Brussels Daily
29 Oct 2018


Brussels Daily


SME funding: €12 million for innovators across Europe
Today, 246 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from 24 countries have been selected for financial support from the SME Instrument – a funding mechanism under the EU’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. The companies will receive a total amount of €12.2 million to bring their innovations to the market faster. Each company will benefit from €50,000 to create a business plan and will 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. Examples of the projects include a water-injection system to reduce NOx emissions from vehicles, a digital platform for hands-on cybersecurity training, a novel cancer therapy and a technology that dissolves wood waste to extract and reuse raw materials. Companies can already apply for the next round of the SME instrument, which has a deadline of 13 February 2019. The SME Instrument is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with funding opportunities and acceleration services. A news item linking to the list of the beneficiaries is available online.

Commissioner Bulc and EU Transport Ministers to discuss the Commission’s proposal on seasonal clock change in Graz today
At the Informal Council EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and EU Transport Ministers will discuss today the Commission’s proposal on the discontinuation of seasonal changes. The European Commission proposed an ambitious timeline in order to address the concerns of citizens on the matter. Follow the press conference with Commissioner Bulc and Austrian Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Norbert Hofer, on EbS. There will also be a joint session of environment and transport ministers together with Commissioner Bulc and Commissioner Arias Cañete, which will focus on challenges, opportunities and strategies of a future of clean and safe road mobility. As already outlined in our proposals on ‘Europe on the Move‘, the Commission’s aim is to foster the transformation to a cleaner and safer mobility system, while furthering the decarbonisation of the European transport sector. These topics constitute common priorities for all three policy areas – environment, climate change and transport. The outcome of this debate will be reflected and presented in the Presidency’s “Declaration of Graz”. You can find more detailed information on the meeting on the Austrian Presidency’s website of the event.

European Union commits €300 million for clean, healthy and safe oceans
The European Union makes 23 new commitments at the 5th edition of Our Ocean conference, which starts in Bali, Indonesia today. In support of the new commitments, the European Commission has announced €300 million of EU-funded initiatives, which include projects to tackle plastic pollution, make blue economy more sustainable and improve research and marine surveillance. High Representative/ Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “The state of our oceans calls for determined global action. No country can succeed alone in this endeavour. It requires determination, consistency and partnerships, within and outside our European Union, and it is in this spirit that today we renew the commitment to protect Our Oceans.” Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for Environment, Maritime affairs and Fisheries said: “We need the oceans and the oceans need us. We have to urgently reduce marine litter and other sources of pollution, halt illegal fishing and support fragile marine ecosystems. And we have to develop our blue economy.” The23 new commitments include €100 million for Research and Development (R&D) projects to tackle plastic pollution and €82 million for marine and maritime research, such as ecosystem assessments, seafloor mapping and innovative aquaculture systems. The new EU action also includes a €18.4 million investment to make the European blue economy – the economic sectors that rely on the ocean and its resources – more sustainable. The EU’s showpiece Earth observation programme Copernicus also features prominently providing support with another €12.9 million for maritime security and for research dedicated to coastal environmental services. Commissioner for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska said: “Earth observation helps citizens around the globe to fight climate change, monitor the blue economy and marine pollution or to manage natural disasters. I am proud to call Copernicus a flagship EU space project.” More information is available in the press release.

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