Vinnova has assessed the quality of SmiLe’s operations and portfolio of startups and found it to be at the highest level in the call for “Support to startups through excellent incubators.”
As a result of this decision, SmiLe Incubator in Lund will receive SEK 5 million per year for two years, as well as additional grants, based on the portfolio of companies for 2022 through 2024. The total sum of SEK 11.8 million for 2021-2022 includes a verification grant of SEK 1.8 million that will be used for purposes such as developing patent strategies for the startups.
SmiLe Incubator thereby retains the distinction as “excellent incubator” from Vinnova’s evaluation in 2017 and will continue to be entrusted with funding through 2024.
In this call, Vinnova expanded the requirements by also evaluating the incubators’ portfolios of startups. Even here SmiLe excels by having a large number of high-quality startups, it states.
“Skåne has a strong innovation environment and leading research within life science. Vinnova’s evaluation is an acknowledgement that we have found the right formula for developing and supporting these startups. Now we will have the opportunity to develop the operation and make it even better, as well as to support more startups with extra funding and resources,” says Ebba Fåhraeus, CEO of SmiLe Incubator.
This time, Vinnova has increased its support for innovative companies by providing a larger financial grant to the best incubators than in previous years. A total of SEK 87 million will be awarded annually to 29 Swedish incubators over the 2021-2024 time period. The incubators will each receive between SEK 300,000 and SEK 5 million annually during the first two years, after which a new assessment of the portfolio startups will be carried out for the following two years.
In addition to this funding, Vinnova is awarding – because of the Covid-19 pandemic – an extra SEK 33 million for verification activities in 2020 at the incubator startups. SmiLe is receiving SEK 1.8 million of these funds to allocate to SmiLe portfolio startups.
Photo of Ebba Fåhraeus: Jenny Leyman