Horizon Europe is an ideal funding program for startups or SMEs working their way through the innovation ecosystem in Europe. Horizon Europe has a budget of €95.5B for seven years between 2021 and 2027; this budget boosts sustainable development and competitiveness in the EU. Furthermore, the program supports the innovation ecosystem in Europe, and it has pillar III, where startups find vital opportunities.
Between June 23 and 24, the European research and innovation days take place. These days signify the annual flagship event on research and innovation for the European Commission. In the event, there was a policy-related discussion that hints at an upcoming opportunity to learn about the Horizon Europe program for entrepreneurs; the opportunity is slated for info days 2021, which is between June 28 and July 9.
This post further looks into the investment strategy of Horizon Europe and how startups can apply for funding opportunities.
What is Horizon Europe’s Mission and Scope?
The Horizon Europe program strives towards three goals, including strengthening European scientific and tech bases and the European Research Area. Also, the program aims at boosting Europe’s competitiveness, jobs, and innovation capacity. The third target seeks to deliver on the EU’s ambition for a sustainable transition to meet citizens’ priorities.
Horizon Europe has a three-pillar structure; this information is necessary when finding open calls for funding. The three pillars include excellent science, global challenges and European industrial competitiveness, and innovative Europe pillars.
The Excellent Science pillar is in support of frontier research projects to boost scientific competitiveness. In contrast, the global challenges and European industrial competitiveness pillar invests in societal challenges research. On the other hand, the Innovative Europe Pillar through the European Innovation Council aims at making Europe a front-runner in market-driven innovation.
Furthermore, the pillar seeks to develop the EU’s innovation landscape in association with the European Institute of Innovation Technology with research, education, and innovation projects.
Recently, the Horizon Europe program introduced the concept of missions for increasing the funding’s effectiveness further. The mission revolves around commitments for solving global challenges, including climate change, food security, and cancer. In addition, missions operate as a portfolio of actions; they include research projects and policy measures while bringing experts in business, innovation, media, science, and civil society together. By November 2021 latest, the projects should be up and running before engaging business communities and citizens in the implementation.
What Are the Funding Opportunities for Tech Startups and Companies?
As mentioned earlier, Europe’s budget is around €95.5B for 2021 to 2027; the budget includes €5.4B from NextGenerationEU for boosting recovery and future resilience and additional reinforcement of €4.5B. Furthermore, the European Defence Fund implements Horizon Europe while the Euratom Research and Training Program complements it.
The program tackles global challenges and European competitiveness with over half of its budget while innovation projects are about €13.5B. Furthermore, with the European Innovation Council (EIC) addition, the program increases support for breakthrough innovation. EIC is a one-stop shop that leverages private finance to help innovators, especially SMEs, in the space of scaling up, increasing agility, and creating future markets. Due to the program’s novelty, the EIC has a budget of €10B for 2021 to 2027. Also, the funding opportunities will be more than €1.5B in 2021. Also, the program earmarks 70% of its budget for SMEs.
The funding and tenders portal allows access to the calls for proposals. Calls give detailed information on research and innovation issues that proposals applications should address.
The EIC has an open round of €1 billion in the innovation category. Therefore, startups can apply for grants up to €2.5M and receive direct equity investments between €500K and €15M. The EIC Accelerator aims at investing in innovations that have significant Green Deal innovations impacts for economic recovery, strategic digital, and health tech. Furthermore, asides from financing, companies benefit from business acceleration services in the ecosystem, including access to top investors, expertise, and partnership opportunities. The funding’s first deadline already has over 801 complete applications, which is a strong response. Also, the full applications’ next cut-off date is October 6, 2021.
The Energy harvesting and storage technologies grant program is another innovation-focused open call. The program will be open till the end of September 2021. As long as an SME, large company or small consortium has five independent legal entities, they can apply. Proposals should address innovative technologies that combine clean, low cost, and high energy density harvesting and storage. In addition, the proposal should also address innovations for the renewable energies combined harvesting and storage or devices for electrochemical storage and advanced materials.
Horizon Europe also supports partnerships where the EU, member countries, and their private sector commit to developing and implementing research and innovation activities. The European commissions’ partnership with Breakthrough Energy is an example, and they support the catalyst project for making competitive cleantech solutions in Europe
The Horizon Europe program provides funding for startups and SMEs. With the numerous funding opportunities, all you need do is apply for grants. If you need more help with this topic, check out https://www.emdesk.com/horizon-europe and hit the ground running. Whenever there is a call for a proposal, always pay attention to the research and innovation issues your application should address.