Four Irish SMEs are among 79 top-class innovative SMEs across Europe that are to receive EU funding to help them get their projects to market faster.

The four Irish SMEs are: Cork-based Metabolomic Diagnostics Ltd, UCD spin-out company ATXA Therapeutics Ltd, Aurigen Medical Ltd, and Deciphex Ltd of Dublin.

Three of the SMEs will receive funding under the SME Instrument (Phase 2) and one under the Fast Track to Innovation Scheme.

The three to receive support under the European Commission’s SME Instrument are:

– Metabolomic Diagnostics Ltd of Cork for its Ipog project – a simple blood test to identify an expectant mother’s risk of preterm preeclampsia, up to 5 months before most women will display clinical symptoms.
– ATXA Therapeutics Ltd, a UCD spin-out company, for its PAH-HOPE project – novel therapeutic drugs to treat Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH).
– AuriGen Medical Ltd of Dublin for its Aurigen project – Next Generation Left Atrial Appendage Implant to Treat Persistent Atrial Fibrillation.

These SMEs will each receive up to €2.5 million to finance innovation activities like demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. The companies will also benefit from 12 days of free business coaching and acceleration services.

Fast Track to Innovation project

Deciphex Ltd of Dublin will get support to access the market faster under the European Commission’s Fast Track to Innovation scheme. Deciphex Ltd is the coordinator of the Path-Tox project. It is working with a Belgian SME and a Swiss SME to develop Artificial Intelligence to transform Drug and Chemical safety testing. Projects selected under the Fast Track to Innovation Scheme will receive around €2 million each. The scheme is for relatively mature ground-breaking technologies, concepts and business models that are close to market. The participating SMEs also have access to free business coaching and acceleration services.

Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Supporting innovation as a source of growth and job creation is at the core of the European Innovation Council. We support close-to-market projects, giving them a head start in the race to the market with a fast access to funding and business innovation support.”


The SME Instrument and the Fast Track to Innovation are now a central part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot, targeting radically new, breakthrough products, services, processes or business models that open up new markets. Between 2018 and 2020, the EIC pilot will provide €2.7 billion to breakthrough, market-creating innovations under Horizon 2020. The next cut-off date for funding applications for the Fast Track to Innovation and the SME Instrument Phase 2 are on 31 May 2018 and 10 October 2018 respectively.

The SME Instrument is for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs – including start-ups) with a radical innovation that can disrupt established value networks and markets. The companies should have the ambition and potential to scale-up. There are two types of grants

– concept and feasibility grants of €50,000 to assess the viability of an innovation
– demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling grants of up to €2.5 million with a 70% co-financing rate

The Fast Track to Innovation Scheme is for relatively mature ground-breaking technologies, concepts and business models which are close to market. Proposals must come from consortia of 3 to 5 legal entities who want to see quick market uptake of new technologies. Grants of up to €3 million may be awarded. For-profit entities will receive 70% co-financing. Not-for-profit entities will receive 100% co-financing.

Source: European Commission – Ireland