Three Swiss startups receive SME Instrument funds


Cutiss, SamanTree Medical and RqMicro have been selected for the SME Instrument. The startups will be supported in the Phase 2 of the SMI Instrument, with up to €2.5 million in funding.


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 business acceleration services.

Companies can apply for two distinct phases under the SME Instrument, depending on the maturity of their innovation. Under Phase 1 of SME Instrument, each project will receive a lump-sum of €50.000 to carry out a feasibility study. Under Phase 2, each project will receive from €0.5 to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. In addition, companies under both phases can benefit from free coaching.

In the recent call for application for the SME Instrument Phase 2, 1644 proposals were handed in and only 63 projects from 16 countries were granted the funds. Among them were three startups from Switzerland. These include:

CUTISS AG (ZH) – the spin-off of the University of Zurich (UZH) developed the denovoSkin, a personalized bioengineered skin graft products for the treatment of a broad spectrum of skin defects. DenovoSkin has received Orphan Drug Designation for the treatment of burns by Swissmedic, EMA and FDA.

RQMICRO AG (ZH) – the startup build CellCount, a technology platform designed to solve current problems with microbiological contamination in water and food industries. The technology delivers accurate results in less than one hour.

SamanTree Medical SA (VD) – the Medtech startup developed Histolog Scanner, a  digital microscopy scanner for ultra-fast confocal imaging of fresh excision. It reveals the morphology of the tissue at the subcellular level. In the treatment of cancer, the Histolog Scanner can help surgeons to visualize the excision’s margins

The companies will be supported in the Phase 2 of the SMI Instrument with a total of €113 million. Each project will receive up to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities like demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. The companies will also benefit from 12 days of free business coaching and acceleration services.

(Press release/ran)