Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the EU economy, making up for 99% of the European businesses. They are responsible for 85% of new jobs created in the private sector, and drive innovation on all fronts. To help SMEs and Clusters stay competitive and expand their business to new markets, Business Beyond Borders offers tailor-made matchmaking sessions for EU SMEs looking to find new international business partners – you can check our next two brokerage sessions here.
However, one of the key issues that smaller businesses face on a regular basis is funding. This is why, this week, we list some of the latest open funding opportunities and awards schemes (with prizes) for European businesses.
The Space Exploration Masters Competition Awards
This is a good one for companies which were present at the BBB events in FIDAE and CeBIT: the second edition of the Space Exploration Masters challenges visionaries and innovators to present their future-oriented business ideas in the field of space exploration. There are a total of 5 challenges, each with its own prize. This year’s challenges focus on topics like Artificial Intelligence (AI); Life Sciences; and Robotics and Automation. Moreover, there are prizes worth more than €800,000.
Deadline: July 31, 2018
Business Basics: boosting SME productivity (proof of concept strand) (UK-based)
This UK government funding opportunity focuses on testing concept ideas and encouraging the adoption of productivity-boosting technologies and business practices among SMEs. UK-based public and private sector organisations are eligible for this scheme (private organisations must work with public sector entities). Business Basic funding grants can go up to £60,000.
Deadline: September 4, 2018
Innovation loans: July 2018 open competition (UK-based)
Implemented by Innovate UK, this loan-based funding opportunity seeks to support highly innovative projects at a late stage of development, which provide clear commercialisation potential. Loans can go from £100,000 to £1.000.000.
Deadline: August 29, 2018
Chile, Finland and Germany call for projects
This joint Research and Development (R&D) call is open to projects from Finnish, Chilean and German partner organisations. The projects can focus on several thematical areas, but particular attention is given to any activities on Sustainable Mining; Energy; and Smart Industries. In addition, projects should result in marketable products, services and technologies. The funding is to be decided by each national funding organisation (Business Finland; CORFO; and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), respectively).
Deadline: August 31, 2018
More information: http://www.eurekanetwork.org/chile-finland-germany-call-projects
Korea Spain Call for projects
Another joint R&D project call, but this time for organisations from Korea and Spain. Again, the funding is attributed by national funding bodies, namely KIAT (Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology) and CDTI (Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology, E.P.E.).
Deadline: August 31, 2018
More information: http://www.eurekanetwork.org/spain-korea-call-2018-2
€60k for automotive and mobility startups
This funding opportunity is available for start-ups and SMEs with innovative solutions in automotive and mobility sectors. Preference is given to companies focusing on wireless chargers; smart driving; and 0%-emission transport. Selected companies receive €60,000 in equity-free funding, as well as mentoring opportunities.
Deadline: October 18, 2018 at 17h
More information: https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/news/60k-automotive-and-mobility-startups
€10.000.000 million prize for a European low-cost space launch solution
The European Innovation Council (EIC) Horizon Prize will award a €10.000.000o prize to an innovative and sustainable solution for low-cost launch services for light satellites. Another good opportunity for BBB-FIDAE participants!
Deadline: June 1, 2021
€56.000.000 available for renewable energy projects
Horizon 2020 has several open calls for proposals in the energy sector under its 2018-2020 work programme; in a total value of $56.000.000.
Deadline: September 6, 2018
The Copernicus Accelerator
The Copernicus Accelerator 2018 programme gives 50 innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs a chance to bring their idea to the market. The candidates must present ideas for societal challenges using Earth observation (EO) data. Selected companies will benefit from mentoring, training, publicity, and network access opportunities.
Deadline: September 15, 2018
More information: https://accelerator.copernicus.eu/