The EIT (European Institute of Innovation and Technology) has changed the lives of teams working on innovative projects that will make our future a better one. More than 200 teams have applied for EIT acceleration programs in health, raw materials and food and have received grants of over € 200,000 through training programs that support companies or innovative teams in launching their own businesses and guiding them in the process business development, entry to the foreign market and training courses.The aim of the EIT is to stimulate innovation in Europe for startups that aim to revolutionize the EU market. in 2018 they applied more than twice as many teams for programs as in 2017 and EIT intends to carry on programs like EIT Jumpstarter, a very selective and competitive program that opens doors to European markets and connects participants to expanded networks of the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC).The EIT offers programs for innovators in different stages of development, from the initial stage of ideas to companies that are ready to penetrate foreign markets.
"I hope my research will one day come from the lab in the real world.”
This year, 67 teams participated in the Joint Business Ideas Contest, a pre-accelerator program organized by EIT Health, EIT Food and EIT RawMaterials, and took part in a 2-day bootcamp. Teams were academically and technically trained, but little or no knowledge of the business segment. Throughout the program, they acquired basic entrepreneurial skills, learned about segmentation of the market, developed value propositions, financial statements and worked for their competitive advantage, and at the end of the two intensive training days they prepared their first presentations pitch. There were selected 21 teams that have gone through individualized thematic education and mentoring programs, namely 5 in the health sector, 6 in the food sector and 10 in the raw materials sector, of which: 5 in primary production and 5 in secondary production raw materials. In individual personalized mentoring programs tailored to their needs, participants have improved their business plan, have learned how to identify and find their potential client, investor, or partner. In November, at the Joint Grand Final, the teams held presentations in front of an international panel of experts, where the first prizes in the food and health sector were 10,000 euros, the 2nd prize was 7,000 euros, and the third of 5,000 euros. Prize winners from primary and secondary raw materials were awarded with € 10,000 (first prize), € 5,000 (second prize) and € 2,500 (third prize).
Stimulating innovative SMEs contributes to job creation, thus enhancing Europe's competitiveness.
In early 2018, EIT Health launched call for proposals in three different grant accelerating programs worth 135,000 euros. InnoStars Awards, the European Health Catapult and HeadStart Funding training and competition program targets small and very small businesses, spin-offs, and startups that develop a MVP or prototype. EIT Health acceleration and training programs support companies and help them in business development and entry into the foreign market by harnessing the exceptional potential for innovation and knowledge of the market of its network of leading European health and pharmaceutical companies, and research institutions.
The InnoStars Awards winner, selected from over 1,000 participants, was a Lithuanian company called Oxipit, which won 25,000 euros to validate the product. Oxipit applies artificial intelligence to medical imaging.They have developed a range of instruments for chest radiography, covering all pathologies and generating reports similar to those made by a radiologist. HeadStartFunding, which was created to bring companies to a stage where they are ready for investment, has awarded two prizes of 12,000 euros each in the InnoStars region for the HeartWatch teams in Italy and Koatum in Latvia. HeartWatch is a SaaS (software as a service) solution that delivers smart alerts to the nearest caregiver for better patient safety. It uses a patented combination of advanced computer vision technology and intelligent automated learning analysis to monitor through common optical sensors patients who are not monitored by other methods. Koatum is a medical technology company that offers customizable bioactive solutions to prevent inflammation and accelerate bone integration for faster and painless recovery.
European Health Catapult aims to support the best startups in Europe in the areas of digital health, medical technology and biotechnology. Following coaching, 42 regional winners qualified in the competition's semifinals: the biotechnology contest in Leuven, the Netherlands, medical technology in Grenoble, France, and digital health in Erlangen, Germany. They were judged on the basis of market availability and the anticipated impact of their health innovations, and the most promising 22 startups were invited to participate in the final at the EIT Health Summit on 4 and 5 December 2018 in Lodz, where the top three in each category were awarded.
“We are proud that the InnoStars startups have won a prize in each category of this selective European competition.” said Balázs Fürjes, general manager of EIT Health InnoStars. SyNoesis, a start-up that developed a cure for Parkinson's disease, won the first prize in the biotechnology category, NeuroPsyAI, artificial intelligence for early identification of signs of neurodegenerative diseases, won the 2nd prize in the digital health category, and Hydrustent, a start-up that created a biodegradable, anti-bacterial and personalized stent, received the 3rd prize in the medical technology category.
In 2019, EIT Health will refine and expand its programs
In 2019, EIT Health will continue its cooperation with EIT Food and EIT RawMaterials within the EIT Jumpstarter, a highly selective and competitive business development program that opens doors to European markets and connects participants to the expanded KIC networks. 90 teams from the 3 thematic sectors (30-health, 30-food, 30-raw materials) will be invited to participate in the program, and the top 18 teams will reach the final (6 of each thematic category) and will compete to win prizes up to 10,000 euros. Jumpstarter is perfect for teams with innovative business ideas who want to develop their business skills and are ready to launch their startup at the end of this program, enrollments will begin early next year.
At Innostars Awards, the best practices that are collected and used during the year will be the conceptual basis for the 2019 program stages. EIT Health wants to invite permanent startups to prototypes or products and legal entities for the purpose of to prepare them for market entry. The application for this program will be announced by February 28, and after the selection process the selected candidates will be trained in two bootcamp sessions and a series of professional training courses throughout the year for the final competition be organized in November. Based on the experience gained during this year, startups could be prepared by academic and industry experts not only for a successful participation in the contest but also to help them advance to the next stage of the EIT Health experience and to successful entry to the market.
The next steps will continue in 2019 to reduce startup time for Starstop competition and to develop mature startups for Catapult.
Business creation programs EIT Health that supports SMEs in entering the local or foreign markets will continue to provide more than 600,000 euros in 2019.