The European Commission has announced on 5 December a funding worth more than €278 million for 75 start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises across 15 EU states and 5 associated countries.

The selected companies are starting with ground-breaking innovations, such as producing sustainable fuel using organic material, or developing medical technologies powered by Artificial Intelligence.

This is the largest funding round so far of the pilot phase of the European Innovation Council. 39 of the companies will receive both a grant and a direct equity investment, a so-called “blended finance”, that will allow a much higher level of funding, and help companies market their innovations.

“I am glad that this first offer of combined grant and equity financing saw such a high demand from Europe’s start-ups and SMEs. This confirms that the European Innovation Council is filling a gap in funding, and that it is right to set it up as a fully-fledged initiative under the next EU budget”, said Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.