On 1 March 2022, the Commission announced the results of the first call under the Women TechEU pilot programme, which supports deep-tech starts-up led by women. The call is funded under the European Innovation Ecosystems work programme of the EU research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe.
Women TechEU is a new initiative of the European Union. The scheme offers grants to support the first steps in the innovation process and growth of the company, worth €75,000 each. It also offers mentoring and coaching through the European Innovation Council (EIC) Women Leadership Programme and across EU-wide networking opportunities.
On the outcome of the first Women TechEU call, Mariya Gabriel, Commission for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth remarked: “I am particularly proud of the successful outcome of the first Women TechEU call. The high number of outstanding applications confirms there is a need for women in deep tech to get support for their companies at the early, riskiest stage. We will assist these 50 women-led companies with funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities and we will scale up this programme in 2022.”
The Commission will be supporting a first group of 50 women-led companies from 15 different countries, following an independent evaluation. Projects will start in spring 2022 and are expected to run for 6 to 12 months. The successful companies have developed cutting-edge and disruptive innovations, across a range of fields, from early cancer diagnosis and treatments, to reducing the negative impact of methane emissions. They address sustainable development goals (SDGs), for example, tackling climate change, reducing food waste, and broadening access to education and empowering women.
Following the tremendous response to the first pilot, the Commission will renew the Women TechEU programme in 2022. The budget for the next call will be increased to €10 million, which will be able to fund around 130 companies. This second call will be launched in 2022.
For more information on the Women TechEU calls, find out here.