€ 200 million in new equity funds expected for innovative Start-ups

Equity funds in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and France have announced fund closings with total commitments of EUR 90 million from the European Investment Fund (EIF), backed by the European Commission's COSME and Horizon 2020 InnovFin programmes.

185 SMEs from 26 countries funded under Phase 1 of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument

The winning projects will each be given €50,000 in order to finance feasibility studies for new products that can disrupt the market. Participants will also receive three days of free business coaching.

The European Commission released its 2016 Rolling Plan for ICT standardisation

The Rolling Plan is a strategic document identifying EU policy priorities in relation with ICT standards and technical specifications, in particular interoperability (including avoidance of technology lock-in) in the ICT domain.

The ACE programme has accelerated the growth of more than 125 high potential ICT start-ups and SMEs from 18 European countries

Launched in September 2013, the ACE Project develops a tailor-made acceleration programme, “the ACE programme” which provides innovative start ups and high growth ICT companies with direct assistance in finding partners, clients and financing to accelerate their move into cross border and international markets. This programme provides several services to innovative ICT SMEs, such as a social platform connecting directly with investors, mentors and other ICT start-ups from all across Europe, a network of « European mentors » from sector specific business support and from across Europe to get hands on advice, support and contacts to grow in new markets, a living labs based on real-life test and experimentation environment where users and producers co-create innovation in a trusted open ecosystem, and access to funding through the StartUpEurope Hub which provides a platform where innovative ICT start-ups can access support services to help them throughout their development.

The European Union will improve the way it legislates to ensure that EU laws better serve SMEs

The Council endorsed on 15 December 2015, an inter institutional agreement on better law-making between the Council, Parliament and the Commission.

Public consultation on due diligence and supply chain integrity for Intellectual Property protection

The European Commission (DG GROW/Joint Research Centre) has launched a public consultation on the mechanisms developed by companies to secure their supply chains and thereby protect their IP. This initiative is part of the Follow the Money strategy, which was announced in the European Single Market Strategy (adopted on 28 October 2015) in view of preventing IP infringing products and services from penetrating the on- and off-line markets.

SME Instrument received record breaking applications

SME Instrument (part of EASME program) aims at getting EU funding and support for innovations projects. Phase 1 = feasibility assessment. Phase 2 = innovation project. Phase 3 = Commercialisation. According to Horizon2020projects.com, EASME SME Instrument received 2056 applications for Phase 1 by the 25 November cut-off. Article here.

The Juncker plan is ready, Commissioner Katainen stresses the need to start “selling” it

According to Commissioner Katainen in an Euractiv’s interview, in its 6 first months, EFSI signed 66 agreements for SMEs with commercial banks for a total amounting €1,5 billions that will trigger around €20 billions. It is expected that 71,000 SMEs will benefit from this financing for mobilised amount of €43 billions. All interview here.

EU IPR Helpdesk: Factsheet on Technology Licensing-in

Technological innovation is a key component for companies to face more and more increasing market competition. Indeed, since new products with new functions appear on the market on a regular basis, companies need to innovate by developing or acquiring technology.

Instead of investing in technology creation, it may make good business sense to use or adapt a technological solution developed by others. The process of acquiring the rights related to a third party’s technology through a licence agreement is indicated as technology licensing-in.

The fact sheet prepared by the EU IPR helpdesk analyses the most relevant issues related to technology licensing- in, giving readers an overview of the preliminary steps and practical suggestions to follow in order to get prepared for future negotiations.

The European Commission intends to increase Venture Capital Sought for EU's $80 Billion to help SMEs get financing

Venture capital funds have a close link with the overall approach we have in the Single Market Strategy, in order to help SMEs get financing, European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said.