Headstart Funding

EIT Health provides funding of up to 50,000€ Euro for early stage companies and SMEs to develop new products and services. These should match the overall EIT Health thematic scope, “Healthy Living, Active Ageing, Improved Health Care” and:

  • support the applicants in realizing next steps towards the market and shorten time-to-market for innovative products and services and/or
  • verify need/benefit of product/service for users/customers/payers/partners and/or
  • increase the possibility to attract further private investment

Evaluation cut off dates

The next submission deadline is September 7th, 2018, 16:00 (CET). This time we are specifically interested in hearing from start-ups with innovations in the following two focus areas: “Bringing Care Home” and “Value from Real-World Data”, although others are also welcome to apply.

Application Support

Applicants are encouraged to seek advice on the suitability of their application prior to submission. Please contact EIT Health regional Business Creation Manager Matteo Consonni or – should you be affiliated with an EIT Health Germany partner – the master contact at your EIT Health partner organisation.

Please read the guidelines and FAQs very carefully:

Guidlines and FAQs

Is it for me? Eligible applicants and projects

The EIT Health Headstart Funding Programme is suitable for micro and small enterprises* (according to EU SME definition), spin-offs and start-ups that have a well-developed prototype and are ready to launch a product.

The company must be incorporated/registered before funds can be released – we therefore encourage only those start-ups to apply which are already incorporated or very close to incorporation.

The Application

  • Must be written in English
  • Must be submitted through EIT Health’s Optimy Platform. Register and apply here: eithealth.optimytool.com/en/
  • Incomplete submissions, late submissions, or submissions via any other routes (e.g., email) will not be accepted
  • Additional information may need to be attached as requested by each region. Supplementary information may include graphs, or video links (up to 3 minutes). Please be aware that the reviewers may not consider these attachments as basis for their evaluation unless specifically requested by a region. Ensure you are compliant with your regional Business Creation Manager’s instructions.
  • An existing relationship between the start-up and EIT Health must be established prior to applying, and all applications must therefore be accompanied by a letter confirming that such a link exists. This letter must be provided by an EIT Health partner or the CLC Director from the region the applicant is applying to. The letter serves to confirm a relationship with the EIT Health network and does not constitute endorsement or serve as a certification of validity/eligibility. Please speak to the Business Creation Manager to discuss this point.

The Project

  • The project must be hosted by micro or small enterprises that are already incorporated/registered or will be by the time funding is being provided.
  • The project must be within the scope of the main challenges in EIT Health – Healthy Living, Active Ageing, and Improved Healthcare, see the FAQ in the Headstart guide
  • The applicant(s) or company must own or have the rights to the intellectual property that is the basis for the project (if applicable).
  • The project has to be at least at TRL 4.
  • The project must follow the reporting and practical requirements set-forth by the Headstart Guide, available on the webpage.

The Funding

  • Projects may not request more than € 50,000 in EIT Health funding.
  • The EIT Health funding limit of €50,000 per calendar year, per start-up, applies across all EIT Health programmes.
  • Projects must show co-investment or co-contribution to be eligible. (Please speak to your Business Creation Manager)
  • The funding is non-dilutive but its use must comply to Horizon 2020 guidelines. See Headstart Guide for a list of compliant cost categories.
  • Intermediate reports are required by December 31st 2018.
  • Final report: end of the project – maximum is 12 months after signature of the agreement.

Start-ups awarded funding for their projects agree to acknowledge EIT Health support by using the phrase ‘Accelerated by EIT Health’ and displaying were appropriate the EIT Health logo in all their communications.

For more information on the Headstart Programme grant including: awarding details, required reports as well selection criteria, please contact us.

Innovative startups and SMEs in Germany and Switzerland

Explore our map to learn more about innovative project ideas by German and Swiss startups and SMEs.

Further funding opportunities

PERMIDESPersonalized Medicine Innovation through Digital Enterprise Solutions

The PERMIDES project aims at bringing together SMEs from the biopharmaceutical and IT sector to advance precision medicine through the development of novel digital solutions along the biopharmaceutical value chain.


WIPANO Knowledge and technology transfer through IP protection

Visit “Projektträger Jülich’s” website


Förderung konkreter Projekte zur Einführung neuer digitaler Lösungen sowie zur Verbesserung der IT-Sicherheit in KMU

Visit “Wirtschaft Digital Baden-Württemberg” website

We were very fortunate that we have been selected among the many applicants. I think it is very important not to focus only on treating diseases, but actually to invest a lot into the preventive care. Because in the end every individual is responsible for his health and it is important that we all take care of our own health at various levels.

Dr. Stefan Taing, ArthroScan
one of the winners of the German EIT Health Head Start Programme

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