Today the EIC Board has published a statement with concrete recommendations to increase the participation of widening countries in the EIC. The EIC Board has set an overall objective to increase the participation of widening countries to a share of at least 15% across all EIC instruments, double the current level of below 8%.
While the EIC Board fully supports the principle of excellence in allocation of EIC funding, it believes there is untapped potential for excellence in the widening countries. Significant steps have already been taken to improve participation of high potential innovators from widening counties, such as the “Hop On” scheme to fund additional partners from widening countries to join EIC Pathfinder projects. Through this and other activities, the level of participation has steadily risen in the past year. For example, for the EIC Accelerator the share of widening countries in short (Step 1) applications has increased from 16% to 21% from 2021 to 2022, and the share of full (Step 2) applications increased from 11% to 14% in the same years. However, in terms of the overall share of EIC funding, there is still need for improvement with widening countries receiving 8,5% of the total EIC Pathfinder funding and 7.1% of the total EIC Accelerator funding in 2022. Seven widening countries are not represented at all in the Accelerator.
Following an analysis of the key issues at stake, the EIC Board recommends several urgent actions, such as improving information about the EIC and offering dedicated trainings, to address potential bias and set a minimum of 30% of evaluators and jury members from widening countries.
- Publication date
- 1 August 2023