European Commission has announced the increase of funding for game-changing green innovation while also pushing support to woman-led companies.
After the European Commission significantly increased the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot budget, the European Commission has announced that they will utilise the EIC to support game-changing, market-creating innovation as well as deep-tech SMEs. This support should scale-up small companies whilst also paving the way to the launch of a ‘fully-fledged’ programme in Horizon Europe (2021-2027).
The European Commission have launched a one-off EIC Accelerator call for ‘green deal’ start-ups and SMEs. Applicants for this EIC Accelerator call must apply before the cut-off date, 19 May 2020. In order to apply, applicants must demonstrate how their innovation contributes to the goals of the European Green Deal. There additional applications for the EIC Accelerator Pilot that will be accepted for all innovators until 7 October 2020.
Additional opportunities for companies with women CEOs (or equivalent positions) is also expected, to ensure 25% of all finalists in the EIC Accelerator Pilot are women-led companies. If, following the first-round remote evaluation, a minimum of 25% of companies selected for the final-stage interviews are not led by women, additional interviews will be scheduled.
An advanced version of the amended EIC Work Programme is due to be released by the end of February, and the final version by the end of March, replacing plans for the year ahead in the current EIC Pilot Work Programme 2018 – 2020.
Why are the EU pushing for more green projects?
While discussing the EU Green Deal, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Dombrovskis said: “In its annual risks report, the WEF now places the climate emergency as the number one issue of concern. It should concern every one of us. Determination to tackle climate change is one thing. The Green Deal demonstrates that, as we commit to become climate-neutral by 2050. Another is to back it up financially.
“This bold ambition comes with a hefty price tag. To make the Green Deal a reality, we need a solid funding plan. Just to meet our 2030 climate and energy targets, we need an extra €260 billion in annual investments. As we raise our ambition to cut emissions, we will need even more money to fund a long list of projects and activities. They will all play a part in Europe’s green transformation. Small-scale energy efficiencies, for example – helping people to cut household emissions and reduce their energy bills. Lowering car emissions and reskilling workers from coal industry regions.
“Or building larger scale infrastructure projects, such as clean energy grids and low-carbon transport systems. That’s why we devised the European Green Deal Investment Plan, or Sustainable Europe Investment Plan. It puts sustainability at the core of how we invest.”