From 10-11 September 2018, the European Innovation Council (EIC, currently in its pilot phase) will host more than 600 top small and medium sized enterprises, researchers, and entrepreneurs from the most relevant innovation funding programmes of the European Union (i.e. SME Instrument, FTI and FET Open) at the EIC Innovators’ Summit in Berlin, Germany. Together with invited investors and representatives of corporations, the event will provide a networking platform for more than 1,000 participants from all over the European Union (EU). Participating innovators and companies will have the opportunity to exchange on best practices, pitch their ideas and solutions, attract investors, and engage in new business partnerships. Already the second summit of its kind, it is the first one to be hosted outside of Brussels, coming to the innovation hotspots of Europe. Berlin has been chosen as the first stopover on the summit’s journey across Europe. The event will take place at STATION Berlin.
Under the motto “Innovation Kitchen Europe”, expect to find a gourmet menu of engaging keynotes, curated workshops, and enticing pitching sessions with an overall atmosphere of entrepreneurship and creativity. Satellite tours to Berlin’s innovation hubs (start-ups, universities, research institutes, think tanks, investors) will allow the participants to experience specifics of Germany’s and in particular Berlin’s innovation ecosystem. The event is exclusive for beneficiaries of EIC funding, but further start-ups can apply for a limited number of places via a video challenge. Until 5 July, they can submit their video pitch via https://eicsummit.eu/video-contest-upload/. While providing networking opportunities and fostering further investment and new business, the event also aims at introducing the opportunities of the EU’s innovation and acceleration programmes to a wider public. The European Commission has highly competitive offerings for innovators in terms of e.g. access to finance, coaching, and other means of support. Its Horizon 2020 programme is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over seven years (2014 to 2020). The EIC serves as an umbrella for parts of Horizon 2020 that provide funding, advice and networking opportunities at different stages of innovation. Provided with about € 1.6 billion in funding over the period 2018-2020, SME Instrument is EIC’s instrument targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It supports ground-breaking innovative ideas for products, services or processes that are ready to conquer global markets. In the last three years of implementation, around 4,000 SMEs have been selected to receive funding under this instrument.
Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) provides funding for bottom-up proposals for close-tomarket innovation activities in any area of technology or application, open to industry-driven consortia. Its call for proposals is running in 2018-2020 on a total budget of €300 million. FET (Future and Emerging Technologies) Open supports early-stages of science and technology research and innovation around new ideas towards radically new future technologies. It also funds coordination and support actions for such research to prosper in Europe, and activities aiming at turning results from funded projects into genuine societal or economic innovations.