Horizon 2020 dedicated SME instrument for Innovation in small and medium enterprises
Small and medium enterprises can engage in collaborative projects and they are supported through a Horizon 2020 dedicated SME instrument designed specifically for highly innovative smaller companies.
The support is targeted to bridge the gap between research and the market by helping innovative enterprise to develop their technological breakthroughs into viable products with real commercial potential.
Support is provided in three different stages covering the whole innovation cycle as follows:
- Phase 1 feasibility for assessment of the technological and commercial potential of a project (proof of concept).
- Phase 2 innovation focusing on activities such as demonstration, testing, prototyping, pilot lines, scale-up studies, miniaturisation, design, performance verification etc. and market replication
- Phase 3 commercialisation focusing on bringing the products to the markets
Immunovia received in 2015 one of the Horizon 2020 SME grants for Clinical validation of a serum protein biomarker signature for the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer (phase 2)
Over 600 small and medium enterprises applied in 2014 for obtaining Horizon SME 2020 grants. After a thorough evaluation, less than 10 % received support for their projects.
In March 2015 Immunovia was granted a two-year € 4.2 million funding from Horizon 2020. The EU grant application was approved to support the clinical validation of Immunovia’s biomarker signature, IMMray™ PanCan-d, the first blood-based test for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
The biomarker signature is based on the world’s most advanced recombinant antibody microarray platform called IMMray™ that is owned by Immunovia AB. The underlying technology is affinity proteomics. The biomarker signature hence exploits the body’s own detection network for the diagnosis of cancer. The initial retrospective clinical studies have confirmed that the biomarker signature can accurately separate pancreatic cancer patients from healthy individuals. The implication is that the signature, once validated by a robust method, has a very high potential for the short-term uptake into clinical practice.
The European dimension of the project lies in the validation of the biomarker signature that will make it possible for the first time to accurately diagnose pancreatic cancer in an asymptomatic stage (I and II) when the patient can undergo surgery.
Today pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with a five year survival rate of 5-8%. It is the second most common cause of cancer related deaths in the developed countries. If detected early, pancreatic cancer 5 year survival rate could be significantly improved to up to 49%. The results of the project will help to build up evidence that pancreatic cancer can be detected at an early stage by IMMray™ PanCan-d, thus laying the basis for the future implementation of screening programmes of population groups at risk.
About Horizon 2020 – The EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation
Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. It promises more breakthroughs, discoveries and world-firsts by taking great ideas from the lab to the market.
The goal is to ensure Europe produces world-class science, removes barriers to innovation and makes it easier for the public and private sectors to work together in delivering innovation.