"The grant will enable us to bring our eTrailers to other European cities and redesign the urban mobility of goods. A big thank you to our great team for their commitment and to all those who have supported us from the beginning," said the Hamburg-based startup Nüwiel enthusiastically in the press release. The European Commission has just selected 75 promising start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe in the largest ever financing round of the European Innovation Council's (EIC) SME pilot. The total amount involved was more than 278 million euros. And Nüwiel is one of the seven German companies to receive financing with the world's first electric trailer for bicycles. This is the ninth time in the history of the financing round that a Hamburg start-up has convinced the European Commission.
The selected companies are using important innovations such as the creation of the first Internet of Things network with low-cost satellites, the production of sustainable fuel from organic material or the development of technologies based on artificial intelligence to change the lives of patients with severe brain injuries.
In addition, 39 of the companies receive not only a grant but also equity financing. The Hamburg start-up Nüwiel is also one of the winners here. A press release was enthusiastic: "We are among the top four percent of 2,000 competitors from 40 countries. This makes us one of the seven selected companies from Germany and the only one from Hamburg. If Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein are regarded as a joint EEN consortium (EEN = Enterprise Europe Network), a total of 13 SME Instrument Winners Phase 1 and two EIC Accelerators or SME Instrument Winners Phase 2 (SunOyster and Nüwiel) have been selected so far.
This is the first time that the combined grant and equity financing of the European Innovation Council has been offered. It will enable a significantly higher level of funding (up to 17.5 million euros per company) to accelerate the growth of European companies with groundbreaking innovations. The Commission has also signed an agreement with the European Investment Bank Group to set up a special fund to manage the investment.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: "The future European Innovation Council will give far more start-ups in Europe the chance to become world leaders. I am pleased that this first offer of combined grant and equity financing has generated such high demand from European start-ups and SMEs. This confirms that the European Innovation Council is closing a funding gap and that it is right to establish it as a stand-alone instrument in the next EU budget".
Here you can see the successful SMEs. The winners of the last call appear in a few weeks: https://sme.easme-web.eu/#
The European Innovation Council is to provide more targeted support for innovation at EU level from 2021 onwards. It brings together the most important EU instruments under one roof. This should enable innovations to reach the market more quickly and thus also create growth and employment.
Already in the last programme period of Horizon 2020 from 2018, the essential elements of the EIC were tested as an "extended EIC pilot" with its own work programme. This created the basis for the EIC "umbrella brand" and set the course for the next framework programme for research and innovation, "Horizon Europe". The funding instruments are open to all topics and also offer scope for interdisciplinary ideas. They are aimed at market-creating innovations that pave the way for radically new, groundbreaking products, services, processes and business models. They are intended to open up new markets with great growth potential in Europe and beyond.