Funding and support in 2022
- EIC Pathfinder - for multi-disciplinary research teams, worth €350 million, to undertake visionary research with the potential to lead to technology breakthroughs.
- Research teams can apply for up to €3 or €4 million in grants. Calls will open on 1 March (Pathfinder Open) and 15 June (Pathfinder Challenges)
- The bulk of the funding is awarded through open calls with no predefined thematic priorities, while €167 million is allocated to tackle six challenges: Carbon dioxide & nitrogen management and valorisation, mid-long term, systems-integrated energy storage, cardiogenomics, healthcare continuum technologies, DNA-based digital data storage and alternative quantum information processing, communication, and sensing.
- EIC Transition - funding to turn research results into innovation opportunities, worth €131 million.
- The calls will focus on results generated by EIC Pathfinder projects and European Research Council Proof of Concept projects, to mature the technologies and build a business case for specific applications. Consortia can apply for €2.5 million grants (or more if justified). Apply anytime from 1 March.
- €60.5 million is allocated to tackle three Transition Challenges: Green digital devices for the future, process and system integration of clean energy technologies and RNA-based therapies and diagnostics for complex or rare genetic diseases.
- EIC Accelerator - worth €1.16 billion, for start-ups and SMEs to develop and scale up high impact innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones.
- It provides a unique blended finance combining equity (or quasi-equity such as convertible loans) between €0.5 million and €15 million through the EIC Fund, with grants of up to €2.5 million. Apply anytime.
- Almost €537 million is earmarked for breakthrough innovations for the technologies for Open Strategic Autonomy and technologies for ‘Fit for 55’.
All projects of the European Innovation Council have access to Business Acceleration Services, which provides coaches, mentors and expertise, partnering opportunities with corporates, investors and others, and a range of other services and events.
- A new EIC Scale-Up 100 initiative: Having already supported over 2600 small and medium business (SMEs) and start-ups in the past since 2018, the EIC introduces the EIC Scale-up 100 initiative to identify 100 promising deep tech EU companies that have the potential to become ‘unicorns’ (with valuation of over €1 billion).
- Equity investments above €15 million: The EIC Accelerator will allow companies working on technologies of strategic European interest to apply for EIC investments of more than €15 million.
- Stronger support to women innovators:
- Development of an innovation gender and diversity index to identify gaps and encourage diversity within companies. This will provide consistent information to investors, funders, customers and policy makers.
- The 2022 edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators will include two additional prizes for innovators under 35 – hence, there will be six prizes awarded in total: three prizes to the most inspiring women innovators across the EU and the countries associated to Horizon Europe, and three prizes to the most promising ‘Rising Innovators’ under the age of 35.
- More frequent application deadlines: In 2022, more frequent application deadlines will be opened for EIC Transition and Accelerator, with a continuous application process introduced for EIC Transition. Moreover, second time applicants to EIC Accelerator will be able to describe and defend the improvements made to their resubmission, as already done with EIC Pathfinder.
An information day took place on Tuesday 22 February to provide information on how the European Innovation Council works, how to apply for funding, who is eligible and what this year’s novelties are. Sessions will include information on funding opportunities for research teams, start-ups, SMEs and investors.