The EU has launched its new European Innovation Council (EIC), as part of the Horizon Europe programme. With a budget of €10.1 billion, for the period 2021-2027, the EIC represents the most ambitious innovation initiative the EU has undertaken. Horizon Europe, the EU''s research and innovation framework programme, runs for the same period and has an overall budget of €95.5 billion.
The EIC aims to support game-changing innovations throughout the entire lifecycle of start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), from early-stage research, to proof of concept, technology transfer, financing and scale up. A unique feature of the EIC is that it provides funding for individual companies (mainly start-ups and SMEs) through both grants and investments. The investments currently take the form of direct equity or quasi-equity investments and are managed by the EIC Fund, the European Exhibition Industry Alliance EEIA
"As participation in exhibitions is an integral part of the lifecycle, the EIC and its participating companies represent interesting potential clients, and the EEIA has already started working on an EU-funded project for some EIC beneficiaries: the Overseas Trade Fairs 2.0 programme", the association states.eic.ec.europa.eu/about-european-innovation-council_en