Promising Austrian Start Ups Receive Important European Innovation Funding

PeopleEntrepreneurs ♦ Published: October 19, 2022; 11:50 ♦ (Vindobona)

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator programme is designed to help Europe's most promising innovators achieve an international market breakthrough. Four Austrian companies are also among the 75 start-ups that have received funding.

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator programme supports Europe's most promising innovators and helps them break into the international market. / Picture: © Flickr / tec_estromberg / (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The European Union's 'European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator' programme aims to help Europe's most promising innovators achieve international market breakthroughs.

A total of 75 companies will be funded from the current submissions in June 2022. Good news for Austria: four of the 75 eligible companies are from Austria: Alpine Quantum Technologies GmbH (Innsbruck), AVVie GmbH (Vienna), Celeris Therapeutics GmbH (Graz) and Lithos Crop Protect GmbH (Ennsdorf).

The special feature of the financing in the EIC Accelerator is that, in addition to a subsidy component, it can also include an equity component, a so-called 'blended finance'; the equity capital is provided by the EIC Fund, which was established specifically for this purpose and functions similarly to a venture capital fund, but is intended to provide support precisely where the private financing initiative is not yet sufficient.

The aim is to allow the very best technology-based ideas to grow very quickly, and to do so in Europe. Each individual project receives relatively large amounts of funding or financing to enable the companies to complete product development and enter the international market.

In this specific case, up to 26 million euros of EU funding (subsidies plus equity shares) are being held out - although the final amount of the equity share will not be known until the due diligence negotiations that are now following have been concluded.

Alpine Quantum Technologies GmbH (AQT)

The innovation is the implementation of the first European cloud access for AQT's quantum computers. With its systems, AQT has already implemented relevant applications in the fields of chemistry, finance (portfolio optimisation, risk management) and cybersecurity.

AVVie GmbH

AVVie is developing a heart valve for the minimally invasive correction of mitral valve insufficiency, a condition that affects 2-3 percent of the world's population. The concept development and first patent submission took place in 2015 as part of the PRIZE programme of the Austria Wirtschaftsservice (AWS).

Celeris Therapeutics GmbH

The innovation is an AI-based platform that detects novel drug solutions. The result is new chemical compounds that are particularly relevant for incurable diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and cancer. The mechanism of these compounds is very different from conventional drugs, allowing entirely new therapies to find their way to patient use.

The EU funding will enable Celeris to grow strongly in a difficult macroeconomic situation. Both technologically and commercially, by expanding partnerships with large pharmaceutical companies such as Merck KGaA and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Lithos Crop Protect GmbH

The innovative, patented "Micro Dispenser Technology" forms the basis for the easy and large-scale application of the pheromone-based 'confusion method' in arable crops. This method is the world's most sustainable application of pest control, and therefore offers unique product advantages: sprayable, easy to apply, safe, harmless to all non-target organisms and the environment, no build-up of resistance, and applicable in both conventional and organic agriculture.

This simultaneously ensures the supply of healthy food on the one hand and biodiversity on the other.The EU funding lays the foundation for using this technology for various applications against different pests.

BMAW - Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy