Since the start of the war in Ukraine one year ago on 24 February 2022, the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) has strongly cooperated with its parent Directorate Generals to put in place concrete actions in support to Ukrainian companies, entrepreneurs and citizens, contributing to the overarching efforts made by the European Commission for the 'EU solidarity with Ukraine'. The European Innovation Council (EIC) has been at the forefront of these initiatives.
EIC €20 million call for Ukrainian tech start-ups and SMEs
A €20 million initiative specifically targeted to Ukrainian tech start-ups and SMEs with the aim of creating a pan-European network, managed by a consortium of associations from different Members States together with Ukrainian partners, was launched in 2022 with the specific objectives of:
- supporting start-ups in Ukraine, relocated from Ukraine or relocated back to Ukraine;
- providing direct financial support (up to €60k innovation grants) to at least 200 Ukrainian tech startups/SMEs; and
- providing support services (expertise, access to markets, access to networks, etc.)
By the deadline (7 September 2022), 12 eligible proposals were submitted and were evaluated in the last quarter of 2022. Results of the call will be announced at the beginning of March 2023.
Ukrainian participation in EIC calls
In addition to this call targeting Ukrainian companies specifically, many Ukrainian organisations applied and received funding from the EIC in 2021 and 2022. For the three-steps application process under the EIC Accelerator, where the last step (interview) is still ongoing, EISMEA received 31 applications in step 1 (short application) and 7 applications from 5 applicants in step 2 (full application) from Ukrainian organisations. In the framework of the EIC Pathfinder scheme, out of the 45 applications with Ukrainian participants received, 4 projects were selected for funding; and out of the 7 applications received for the first call of the Hop on facility, one Ukrainian research institute was invited to join an ongoing EIC Pathfinder project.
Raising awareness of EIC funding opportunities to Ukraine Innovators
Last 21 April 2022, the EIC together with the Ukrainian Start-up Fund and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine organised a joint workshop entitled “The European Unicorn Factory: Funding Opportunities for Ukrainian Innovators”.
Another concrete action to secure Ukrainian awareness about and participation in the EIC has been the appointment of Ukraine-based entrepreneur Sergey Sereda, who is the co-founder and managing partner of an EIC Accelerator-supported company from Ukraine, as EIC Ambassador in September 2022.
In addition to initiatives under the EIC, EISMEA has implemented other initiatives under the other programmes it manages, especially the SME Pillar of the Single Market Programme (SMP). Check out the article about all initiatives put in place by EISMEA
- Publication date
- 24 February 2023