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The Strategic Health Technologies Challenge in the EIC Accelerator: Three Examples of Companies Funded by the EIC

05/19/2021
European Innovation Council (EIC)

The new EIC Accelerator is Horizon Europe’s tool for Deep Tech SMEs and startups. The programme finances the most innovative projects with a unique combination of grant and equity up to 17,5M EUR. Building on the experience of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument, the EIC Accelerator provides SMEs and start-ups from all over Europe with the capital needed to develop and scale-up deep-tech business concepts into market-ready products.

Open calls and challenge-driven calls

With a budget of about 1B EUR. for the current year, the programme funds innovations in any field of technology. Alongside the open calls, in 2021 the EIC Accelerator has set aside a budget of about 495M EUR. specifically for calls driven by specific challenges. These calls are open to innovations falling within certain areas of strategic relevance. In 2021 two specific challenges have been announced:

  • Green deal innovations for the economic recovery and
  • Strategic digital and health technologies.

Strategic Health Technologies

Following the direction set out by the Economic Recovery and Resilience Facility, the “Strategic digital and health technologies” call is aimed at intercepting healthcare innovations that can position Europe at the forefront of Health Tech and contribute to the technological sovereignty of the Bloc. In particular, with this call the EIC is expected to fund technologies as diverse as AI-driven tools for early diagnosis, point-of-care diagnostics, novel approaches in cell and gene therapy, in particular for cancer, development of novel biomarkers for clinical prognosis, patient stratification or monitoring purposes across a wide spectrum of disorders, bioprocessing 4.0, healthcare intelligence services, and e-health (including mobile health) solutions for healthcare systems, medical practice and Intensive Care Units.

Submissions open at any time

The EIC Accelerator call foresees three evaluation stages, with Stage 1, the so-called Short Application, requiring a 5-page proposal form, a pitch deck of up to 10 slides and a 3-minute video pitch presenting the core team members and their motivation for applying. Submissions to Stage 1 can happen at any time as the applications will be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis.

EIC Champions in Health Technologies

During the EIC Accelerator pilot phase, in 2019-2020, the EIC has already invested in a number of cutting-edge Healthtech innovations, confirming the Council’s attention to breakthrough technologies in the healthcare sector. The selection of companies below, provides an overview of the deep tech projects that have received EIC funding in the past:

  • HIL Applied Medical (Israel) has developed a breakthrough proton therapy system for cancer treatment. It uses protons at high energy to destroy cancer cells. It can be used alone or combined with other treatments such as radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, and/or immunotherapy. Currently, proton therapy is scarcely diffused, addressing only 5% of global clinical demand. Nonetheless, the advanced particle accelerator and beamline technologies developed by HIL Applied Medical make proton therapy widely accessible by offering highly cost-effective single-room solutions.
  • Exvastat (Ireland) has developed Impentri, an innovative pharmacotherapy for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). The latter affects 3 million people globally, and its dangerousness has worsened with the advent of Coronavirus. Currently, 40% of the patients that suffer from the condition succumb to it and among the ones that survive, most of them face long-term physical and mental illness. Thanks to its intravenous formulation of widely-used chemotherapeutic drug, this technology targets the cause and mortality associated with the condition. Also, it is not blocked by any mechanical ventilation and does not rely on Gastrointestinal tract absorption, compared to existing techniques.
  • EBA Med (Switzerland) has developed a medical device to enable non-invasive heart motion imaging and real-time synchronization of the therapeutic beam, called Cardio-kit. This instrument enables monitoring of heart movements in real-time, and automatically adjusts the Stop/Go signal to the proton therapy machine based on the cardiac cycle in which to intervene. The goal of the company is to establish proton therapy as an effective and practical method to treat patients at an earlier stage of disease.

Get in touch

The team of Alien Technology Transfer has supported tens of companies operating in the healthcare sector to obtain funding from the EIC. Our European funding experts provide clients with exclusive insights and proven funding strategies to approach the programme with a head start. Want to know more about our services? Contact Alien Technology Transfer now.

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