May 18, 2024


It's the Technology

EU investing €1.6bn to support breakthrough technologies in 2023

EU investing €1.6bn to support breakthrough technologies in 2023

The latest funding is part of the €10bn European Innovation Council commitment between 2021 and 2027.

The European Commission has announced funding worth €1.6bn for innovators in the EU to scale up breakthrough technologies in 2023.

Earmarked as part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) established last year, the funding will focus on creating new markets for and developing next-generation technologies such as energy storage, quantum, semiconductors and food security – all EU priorities.

The EIC was launched in March 2021 to support emerging tech in Europe and “make money out of science”. Through the EIC, more than €10bn will be invested in innovative research-based start-ups and SMEs up to 2027.

Funding for 2023 has been broken down into a three-step work programme.

The first, EIC Pathfinder, will pump €343m into multidisciplinary teams to undertake research that has the potential to lead to technology breakthroughs. The second, EIC Transition, sets aside €128.3m to turn research results into innovation and business opportunities.

The remaining €1.13bn will be invested in the EIC Accelerator. This will support start-ups and SMEs to develop and scale up high-impact innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones.

“We fund small and medium-size companies with high risk but also with high potential,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said when the EIC was launched last year.

“We support innovative researchers that have ideas for the next breakthrough technology. And we offer coaching, matchmaking and support them to set up a business.”

To date, the portfolio of EIC companies have achieved a combined valuation of more than €40bn, including 12 unicorns. The accelerator has spent 20pc of funding on women-led companies while 30pc of those supported through the Pathfinder programme are women.

“The 12 unicorns and 112 centaurs [start-ups that have annual revenue over $100m] supported, and the over €10bn investments attracted into European deep-tech illustrate the growing impact of the EIC,” said EU commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth Mariya Gabriel.

“Its work programme for 2023 will keep delivering funding for deep-tech start-ups, increasing talent flows and improving Europe’s innovation ecosystem.”

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.