The new EIC Accelerator Program under Horizon Europe

The European Innovation Council from the European Commission (EC) has selected 65 innovative start-ups and SMEs to receive €363 million in funding. Most companies receive a combination of a grant and equity, with a maximum of €17 million, to develop and scale-up breakthrough innovations in sectors such as health, digital technologies, energy, biotech and space. This is the first cohort of companies that receives funding out of the new EIC Accelerator Program.

EIC Accelerator: Equity is popular

The EIC Accelerator program supports highly innovative start-ups and SMEs with the development of new innovative products, services and business models. The program offers both a grant and equity investments. Companies can choose for only a grant or for a combination of a grant with equity, which is also referred to as blended financing. From the results we can conclude that the blended financing option is popular. Out of the 65 companies that received funding, 60 companies requested equity funding. This means that €227 million out of the total €363 million was dedicated to equity investments.

What was the EIC Accelerator again?

The EIC Accelerator Program supports start-ups and SMEs with grants of maximum €2,5 million, optionally combined with equity Investments between €0,5 million and €15 million. Projects can also request additional services, such as access to investors. The EC launched the new EIC Accelerator program in March 2021, as one of the main pillars of the Horizon Program. In 2018 to 2020 the EC already ran a pilot EIC Accelerator program. The EIC has a budget of over €10 billion, from which €1,1 billion is available in 2021. The biggest chunk of the budget is available for innovations in all sectors, while €495 million is earmarked to health, digital technologies and Green Deal solutions.

New application procedure and closing dates

With the launch of Horizon Europe the EC set up a new user-friendly application procedure for applicants. With this, companies can submit their ideas on any moment and receive an assessment directly. Successful (short) applications can advance to the next phase, to complete their submission. The Commission assesses the full applications roughly every three months based on predefined cut-off dates. As of March 2021, over 4000 start-ups and SMEs have submitted their ideas, of which 801 have submitted a full application for the first cut-off date on 16 June 2021, and 1098 for the second cut-off date on October 6th. The latest cohort is currently being evaluated and the results will be published at the end of the year.

Curious how we can support you?

Are you interested in support for the EIC Accelerator? PNO and INNFLOW offer their combined expertise on innovations and finance to help you further develop your proposal. With a success rate around 8% (based on the first full round) the instrument is highly competitive. With a success rate twice the market average, we can support you in drafting a competitive application. Call 088-838 13 81 or send a message below.


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