2020 EIC Innovation Procurement Programme Wrap-Up: Leave your mark to go to market
Every day, suppliers with innovative solutions compete for buyer’s attention, struggling to find the right client match. For young startups this race is even harder. In 2020, the European Innovation Council decided to shake up this procurement market competition with a new array of events and acceleration services for its beneficiaries. Especially when COVID-19 hit the world and the pandemic was creating high market tensions and supply shock, so the Business Acceleration Services doubled down their efforts to build new bridges between procurers and startups. Time to wrap up the 2020 EIC Procurement Innovation Programme and get a glimpse of what the new year will bring.
The EIC digital showroom
For a new startup it is important to have investors willing to place a bet on their innovation. It can also be crucial to meet up with new corporates. But the real challenge starts when they go to market and try to stand out from the crowd. In 2020, the EIC started to support its beneficiaries in this step and launched several events to connect private and public procurers of innovations with EIC-funded projects. It all started in Dresden, Germany, where 9 EIC-backed innovators had the exclusive chance to pitch to innovative procurers from the Pharma industry. The 1st EIC Innovation Procurer Day of the year was organised in partnership with the German Association for Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics (BME).
At the event Marcos Escuder, Head of Global Supply Chain at Evotec commented: “Working with the EIC is a very interesting way to see which technologies we can integrate in our landscape. There are great ideas outside that we can benefit of. The companies today were of high-quality, well-prepared and I have already seen a few with which we can do interesting projects.”
In March, when the rampant spread of COVID-19 hit Europe, healthcare providers started to face unavoidable shortages of life-saving equipment. In these early stages of the pandemic, the EIC created a Community group to mobilize projects and actions that could have useful solutions to the new coronavirus outbreak. In just a few days, the space brought together more than 40 key players, including leading researchers and SMEs pursuing 2019-nCoV health research and the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, among other innovations. This high interest and commitment of the EIC Community motivated a new procurement of innovation event, this time fully dedicated on COVID-19 solutions.
The first EIC ePitching with Procurers brought together over 50 public and private buyers or hospitals, five European corporates and more than 20 EIC-backed SMEs. The procurers of innovations and the SMEs had the opportunity to pitch their needs and respective solutions followed by a vote on who pitched the most innovative solutions.
“Looking at other ideas and finding support for your own, this is something that we, as procurers, need in our everyday work now”, said Oliver Beye, procurer from Universitätsklinikum Halle. Oliver also stressed the importance of Europe in this aspect: “I am very happy about today’s initiative. It’s a good sign that we in Europe are working together to find common solutions and help each other.”
In September, the programme decided to focus on new topics and brought the climate change to the table. 2020 was also the year of the European Green Deal, the European Commission’s roadmap to make the EU’s economy more sustainable. Many companies are working on new initiatives to mitigate climate-related issues and carbon emissions as is the case for Belgium’s national post-provider bpost.
They are currently working to cut back 20% of its emissions by 2030 and will gradually shift to an electrified fleet of 3500 e-vans and 3500 e-bikes. To achieve these goals, an appropriate charging infrastructure for e-vans and e-bicycles is needed. And this is exactly where the EIC stepped in, giving bpost the opportunity to meet with some of Europe’s most innovative SMEs. The event gathered 12 different EIC companies from 8 different countries and bpost’s representatives in pitching sessions and pre-arranged business meetings in the hope of fostering new connections and partnerships.
Before closing the year, and after the success of the first EIC ePitching to Procurers on COVID-19, the European Innovation Council organised a second edition, taking place on 17 November 2020. In total, the procurement events gathered more than 60 EIC funded companies to pitch their innovations and digitally meet relevant buyers last year.
Coming up next
In 2021 the EIC Innovation Procurement Programme will continue to be a regular part of the European Innovation Council Business Acceleration Services. The first event is already planned, taking place on 17 and 18 March 2021, together with José de Mello Group, one of Portugal’s largest economic groups. Keep your eyes on our EIC Community for more information. And, as always, check our BAS Calendar for future events!