Researchers from University College Cork, University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, as well as a number of Irish startup companies, were among the successful applicants to a new €344m European pilot innovation fund.
The Irish universities were chosen from among what the European Innovation Council (EIC), which runs the fund, described as 100 game-changing ideas from across Europe
Some 63 of the ideas are at research stage and €162m of the fund will enable their authors to discover breakthrough technologies or bring them closer to market, which could become the basis of a startup or spin-off company.
Separately, 44 of the awards, representing almost €182m, went to startups and innovative SMEs to develop and scale up their innovations.
Dublin-based ProVerum Medical was awarded a grant, while Galway-based Rockfield Medical Devices was awarded grants and equity to finance commercialisation of its healthcare system.
The most recent success bring the awards under the EIC Accelerator SME Instrument to more than €110m under the Horizon 2020 programme.
"Encouraging Irish researchers and entrepreneurs to compete internationally for funding is key to Enterprise Ireland's strategy to enhance the Irish research system, the spin-out environment and support Irish companies to scale and expand their reach," said Garrett Murray, national director at Enterprise Ireland for Horizon 2020, the programme which funds the awards.
A significant increase to the EIC pilot budget is expected to be adopted by the European Commission this month, with more companies expected to benefit, paving the way for the launch of a fully-fledged programme.
A one-off EIC Accelerator call for 'green deal' startups and SMEs is expected with applications due on May 19. Grant funding of up to €2.5m is available, with the option of equity investment of up to €15m.
New opportunities for companies with women CEOs or equivalent positions have also been announced, to ensure 25pc of all finalists in the EIC Accelerator Pilot are women-led companies.
Sunday Indo Business