EIC ACCELERATOR, INNOVATIVE IDEAS CLOSE TO THE MARKET
The European Commission launches the European Innovation Council (EIC) funding programs on March 18, 2021.
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 554 million euros for 2021.
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.
This 2021 call maintains the approach of the 2021 call, dispensing 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.
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.
Main novelties of the Accelerator Programme
Open call vs Challenge Driven calls addressing Strategic Health and Digital Technologies, and Green Deal Innovations for the Economic Recovery
New application and evaluation process: a first screening stage has been added to the full proposal and interview, so companies must first apply through a 5 pages concept note.
Only 2 submissions are allowed at each application step
New AI platform for proposal drafting and submission
40% share of women-led companies at interviews
Key ingredients to win Accelerator
Ground-breaking deep-tech concepts with high potential to scale-up the applicant company
High-risk innovations that cannot leverage the private investments to fasten industrial scale up
Convincing business plan: clear timeline complemented by a sound team and a track-record with financial data
Broader impact: the commercialisation of the innovation will have societal, economic, environmental or climate impacts for at least Europe
Consult the viability of your projects in the EIC Accelerator call
APPLICATION DEADLINE: Untill 09 June 2021 // 06 Octover 2021
ORGANISING ENTITY: European Commission
The EIC Accelerator Program (formerly SME Instrument) is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) funding programs and supports renowned innovators, entrepreneurs, small businesses and scientists with funding opportunities and accelerator services.
The program targets high-risk, high-potential SMEs and innovators to assist them in the development and market access of innovative new products, services and business models that can act as a pivot for economic growth.
The selected companies receive financing and optional access to private investment, as well as personalized guidance and supervision services for the scaling of their innovative idea, together with additional acceleration services that facilitate access to investors, corporations and entrepreneurs with common interests.
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.