Building on the success of the previous EUvsVirus Pan-European Hackathon, a Matchathon to boost the scaling up of creative solutions to coronavirus challenges, took place from 21 to 28 May under the patronage of Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and the European Innovation Council (EIC). It brought together the 120 winning solutions from the Hackathon with over 458 partners including investors, corporates, public authorities, academia and research institutions from 40 countries.
A total of 2235 partnerships were brokered by the European Commission and the multinational team of 600 volunteers who acted as organisers, mentors and matchmakers for the participating projects. These partnerships do not only concern cash contributions and other forms of funding but also business acceleration services, including mentoring, networking, advisory services and access to incubators, inter alia.
Furthermore, all 120 participating teams will be granted access to Business Acceleration Servicesunder the European Innovation Council (EIC).
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:
“The Hackathon and Matchathon are good examples of how the European Commission can fast track the development of citizen-led solutions to coronavirus by matching innovators’ needs with the resources of investors, public authorities, corporates and universities. These new partnerships will scale up their innovative solutions over the coming months to tackle the pandemic and speed up European and global recovery.”
The goal of the Matchathon was to connect the needs of innovators with the opportunities made available by investors, corporates, public authorities (including hospitals and other contracting authorities), academia and research institutions. Throughout the 7-day Matchathon, teams were able to pitch their solutions before ‘partners’ (investors, corporates and other public and private entities) in order to secure funding and other forms of support. The foremost objective was to enable the scale up and commercialisation of innovative solutions tackling Covid-19 related challenges and contributing to the European and global recovery in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Over 1500 meetings between teams and partners were convened in the weekend of 22 to 25 May, with additional ‘one-to-one’ mentoring and coaching sessions between participating teams and volunteers mentors and coaches taking place in the run-up to the Matchathon and the Demo Day organised on 21 May. A further 200 ‘speed dating’ meetings were organised between 25 and 28 May.
All #EUvsVirus Matchathon projects will be offered to join the EIC Covid-19 platform, a collaborative space based on relevant Covid-19 ‘challenges’. The EIC Covid-19 platform will allow teams to showcase their solutions to these ‘challenges’ to public and private procurers and local/regional/national organisations and agencies, in order to attract additional support and funding.
On 24, 25 and 26 April the European Commission, led by the European Innovation Council and in close collaboration with the EU member states, hosted a pan-European hackathon to connect civil society, innovators, partners and investors across Europe in order to develop innovative solutions for coronavirus-related challenges. Over 20,900 people from across the EU and beyond took part, with 2,150 solutions submitted in areas including health and life (898), business continuity (381), remote working and education (270), social and political cohesion (452), digital finance (75) and other challenges (83).
The solutions were selected by a jury and weighted according to impact potential (40%), technical complexity & novelty (20%), prototype completion (20%) and efficacy of business plan (20%). Winners and two runners up were also selected for each challenge, of which there are 37. Cash prizes will be offered by partners to winners of their choosing - a total of over €100,000 has been pledged by partners to date.