EIC Accelerator brings growth opportunities to disruptive SMEs

Horizon Europe is the next framework program to fund state-of-the art innovative projects. The  EIC Accelerator is the flagship funding instrument under Horizon Europe for start-ups and SMEs with radically new ideas for rolling out marketable innovation solutions and breakthrough projects. Winning companies with ambitions to grow and scale up may get an opportunity to receive up to 15 M€ in equity investments and 2.5 M€ in grants. 

Under Horizon Europe, the EIC Accelerator continues to boost European economic growth by introducing visionary ideas to the continent. The European Innovation Council (EIC) is estimated to benefit from a total budget of around 10 B€ over the span of seven years, with a large portion of the funds being allocated to the EIC Accelerator. 

The EIC Accelerator continues to be one of the largest  public funding programme, providing funding for up to 40 companies per call on average. The call for screening the applicants is estimated to launch in March, and the deadlines for the full application will be 9th of June and 6th of October 2021.

Radically simplified and streamlined evaluation process 

The European Commission has proposed various improvements to the earlier pilot EIC Accelerator funding scheme set up under Horizon Europe. The main change concerns the evaluation system, which has been simplified and developed to improve the overall quality in proposals and evaluations. Scores are no longer given. Instead, there selection process has a 3-step system with go/no go.

Based on the current knowledge, this is what the process is expected to be: 

1) Screening of proposals: Present your disruptive innovation

  • Proposal with 5 pages
  • Pitch deck with 10 slides
  • 3-min video

2) Full proposal: Submit your project with high-growth potential 

  • Preparation of the full application on the EIC AI-based platform
  • Develop your detailed business plan 

3) Interviews with an EIC Jury  

  • Pitch (10 min)
  • Q&A (20 min) 
  • Deliberation of the Jury (25 min)  

The re-submittance has also been restricted. Applicants will have one opportunity to re-submit their proposal but if they are unsuccessful, there will be a cool-off period of 12 months.

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