Five Irish SMEs selected for funding under latest round of the EIC SME Instrument

The five Irish SMEs are:

•Inflection Biosciences Ltd (Dublin) for a new breast cancer treatment
•NBMI Science (Dublin) for a new chelation therapy drug
•PEARlabs Technologies Ltd (Dublin) for a ground-breaking optical chip for use in the fight against life-threatening diseases, including cancer
•Numa (Dundalk) for an innovative cloud-based software product to help radiologists perform minimally invasive cancer treatments more successfully
•Poly-Pico Technologies Ltd (Galway) for Cal-Mate, an automated system to detect the presence and quantify trace level concentrations of metals and materials in water, food, biological samples, etc.

The funding is provided under Phase 1 of the EIC instrument, which means that each SME 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.

They can also later apply for Phase 2 funding which is aimed at turning a business concept into a market-ready product, service or process. Under Phase 2, SMEs can apply for grants of between €0.5 and €2.5 million as well as up to 12 days of free coaching.

The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot, which supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and acceleration services. The enhanced EIC pilot was launched on the 18 March; from 5 June 2019 the EIC SME Instrument will be renamed the EIC Accelerator Pilot, and will feature the possibility of applying for grant or grant and equity funding.

Here is a list of companies selected:

And here is a  list of Projects Selected:

Courtesy of the European Commission Europa News.

I-Form & EU Industry Days release – INDUSTRY DAYS 2019

SFI Research Centre hosts EU Industry Day session on advanced manufacturing

  • SFI Research Centre I-Form is the only Irish entity to host a session at ‘EU Industry Days’ event in Brussels
  • Expert panel debates promises and challenges 3D printing brings to global manufacturing

(Brussels, February 5th) — I-Form, the SFI Research Centre for Advanced Manufacturing, is today hosting a thought-provoking session on 3D printing in manufacturing at the ‘EU Industry Days’ event at The Egg in Brussels. The session is titled: “Manufacturing as a service: The additive manufacturing promises to the EU economy”. I-Form, headquartered at University College Dublin, is the only Irish entity to organise a session at ‘EU Industry Days’ and is taking a leading role in the debate on the development of advanced and additive manufacturing in Europe.

The EU Commission event will be opened by Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and each industry session has the opportunity to raise awareness of issues that are of broad relevance for EU industrial policy development, providing a unique opportunity to make a real impact on upcoming EU-level decisions. The event is shaped around three themes: industry & sustainability; industry & globalisation; innovation & digitalisation.

At the I-Form session, keynote speakers and an expert panel will debate the promises and challenges 3D printing (additive manufacturing) brings to global manufacturing, including:

  • Rethinking the current manufacturing model
  • Putting the customer at the heart of the manufacturing process (the emergence of the ‘prosumer’)
  • Identifying potential regulatory gaps (in areas such as IP and standards) that may emerge through a paradigm shift in manufacturing
  • New supply chain models, new markets and new customer needs

Speakers include:

  • Professor Robert Shorten, I-Form and University College Dublin, will address the topic of the democratisation of manufacturing and the emergence of the ‘prosumer’ model, where the end-user is increasingly involved in the design and manufacture of the goods they consume.
  • Dr Alireza Parandian, Head of Global Business Strategy Wearables, Materialise, will address the growing prominence of ‘manufacturing as a service’.
  • Dr Paula Quiepo, Director of External Relations at PRODINTEC Technology Centre, will offer insights on how Europe is positioned to take best advantage of the promise of additive manufacturing.
  • Tanja Missfeld, Associate Partner of EY Global R&D and Innovation Services, will discuss the impact of rapid digitalisation on partnerships, supply chains and operations.
  • A speaker from Siemens will share how this paradigm shift is addressed within industry and will elaborate on the promises of additive manufacturing.
  • Professor Valeria Nicolosi, I-Form and Trinity College Dublin, an ERC laureate, is the MC and moderator.

