Startup Europe Awards

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Opened the LIFE grants call for environmental innovation

The LIFE programme is a European Union instrument for financing environmental conservation projects and the development of Community environmental policy and legislation.

01.04.2020 The publication of LIFE Call 2020 is expected to be 2nd April. LIFE is responsible of co-financing projects about environment, especially in the field of air, chemical products, ecological and circular economy, industrial accidents, marine and coastal management, noise, soil, waste, water and urban environment, ang gives grants to accomplish pilot and demonstration projects that aim to develop, prove and demonstrate a political or management focus.  

This programme also is related to the development and proving innovative technologies, as well as the application, the monitoring and evaluation environmental policies and legislation of the EU, or looking for better practices and solutions. In particular, they are seeking with technologies and solutions ready to be applied and near to the markets, at an industrial and commercial scale during the period of the project. The budget would be of 3,4000 million euros.  

The LIFE programme is the only financial instrument of the EU that is focused exclusively on the environment. The main objective for the period 2014-2020 is to contribute to sustainable development and achieving the objectives and targets of Europe Strategy 2020 and the other strategies and plans of the Union related to the environment and climate. This programme is divided into 2 subprogrammes: one that is aimed at environment, that sums up a total of 75% of the total financing and the other aimed at climate change, with up to 25% of the total budget.

The National contact point (Punto de Contacto Nacional in Spain) is expecting to celebrate, collaborating with the executive agency for SMEs (Agencia Ejecutiva para la Pequeña y Mediana Empresa), an informative event at some point during the second half of April.

Due to the sanitary crisis of Covid-19, it is not possible now to confirm dates or the type of event for the 2020 call of LIFE. If the situation enables it, an online conference or webinar might be organized. Information about any other event will be announced with enough time. Normally, the informative event organized on 30th April 2020 by the European Commission in Brussels should take place as an online conference.


Projects get a co-financing of up to 55%


The process to participate in the programme has two stages:

  • Presenting a 10-page concept note that can be modified as many times as necessary until the call for project proposals closes.
  • If the concept reaches the second stage, a complete proposal of the project will be required according to the LIFE programme commentaries’. The average budget per project goes from 1 to 2 million euros.


Consortium between public and private organizations: delegations, councils, universities, public and private companies (including SMEs) and associations.


June 2020. Financing: up to non-refundable 55%. Duration: between one and five years.

MORE INFORMATION: contact us through:

Finnova’s staff has experience in more than 30 LIFE projects and one example of it is Ecobus, an initiative that gathers and then recycles oil from restaurant’s kitchens to transform them into biofuel and using it in diesel engines. This project was launched in Valencia and had a budget of 1,675,000€


Kidibot, Best Social impact startup

This Romanian company motivates kids worldwide to read and learn more through playing using state-of-the-art educational system and won the prize
in the category Education of the StartUp Europe Awards Special Edition.

Country: Romania 

Category: Social Impact

Project Aim:

Motivate kids worldwide to read and learn more through playing using state-of-the-art educational system. 

What is the problem to solve?

The main problem we’re solving is the lack of interest for education of kids 6-18 years old all around the world. This happens due several reasons: curricula is not interesting enough, teachers are not very passionate, huge competition for eyeballs from video games, low social pressure, bad entourage, low GDP investment allocated to education (in some countries), historical and cultural issues and so on. 

What does KIDIBOT do:

In case you didn’t know, Earth is under attack! There are some Crocobets aliens with funny names that are attacking our planet, through stupidity and laziness. The kids are the last hope. They have to prove they read and learn, so they can deflect the attacks. They act as lonely warriors or in teams, the engage in battles, quests, they earn badges, diplomas, certificates, funny Kidismiles, they get inspiration from 130+ VIP and many others. They learn mathematics, physics, chemistry, informatics, English, French, read books and zillions of other topics. There are monthly contests with prizes, there are rankings and many battle related activities, from Special Forces, to Zen-Master. Epic battles are underway! 

On what KIDIBOT is currently working:

Launching in 7 more countries- Further adding new features, to keep interested over long periods of time (years in a row), help teachers and parents have a better life- Creating a wonderful experience for all kids/teachers/parents, to help them achieve their educational potential.

CEO’s testimony:

Before Start-Up Europe Award we won in the past 2 years another 9 prizes. This one was the number ten. However, it was the biggest. We loved it! We’ve got a lot of media coverage and because of this prize, we successfully signed several partnerships with huge companies, with Ministry of Communication and Informational Society from Romania. It was our biggest boost forward so far! Strongly recommended to anyone! 


Okra Technologies, Best Female-led startup

The English company won the prize at the StartUp Europe Awards Special Edition, which was focused on social impact

Country: England

 Category: Female-led Startup

Project Aim:

OKRA is an artificial intelligence company for healthcare. We use AI-powered analytics to save and improve human lives, driving health and market outcomes where they matter most. Through the OKRA platform, healthcare professionals get one combined view of all their data, and create instant evidence-based insight. These insights include analyses, comparisons, suggestions and predictions of the future, which support faster and more accurate decisions for businesses and patients. Furthermore, we know that our clients must be able to ask why or exactly what has informed the OKRA platform’s insights. With every output, we have unique built-in explanations that give reasons behind each recommendation, including which drivers and data sources have been used. Our AI is not a so-called “black box” – we never keep our users in the dark – which couldn’t be more important in the realm of healthcare.

What is the problem to solve?

Our mission is to get the right treatment to the right patient at the right time, by building the world’s most trustworthy artificial intelligence engine.

What does OKRA do:

OKRA was founded with the vision to support the drive to greater precision and speed in healthcare. Our AI technology processes vast quantities of data at a fraction of the time – and a fraction of the cost – compared to humans. It can process data again and again for each individual patient, analysing and recommending personalised treatments rather than statistical averages. OKRA’s predictive technology, which has a high level of validated accuracy (we can achieve >90% prediction accuracy), opens up to a new range of questions: we can ask not only “how are my patients responding to Drug X”, but “how will they respond in future, and why?” AI ensures that the right drug reaches the right person, at the right time. It is a win-win technology for all healthcare stakeholders: the patient, healthcare provider, health authorities, drug provider and the insurer.

On what OKRA is currently working:

We currently work with 3 global pharmaceutical companies to improve the accuracy of their treatments and market outcomes, and in the longer term, we are also able to apply our technology to support clinicians’ decision-making at the point of care, including treatment decisions and diagnoses made by hospital staff and general practitioners. This will enable patients and practitioners to make better informed decisions about their health. In 2019, we are growing and scaling quickly.

CEO’s testimony:

On a European level, we believe AI technology will be of great importance. Today, Europe’s healthcare system is facing unprecedented pressures. Populations are ageing, chronic diseases are growing, and according to recent estimates, Europe’s healthcare staff will not grow enough by 2020. Meanwhile, 1 of 5 euros spent on healthcare are wasted, 50% of antibiotics are wrongly prescribed, and 10% of patients are hospitalised due to the medical care they have previously received. Drugs and resources are wasted in the current healthcare process, at the expense of EU citizens everywhere.

To support a continued thriving healthcare system and sustainable production of drugs and healthcare services, Europe must achieve greater efficiency and precision, and OKRA supports this shift with artificial intelligence technology.

In the picture: Part of the OKRA Team.