The management consultancy DORUCON was able to bring two of its clients to success in the European funding for innovations, the EIC Accelerator, in the face of strong competition. The companies, KRAFTBLOCK from Sulzbach/Saar and SMARTLANE from Munich, now receive a total of over 3 million euros in funding from Brussels.
Funding in a Class of its Own: The EIC Accelerator
“The EIC Accelerator is one of the most ambitious innovation funding programmes in Europe,” says funding expert Dr Jörg Rupp. The target group includes small and medium-sized enterprises from all over Europe that can disruptively change the European market with high-risk innovations. The application process is correspondingly demanding: participants have to prove themselves over several stages. The DORUCON team accompanies the two winners from the beginning, starting with a draft submission, through the full application to the pitch interview in Brussels.
Both companies were successful and convinced the jury of the European Innovation Council (EIC) with their projects. In the meantime, more than 4,000 applications have been received; only 65 were convincing by the deadline in June and during the interviews and thus receive funding from Brussels. 11 of them from Germany. “We were convinced of both projects and both companies from the very beginning and knew that they had a good chance of winning the EIC Accelerator in cooperation with us,” says Jörg Rupp.
KRAFTBLOCK now receives around 1.79 million euros in funding, SMARTLANE 1.7 million euros in funding.
“SMARTLANE now plays a central role in the EU’s digitalisation roadmap. We are delighted about this recognition of our cutting-edge technology as an important element for successful digitalisation in transport logistics,” says Monja Mühling, founder and managing director of SMARTLANE GmbH.
Smartlane founding team: f.l.t.r. Dr Mathias Baur, Monja Mühling, Florian Schimandl
KRAFTBLOCK – Heat storage to solve the energy transition
KRAFTBLOCK manufactures industrial high-temperature heat storage systems that are designed for up to 1300° storage temperature. The stored energy comes, for example, from waste heat or also electricity and can also be used directly as heat, or via a turbine, also as electricity. This serves to reuse wasted heat. In this way, power blocks reduce the amount of CO2 emitted.
From left to right: Dr Martin Schichtel, CEO Kraftblock, Dr Susanne König, CFO Kraftblock, Dr Jörg Rupp, CEO DORUCON, Dr Benjamin Hötzer, Authorised Signatory DORUCON
Unique is the storage material, a granulate made of raw materials, which consists of 85% recycled materials. Both in terms of the service life of the material and the achievable temperature profile, the material is unique on the market. Storage systems from KRAFTBLOCK do not require rare earths, which are produced under questionable conditions, have a higher CO2 footprint and may be toxic to humans and the environment. KRAFTBLOCK thus has the solution for the energy transition.
Smartlane – AI-based transport optimisation for logistics
SMARTLANE is a Munich-based software company that has developed the first fully automated software for the optimisation of complex transport scenarios in logistics on the basis of scenario-based analyses (Smartlane Transport Intelligence). In the final stage, the solution enables the optimisation of scenarios over several days and with up to 50 hubs and over 150 parameters each and offers the opportunity of digitalisation and 100% automation of transport planning (scheduling), which is the core competence process of thousands of European freight forwarders. The implementation of the software can be done on the fly so as not to disrupt the daily scheduling processes and is therefore the best example of how AI can already deliver real added value in transport logistics, one of the most important European industries. Smartlane Transport Intelligence already reduces the dispatching effort by up to 90% and increases the planning reliability and precision immensely. With self-learning dispatch automation and a database of 24 million kilometres and over 200,000 optimisations, the globally increasing volume of consignments in logistics can be better managed with limited resources. Smartlane is already saving its customers a fifth of their operational costs, their resource requirements and correspondingly up to 21% of their CO2 emissions.
About DORUCON – DR. RUPP CONSULTING GmbH
DORUCON – DR. RUPP CONSULTING GmbH is a management consultancy operating throughout Europe with offices in Saarbrücken, Berlin and Paris. The company has been dealing with the topics of innovation, research and development, technology promotion and financing for more than 10 years. The focus is on companies from small to large from all industrial sectors. Many have already been accompanied for several years. One specialisation of the consultancy work is ZIM consultancy. DORUCON has relevant experience as a ZIM consultant and examines projects for suitability for a ZIM application and takes over the application and project management. The service also includes support at state, federal and EU level. In addition to the Central Innovation Programme for SMEs (ZIM), supported funding programmes include the Tax Research Grant, the EIC Accelerator, GRW funding and go-innovativ (go-inno). DORUCON is authorised by the German Federal Ministry of Economics to issue consultancy vouchers of up to 27,500 euros for the go-inno funding programme. In addition, DORUCON is certified by TÜV Süd according to ISO 9001:2015 and is a member of the Offensive Mittelstand and the Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft (BVMW).