EIC ACCELERATOR, INNOVATIVE IDEAS CLOSE TO THE MARKET
The European Commission is launching the EIC Accelerator call: the first financing instrument combining existing non-refundable grants (up to €2.5 million in the form of a “Grant”), with access to risk capital worth up to ?15 million (“Equity”) for commercial activities and industrial upgrading of the product at international level. This line of financing has a budget of 654 million euros for 2020.
The EIC Accelerator aims not only to sponsor radically new ideas that are close to the market and which, due to their unconventional nature, do not find private investors in Europe, but also companies led by women.
The new approach of this call dispenses with the old phase 1 of its predecessor the SME Facility to focus efforts on the market access stages. To this end, two funding 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: 0.5-2.5 million funding (70% European contribution)
Blended Finance (Grant+Equity): a tranche of aid limited to a maximum of €2.5 million, supplemented by capital investment of up to €15 million.
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 EIC Accelerator Programme (formerly SME Instrument) is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot that supports renowned innovators, entrepreneurs, small businesses and scientists with funding opportunities and services for acceleration.
The programme focuses on high-risk, high-potential SMEs and innovators to help them develop and access markets for innovative new products, services and business models that can act as a hub for economic growth.
The selected companies receive funding and, optionally, access to private investment. They are also offered personalised guidance and supervision services for the scaling up of their innovative idea together with additional acceleration services that facilitate access to investors, corporations and entrepreneurs with common interests.
The countries eligible for this call will be Member States of the European Union and associated countries of the Horizon 2020 programme.
UK companies are eligible during the transition period until 31 December 2020. From that date they will be able to implement their projects, receiving the funding granted until the end of the programme. However, they will not be able to access the equity part of the funding.
Exclusively SMEs under the status according to EU recommendation 2003/361.
TYPE AND AMOUNT OF FUNDS
Non-refundable aid of up to 2.5 MILL EUR (grant)
Financing in concept Capital Investment up to 15 MILL € (equity)
All costs directly related to activities such as testing, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing under real conditions (TRL6 to TRL8).
The budget categories include, in addition to expenditure on staff, travel, consumables, depreciation of equipment, contracting of services, indirect costs are included (calculated as 25% of the remaining costs, except subcontracting). The non-refundable aid intensity will be 70% of the approved and justified budget.
The costs arising from market access activities (TRL9) will be covered through Private Investment.
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