Arspectra And Circu Li-ion Awarded By The EIC

Cedric Spaas, Founder and CEO of Arspectra (Photo © Stephanie Jabardo / Silicon Luxembourg)

Both Luxembourg startups will receive grants, equity investments, coaching and support in commercialization from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator.

Arspectra and Circuli-ion have been awarded funding by the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator.

The two startups, the first-ever EIC Accelerator winners from Luxembourg, were supported by Luxinnovation, Luxembourg’s national innovation agency. 

The EIC, Europe’s flagship innovation program identifies, develops and scales up breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovations.

It provides an end-to-end support from early-stage research to proof of concept, technology transfer, and the financing and scale-up of start-ups and SMEs.

“As the most prestigious funding available for start-ups from the EU’s Horizon Europe program, the EIC Accelerator offers both grants and equity investments, as well as coaching and support in commercialization,” explained Inna Perepelytsya, Advisor – European R&D and Innovation Support at Luxinnovation.

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“Companies must be exceptionally innovative”

“During its first year, 164 projects were selected for EIC funding out of more than 4,000 applicants. In order to have a chance, companies must be exceptionally innovative,” continued Francisco Melo, Advisor – European R&D and Innovation Support at Luxinnovation and the EIC National Contact Point for Luxembourg.

Founded in Luxembourg in 2018, Arspectra develops and offers unique proprietary augmented and mixed reality solutions for a variety of medical applications.

The EIC funding will enable the company to conduct a technical, usability and clinical pilot validation of its upcoming and newest navigation solution by relevant end users for advanced surgical applications.

Circu Li-ion’s automated battery dismantling and diagnostics solution recovers up to 90% of battery cells for a useful second life application while reducing battery CO2 emissions by 48% (max. of 50%) compared to a traditional battery lifecycle.

Thanks to the EIC funding the startup will bring its technology for upcycling batteries to an industrial scale. “Instead of just recycling batteries – and basically transforming valuable resources into waste – we have developed an automated process for dismantling batteries, analyzing each cell and reassembling based on reused components,” CEO Antoine Welter said.

Both startups have participated in the Fit 4 Start acceleration program and worked with Luxinnovation on previous national funding applications and benefitted from the agency’s networking events.

“When we worked on the EIC application, the EU funding team kept challenging us throughout the process. This brought us to a higher level where we needed to be to obtain the grant,” Cédric Spaas Arspectra’s CEO recalled.

Luxinnovation also advised AkknaTek, another previous Fit 4 Start participant. AkknaTek provides innovative solutions for ophthalmology with a focus on cataract surgery. “Preparing an EIC proposal requires much work,” says CEO Edgar Janunts. “The coaching provided by Luxinnovation was extremely helpful, in particular when preparing the interview phase of the application process.”

“Obtaining the first EIC Accelerator grants is a great milestone for Luxembourg, concluded Sasha Baillie, CEO of Luxinnovation. “Start-ups that are selected by the EIC receive European recognition for their innovation.”

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