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Israeli start-ups invited to bid for €32b EU fund

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Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

As reported in IVC: EU Seventh Framework Progamme for R&D grants are considered the cheapest money available for technology companies.

At a time when it is hard for new technology companies to raise capital, they ought to remember one deep pocket that has money for Israeli companies: EU grant programs for technology R&D companies.

The EU Seventh Framework Progamme for Research and Development has invited Israeli companies to submit grant applications. These grants are considered the cheapest money available for technology companies. Companies that successfully pass the bureaucratic hurdles and meet the criteria can gain access to millions of euros, which are offered without strings attached. The venture even keeps the intellectual property.

Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) venture partner Yoav Tzruya is a member of the EU Seventh Framework Progamme for R&D forum, which decides its high-tech investments. The forum reviews the grant applications, sifts them, and picks the projects that will receive financing.

Tzruya says, “The EU program has €32 billion for 2007-13. EU member states participate in the funding, along with other countries, such as Israel. The budget is divided into “calls”, which are programs in various fields published every few months.”

Tzruya says €780 million is targeted for various technology companies. “For example, the last call was to companies developing technologies for social networks, personalization, 3D, and virtualization, with an emphasis on leveraging the technologies for socially weak populations, such as the elderly, handicapped, or immigrants.”

Tzruya adds that another program which might suit Israeli companies is open for calls through the end of April.

“Globes”: What is the topic of the next call?

Tzruya: “Digital content and languages, digital content storage, access to video, audio, and text content, and automatic translation. The call could suit small companies, and is intended for partnerships by two companies. Research proposals can be submitted for up to €2 million. Since the program is designed for small companies, it is also fairly simple. Five-page research applications are enough, and the criteria are more flexible.”