EU Industry Days (February 5th and 6th) is an annual event attracting more than 1,000 participants from across Europe and beyond. The 2019 event focuses on key industrial challenges for the EU such as sustainability, digitalisation, investment and globalisation. The event provides input for future industrial policy making in the EU. For more information on EU Industry Days, see:

I-Form is a Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre whose mission is to shape the future of manufacturing through high-impact research into the application of digital technologies to materials processing. I-Form is headquartered at University College Dublin.

Speaking at the event in Brussels, Professor Robert Shorten of I-Form and University College Dublin said: “Additive manufacturing promises to profoundly change manufacturing and put the consumer at the heart of the production process. The personalisation of products and the potential to produce things at or close to home are two of big trends threatening to disrupt the traditional supply chain. Alongside these technological developments, we must address key questions of standards, security and privacy. Today’s event is about debating these questions and asking where we want to go as a society and as an industry.”

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “SFI Research Centres deliver significant economic and societal impact to Ireland. I-Form is shaping the direction of manufacturing in Ireland and at an EU level, helping to drive Ireland’s competitiveness internationally. Manufacturing, as a key driver of the Irish economy, is the second largest employer in Ireland. It accounts for 36.5% of GDP and €122.6 billion in exports. Involvement in this EU Industry event ensures that Ireland continues to develop a leadership position and attracts outstanding researchers in this rapidly changing sector.”

Dr Sergio Fernandez-Ceballos, National Delegate and Contact Point for Horizon 2020 at Enterprise Ireland, said: “To date, Irish researchers and companies have successfully won over €630 million under Horizon 2020, bringing Ireland over halfway to achieving our national Horizon 2020 target of €1.25 billion. I-Form’s successful bid to host this EU session builds on recent success by Irish participants in Horizon 2020 Advanced Manufacturing Research & Innovation programmes. Enterprise Ireland provided support for the team to develop their proposal in line with our strategy for H2020 to support excellence in research, with the objective of driving innovation and competitiveness across the Irish economy in line with Enterprise Ireland’s strategy 2017-2020.”

For further information, please contact:

Sergio Fernandez-Ceballos
Horizon 2020, Enterprise Ireland
+353 (1) 7272704 Mobile: 353(0)879030037

The event hashtag is #EUIndustryDay.
The I-Form session hashtag is #EUmanufacturing.



Next generation battery technology for electric vehicles to be led by UL research team

Researchers at UL’s Bernal Institute are leading an €8 million EU funded research project, called Si-DRIVE to develop battery technology for higher performance electric vehicles (EVs).  EVs currently make up less than 2% of the European fleet despite gradual gains in the market share. However, European policy demands that by 2030 40% of all new cars are to be EVs. Significant improvements to existing EV battery technology are required to improve driving range and charge times, if this ambitious target is to be achieved.

Professor Kevin M. Ryan, leader of Si-DRIVE project explains: “This project will tackle the major barriers to EV uptake, which relate to driving range, cost and recharge times by completely re-imagining the lithium ion battery using innovative anode, cathode and electrolyte materials.“

The project will focus heavily on the sustainability of the system, with rare and expensive materials (e.g. cobalt) targeted for removal. This green focus will be supplemented by performing life cycle analysis, assessing the suitability of the cells for 2nd life applications and through the development of recycling processes for cell materials. Alongside their role as project coordinator, UL will also focus on the development of the high performance silicon based anodes materials. This research will lead to the development of lightweight anodes, composed of abundant elements that can reduce the overall weight of the final batteries. Coordination of the project will ensure that UL are at the forefront of battery research, through the development of research links and demonstration of the game-changing performance of their advanced anode materials.

Dr Hugh Geaney, researcher on the project added: “The Si-DRIVE project will bring together leading experts from across Europe to deliver the sustainable and cost-effective battery technology required for environmentally friendly EVs of the future.”

