Over 1000 start-ups and SMEs submitted a full application for funding for the 23 March cut-off of the EIC Accelerator scheme, the first in 2022. The number of applications shows a continued strong demand for EIC funding with a total request of €6.4 billion, of which €4.1 billion for equity investments.
724 companies (66% of total applicants) requested blended finance, combining grants with equity investment, while 183 asked for grants without equity and 186 companies applied for grants first (with the aim of EIC equity investments at a later stage).
This is the first cut off to receive companies submitted by Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) under the EIC ‘Fast Track scheme’. This scheme offers the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) the opportunity to assess start-ups and scale-ups they support and allow them to directly go to the full application stage of the EIC Accelerator. It helps applicants speed up the application process and reduces administrative burden. The Fast Track is also being opened for projects stemming from the EIC Pathfinder and Transition grants.
Proposals are now being evaluated by independent experts. Successful companies will then be invited to pitch in front of a jury of investors and business experts in May, with selection decisions expected in June.
Tips for future applicants
New applicants can submit a short application at any time (no cut-offs) using the EIC AI platform. The platform has functionalities to help prepare applications and there is a comprehensive guide for applicants and FAQs on the EIC website. Once submitted, applicants will receive a response within four weeks - either inviting them to submit a full application or with feedback if they are unsuccessful.
The next cut-off dates for full applications are 15 June and 5 October 2022. New applicants are encouraged to submit their short applications in advance in order for them to be assessed in time (approximately 4 weeks for short applications) to prepare the full application.
EIC Accelerator offers start-ups and SMEs grants of up to €2.5 million combined with equity investments through the EIC Fund ranging from €500,000 to €15 million. In addition to financial support, all projects benefit from a range of Business Acceleration Services that provide access to leading expertise, corporates, investors and ecosystem actors. The budget for the EIC Accelerator in 2022 is approximately €1.16 billion of which almost €537 million is earmarked for breakthrough innovations for the technologies for Open Strategic Autonomy and technologies for ‘Fit for 55’.
Applications that meet all the criteria at the remote evaluation stage and that are assessed positively by the EIC jury, but not recommended for funding, will be awarded a Seal of Excellence. This Seal of Excellence will help them secure funding from other sources. Companies with a Seal of Excellence can also get support from EIC Business Acceleration Services.
164 start-ups and SMEs were selected for funding following the EIC Accelerator cut-offs in June and October 2021, and the first of these have now received the grant component of their funding.
- Publication date
- 1 April 2022