The European Commission has today published a list of the 155 SMEs that will be the first to benefit from its new €3bn SME Instrument.
There are 10 Irish SMEs among the 155 which will each receive €50,000 to finance feasibility studies for their projects. The projects can also benefit from up to three days of business coaching and after that, their projects may be considered for further financial support from the Commission worth up to €2.5m.
Ireland had the greatest success rate (20%) followed by Austria (14,81%), the United Kingdom (11,21%), Israel (10,26%) and Spain (9,29%). Spain had the most projects selected (39) followed by the United Kingdom (26), Italy (20), Germany (11), Ireland (10) and France (9).
Tim Cummins from AltraTech, based in Shannon, Co Clare is CEO one of the SMEs set to benefit under the new Instrument for their innovative development of a 30-minute on-site DNA test kit for food-authenticity testing.
Speaking about the project he said: “Food samples currently have to be sent to a lab for DNA species testing, and it takes 4-6 days to get results. Our onsite DNA test eliminates this delay, and helps food processors and retailers to test food authenticity quickly in their plants or shops and eliminate costly recalls.”
Regarding the €50,000 award, he added: “We are delighted to receive this. We had a decision from the EU in just seven weeks from submission – quite impressive for this new SME Instrument. It will help us increase employment, 90% of new jobs across Europe will come from SME’s, we are pleased to see this strong SME focus in the new EU SME Instrument section of Horizon 2020.”
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: “Innovative SMEs will help get the European economy back on track, creating lasting employment and great products and services. This new instrument is aimed at projects that are truly innovative, with a strong business opportunity and a solid concept to bring them to the market.”
The other nine Irish SMEs who received grants today are: R&R Mechanical in Tullamore; NVP Energy in Mullingar; Eblana, Pilot, Skyteck and Bluebridge Technologies based in Dublin; EC in Inverin; Brandon in Ballybunion; and Sedicii Innovations in Waterford.
The SME Instrument was launched under Horizon 2020, the EU’s new €80bn research funding programme, to help innovative small firms get innovative projects from the lab to the market. SMEs from EU Member States or countries associated to Horizon 2020 can apply.
With a budget of nearly €80bn over seven years, Horizon 2020 is the biggest ever EU The European Commission programme and foresees record funding for SMEs. At least 20%, or nearly €9bn from Horizon 2020’s ‘leadership in industrial technologies’ and ‘societal challenge’ pillars, is expected to benefit SMEs directly in the form of grants, including via the SME Instrument.