Eight early-stage Israeli startups recently were awarded grants in the European Commission’s SME Instrument Program, which helps small- and medium-sized businesses advance development of products judged to be high-potential for Europe and beyond.

The percentage of grants won by Israeli companies was more than double that of companies from other countries – 19 percent of Israeli companies that submitted applications won grants, compared with 8.7% of all European companies that filed proposals.

Four of the grantees specialize in the environment and alternative energy. The others are developing products in communications, nanotech, biotech and transportation.

The Israeli winners of €50,000 grants are:

Access for Life of Netanya, which is developing JEM, a subcutaneous biocompatible implantable device for chronic-disease patients in need of repetitive vascular access;

BreedIT of Herzliya, which facilitates data collection and digitalization in field trials for plant breeding and seed commercialization;

DryGair Energies of Herzliya, which is developing an energy-efficient greenhouse dehumidifier for warm climates, free of fluorinated gases;

MMA Tech of Nahariya, which has developed an innovative polymer resistant to wear and erosion, biologically adapted for use in moving joints like thighs and knees. In clinical trials abroad, the company has conducted 55 hip-joint replacements using this technology;

PowerSines of Tel Aviv, whose universal energy controller utilizes patented voltage optimization, regulation and control technologies in order to deliver the variable voltage according to need, enabling electrical savings and carbon monoxide reduction for outdoor and indoor commercial applications;

Solight of Ashkelon, which is developing an innovative solar lighting system to replace artificial lighting in all types of indoor spaces;

TerraGenic of Ashkelon, which is developing a substitute hydrogen fuel that will enable phone batteries to hold five times as much power as current ones, be fully rechargeable in seconds and last five days between recharging;

ThermaSphera of Ashkelon, whose high-efficiency energy storage system captures energy generated from renewable sources, waste energy from industry, and solar radiation in a compressed fluid and heat-pump hybrid system.

The SME Instrument Program of the EU’s Horizon 2020 is focused on independent companies with fewer than 250 workers and revenues under €50 million.

Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry and Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, said: “The SME Instrument Program opens a door to innovative companies that would not receive such funding if they turned to venture capital funds. This is because innovation in this program is not only in popular fields such as mobile or cybersecurity, but also in less prominent fields. Qualifying for SME Instrument grants is a hallmark for these Israeli companies.”