Following the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Startup Prize (EUSP) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have developed a joint initiative to support European sustainable mobility small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The best SMEs of this year’s edition of EUSP that meet the EIB Future Mobility criteria will have the opportunity to pitch their innovative projects to the EIB, one of the largest supporters of mobility projects in the world. The joint initiative aims at supporting SMEs developing sustainable mobility innovations, with the aim of giving them the resources necessary to scale-up.
“The coronavirus outbreak is challenging the EU economy in a way that would have been unthinkable until a few weeks ago. Small and medium sized companies represent the backbone of the EU economy and are the hardest hit by the current crisis, as business liquidity is drying up. Apart from the immediate financial support we are providing for companies during the crisis, we are glad to join forces with EUSP to also offer the most innovative start-ups operating in the field of sustainable mobility the possibility to present their projects directly to our experts,” said EIB Group Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, responsible for the bank’s transport operations.
"This year looks like no other. The 2020 edition of the European Startup Prize for Mobility is constantly adapting its acceleration programme in order to provide a tailored, post-crisis, economic booster to its community of start-ups. There is a great emergency to support European start-ups in those difficult times. That's why this year's edition will focus on channelling investments to help them recover quickly. The EIB is once again playing a major role in supporting European innovation in the mobility sector," said Karima Delli, Chairwoman of the Committee on Transport and Tourism at the European Parliament and President of the EUSP.
EIB and Transport
In 2019, the EU bank signed new deals totalling €10.5 billion for 81 new transport projects within the European Union. Alongside investments in more traditional transport infrastructure – such as railways, roads, airports and ports – to develop the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and investments in traditional sustainable transport projects such as metro and tram lines, notable projects signed in 2019 included fleets of buses using electric and/or alternative fuels.
The EUSP is a Prize and an EU acceleration programme, supported by the European Parliament and the European Commission, targeting European mobility startups. For three years, the EUSP has awarded 10 best startups, according to their market traction and sustainability criteria. Those winners have thus benefited from a tailored-made mentoring, in order to help them scale up to the European market. For the first time this year, due to the COVID-19 socio-economic crisis, the "Acceleration programme" has been turned into a "Reinvestment programme", channelling investments from the EU and European partners, in order to help startups support their business.