Percentage of Israeli startups that won grants in prestigious European 'SME Instrument' grant program double that of all European companies

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Percentage of Israeli startups that won grants in prestigious European 'SME Instrument' grant program double that of all European companies

הודעה לעיתונות
4/21/2016 10:00 AM
Research and development


Eight Israeli Startups in Early Stages – Dealing with Fuels, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Communications – Have Won Grants in the Prestigious European Union SME Instrument Program, Intended to Help Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses Advance Development of Products – by Funding Viability Assessments, Market Surveys, Examining Patents and Competitive Landscapes and More. The Percentage of Grants Won by Israeli Companies in the Program Was More Than Double that of Other Companies – 19% of Israeli Companies that Submitted Won Grants, Compared with 8.7% of All European Companies that Filed Proposals.



Half of the Israeli companies which qualified for grants in the SME Instrument Program are startups specializing in the environment and in energy. Other fields in which Israeli companies received grants: Information Technology, Communications, Nanotechnologies, Materials and New Production Technologies' (NMP), Biotechnology and Transportation.


One of the companies is NMATECH – an Israeli company that developed an innovative polymer resistant to wear and erosion, which is biologically adapted to the human body, for use in moving joints like thighs and knees. The company has already started clinical trials abroad and has conducted 55 hip joint replacements using this technology.


Another company that won a grant: TerraGenic – this groundbreaking Israeli company is developing a substitute fuel for batteries. The company is developing a novel fuel, rich in hydrogen intended for use in batteries. These batteries will be able to hold five times as much power as current ones and will be able to be fully recharged in a matter of seconds. The battery is intended to power smart phones in the future and will last five days between recharging.


The SME Instrument program of the EU's Horizon 2020 is focused on small- and medium-sized R&D companies which employ fewer than 250 workers, are not owned by corporations, with revenues under €50 million

The program is open to submissions for Israeli companies four times a year and has two separate "phases" of support and financing. In the program's shorter phase 1, a company can receive a fixed €50,000 grant and in phase 2, grants can range from €500,000 to €2,500,000. In addition, companies that receive grants from either phase can receive free business consultation from advisers chosen from a list of more than 1000 experts throughout Europe from any number of fields. Both phases are in principle meant to support companies with products at least at the lab demo stage, which are planning to move from development to production and the "go to market" stage.

Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry and Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, said: "The European Union is developing tools to promote innovation in small- and medium-sized companies and Israeli firms certainly benefit from this. The SME Instrument Program opens a door to innovative companies that would not receive such funding if they turned to venture capital funds. This is because innovation in this program is not only in popular fields such as mobile or cyber-security, but also in less prominent fields. Qualifying for SME Instrument grants is a hallmark for these Israeli companies."



Ran Arad, the Director of the SME Instrument at ISERD, the Israeli directorate in charge of R&D in Europe, in the Office of the Chief Scientist, said: "SME Instrument is another tool that Horizon 2020 offers to R&D companies, and there is a real opportunity here for small and medium R&D companies. Israel has proven its prowess by achieving such high numbers qualifying for these grants and the results in general show that both determination and a learning curve can significantly contribute to attaining these grants. Some Israeli companies only won on their fourth submission. We encourage our companies to take advantage of these tools and to continue to try to win grants via all of the programs."
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