The European Commission said in a press release on Friday that it awarded 36 million euros (40.5 million U.S. dollars) to bring innovative ideas to market quicker.
Some 16 innovative projects, involving partners from 19 countries, would receive up to 3 million euros (3.4 million U.S. dollars) each under the first round of the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme, run under the European Union's (EU) research and innovation program Horizon 2020.
The projects included launching an airborne wind energy system, protecting people from disease-carrying mosquitoes, making sustainable, renewable and cheaper plastics from wood, and developing intelligent needle tracking for anesthetics.
"Across Europe, we need to nurture innovative ideas and make more of them become a reality. Today we are giving top innovative businesses a head start in the race to market by providing faster access to 36 million euros in EU funding," said Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
The FTI scheme was launched in January 2015. The scheme proved popular from the beginning, receiving 269 proposals by the first ever cut-off date for applications on April 29. Among the consortia, 82 percent of all partners were from industry and almost half were small- and medium- sized enterprises. Germany leads with 13 project partners, followed by France, the Netherlands and Britain with nine each.