The Si-DRIVE consortium is comprised of 16 academic and industrial partners from 7 European countries, across the entire battery development chain. Battery active material design will benefit from state of the art modelling capabilities, coupled with expertise in materials production and characterisation, to deliver higher capacity, safer materials required for future batteries. Cell safety enhancements will be achieved through the use of non-flammable solid electrolytes, which will be custom designed to allow fast charging capabilities desired by consumers. As part of the project, cell prototypes will be prepared using the optimised anode, cathode and electrolyte materials, to demonstrate performance enhancements compared to current state of the art electric vehicle batteries.

Dr Bob Flynn, National Contact Point for the Horizon 2020 at Enterprise Ireland welcomed the announcement, “’Si-Drive’ ranked first of all proposals submitted for this specific Horizon 2020 call and this success brings Irish researchers to the forefront of battery related research and technology development across Europe. Enterprise Ireland provided financial and technical support for the team to develop their proposal in line with our strategy for Horizon 2020 to support excellence in research with the objective of driving innovation and competitiveness across the Irish economy.  To date Irish researchers and companies have successfully won €630m in approvals under Horizon 2020 bringing us over the half way point to achieving our national Horizon 2020 target of €1.25bn”.

Prof Kevin M Ryan is Chair of Chemical Nanotechnology at Department of Chemical Sciences and Bernal Institute at the University of Limerick. He is a Co-PI on SFI Research Centres MaREI and Amber and holder of an IRC Laureate.

Dr Hugh Geaney is a Principal Investigator affiliated with the Department of Chemical Sciences and Bernal Institute and is a holder of a starting investigator research grant from SFI.


Follow SiDrive on Twitter @SiDRIVE_H2020

Listen to the podcast from the Si-DRIVE group here  –

CORDIS satisfaction survey addressed to the FP7 and Horizon 2020 beneficiaries

The EC organises a short satisfaction survey for which the opinion of beneficiaries of EU funding and other stakeholders is vital. The aim of this exercise is to improve the utility and the relevance of CORDIS as a data platform but also as a tool that supports the FP beneficiaries in their communication, dissemination and exploitation activities for their project(s) by offering improved and or new services.The survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes. This survey is anonymous and all responses will be treated confidentially. The feedback results will be used in an aggregated form, where no single project or response can be identified.


EIT InnoEnergy: call for electrical storage start-ups

Got a brilliant innovation idea in the electrical storage area, and want to take it to market or scale-up? You could win €100,000 as well as investment and business support to grow your business from the world’s biggest sustainable player backed by a trusted ecosystem offered by EIT InnoEnergy.

Application deadline is 15 November 2018. Click here for further information.

Irish team comes second in EU award for projects to tackle urban air pollution

Congratulations to Prof John Gallagher (TCD), finalist for the Materials for Clean Air Prize.

This week, the European Commission announced the winner of a €3 million award for the EU Horizon Prize on Materials for Clean Air for the most affordable, sustainable and innovative design-driven solution to urban air pollution.

Air quality in cities around the world has been getting increasingly worse. A recent report has found that most EU states are failing to meet air quality standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Horizon Prize set out a challenge to find a solution. The researchers were asked to focus on finding out how best to deal with particulate matter (PM) in the air, the pollutant with the most severe effect on human health.

Dr Theron and Dr Gallagher represent their research teams at the EU Horizon Prize on Materials for Clean Air Photo: Catherine O’Toole

What is Particulate Matter, and why is it dangerous?

Particulate matter is the particles which hang in the air, including pollen, smoke, dust and liquid droplets. These particles also includes harmful matter that comes from human pollution. Particles range in size, but the smaller they are the longer they hang in the air. They can be inhaled, and prolonged exposure to high concentrations can cause and aggravate lung and heart conditions.

Exposure to PM can lead to premature death, birth defects, asthma, lung cancer and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Around 90 per cent of city dwellers in Europe are exposed to particulate matter levels that are above the World Health Organisation’s (WHO’s) air quality guidelines.

