Funding programmes, competitions and awards

Call for Applications for the Most Innovative European Biotech SME Awards 2017

Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award 2017

Press Release: EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, invites small and medium sized biotech companies (SMEs) across Europe to apply for the 8th edition of the Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award – a unique annual initiative recognising biotech innovation and its contribution to society. Depending on their field of activity, SMEs can apply in 3 categories: healthcare, agricultural or industrial biotech. Applications must be submitted online at by COB Monday 26 June 2017. Two companies will be shortlisted in each category by a jury or biotech experts, with the winners celebrated during a landmark event for SMEs held in early October. Each winner will also receive a €10,000 cheque and two years free EuropaBio membership (runners-up also receive the latter). 

Rationale for awarding biotech SMEs in Europe

According to the European Commission, “small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Europe's economy. They represent 90% of all businesses in the EU. In the past five years, they have created around 85% of new jobs and provided two-thirds of the total private sector employment in the EU.” In  other words, SME matter and the leaders in innovation should be recognized and rewarded.

Biotech exemplifies the way in which science and scientific breakthroughs can be applied to respond to current problems. From new therapies that can address unmet medical needs and fight epidemics and rare diseases, to industrial processes that use renewable feedstocks instead of crude oil, to drought-resistant crops that allow farmers around the world to feed more people under unpredictable climatic conditions, biotechnology pays economic, social and environmental dividends.

The awards have become one of the main initiatives in the European biotech calendar, with almost 200 SMEs competing over the years. Their success stories can be read online at 

The jury

The experts who are part of the jury are involved in biotech and understand the science, the funding realities and the regulatory and political frameworks in which European biotech SMEs operate. They appreciate the potential of innovation and SMEs for Europe’s future, and they will carefully analyse each application to select the nominees.

  • Peter Heinrich, Chairman of German national biotech association BIO Deutschland and Managing Director of Sinfonie Life Science Management GmbH, Planegg.
  • Frank Bulens, member of the Management Committee and Board of Directors of Capricorn Venture Partners. He is active in diagnostics, therapeutics and medical devices as well as digital health-tech for the various Capricorn funds that are investing in these areas.
  • John Brennan, Secretary General of EuropaBio (as of 19 June 2017) with over 25 years’ experience both on the regulatory and the industrial sides of the healthcare industry.
  • Other jury members to be announced before the summer. 

Criteria for entry

In order to be considered for the EuropaBio SME awards a company must qualify as an SME under the standard EU SME definition (e.g. primary location of operations within Europe, 250 or less employees, €50 Million or less annual turnover).

Deadline for applications

SMEs interested to enter the competition are invited to apply by 26 June 2017 on the awards website

InnovFin – EU Finance for innovators

“InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) in cooperation with the European Commission under Horizon 2020.

InnovFin consists of a series of integrated and complementary financing tools and advisory services offered by the EIB Group, covering the entire value chain of research and innovation (R&I) in order to support investments from the smallest to the largest enterprise.

InnovFin is available across all eligible sectors under Horizon 2020, in EU Member States  and Associated Countries.

By 2020, InnovFin is expected to make over EUR 24bn of debt and equity financing available to innovative companies to support EUR 48bn of final R&I investments.

Funding announcements of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Guidelines for the funding of measures to support African-European joint research in the fields of sustainable agriculture, aquaculture, and food and nutrition security, as part of the ERA-NET Cofund LEAP-Agri under the Horizon 2020 programme – published in the Federal Gazette on 2 May 2017 

Amendment to the announcement in relation to guidelines for the funding of scientific and technological cooperation (STC) with Argentina, as part of the Federal Government’s strategy for the internationalisation of science and research – published in the Federal Gazette on 12 May 2017.
The deadline for submitting project proposals, as per No. 7.2.1 (Submission and Selection of Project Proposals), has been extended from 24 May 2017 to 30 June 2017.

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