At the time of writing, the pandemic world has changed more in a week than it has in the past decade. It’s an uncertain time for everyone, in particular, startups and SMEs. Even in the best of times, being a small or new business – or both – brings challenges. The Coronavirus pandemic brings the challenge of not even knowing what the challenges are anymore, only knowing that they are large and unprecedented.
However, there are reasons to be optimistic. In fact, a new opportunity is here today. The European Commission is ‘calling for startups and SMEs with technologies and innovations that could help in treating, testing, monitoring or other aspects of the Coronavirus outbreak to apply urgently to the next round of funding from the European Innovation Council’.
The Commission will be assessing the applications in a fair way – so even if your product or business does not relate to the above, your application will still be evaluated in the same way. The Commission’s announcement just means that, due to the unprecedented current crisis, they will fast track the grant awards and blended finance to the applicants whose company has technologies and innovations that can help fight the spread of this global pandemic. The faster the world can come up with a solution, the faster the world can resume.
If you don’t have the opportunity to apply for this round of funding, it’s ok. This won’t be the only opportunity for startups and SMEs to help, and to receive much-needed funding. Almost every country worldwide is affected, and every one of them is pooling their resources, collaborating with other countries, and unleashing funding and capital for programmes like this.
The benefit of being a startup or an SME is that you are much better equipped to be flexible and to adapt rapidly to a changing world. Your business might not appear, at first glance, to offer any assistance to the fight against Coronavirus – but take another look. There might be a way, with a few modifications, that you can pivot – even slightly.
The Commission has recognised this – which is why it made the call specific to startups and SMEs. So, while this opportunity closes shortly, we don’t believe it will be the last, not by a long shot.
For more information on how to apply, click here.
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