EU Dragon's Den: Four Irish companies selected for special EU funding of 50,000 each.

The grants are for feasibility studies and are Phase 1 of a support programme for SMEs

The Irish companies were chosen from thousands of EU small businesses who pitched for the cash. The grants are for feasibility studies and are Phase 1 of a support programme for SMEs who have ideas for new products but need help to get to the next stage.

Phase 2 of the scheme will see up to 2.5 million each paid to selected European SMEs who have already developed and tested their product, but need help bringing it to the open market. Those results will be out later this month.

The budget comes from the European Commission's Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. In all, 185 SMEs across Europe have been selected for funding.

The Irish projects cover a range of topics from disease testing to energy production.

The 4 Irish SMEs are:

  • Hibergene Diagnostics Ltd, Dublin

Real-time molecular diagnostic testing for human infectious diseases using LAMP (Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification) technology.

  • DP DesignPro Ltd, Limerick

Commercialization of a viable and proven HydroKinetic Turbine that will harness the power of the world's rivers, canals and estuaries in a sustainable, innovative and cost-effective way.

  • Endeco Technologies Ltd, Dublin

Smart-grid optimisation using rate of change of frequency (RoCoF) to rapidly balance power grid network frequency - enabling more widespread use of unpredictable renewables and minimising blackouts.

  • Allogen Biotech Ltd, Dublin

A study for the technical and business feasibility of a fast-acting consumer test to detect gluten and other contaminants in food.

More Information
For each project, the participants will receive 50,000 to finance feasibility studies for new products that can disrupt the market. They can also ask for up to three days of free business coaching.

The European Commission received 2,057 proposals under Phase 1 by 25 November 2015, the fourth and last cut-off date for 2015. The 185 SMEs that will receive funds proposed 175 projects in total (multiple SMEs can be involved in one project). Most of the projects funded were in the area of low-carbon energy systems, closely followed by food production and processing and biomarkers and medical devices.

Spanish SMEs were particularly successful with 39 beneficiaries accepted for funding, followed by firms from Italy (37) and the UK (20). Since the launch of the programme on 1 January 2014, 1284 SMEs have been selected under Phase 1 of the SME Instrument.

The results for Phase 2 of the SME Instrument, where companies get funding up to 2.5 million to make their products ready for the market, will follow around mid-February 2016.

The next cut-off for Phase 1 is 24 February 2016.

Source: EU in Ireland

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