Two experts, one success story. From the European Commission to the European Investment Bank, our experts told us what to do to access EU funding as an innovative and young Biotech company!
This Refresh Expert Track kicked off with the Head of Unit at the European Commission, Cornelius Schmaltz, who introduced the focus for health research in the Horizon 2020 programme. With a total funding volume of €7.3B, the emphasis lies on the societal challenges for health with priorities in personalized medicine, infectious diseases and global health, human bio-monitoring as part of the environment and health program, and maternal and child health.
Schmaltz introduced the funding programs that are currently open, such as the ebola and other filoviral hemorrhagic fever program, before handing over the microphone to Alessandro de Concini, Advisor for Innovation Finance at the European Investment Bank (EIB).
After a brief introduction on the EIB, he talked about financial instruments and the support of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), before focusing on the EIB’s two major innovation support programmes, the European Fund for Strategic Investment and the InnovFIN.
“We provide finance to a company that is investing into either drugs, or vaccines, or diagnostic devices to combat infectious diseases, and we do it on a contingent basis. So we split the financing into milestones: if you hit the milestone you keep going and eventually you are going to have to repay the debt,” de Concini explained. “If you don’t hit the milestone there is a ‘forgiveness’ option embedded into it. It works essentially as a grant, in case of failure.”
The talk was rounded off by a success story example. Ralf Schmidt, Cofounder of the Norwegian company Biovotec AS, introduced the company and told the audience about the application process for the grant: “One of my main takeaways I want to emphasize is that receiving SME grants is very dependent on timing. It was the timing that was important for us!”
If you want to find out more about how to best access EU funding and what a success story looks like, follow this link!