…’
Among the SMEs selected for funding is Impact Plastic Processing, located in Grangemouth, Scotland, UK. The company has developed a technology that removes all pigments and additives from mixed waste rigid and film polyethylene and polypropylene, allowing recycling and re-use for food packaging, films, injection molding and 3D printing.
In addition 562 SMES and startups have been awarded the EIC’s ‘Green Deal’ Seals of Excellence. This will enable these organisations to access funding from other sources.