EIC Accelerator (EICA), under the Horizon Europe (HEU) programme framework, funds innovative and breakthrough project ideas via the European Innovation Council (EIC). In the Accelerator programme, funding can be given to support the whole process ranging from demonstration to market launch and break-even.
This programme targets companies, especially start-ups and SMEs, to scale-up high impact innovations with the potential to create new or disrupt existing markets. The ambition is to spark high growth and internationalisation. Moreover, this programme is open to innovations in any field of technology or application, which are considered too high-risk for private investors to fund. It is particularly relevant for so-called deep-tech innovations, building on scientific discoveries or technological breakthroughs where significant funding is needed over a long timeframe before returns can be generated.
The EIC Accelerator funding is based on a combination of a grant and an equity (or other non-grant) investment from the EIC into the applying company. The combined investment aims to bridge the gap from pre-commercial to market and scale-up.
The grant component (maximum €2,5 million) is intended to cover innovation activities (TRL 5-8), at a 70% subsidy rate, while the equity investment (typically between €0,5-15 million) will primarily finance market deployment and scale-up.
The EIC Accelerator focuses on innovative and high-potential ideas from companies, taking such ideas from proven technology to market launch and commercial break-even. The programme aims to make it easier for start-ups and SMEs to convert their innovative ideas into marketable and scalable products.
Type of activities
R&D, Demonstration, Market Uptake and Scale-up
The application process begins with submitting a short Step 1 application (5-page form, slide deck, plus short video pitch). This application can be submitted at any time and will be evaluated within 4 weeks. If successful, the company is invited to prepare a Step 2 application (a full written proposal which is to be submitted for one of the following dedicated Step 2 cut-offs). The full application will be evaluated by a panel of independent experts. In the case of a positive evaluation, the company is invited for a face-to-face interview, after which the applying start-up or SME may obtain a positive decision on the EIC funding. Face-to-face interviews are organised approximately 8 or 9 weeks after the selected Step 2 cut-off date. The result of the interview is known within 2 or 3 weeks.
- Single start-ups or SMEs can apply for EIC Accelerator funding, which means that there is no requirement for an additional partner.
- The EIC Accelerator is a highly competitive funding programme and, among several important points to check prior to applying, it is important to verify that the proposed idea has a very high market potential.
- A given company can only participate in one granted project under the instrument at the time.
- Companies with female leadership (CEO role or similar) are particularly encouraged to apply.
For more detailed information and latest updates, see the official website of the programme.
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