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Jury of top experts to pick market-creating innovations for EU funding

Brussels, 5 January 2018

The European Commission today unveiled the names of 85(*) investment and innovation experts from 26 countries who will select the best innovations for funding under Phase 2 of the SME Instrument. Selection will now be based on both paper applications and face-to-face interviews.

The new jury of experts will start working from the next SME Instrument Phase 2 cut-off date on 10 January. The jury has been set up as part of a revamped assessment process introduced under the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot  to better identify radical, market-creating innovations by taking full account of the personal qualities and motivations of the applicants. Under the new system, therefore, companies that pass the initial selection stage for up to €2.5 million of SME Instrument Phase 2 funding, will have to pitch their innovation projects in front of the jury of experts. This will complement the existing paper-based assessment.

The jury members have been selected in an open and transparent way following a call for expressions of interest. The jury consists of around 15% business angels, 20% entrepreneurs, 20% venture capitalists, with other experts coming from larger corporates, innovation hubs and accelerators. The majority of the experts are women.

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