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Horizon 2020

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Established in 2018, Robot Union is a pan-European robotics association that is funded by the European Union. It is an EU initiative under the Horizon 2020 program for investment in research and innovation across sectors and countries. Through various competitions, robotics startups can win equity-free awards of up to €223,000 each. Robot Union selected its first batch of 20 startups in September 2018.  

Founded in June 2015, Horizon Robotics is an AI solutions provider. Devices carrying its AI systems have been widely applied in smart driving, smart city and smart retail scenarios. Horizon developed China’s first embedded AI processors for computer vision tasks: the Sunrise 1.0 Processor, which is used in smart cameras, and the Journey 1.0 Processor, which is used in autonomous vehicles.

Portuguese venture capital firm Best Horizon was established in 2014. Since then, its portfolio has grown to about 50 companies in Portugal, Spain, the United States, Brazil and the Netherlands.

Listed and based out of London, Standard Chartered Bank, or StanChart, has operations in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It has about US$60 billion of assets under management, which it hopes to grow to more than US$100 billion by 2020.

One of the largest institutional investors, GIC is a sovereign wealth fund managed by the Singapore government. With over US$100 billion under management, GIC invests in companies from over 40 countries.

Nil Salomó Bellavista holds a Masters in Biotechnology and Bioengineering with a specialization in the field of tissue engineering. He worked on building a new 3D printing technique for organs before switching to AI. To do so, Bellavista embarked on a project to apply this technology to the hospitality industry, testing it out at the Nostrum outlet, a self-service food franchise, that he co-owns. The result is Proppos FastPay, an intelligent self-checkout solution powered by computer vision. Founded in 2018, Proppos is currently finalizing pilots with international clients and preparing for its official, commercial launch in 2020. 

Volkswagen Group China is a division of German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen Group China produces, sells and services cars, engines and transmission systems, as well as other parts and components. It runs more than 2,000 authorized dealerships and has 360,000 dealers on staff. Volkswagen Group China and its joint-venture companies plan to invest €15 billion by 2020 in developing autonomous and new energy vehicles.

UK-based Portuguese unicorn Farfetch is a global omni-channel marketplace for luxury fashion, ranging from established brands to cult and emerging designers. Entrepreneur José Neves started the company in 2007 to enable small designers and fashion retailers to become global players through a single online marketplace. Farfetch participated in the 2019 seed investment round for Didimo, a Portuguese 3D digital twin animation production startup based in Porto.

Beta-i was established in 2010 as a Portuguese accelerator, incubator and event organizer to boost the Portuguese tech ecosystem. Beta-i is well-known for organizing some of Portugal's most successful accelerators and the annual tech startup event Lisbon Investment Summit. In 2019, it made its first investment in a startup Didimo by joining the seed round for the 3D digital twin designer platform.The company's best known acceleration program Lisbon Challenge is a twice yearly event open to all tech sectors, attracting around 10 participants based in Portugal and overseas. Its two-month programs have accelerated more than 200 startups, with about 75% coming from abroad. Beta-i also organizes the international energy accelerator Free Electrons, with EDP as one of its sponsors. Free Electrons has already accelerated 27 startups and is now running its third edition with 15 startups, five of which are Portugal-based. All the selected participants will have the chance to work for one year with at least one of the 10 global energy utilities that form the Free Electrons consortium. Another Beta-i event is The Journey, the first accelerator in Portugal dedicated to tourism tech startups from all over the world. Launched in partnership with the government's Portugal Tourism in 2017, the Lisbon-based program is part of the national Tourism 4.0 plan. The five-month program is now in its third edition and gives successful applicants the opportunity to develop pilot projects with Portuguese companies like the Vila Galé hotel chain, Barraqueiro transport company and Parques de Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Gem Flower Healthcare was set up by state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation in March 2017 as a healthcare business platform and medical services group. Today, the healthcare group owns over 300 medical institutions, including 10 top-tier grade hospitals in China. Gem Flower Healthcare manages about 20,000 hospital beds and generates annual revenues of about RMB 10bn.

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