Eureka World of Innovation

By Dr. Eli Opper

Last month I participated in an interesting event called “Venture Capital in Europe: Are we willing to take the risk?” The EUREKA Secretariat hosted the event, bringing together 90 high-level participants for a diverse series of presentations and an animated debate involving experts in the field of private investment – from both the public and private sector.

This latest in the EUREKA Academy series of events is focused on financing innovation, which is a key priority of the current Israeli EUREKA Chairmanship. The Chairmanship is investigating second-round financing options for businesses participating in EUREKA R&D projects.

Mr. Stuart Langridge, Independent Journalist; Mr. Eli Opper, EUREKA Chairman; Mr. Luuk Borg, EUREKA Secretariat

The EUREKA Israeli Chairmanship is focusing on new models and sources of funding for EUREKA projects, especially for SMEs and start-ups. The new mechanisms are needed because stakeholders are cautious of risk-taking and because VC funds are not focused on long-term gains.

Of course, governments are not Venture Capital Funds; governments should promote high-risk R&D and they should receive indirect gains through spill-over effects.

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  1. I would like to relate to Eureka/Eurostars projects in the healthcare filed, my area of expertise.

    In its guidelines, Eureka has wisely differentiated between projects in the biomedical field and all other projects. Whereas products developed by Eureka project participants must reach the market shortly after completion of the Eureka projects, Eureka biomedical project partners are reuired to complete preclinical studies within a year to 18 months.

    This implies that the second round post-project funding should be dedicated to completion of preclinical studies all the way through initiation of ‘first in man’.

    Consequently – large CROs or big pharma could possibly pool a fund dedicated to post project financing ,giving them the future benefit of first-look .

    For projects developing tools e.g. biomarkers, the possibility of post project financing via the IMI might also be considered.

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