Bratislava, February 3, 2021 – The Slovak Investment Holding (SIH) announced its investment in a limited liability company, PeWaS s.r.o., as part of the SIH Anti-Corona Capital programme, which has brought development capital closer to innovation-oriented companies throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The remaining partners to his project are the Slovak Alliance for Innovative Economy (SAPIE) and the Ministry of Finance.
PeWaS operates in the field of innovative chemistry and currently it focuses on completing the development of its revolutionary product named Aquaholder. The product is designed for hydro-stimulation treatment of cereal seed on the basis of super-absorbents. It is an innovative product with a global potential, which is designed to be used primarily in agriculture.
“We are grateful to the Slovak Investment Holding and the Slovak Alliance for Innovative Economy for demonstrating their confidence in us and providing us with financial support for the ongoing research of our revolutionary product, Aquaholder. We will do our best to make sure the provided convertible loan will be used as efficiently as possible, and we believe that we will not let down our partners’ trust and expectations,” said Ivo Krpelan, CEO of PeWaS.
What is the innovativeness of the Aquaholder product?
Aquaholder is a product that is applied directly onto cereal seed and, upon sowing thus treated cereal seed, is able to bind atmospheric and soil moisture in amounts of up to 100 to 500 multiple of its own weight. This way, it creates a layer of hydrogel from which cereal seed subsequently draws moisture when it needs. The application of Aquaholder onto cereal seed protects the crop in the time of drought and helps the plants during the period of germination and subsequent burgeoning, thus increasing the probability of higher yields per hectare. Not only does the product constitute a promising tool in combating climatic changes in dry areas, but it can also serve as a safeguard against drought and/or lack of moisture anywhere in the world. PeWaS has garnered several Seals of Excellence, a quality label awarded by the European Commission to the best innovative companies as part of its Horizon 2020 programme.
SIH Anti-Corona Capital – assistance for innovation-oriented companies
In September 2020, the SIH in cooperation with the SAPIE and the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic released a call to support innovation-oriented companies.
The SIH Anti-Corona Capital is a programme of providing convertible loans designed particularly for companies that are financed through venture capital. These companies usually do not comply (or their compliance is limited) with the requirements to obtain credit funding due to their insufficient profitability, which is a direct result of their initial growth phase and ensuing high operating investments into development and implementation of their products and services. Besides affecting businesses directly in the form of revenue deficits, the COVID-19 pandemic also caused uncertainty on financial markets that has seriously downsized European venture capital market and has led to cancelling or postponing many investments. However, it is exactly this type of investments that is indispensable to developing innovation-oriented companies, furthering a gradual transition to knowledge economy and increasing competitiveness of the Slovak Republic and the European Union in the long-term horizon.
Slovak Investment Holding
The SIH is a joint-stock company that is 100-percent owned by the Slovak government. Its main mission is to support strategic public as well as private investments in Slovakia in the field of infrastructure, energy efficiency, waste management, social economy, and small and medium-sized enterprises. It draws the funds to pursue its investment designs from European structural and investment funds. The SIH finances the projects exclusively via repayment schemes, i.e. through financial tools as opposed to grant programmes.
Slovak Alliance for Innovative Economy
The Slovak Alliance for Innovative Economy (SAPIE) is the largest national organization associating over 100 subjects that form the ecosystem of innovative and digital economy in Slovakia and providing the platform that promotes a dialogue between its individual members and encourages discussion on topical issues related to innovation-based economy. The Alliance acts as the umbrella organization for innovation-oriented companies in Slovakia and promotes the adoption of open, progressive and flexible legislation that catalyses innovation. SAPIE also creates networks that promote knowledge sharing, increases awareness of the needs of parties involved in the innovation process and, last but not least, serves as the contact point for entrepreneurs, investors and decision-makers within the innovations ecosystem.