While Ireland has not yet surpassed WHO’s air quality guidelines value, it has recently been reported that a long weekend in Dublin City has the equivalent negative health impacts as smoking one cigarette.

A study released by the EAA last year links air pollution to nearly 400,000 premature deaths in EU countries in 2014. In Ireland, the Environmental Protection Agency found that many areas are above the WHO air quality guidelines for PM 2.5, with the European Environment Agency have estimated that there were 1,510 premature deaths in Ireland in 2014 due to poor air quality.

So what are our solutions?

A ceramic honeycomb air filter developed by a research team from Corning SAS, France, has won the EU Horizon Prize on Materials for Clean Air. The European Commission announced the winner of the €3 million award funded under the EU’s research and innovation programme.

Led by Dr Jean-Jacques Theron, the team developed a filter that can remove up to 95 per cent of fine particulate matter from the air and maintain it below the World Health Organisation air quality guidelines. Their invention can reduce the concentration of particulate matter in cities, both indoors and outdoors.

For indoor treatment, the solution can be combined with existing air ventilation systems. Outdoors, a modular kiosk-sized system can be placed in highly polluted areas, or close to schools or hospitals. Dr Theron told The Green News that the air filter is currently in rthe prototype stage with encouraging data.

He explained that the brief for the competition required their unit to remove PM 2.5 from the air. However, as the smaller PMs have the worst impact on human health, the team aimed to remove even smaller particulates, claiming that their air filter also targets PM 1 and even PM 0.1. These nano particulates go deeper into the lungs than their larger counterparts.

He continues, ‘The filters are ceramic and have a lifetime of 1-2 years. However, we are still testing how best to maintain them. The filters could be regenerated using water to flush out the particulates that gather in the system, extending their lifetime to more than 20 years,” he said.

“The next step,” he concluded, “is to use the prize money to build a full-size unit and get real data in a real environment, especially in outdoor situations.”

The team intends to build the full-size demonstration unit in Europe and hope to launch and commercialise the filter in time for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Dr Gallagher summarises his team’s project. With Dr Theron and Jean-Eric Paquet European Commission’s Director-General for Research and Innovation Photo: Catherine O’Toole

 Trinity Team Take Silver

The runner-up project was represented at the conference by Dr John Gallagher, Assistant Professor at Trinity College Dublin.

Their team concentrated on developing a filter for ventilation systems in buildings, essentially stopping outside pollution coming indoors. This gives inhabitants cleaner air in their homes and workplaces, where the average person spends most of their time.

Dr Gallagher explained how the system works to Green News: “Our objective is not to trap particulates, but to passively control the pathways to block the particulates reaching you. It doesn’t remove pollution from the world, but diverts it from areas of interest, ie the indoor environment.”

“The idea began to evolve in 2011 with a device that gave a 50 per cent reduction in PM 2.5 entering the ventilation system,” he said.  “Air pollution and energy use are the biggest problems for the urban environment. I’d like to think that our solution offers the best of both worlds, and a balance between the two.”

Over the last few years, this small team of nine creative people has made huge progress on finding a solution to air pollution. The next step for the team is to decide on the best pathway to take from here.

Article by Catherine O’Toole

Catherine is a contributor to the Green News. She has a BA in Photography from DIT and has a keen interest in conservation photography.

Sergio Fernandez Ceballos is the National Delegate and Contact Point for NMPB. Contact details for Sergio are: Tel: +353 (0)1 7272704.


EIC Pilot to invest €124 million in new high-risk innovative projects

The European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot will support 38 innovative projects to develop new ideas towards radically new future technologies.

In total, the projects will receive €124 million under the future and emerging technologies (FET Open) strand of the EIC pilot, run under the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. If successful, these projects will create new markets in Europe.

