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Ireland ranked 5th in most competitive EIC Accelerator call to date in Horizon Europe
The European Commission has released evaluation results showing that four Enterprise Ireland-backed companies have been recommended for €23m funding from the March 2022 call of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Programme.
The EIC Accelerator Programme provides transformational funding to high-potential, high-risk start-ups, scale ups and SMEs led by a strong, well-balanced leadership team which are already making good progress in commercialising highly differentiated, deeptech products capable of creating new markets or disrupting existing ones.
Part of the EU’s Horizon Europe 2021-2027 Research and Innovation Programme, the EIC Accelerator Programme provides grant funding of up to €2.5 million combined with an equity investment ranging from €0.5 to €15 million in a blended finance offer. There are usually a number of all sector calls and parallel challenge or thematic-based calls per year.
This was the most competitive EIC Accelerator call to date with 74 companies from 18 European countries selected by panels of experienced investors and entrepreneurs to receive €382 million in funding. There was a total of 1,093 applicants, 266 of which were shortlisted for the interview phase. The call had a 7% success rate.
In this funding round Ireland ranked fifth with only start-ups and SMEs from Germany, France, Finland, and the Netherlands ranked above Ireland based on the value of funding recommended in this EIC round.
The four successful Irish companies are InVera Medical and Loci Orthopaedics, both based in Galway, Selio Medical based in Dublin and Ovagen, based in Mayo. All are High Potential Start-Ups (HPSU) or sector clients of Enterprise Ireland. InVera Medical, Loci Orthopaedics and Selio Medical are 3rd level spin-outs that were previously supported by Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund and the BioInnovate Ireland Programme, which Enterprise Ireland also supports and works closely with.
Welcoming the success of these four Irish companies, Enterprise Ireland CEO, Leo Clancy, said,
“This is a great achievement by the four companies involved. Our EIC Accelerator activities align very well with ambitions we’ve laid out in our new three-year strategy “Leading in a Changing world” that Ireland is a world-leading location to start and scale a business and that we support our clients to access scaling finance at critical points in their company development journey. Their success is a reflection of the hands on support they receive at different stages of their journey from our research commercialisation, EIC, HPSU and sector teams.”
Following the announcement, Dr. Catherine Caulfield, CEO at Ovagen said:
“This grant (our second from the EIC) and equity funding will be instrumental in demonstrating the increased viral yield and other key benefits of our world’s first germ-free eggs and will allow scale-up of production for our Pharmaceutical and Biotech customers. Ovagen’s germ-free technology will transform the way vaccines and other Biopharmaceuticals are developed and produced. It will also ensure security of supply and could save millions of lives each year by improving global immunisation coverage. Enterprise Ireland played a critical role in guiding our management team through the EIC process resulting in this very successful outcome.”
Dr. Brendan Boland, CEO at Loci Orthopaedics said:
“Being awarded a combination of grant funding from the European Commission, and equity funding supported by the European Investment Bank, is a major endorsement of the huge unmet clinical need in thumb base joint arthritis that we are tackling, the product we’ve developed, and the company that we have founded to get that product to the patients that are most affected. The EIC Accelerator Funding will enable the company to finish clinical trials and gain regulatory clearance so we can get our new technology, literally, into the hands of those that need it most.”
Stephen Cox, CEO, CEO of InVera Medical said:
“Today is a huge step forward in the execution of our scaling vision to restore circulation to millions of sufferers across the globe. This EIC Accelerator funding will hugely benefit the quality of life of EU and US venous leg ulcer patients as we bring our medical device treatment to the market over the coming years. The experience and guidance of Enterprise Ireland was a key factor in our EIC success, and their continued support is greatly appreciated.”
Colm McGarvey CEO of Selio said:
“We are honoured to receive this grant support from the EIC Accelerator. This is fantastic validation of the progress made by Selio Medical and the exciting potential of our platform device to improve the lives of lung cancer patients across Europe. This support will allow us to grow our team, here in Ireland, to accelerate the development of our technology and our route to market. Our innovative device and company strategy aligns perfectly with Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, improving early detection to turn the tide against cancer. We are very grateful to EIC for this funding and wish to also thank our many partners including BioInnovate Ireland and Enterprise Ireland for their continued support. We look forward to working with EIC as we scale up for market access.”
European Innovation Council - Horizon Europe
The EIC Accelerator supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular start-ups and spin-out companies to develop and scale up game-changing innovations. In some cases, small mid-caps (up to 500 employees) are supported.
The EIC Accelerator provides substantial financial support with:
In addition, EIC selected companies receive coaching, mentoring, access to investors and corporates, and many other opportunities as part of the EIC community.
The EIC Programme now also includes EIC Pathfinder for earlier stage development of future technologies as well as EIC Transition for taking the next steps towards technical and commercial validation. Both of these programmes are upstream of the EIC Accelerator programme and have their own eligibility criteria.
The EIC welcomes applications from innovators in all EU Member States and countries associated to the Horizon Europe programme. It particularly welcomes applications from start-ups and SMEs with female CEOs.