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European Innovation Council
News article22 June 20212 min read

Strong response to first deadline for funding under the European Innovation Council Accelerator

Since the opening of the EIC Accelerator funding on 9 April, over 2000 start-ups and SMEs submitted short applications on a continuous basis, and 801 of these progressed to submit a full application for funding for the 16 June cut-off of the EIC Accelerator scheme. This is the first cut-off for full applications, and shows a strong demand for EIC funding with a total financial request of €4.85 billion, of which €3.2 billion for equity investment.

The very large majority of the applicants (663) requested blended finance (grant combined with equity investment), while 138 asked for grants without equity. 375 companies applied for the Open call to fund breakthrough innovations in any field of technology and application, while the majority (426) applied for support to develop breakthrough innovations in Strategic Digital and Health technologies (223) or to address the Green Deal challenge (203).

Proposals are now being evaluated by independent experts and the successful companies will be invited to pitch in front of a Jury of investors and business experts during September with results expected in October. Those companies recommended for equity investments will pass directly to the EIC Fund.

Tips for future applicants

If you are a new applicant, you can submit your short application at any time (no cut-offs) using the EIC AI platform. The platform has new functionalities to help you prepare your application, and the guide for applicants and FAQs on the EIC website have been updated.

The next cut-off date for full applications is 6 October 2021 and new applicants are encouraged to submit their short applications in July or August in order for them to be assessed in time (approximately 4 weeks for short applications) to prepare the full application. Further cut-off dates will be announced in the Autumn.

Background information

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 2021 is approximately €1.1 billion of which €495 million is earmarked for Strategic Health and Digital technologies and Green Deal solutions, and €593 million is open to breakthrough innovations in any field.

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.


Publication date
22 June 2021