The bioinformatics company OncoImmunity AS was ranked fourth out of 250 applicants for this prestigious grant.
250 companies submitted proposals to the same topic call as OncoImmunity AS . Only six projects were funded.
“We applied for the SME instrument grant as it represents an ideal vehicle for funding groundbreaking and innovative projects with a strong commercial focus. The call matched our ambition to position OncoImmunity as the leading supplier of neoantigen identification software in the personalised cancer vaccine market”, says Dr. Richard Stratford, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of OncoImmunity.
Personalised cancer vaccines
Neoantigen identification software facilitates effective patient selection for cancer immunotherapy, by identifying optimal immunogenic mutations (known as neoantigens). OncoImmunity develops proprietary machine-learning software for personalised cancer immunotherapy.
This solution also guides the design of neoantigen-based personalised cancer vaccines and cell therapies, and enables bespoke products to be developed faster.
“The SME Instrument gives us the opportunity to further refine and optimise our machine-learning framework to facilitate personalised cancer vaccine design. This opportunity will help us establish the requisite quality assurance systems, certifications, and clinical validation with our partners, to get our software accredited as an in vitro diagnostic device”, says Dr. Richard Stratford.
In vitro diagnostics are tests that can detect diseases, conditions, or infections.
Hard to get
Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument is tailored for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It targets innovative businesses with international ambitions — such as OncoImmunity.
“The SME instrument is an acid test; companies that pass the test are well suited to make their business global. It also represents a vital step on the way to building a world-class health industry in Norway”, says Mona Skaret, Head of Growth Companies and Clusters in Innovation Norway.
The SME Instrument has two application phases. Phase one awards the winning company 50 000 Euros based on an innovative project idea. Phase two is the actual implementation of the main project. In this phase, the applicant may receive between 1 and 2,5 million Euros.
“The support from the SME instrument is proof that small, innovative Norwegian companies are able to succeed in the EU”, says Mona Skaret.
You can read more about the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument in Norwegian at the Enterprise Europe Network in Norway.
Thinking of applying?
Oslo Cancer Cluster helps its member companies with this kind of applications through the EU Advisor Program and close collaboration with Innovayt  and Innovation Norway.
The SME Instrument is looking for high growth and highly innovative SMEs with global ambitions. They are developing innovative technologies that have the potential to disrupt the established value networks and existing markets.
Companies applying for the SME Instrument must meet the requirements set by the programme. Please see the SME Instrument website  for more information.