Coimbra-based drone startup Twevo is one of just 10 Portuguese companies that will receive funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 program.

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract.

A total of 262 small and medium-sized companies have been selected for funding under the latest round of Horizon 2020’s SME Instrument. The total amount to be distributed to the companies under both Phases of the program is €114.237 million. With this funding, companies will be able to finance their innovation activities ranging from feasibility studies to market launch.

Twevo will initially receive funding to carry out a market assessment and obtain feedback on the product’s acceptance and potential. In the second phase, Twevo will be able to reapply for the project to be placed on the market, according to Computer World.

Twevo is a research and development tech-based startup specializing in signal processing and firmware development for data links in Unmanned Vehicles (drones).

Its mission is to build state-of-the-art radiocommunication systems that improve the operative capacity and technical capabilities of its customers, for the benefit of society.

Horizon 2020 funding

Carlos Ribeiro

“Our technology responds effectively to the needs identified in the market,” said Carlos Ribeiro, CEO at Twevo. “These wireless connections are adaptable to customer requirements and challenge the limits of what is currently available in the market, as it allows new applications to transmit huge amounts of information in real time.” he says.

Horizon 2020 funding

Eduardo Castañeda

Before launching Twevo in February of this year, in 2016 the project earned distinction when Carlos Ribeiro and Eduardo Castañeda (who would later become COO) participated in the Carnegie Mellon Portugal Entrepreneurship in Residence (inRes) 2016 program, with the technology-based business model focused on advanced wireless links for remote professional vehicles.

According to the European Commission, 69 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) from 22 countries were selected for funding in the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2.

The total amount to be distributed between the SMEs working on 62 projects is €104.587 million. In this phase of the SME Instrument, each project will receive up to €2.5 million (€5 million for health projects) to finance innovation activities like demonstration, testing, piloting and scaling up. The companies will also benefit from 12 days of business coaching and free business acceleration services.

Spanish SMEs were the most successful with 16 companies selected for funding. They were followed by companies from Italy (11), Sweden (6) and Germany (5). The majority of projects are in the field of transport (9), energy (9) and ICT (8).