THE European Commission selected 38 of the “most promising” startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe to receive between 1 and 17 million euros, and 176 million in total, in order to develop and expand revolutionary innovations in Europe. This is the last round of funding for the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot project, the EIC Accelerator, and has received more than 4,200 applications, the highest number ever.

Without the presence of Portuguese companies on this list, innovations include, for example, an “innovative robotic classification technology” that reduces hazardous waste and the first indoor plant light that can be controlled, reducing energy costs.

The companies selected for the EIC Accelerator Pilot come from 18 countries, with Germany being the country with the most “winners”, followed by France and Israel. It should also be noted that 21% of the CEOs of the projects appear in the list are women.

Each company will receive a grant of up to 2.5 million euros to support the development of innovations. 19 of them will also receive a direct capital investment of up to 15 million euros from the recently created EIC Fund. In addition to financial support, startups and SMEs will have access to consulting, networking and business acceleration services to help them build their businesses.

Throughout 2020, the EIC launched four rounds. Although Portugal was not selected in these phases, at the end of 2019 the organization financed 108 projects for 210 million euros, two of them Portuguese.

Currently in its pilot phase, the European Innovation Council will be fully operational from 2021. By the end of this year, it is expected to distribute three billion euros through its various programs.

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