The EIC Accelerator supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular Startups and spinout companies to develop and scaleup game-changing innovations. In some cases small mid-caps (up to 500 employees) are supported.
The EIC Accelerator provides substantial financial support with:
- grant funding (non-dilutive) of up to €2.5 million for innovation development costs,
- investments (direct equity investments) of up to €15 million managed by the EIC Fund for scale up and other relevant costs. Companies working on technologies of strategic European interest can apply for EIC investments of more than €15 million.
In addition, EIC selected companies receive coaching, mentoring, access to investors and corporates, and many other opportunities as part of the EIC community.
The EIC welcomes applications from innovators in all EU Member States and countries associated to the Horizon Europe programme. It particularly welcomes applications from startups and SMEs with female CEOs.
EIC Work Programme 2022
The EIC Work Programme opens funding opportunities worth over €1.7 billion in 2022. For EIC Accelerator, the funding is worth €1.16 billion,
The EIC Accelerator provides blended finance (Innovation and Market Deployment Action) which is composed of:
- An investment component usually in the form of direct equity or quasi-equity such as convertible loans.
- A grant component to reimburse eligible costs incurred for innovation activities, including demonstration of the technology in the relevant environment, prototyping and system level demonstration, R&D and testing required to meet regulatory and standardisation requirements, intellectual property management, and marketing approval (e.g. at least TRL 5/6 to 8).
Applicants for EIC blended finance can choose to request the investment component only. Learn more about the blended finance scheme in the EIC Work Programe 2022.
You can apply for EIC Accelerator funding at any time through the EIC platform. You will need a video pitch, a slide deck and respond to a short set of questions about your innovation and your team.
You will normally receive feedback within 4 weeks. If your application meets the basic criteria for EIC Accelerator funding, you will be invited to prepare a full application to submit to one of the periodic cut-off dates for Accelerator Open or Accelerator Challenge funding.
Your full application will be assessed by our experts against the full criteria for EIC Accelerator funding. If your application meets all of the criteria, will be invited to the face to face interviews with an EIC jury as the final step in the selection process.
Applications that meet all the criteria at the remote evaluation stage and are assessed positively by the EIC jury but not recommended for funding, will be awarded a Seal of Excellence to help them secure funding from other sources. Companies with a Seal of Excellence can also get support from EIC Business Acceleration Services. To be eligible for a Seal of Excellence you must give consent to sharing some basic information about your application with other funding and support organisations.
- 23 MarchFirst cut-off
- 10 - 20 MayInterviews
- 15 JuneSecond cut-off
- 12 - 23 SeptemberInterviews
- 5 OctoberThird cut-off
- 21 November - 2 DecemberInterviews
Remote experts & jury members
In EIC Accelerator proposals are assessed by independent evaluators with different profiles.
All experts are carefully chosen to guarantee that each proposal is evaluated by professionals with the adequate technology and/or sector expertise, as well as business and finance competence.
In the first two stages of the selection process, proposals are evaluated by remote experts. Later on, the projects are assessed by the EIC jury members.
Fast Track and Plug-in schemes
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. Currently, the Fast Track is implemented by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) by a number of its Knowledge and Innovation Communities as well as by the EIC for the Pathfinder and Transition projects.
The Plug-in scheme is equivalent to the Fast Track, except that it applies to proposals that result from existing national or regional programmes. The EIC is currently assessing relevant national and regional programmes and so the scheme is not yet operational.
Support for applicants & beneficiaries
Latest statistics: EIC Accelerator March 2022 cut-off - Successful Companies
EIC Accelerator news
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The European Commission approved the payment of 20 grants to companies selected for blended finance under the EIC Accelerator in June 2021, with a further 7 to follow before the end of the month.
The Commission announced today the first direct equity investment by the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund following its launch under Horizon Europe.