Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission is planning to support innovation in Ukraine with 20 million euros.
The money is to be provided through the European Innovation Council (EIC) programme to at least 200 start-ups in Ukraine, the EC noted in a statement on Thursday.
Besides money, the EIC is to provide non-financial support to the companies, including matchmaking and advisory services, with the aim of helping innovators in Ukraine to benefit from EU financing instruments, get access to new markets and interact with EU’s innovation programmes.
EC President Ursula von der Leyen stressed that Ukraine should look forward as it defends Russian aggression.
“The country has a vivid start-up scene and great potential for innovative businesses,” she noted and added, “it is very important to preserve this economic capacity and enable Ukrainian tech innovators to grow and integrate further into the European innovation ecosystem.”
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, pointed out that the EC is trying to “mobilise all possible resources and provide support to Ukraine.”
She called on start-up associations, accelerators, incubators and support centres in the EU to join the EC in supporting Ukraine and its tech community.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, noted that “Ukraine had a vibrant tech start-up scene” before the start of the war.
Start-ups can boost rebuilding efforts
She stressed that the EC’s move is aimed at helping Ukrainian start-ups to contribute to the rebuilding of Ukraine after the war.
The Commission announced it would launch the competition for support on 23 June, adding that the EIC wants to help Ukrainian tech companies to continue growing.
The body pointed out that “Ukraine will participate in Horizon Europe and Euratom programmes without having to contribute financially for years 2021 and 2022,” noting that Ukraine’s waived contributions are estimated at roughly 20 million euros.
The EC reminded that it adopted EIC’s work programme in February, creating funding opportunities worth more than 1.7 billion euros.
It pointed out that the start-up scene in Ukraine has been growing over the past years and concluded that the latest plan will help the scene and indirectly help the country to rebuild after the war.