€1.2 million to accelerate time to market


The Horizon 2020 SME Instrument is offering a total amount of €13.6 million to 277 companies from 25 countries under the last round in the Phase 1 program. With 24 startups in the cohort, Switzerland takes the second position with the majority funded projects after Spain (46). Besides a financial boost, the companies receive free coaching and business acceleration services.


The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and acceleration services to enable them to accelerate the time to market of their innovations. Companies can apply for phase 1 to receive a lump-sum of €50.000 to carry out a feasibility study or for Phase 2 to receive funding between €0.5 to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. For the February cut-off of Phase 1, the European Commission received 2822 proposals, out of which only 277 companies were selected for funding. Most companies are based in Spain (46), Switzerland (24) and France (22), and dominate the fields of information and communication technology (ICT), health and engineering. Of the selected 277 companies, 274 companies will each receive a lump-sum of €50’000, bringing the total funding to €13.6. 24 Swiss startups will benefit from the program. The Swiss startups and their projects are: AiCTX AG (Zurich) – ultra-low power neuromorphic unit for advanced signal processing in wearable medical devices. Advanced Microfluidics SA (Ecublens) – Semi-disposable insulin patch pump for diabetes patients. Alpha Cleantec AG (Zug) – Advanced treatment of contaminated soil using commonly available chemical compounds. BRC Baurent Central AG (Rain) – Brextor, a horizontal forces concrete pile removal head for high-precision piles preparation. CTF Markets GMBH (Zug) – with BlockState, the startup aims to democratize financial services or market using Blockchain technology. Cellestia Biotech AG (Basel) – is developing the first effective targeted therapy for T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and other NOTCH pathway driven cancers. DeepCode AG (Zurich) – AI-based software platform that automatically performs reviews on software code and provides suggestions based on Big Code learnings. Drone Harmony AG (Luzern) – offers flight mission planning for drones and 4D asset modelling solutions. Dufour Aerospace (Visp) – with the project 'the future of aviation is electric', the company is building aEro 2, a 500kg 2-seater aircraft that can travel at 320km/h up to 800km, land and take off vertically with low noise. FGEN GMBH (Basel) – The NanoLiter Reactor sequencing, a quick and cost-effective method to develop microbial strains. Fixposition AG (Zurich) – is developing Vision enhanced RTK based on Deep integration of Real Time Kinematics (RTK) GNSS Positioning and Computer Vision to improve the accuracy and reliability of traditional positioning and navigation methods. GRZ Technologies Ltd. (Sion) – Metal Hydrides Hydrogen storage – a safe and economically feasible technology to store hydrogen in the form of metal hydrides Goodwall SA (Geneve) – aims to build a Professional Development Network as a platform for social networks, university recruitment, and employee recruitment. Healios GMBH (Basel) – is developing digital biomarkers and treatment personalization in multiple sclerosis Hystrix Medical AG (Biberist) – A cost-efficient, transparent and affordable digital procurement marketplace to accelerate everyday processes. Igralub AG fuer Schmiertechnik (Zürich) –  is developing a graphene-based lubrication monitoring, lowering costs while improving ecology. MOWA Healthcare AG (Rothrist) – A novel, modular, smart and patient-centered Ankle-Foot-Orthosis design and production process. Metexpert Sàrl (Neuchâtel) – aims to pioneer MS equipment and Automated Sample Preparation unit to boost New Therapies Development. MycoSolutions AG (St. Gallen) – The first and ultimate bio-solution to Europe’s mould and rot fungi! MyoSwiss AG (Zurich) – will further develop MyoSuit, a lightweight garment-like device that combines robotics with functional textiles to function as a wearable muscle to enhance mobility. Novagan Sarl (Lausanne) – is developing MicroLED Pixel Display for Augmented Reality Smart glasses Prognolite GmbH (Uster) – The first holistic restaurant forecasting tool to reduce food waste by predicting future demand. Pexapark AG (Schlieren) – with PEXA®connect, the startup is developing the first global renewable trading platform. TargImmune Therapeutics AG – A Next-generation targeted immuno-oncology therapy for the treatment of patients with aggressive tumors.(Press release/ran)