The European Commission is preparing to spend tens of million of euros on startups and SMEs’ solutions to the coronavirus outbreak.
A new call-out focuses on innovations that support treating, testing and monitoring, as well as other aspects of the pandemic, which killed nearly 500 people across France, Spain and Italy on Sunday alone (15 March).
But prospective suppliers will have to move fast; the deadline for applications is 17:00 on Wednesday 18 March (Brussels time).
Administered by the European Innovation Council (EIC), the call-out is part of a broader €164m (£149m) programme to promote startups and SMEs.
“There are no predefined thematic priorities and applicants with coronavirus relevant innovations will be evaluated in the same way as other applicants,” the commission said.
“Nevertheless, the commission will look to fast track the awarding of EIC grants and blended finance (combining grant and equity investment) to Coronavirus relevant innovations, as well as to facilitate access to other funding and investment sources,” it added.
The move comes after the UK and US governments last week invited tech companies to lend their engineering and data analysis capabilities to the battle to contain the virus. Covid-19 has now spread to at least 140 countries around the world and infected more than 182,000 people.