Success Story: Around €100 million of EU Research Funds Raised for the Saarland Region

Saarland is continuing its successful course in applying for EU research funding: Saarland universities, non-academic research institutions and companies have already managed to attract around €100 million within the current European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation "Horizon 2020".

Exceeding the "100 million euro" mark is a key milestone for the State Chancellery and the "Route 2025" project it is funding at Saarland University. The initiative supports regional actors from science and industry in applying for funding from Brussels and successfully integrating them into European research and innovation projects. The declared aim of the "Route 2025" team was to raise EUR 100 million by the end of the "Horizon 2020" programme at the end of this year.

"The participation of Saarland innovation actors in currently 160 'Horizon 2020' projects with a total funding volume of more than 100 million euros is a great success for the science and business location Saarland. It once again confirms the strong research and innovation competence of Saarland scientists and companies - especially in the context of cross-border cooperation with European partners. In addition, the current success figures prove that the support and information portfolio of the 'Route 2025' initiative is well-received and has a positive effect on the use of existing EU funding opportunities," says Minister President Tobias Hans.

The most recent example is the successful participation of K|Lens GmbH in the prestigious and highly competitive EU business support scheme "European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator". The high-tech start-up company in the field of image acquisition and processing was actively supported by "Route 2025" experts in the application process. The "EIC Accelerator" is aimed exclusively at promising, internationally active small and medium-sized enterprises with innovative product or service ideas and a high market and growth potential. After the architecture and design specialists of Okinlab GmbH, K|Lens is the second company in Saarland to receive this type of funding, which is endowed with around two million euros.

The team headed by K|Lens co-founder and Managing Director Mathias Schmitz intends to use the support from Brussels over the next two years to further develop the K|Lens light field sensor technology they have patented and to build up and comprehensively test an initial portfolio of prototypes in collaboration with market-leading cooperation partners. In the long term, K|Lens thus aims to establish itself as the leading company in the use of 3D photonics technologies in Europe.

The official press release (in German) is available here.

Eurice supports the “Route 2025” team in the field of new project applications and proposals. Moreover, our team significantly contributes to the implementation of various “Route 2025” activities such as the organisation of training events or the maintenance of the website and a project database specifically highlighting the involvement of Saarland scientists and entrepreneurs in “Horizon 2020” projects.