2nd cycle of Innovation Matching Grants launched

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14-03-2018

2nd cycle of Innovation Matching Grants launched

The 2nd cycle of the Innovation Matching Grants competition for innovative technology start-ups is launched and open until April 03, 2018. The grants scheme is supported by the EU4Business SMEDA project in partnership with the Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF).  All relevant details for the call for applications were announced on March 14, 2018 at a press conference. It was highlighted that the 2nd cycle of the grants is open to companies and teams with a technology background, e.g. in the field of Engineering, CleanTech, Biotech, advanced ICT (e.g. Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain) etc. Applicants are obliged to provide necessary co-financing of 50% of funding (i.e. up to 35,000 EUR) in Yerevan and 15 % in the regions. Up to nine start-ups will be provided with an amount of up to 35,000 Euro each with a duration of nine months starting in August 2018. 

 “The grant programme is directed to start-up companies, their expansion and sustainability, access to new markets as that are of high importance”, mentioned Amalya Yeghoyan, RA Deputy Minister of Transport, Communications and IT. “The previous experience with the first cycle of the grants to start-ups located in the Marzes such as in Shirak where the Gyumri Technology Center operates, enabled a number of young start-ups to get established and operate achieving significant results within a short period of time. We hope to have a huge number of applicants for the 2nd cycle of IMG grants as well targeting innovation, engineering, clean-tech and creative sectors”, she concluded.  

Mr. Stanislav Toshkov, International Aid/Cooperation Officer of the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia stressed the European Union’s commitment to support the Armenian economy and in particular small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are the backbone of the economy. He highlighted EU’s interventions through the EU4Business and EU4Innovation initiatives and support to SMEs and start-ups via different measures. “The European Union stands ready to support innovative SMEs that bring added value to the economy, and this support is channeled through our projects, including EU4Business’ flagship project SMEDA we apply different means, such as incubation, coaching, mentoring, R&D, and in this particular case - access to finance and seed funding for innovative SMES - which we announce at the press conference today”, he concluded.

The team leader of the “Support to SME Development in Armenia” (SMEDA) project Ms. Eva Naeher said: “This grant scheme will have a big impact for the development of the start-up ecosystem in Armenia. Not only the provision of grants is hugely important but much more the whole support chain. This allows start-ups and young teams to develop their necessary business skills and become strong units for the economy. We are sure that through this project we contribute to the promotion of the start-up ecosystem and there are already companies within the 1st cycle of IMG grants that show the potential to become international players by the end of the project”.

The director of the Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF), Mr. Bagrat Ynegibaryan, spoke about the application and selection process of the IMG grant. On EIF’s web page http://bit.ly/2FWhKJT applicants can learn more about the process and details for the application. Furthermore, he mentioned that several info sessions are being held to guide interested start-ups. Mr. Yengibaryan also highlighted that the grant scheme particularly targets engineering and high-tech companies, which is in line with the RA Government Strategy to develop the mentioned sectors.

The new cycle of IMG grants will promote start-ups and companies from the Armenian ecosystem to having an impact on the national and global stage.

Watch the life stream of the press conference here: http://bit.ly/2IrRFk3

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