Start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises that are based in one of the EU’s Member States or are established in a Horizon 2020 Associated Country can receive EU funding and support for breakthrough innovation projects with a market-creating potential as part of the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot.
The well-known SME has become the EIC Accelerator Pilot on the 6th June. From 2021, the EIC will be fully operative.
The EIC Accelerator Pilot is part of the Enhanced European Innovation Council pilot (Enhanced EIC pilot). It supports high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized innovative enterprises willing to develop and commercialise new products, services and business models that could drive economic growth and shape new markets or disrupt existing ones in Europe and worldwide.
The EIC Accelerator Pilot offers Europe’s brightest and boldest entrepreneurs the chance to step forward and request funding for breakthrough ideas with the potential to create entirely new markets or revolutionise existing ones.
What support is available?
The EIC Accelerator Pilot provides grant-only support (From €0.5 to €2.5M (covering up to 70% of eligible costs) as well as support in the form of blended finance (combining grant and equity, up to €15 million for an individual innovation project).
Grants will finance activities from TRL 6-8. Activities above TRL 8 will financed only through blended finance. Activities funded can be of several types: prototyping, miniaturisation, scaling-up, design, performance verification, testing, demonstration, development of pilot lines, validation for market replication, including other activities aimed at bringing innovation to investment readiness and maturity for market take-up.
What is the great novelty of the EIC Accelerator
The main novelty in Accelerator is the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that will manage the equity component according to an Investment Strategy that will be defined during the next few months.
The role of this new body is still under discussion and its setting-up is being finalized, but mainly it will be created for: the investment strategy definition, due diligence, co-investment, follow-on investments, investment management and exit strategy.
Budget and Deadline
Budget of the EIC Accelerator pilot
2018 2019 2020
Overall indicative budget* 479.74 689.26 654
Phase 1 10% 6% –
Phase 2 Grants 87% 85.6% 89%
Phase 2 Equity Support – 5.4% 8%
* of which at least an aggregated EUR 100 million for equity support under the Accelerator in 2019 and 2020
Accelerator blended finance and grant only: 2019 – 9 October; 2020 – 8 January; 8 March; 19 May; 7 October