European group launches €60m Covid-19 crisis response fund

14 May 2020

Image: © fpdress/

The €60m EIT Crisis Response Initiative aims to fund innovators and businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The latest group to offer funding support in the Covid-19 pandemic is the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The €60m EIT Crisis Response Initiative will address both the social and economic challenges posed by the crisis and consists of two strands.

The first is the ‘Venture Support Instrument’ targeted at start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs that have been seriously impacted by Covid-19 with investment suddenly drying up.

The second is the ‘Pandemic Response Projects’, which will fund innovations and new solutions needed to tackle the current crisis and prevent its resurgence. EIT said this strand will help mobile innovators to address the Covid-19 crisis impact, both in terms of the immediate health concerns and the wider response needed.

In particular, it pointed to innovations in health, climate change, digitisation, food, sustainable energy, urban mobility, manufacturing and raw materials.

Mobilising resources

“To win the fight against the disruption Covid-19 has wreaked on Europe, we must work closely together and mobilise our resources,” said Dirk Jan van den Berg, chair of the EIT governing board.

“I have been impressed by entrepreneurs’ resilience. The EIT Crisis Response Initiative will ensure they benefit from financial support at a critical time. It will also help the recovery focus on creating a healthier, greener and more sustainable future for our planet and its people.”

Mariya Gabriel, European commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth, added that it’s important that resources are “targeted to deliver results expeditiously”.

“We are ensuring financial support is increased and disbursed more quickly to those who are working on the most promising answers to the difficult questions Covid-19 poses,” she said.

“Thanks to the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, innovators in the EU will benefit from additional support helping them to overcome this unprecedented situation and continue delivering innovative solutions for Europe and its citizens.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic