Member states break EIC work programme deadlock

© Goda Naujokaitytė | Science Business

EU member states have voted to break the political deadlock that has been holding back the European Innovation Council’s (EIC’s) 2022 work programme.

That means details of programme should be published by 8 February, allowing hundreds of tech companies to apply for capital they need to grow in the EU and global markets.

Start-ups and innovators have been waiting for the EU’s new innovation fund to kick off for the year. The first calls were expected to launch in January but the infighting over the work programme derailed the plans. The deadlock has also affected companies promised equity funding in 2021, which are also waiting for the capital to start flowing.

The delay was a result of political disagreements about the direction of the EIC and its big equity investment fund.

The hold-up involved a dispute over how to manage the fund. Problems started, sources involved in the discussions said, when the European Commission’s directorate general for budget proposed switching the Commission-run EIC Equity Fund from direct to indirect management, due to concerns about the risks attached to the Commission making equity investments.

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