EIC Accelerator: EUR 654 million for the most innovative SMEs in 2020

The SME instrument is growing and transforming itself to provide a better response to the needs of companies committed to disruptive innovation, giving way in October 2019 to the new EIC Accelerator: the first financing instrument that combines the already existing non-refundable subsidies (up to 2.5 million euros in the form of “Grant”), with access to risk capital of up to 15 million euros (“Equity”) for commercial activities and industrial scaling of the product at an international level.

The EIC Accelerator has a budget of EUR 654 million for 2020, an increase of 17% compared to the last period of the SME Facility Phase 2. The EIC estimates the Investment Capital mobilised during the programme’s pilot phase (2019-2020) at EUR 100 million.

THE BIG OPPORTUNITY FOR GREEN AND WOMEN-LED BUSINESSES IS IN THE MAY 2020 CALL

The EIC Accelerator aims not only to sponsor those radically new ideas close to the market that, due to their unconventional nature, do not find private investors in Europe, but also companies led by women (CEO or equivalent position), who will be beneficiaries of 25% of the funds from the March 2020 call.

In addition, the May call will be exclusively dedicated to green innovation, that is, those products that contribute to the objectives of the European Green Pact: clean energy, sustainable industry, clean construction, sustainable mobility, environmental conservation and biodiversity, and elimination of pollution.

THE EIC ACCELERATOR SHORTENS PROJECT EXECUTION TIMES BY NOT FUNDING FEASIBILITY STUDIES

The new approach dispenses with the old phase 1 of the SME Facility to focus efforts on the market access stages. To this end, two financing schemes are proposed, allowing companies to choose to apply only for non-refundable grants, or to add to these grants access to risk capital for the launch of their product on the market

  • Grant only: 0.5 to 2.5 million euros of funding (70% European contribution)
  • Joint investment (Blended Finance= Grant+Equity): a tranche of aid limited to a maximum of 2.5 million euros, which is complemented by a capital investment of up to 15 million euros.

POSITIVE CASH FLOW THROUGHOUT THE LIFE OF THE PROJECT

Up to 80% of the aid granted can be received as an advance at the start of the project and the rest during the established control periods, which translates into a positive cash flow during its development.

Unlike its predecessor, the new programme takes on a 100% single-beneficiary format (no consortia are allowed), but maintains flexibility in terms of the geographical framework by standardising the subcontracting of tasks to third parties, both within and outside Europe.

The next evaluation dates are:

  • 18 March 2020
  • 19 May 2020
  • October 7, 2020

The Euro-Funding team, with more than 10 years of experience in European funds, arrives at its appointment with success, and already has projects financed in the first call of October 2019, and others pending resolution in the call of January 2020.

Carlos Sanchis

Carlos Sanchis

Senior Project Manager in the area of European funds of Euro-Funding