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European Innovation Council

Fast-Track and Plug-in schemes provide for a specific treatment of proposals that result from existing Horizon Europe or Horizon 2020 projects.

Fast Track scheme to EIC Accelerator

The Fast Track scheme (the ‘Fast Track’) is a novelty under Horizon Europe which allows funding bodies managing other parts of the Horizon Europe programme to submit projects directly to the full application stage of the EIC Accelerator subject to a review of the ongoing project.

Since its official launch in 2021, the Fast Track is being implemented by a number of the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) for selected funding schemes. In particular, the following KICs have submitted companies through the Fast Track:

  • EIT Health
  • EIT Raw Materials
  • EIT Climate-KIC
  • EIT Urban Mobility
  • EIT Digital

If you are a company supported by one of these EIT KICs, you can check the website of the KIC to see which of their funding schemes are eligible for the Fast Track and how to apply. At a first phase in 2022 and 2023, each KIC is limited to a maximum of 20 companies to submit to the Fast Track.

In addition, the Fast Track is also being implemented for EIC Pathfinder and EIC Transition projects (including under EIC pilot) managed by EISMEA. If you are a participant in a Pathfinder or Transition project (including recently completed projects) and are interested in the Fast Track you can contact your Project Officers (POs) using the messaging facility of the Funding & tenders portal (which will also work for closed projects).

Further information about the Fast Track is provided in Annex 3 to the 2023 EIC Work Programme and in the Guidance document for funding bodies implementing the Fast Track.

31 MARCH 2022
Fast Track scheme - Guidance document
(781.61 KB - PDF)


Pilot Plug-In scheme to EIC Accelerator

Like for the Fast Track scheme described above, under the pilot Plug In scheme (the ‘Plug In’) applicants do not apply directly to the EIC Accelerator call.

The Plug In applies to proposals stemming from existing national or regional programmes that have been assessed and certified. It is the management bodies of the certified national or regional programmes which decide whether an existing project is suitable for support under the EIC Accelerator, based on a project review to assess the innovation and market deployment potential. 

Under the Plug-in scheme, applicants do not apply directly to the EIC Accelerator call. Instead, a project review at national or regional level is carried out to assess the innovation or market deployment potential of an existing project, to decide whether the project is suitable for support under the EIC Accelerator.

The implementation of the pilot Plug In will start as soon as 2/3 of EU Member States have at least one programme certified. An assessment of candidate programmes is ongoing and the results are expected January 2023 after which the certified programmes may submit Plug In applications. 

The list of certified Plug In programmes will be available on this website in due course.

To know how the Plug In scheme is being implemented, please contact the responsible funding body for that programme.

Further information about the pilot Plug In is provided in Annex 4 to the 2023 EIC Work Programme.

Group of experts

In autumn 2021, the Commission appointed a group of independent experts to assess the national or regional programmes submitted by the Members States and Associated Countries to Horizon Europe for the EIC pilot Plug In. The objective of group of experts is to assess these programmes and certify the ones that meet the requirements to be eligible for the Plug In scheme.