Oxfordshire science & tech startups secure EU funding

Photo shows: Oxford Endovascular product
Oxford Endovascular

Two Oxfordshire companies have won €500,000 each from EIT Health, part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology an independent body of the EU.

The organisation had a total of €5.5 million to support start-ups in Europe which have been  disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Start-up Rescue Instrument was initiated by EIT Health in May and called on highly innovative biotech, medtech and digital health start-ups to apply to receive up to €500,000 in co-investment from EIT Health, in return for options.

Oxford Endovascular Ltd develops metallic mesh tube devices, invented by engineers and clinicians at Oxford University, to treat patients suffering from brain aneurysms. Oxford Endovascular  is a spin-out from Oxford University, working to prevent brain haemorrhage by curing brain aneurysms, a condition that affects one person in every 50.

Orthox Holdings Limited, based at Milton Park, develops affordable patient customised cartilage repair implants to increase mobility, reducing pain and regenerating strength.

In April, a report from “European Startups”, a two-year project backed by the European Commission and European Parliament, found that venture capital (VC) activity is expected to significantly slow during the pandemic, leading to cash flow concerns for start-ups.

VC typically accounts for approximately 30-40 per cent of funds raised by start-ups in Europe, which represents a significant proportion. With the report detailing that European start-ups employ two million people, the effects of failing to address the economic impact of COVID-19 on start-ups are far reaching.

Kurt Höller, Director of Business Creation, EIT Health, said:“In the current climate, many start-ups are experiencing issues in raising funding rounds that are critical to their future. We have extremely promising start-ups here in Europe, and we cannot sit by and allow the existence of a generation of emerging companies to be threatened by COVID-19. We are doing everything within our power to support start-ups during this difficult economic time”, said “However, it is not all doom and gloom – health has never been so front of mind, and start-ups with the ability to be agile within the changing environment can find themselves on the precipice of a whole new wave of opportunity.”