On 25 November SUBMARINER Network’s Accelerator for Blue Growth and Tartu Biotechnology Park (TBP) with the support of the Baltic Blue Biotech Alliance+ project organized together an event introducing different financing opportunities to blue economy start-ups, SMEs and R&D.
48 representatives from the industry and R&D joined the event, where several public and private funding opportunities were presented.
Katrin Saar from the Estonian Research Council presented the upcoming Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Investment programme for 2021-2027 in which 100 billion€ will be invested in Research and innovation activities, succeeding the Horizon 2020. A novelty of the Programme is the mission-driven approach and five Missions have been introduced in the Horizon Programme, corresponding to Global Missions, and which two Missions are: Regenerating our ocean and waters by 2030 (Starfish), and Climate Change adaptation. Another novelty of this Programme is international cooperation, especially with China or African countries.
The new Clusters were presented in particular the Cluster 6 – Food, Bioeconomy, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment, that starts on 2021-2022, and scopes also seas, oceans and inland waters. Although four other Cluster have topics that can incorporate water issues.
Also, Partnerships were introduced among which most importantly the Blue Bioeconomy partnership – A climate neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy. The partnerships will havbe their own Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, and SUBMARINER Network is of course providing its guidance in the development. Another candidate Partnership presented was WATER4ALL – Water Security for the Planet Warer4All that is voluntary participaion of member states, similar to the known ERA-NET calls, and it starts in 2021-2022. Finally, we have good news with EIC Accelerator schemes that is relevant for industry that they will be continued.
Next, Anu Oks, CEO of the Estonian Business Angels Network (https://estban.ee) presented their services to Estonian and EU startups and business angel investors connecting early stage private investments with opportunities. Anu presented how EstBAN works, and what business angels are looking for in startups, e.g. when it comes to product – market fit and team. Finally Anu presented an exemplary scheme to help startups evaluate themselves.
Interestingly, EstBAN is organising startup pitching events every 6 weeks, and in next round deadline of application is on 6. January 2021. More information can be found in their website here. Anu finally clarified for those interestd that there are many for-profit as well as non-profit Business Angel networks in Europe, e.g. FinBAN, DanBAN, as well as EBAN (European Business Angels) and each organisation is working independently.
As third speaker we had the pleasure to have Michael Brandkamp from European Circular Bioeconomic Fund (https://www.ecbf.vc), who presented their 250m€ open fund, to which the European Investment Bank (EIB) has committed €100 million. The ECBF offers a unique opportunity for scaling circular economy growth companies from from EU/EFTA. Apart from their investment fund running up to 10 years, ECBF is providing in-house expertise in scaling companies, and they are plan to support up to 25 companies within Clircular Economy, including market sectors like agrotechnology, food tech, blue economy, biobasedf packaging and chemicals, and specialties. Candidates companies need to have robust environmental and economic returns, and they are looking for candidate companies
Final speaker was Efthalia Arvaniti, Programme Manager of the SUBMARINER Network that presented the latest developments of the Blue Growth Accelerator.
The workshop was considered a great success, and each speaker’s presentation followed by a Q&A session. The organisers plan to organise more events for company innovation and funding in the in the next year too.
Agenda of the event can be found here.
The workshop was recorded and the video is available here.