Launched in March 2021 with a budget of more than €10 billion for 2021-2027, the European Innovation Council will provide support from the early-stage scientific research on breakthrough technologies, to transitioning research results into commercial opportunities, and the development and scaling up of innovative start-ups and SMEs. Following the launch, on the 9th of April the Commission opened the first EIC Accelerator calls. The aim of the funding is to help scale up start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses that have the potential to achieve high impact. The funding has a budget over €1 billion. Innovations that support the European Green Deal as well as digital and health technologies are provided with a budget of €495 million, while over half of the funding is open for a breakthrough innovation in any field.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, stated that the EIC Accelerator is a unique funding instrument of the EU, which will lead Europe at the forefront of innovation and new technologies, helping to tackle the health, environmental and societal challenges Europe is facing.
Scientific discoveries or technological breakthroughs struggle to attract financing due to a longer timeframe before returns can be generated. The EIC Accelerator enables the innovators to attract the full investment amounts that are needed to scale up in a shorter time frame. This financing model offers start-ups and SMEs grants of up to €2.5 million combined with equity investments through the EIC Fund ranging from €500,000 to €15 million. A range of Business Acceleration Services that provide access to leading expertise, corporates, investors and ecosystem actors is another benefit of the funding.
On the same day the EIC Accelerator calls were out, the Commission opened the EIC Pathfinder program. The budget is set at €168 million, and the grants can vary from €3 to €4 million. If you have a research or a breakthrough idea which will have a transformative and positive effect on European economy and society, this is your time to apply.
More information on the first EIC Accelerator and Pathfinder calls is available on the EIC website. Potential applicants can also contact the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency.
Research, build it, and scale up. You can.