A new set of 42 companies were selected recently to receive European Innovation Council (EIC) funding, combining grants and equity. Galway deep-tech company Mbryonics Ltd is one of them. It will receive a grant as well as an equity investment (blended finance) for its StarCom Optical Inter-Satellite Link project.

The EIC Accelerator offers startups and SMEs grants of up to €2.5m combined with equity investments through the EIC Fund ranging from €0.5 to €15m or more. In addition to financial support, all projects benefit from a range of Business Acceleration Services that provide access to leading expertise, corporates, investors and ecosystem actors. 

The companies were selected in a highly competitive process, in which 242 companies were interviewed by juries of experienced investors and entrepreneurs out of a total of 1083 full proposals submitted.

The 42 selected companies will together receive up to €285m in funding. A large majority of selected companies (62%) will receive the blended finance option, which is a combination of grants and equity investments.

The equity investments will be made through the EIC Fund as the dedicated investment fund for EIC Accelerator companies, and which attracts other investors to increase the overall investment to over three times the EIC investment on average. The selected companies have a geographical spread spanning 15 countries, including three widening countries.

Some examples of innovative companies that will receive support:

  • Alias Robotics (Spain) – the next generation robot-specific AI-powered security platform;
  • IQM Finland (Finland) - industrial-grade quantum computers with error correction and mitigation capabilities;
  • Powerful medical (Slovakia) – application for more accurate heart attack diagnosis;
  • Smart Farm Robotix  (Bulgaria) - fully autonomous solar-powered lightweight weeding robot, using AI for plant recognition, precision contact; and contactless weeding methods suited for hard soils, hilly terrains, and arid climates.

In most cases, the companies will receive the grant financing within the next two to three months, while the first investment decisions will be made within two months, depending on the urgency of the companies’ needs.

A further 193 applications that met all the criteria at the remote evaluation stage and that were assessed positively by the EIC jury, but where there was insufficient funding available, will be awarded a Seal of Excellence to help them find alternative sources of funding, including from the Recovery and Resilience Funds and European Regional Development Funds.

The November cut-off, similarly to the previous one in June, had an increase of  companies coming from the Fast Track and ‘Plug In’ schemes.

They allow funding bodies managing other parts of the Horizon Europe and Horizon 2020 programmes (the Fast Track) and funding bodies managing certified national/regional programmes (the Plug In) to submit projects from their portfolio directly to the full application stage of the EIC Accelerator.