Horizon Europe: The EU largest program for research and innovation is waiting for the market disruption from ambitious tech startups

Between 2021 and 2027, the European Union will invest more than € 95 billion in research, technology development and the market launch of innovative products and services. 

The main goal is to increase Europe’s competitiveness and performance in research and innovation, where it has long lagged behind leaders such as the US, South Korea, Japan and China. And it is not just about basic and applied research for Europe’s top universities and research centers. Horizon Europe supports the whole lifecycle of innovation: from idea to market. 

Innovative SMEs and technology startups play an important role in this process. They have fresh out-of-the-box breakthrough ideas, they are close to their customers, and they are flexible, dynamic and hard working. 

In collaborative projects together with their value chain partners, they can play a role in tackling specific challenges in health, culture, creativity, inclusiveness, civil security, digital, industry, space, climate, energy, mobility, food, bioeconomy, natural resources, agriculture and environment. 

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In the European Innovation Council (EIC), more than € 10 billion is dedicated for support to innovations with breakthrough and disruptive nature and scale up potential that are too risky for private investors (70% of the budget earmarked for SMEs). In EIC Accelerator, the most ambitious startups may be funded by combination of the grant and investment up to € 17.5 million to cross the valley of death and become the next European unicorns.

But you do not have to think that big. Maybe you need a smaller funding for about a couple of thousands € to validate your technology, test your market, improve your product, or develop a new technology-based approach to specific user problem. Almost a € 1 billion is available for such “cascade funding” dedicated to very young startups or even research teams. 

In the next seven years, the EU will support thousands of companies preparing their disruptive products for target markets. Be a part of this (ad)venture.

More information and available support:

Author: Ivan Filus, Innovation & Growth Expert, Horizon Europe National Contact Point (EIC)

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