Neuromorphic and quantum computing, de-orbiting of spacecraft, fighting brain viruses, early and non-invasive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease are just a few examples of the challenges that these projects are targeting. FET Open offers grants of typically €3 million to promote collaborative, inter-disciplinary research and innovation on future and emerging technologies. These grants are for consortia of at least three entities.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Science, Research and Innovation, said: “Through the European Innovation Council (EIC), we support future and emerging breakthrough technologies, which are key to unlocking many of the secrets to a better future and society. We are investing in innovative ideas and the individuals behind them to create new markets of the future.”

In its first round of funding under the EIC pilot, FET Open received 375 proposals and granted funding to 236 beneficiaries in 23 countries across Europe. As part of the EIC pilot, FET Open projects receive additional support for innovators and entrepreneurs. SMEs participating in FET Open projects can also benefit from networking, coaching and mentoring.

Original source: 

A total of 246 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 24 countries have been selected for the EU’s Horizon 2020 funding

Between them, the companies will receive a total amount of €12.2 million from the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, to get their innovations faster on the market.

The projects selected include a water-injection system to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from commercial vehicles, a decision-making tool for fully exploiting big bio-data, a digital platform for hands-on cybersecurity training, a novel cancer therapy targeting cancer networks and a technology that dissolves wood waste to extract raw materials.

The companies will be supported in the so-called Phase 1 of the SME Instrument, which means that each project (244 in total) will receive €50.000 to draft a business plan. Several companies can team up to propose one project. The companies will also receive free coaching and business acceleration services.

The majority of the companies selected for funding are in the field of information and communication technology (ICT), health and engineering. Most are based in Spain (33), Italy (28) and Switzerland (23).

The European Commission received 2111 proposals for the 5 September cut-off. The next application deadline for SME Instrument Phase 1 is on 13 February 2019.

The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that provides top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and acceleration services. Companies can apply for two distinct phases under the SME Instrument, depending on the maturity of their innovation. Under Phase 1 of SME Instrument, each project will receive a lump-sum of €50 000 to carry out a feasibility study. Under Phase 2, each project will receive from €0.5 to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities such as demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. In addition, companies under both phases can benefit from free coaching and business acceleration services.

Click here for further information and source of this article.



Ireland still a net contribution to EU funds

Ireland received €1.8 billion in EU funds in 2017, and contributed just over €2 billion, as the country continues to be a net contributor, according to the latest annual report of the EU’s budgetary watchdog.

Ireland first became a net contributor in 2014. Click here for further details about this article by Tony Connelly, Europe Editor, RTE.

Additive Ireland – research in additive/3D printing


The first Additive Ireland showcase, organized by Enterprise Ireland took place on 2nd October 2018 in Brussels. The Additive Ireland group comprises members of Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) – the EI/IDA funded Technology Centre – and SFI research centres; Amber, I-Form and Confirm. Additive Ireland is a new initiative that will be hosted in IMR and will bring together all key actors in Additive/3D printing in Ireland. Irish companies participating in the event – Henkel, Depuy Synthes Johnson & Johnson and Trend Technologies – highlighted the need for further R&D collaborations with Higher Education Institutes in Ireland to better understand manufacturing processing and standards and materials properties/behaviours used in these new technologies. The showcase also included presentations from the European Commission (DG Research and CONNECT), relevant European Industry Associations (AM-Platform, European Factories of the Future Research Association) and other EU centres (TNO and Fraunhofer). The clustering into Additive Ireland creates the needed critical mass around 3D printing technologies and makes Ireland very well positioned to attract further funding from the H2020 Advanced Manufacturing programme.

For more information please contact Sergio Fernandez-Ceballos


Head Office

Enterprise Ireland
East Point Business Park, Dublin 3
Tel: +353 1 727 2000 | Fax: +353 1 727 2020

  • The Department for Agriculture Food and the Marine
  • The Environmental Protection Agency Ireland
  • Health Research Board
  • Higher Education Authority
  • Irish Research Council
  •  Irish Universities Association
  • The Marine Institute
  • Science Foundation Ireland (SFI
  • The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland

Horizon 2020 national support network led by Enterprise Ireland