Eight Irish SMEs to receive European Innovation Council funding

27 Jun 2019

Prof Mark Ferguson. Image: Jason Clarke Photography

Eight Irish SMEs will receive funding from the European Innovation Council as Mark Ferguson is appointed as chair of its advisory board.

The European commissioner for research, innovation and science has announced today (27 June) that eight Irish SMEs will receive funding from the European Innovation Council (EIC).

The EIC, currently in its pilot phase, will reportedly be fully realised from 2021 under the next EU research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe, with a proposed €10bn budget.

Seven of the eight SMEs will receive EIC accelerator pilot grants in the range of €1.5m to €2.5m, previously known as the SME Instrument Phase 2 grants. The companies due to be funded are:

  • Coroflo (Dublin), which is developing breastfeeding technology to monitor how much babies feed
  • CroíValve (Dublin), which is developing a non-surgical treatment to restore heart valve function and reduce tricuspid regurgitation in high-risk patients for surgery
  • Bluedrop Medical (Galway), for its project to use AI to manage patients at risk of diabetic foot ulcers
  • Perfuze (Galway), which is developing a way to remove blood clots from the brain in one pass in order to treat acute ischemic stroke
  • Vetex Medical (Galway), for the development of an early-stage medical device indicated for the drug-free treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Votechnik (Limerick), a producer of automated LCD recycling technology for the global market
  • Beats Medical (Dublin), which is developing tailored digital therapeutics for neurological and brain disorders

Synbio start-up Helixworks Technologies, from Cork, is due to receive funding under the EIC Pathfinder pilot, a grant of up to €4m for bottom-up, high-risk and high-impact research ideas. The company is working within the field of DNA data storage and makes synthetic DNA for biotech research. It is a partner of the OligoArchive project.

In total, the EIC announced €164m in funding for 53 new Pathfinder pilot grants spread across 17 countries in Europe.

The news comes as Prof Mark Ferguson, director general of Science Foundation Ireland and chief scientific adviser to the Irish Government, is appointed to chair of the EIC’s advisory board.

Prof Dermot Diamond, principal investigator for the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at Dublin City University, was also appointed to the board. He commented: “It is a great personal honour to be appointed as a member of the newly established European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot advisory board.

“This is a great opportunity to play a positive role in defining the ethos and character of the newly established EIC during its formative phase, in order to create effective bridges between research that seeks answers to fundamental questions, and innovative ideas that can address major societal needs.”

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic