The European Commission reports that deep tech companies account for over a quarter of Europe’s startup ecosystem at a combined value of €700B.
However, women remain underrepresented and face the additional hurdle of gender bias and stereotypes across the tech industry, including deep tech.
As a result, the European Union has created a brand new initiative, Women TechEU, funded by the European Innovation Ecosystems work programme of Horizon Europe.
The programme aims to address the gender gap by supporting women-led deep tech startups at the early stage of companies, helping create a fairer and more prosperous European deep-tech ecosystem.
What can you expect?
The Women TechEU initiative offers:
- Financial support to the company as an individual grant of €75K to support the initial steps in the innovation process and the growth of the company,
- Mentoring and coaching provided by the EIC Business Acceleration Services (BAS), under the new “Women Leadership Programme.”
- The possibility to participate in dedicated activities organised by InvestEU and Enterprise Europe Network.
In the latest development, the European Commission has announced the results of the first call under the new Women TechEU pilot programme.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth says, “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.”
Following an evaluation by independent experts, the commission will support the first cohort of 50 women-led companies from 15 different countries.
According to EC, over 40 companies are based in the EU Member States, including one-fifth from Horizon Europe widening countries. The selected companies have developed cutting-edge technologies and disruptive innovations across a range of areas, from early cancer diagnosis and treatments to reduce the negative impact of methane emissions.
The projects will start this Spring 2022 and are expected to run for 6 to 12 months. EC also says that the women leaders will be enrolled in the European Innovation Council’s Women Leadership Programme for tailored coaching and mentoring activities.
Further, the budget for the next call will be increased to €10M, which will fund roughly 130 companies (up from 50 this year). The call will be launched in 2022.
Here is a list of women-led companies from the Netherlands that have been selected in the first call for the new Women TechEU pilot programme.
Based out of Amsterdam, C2CAT develops custom-made catalysts for particular applications and offers expertise in catalytic processes. The company is specialised in catalysis for H2 production, storage, and recycling of CO2.
The company uses multi-scale cutting-edge techniques in both molecular and macroscopic levels to design, develop and synthesise catalysts with application-specific performance.
EXIT071 (EXosomes Isolation Tool) is developing technology for the analysis of novel biomarkers exosomes. In our body, cells make exosomes to send messages to other cells.
Cells pack these tiny bubbles with their own molecular information and excrete them into all body fluids. Using exosomes makes diagnostics very specific.
The company develops microfluidic technology that allows for the isolation and analysis of exosomes with high purity and in a high-throughput automated format.
Linksight is on a mission to make secure data analytics easy and scalable. They enable their customers to create data-driven insights out of distributed datasets through advanced cryptography such as MPC and blockchain.
According to the company, this approach can be implemented to solve a wide range of data-sharing problems, including Medical research, fraud investigations, and benchmarking between companies.
SusPhos focuses on upcycling phosphate-rich waste streams to generate high-quality alternatives to replace current fossil-sourced products. The high-quality, pathogen-free compounds are suitable for formulating fertilisers and phosphate-based flame retardants (FR). Reaction by-products are fine-chemicals in their own right, making their technology a near-zero waste process, claims the company.