European Innovation Council

The European Innovation Council is the flagship programme of the European Union to support breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovations. Objectives are:

•       To capitalise on EU science, innovative SMEs and start-ups to compete in global markets increasingly defined by new technologies

•       To identify, develop and deploy high risk innovations of all kinds with particular on breakthrough, market-creating, deep-tech solutions

•       To turn science into new business and accelerating the scale-up of ’game-changing’ innovators shaping the future

The total budget of the EIC under Horizon Europe’s Pillar III is €10.105 billion (2021-2027).


Funding from the European Innovation Council is:

·       Open to all innovators, in any field, at any time

·       Implemented mainly through open calls with no predefined priorities, completed by or challenge-based topics

·       Completed by Business Acceleration Services, offering coaching & mentoring services, matchmaking support with corporate and investors, dedicated services for internationalization

·       Steered by EIC Board of leading innovators from all stakeholders from the EU innovation ecosystem

·       Led by pro-active management (roadmaps, reviews, reorientations, etc) with EIC Programme Managers

·       A next step for EU support for projects from other parts of Horizon Europe (ERC, EIT, collaborative) & national programmes


EIC offers several funding schemes at all stages of development of an innovative solution:


What is in

Who can participate

What is funded

EIC Pathfinder


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Supports radically new technologies emerging from research excellence. This scheme targets high-risk / high gain and interdisciplinary cutting-edge science collaborations that supports technological breakthroughs

·    Consortia of at least three different independent legal entities (e.g. research organisations, universities, SMEs, industry) established in at least 3 different eligible countries.

·    Single applicants or small consortia (two partners) may be able to apply for Pathfinder Challenges according to the call specifications.

Grants of up to €3 million (open) or €4 million (challenge driven) (or more if properly justified) to achieve the proof of principle and validate the scientific basis of breakthrough technology (TRL 1-4)

EIC Transition


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Helps to bring promising results from certain types of EU-funded projects (e.g. Pathfinder, ERC proof-of-concept, projects from the EIT…) to demonstrate and mature the technology and develop business plans to develop their innovation potential

Single applicants (SMEs, spin-offs, start-ups, research organisations, universities) or small consortia (two to 5 partners). Applications must build on results from eligible Pathfinder, FET or ERC Proof of Concept projects

Grants of up to €2.5 million (or more if properly justified) to validate and demonstrate technology in application relevant environment (TRL 4 to 5/6) and develop market readiness

EIC Accelerator


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Invests in high-risk / high potential disruptive technologies or ideas from startups, spin-offs, entrepreneurs and any innovative SME to scale-up fast in the market.

Single Start-ups and SMEs (including spin-outs), individuals (intending to launch a start-up/SME) and in exceptional cases small mid-caps (fewer than 500 employees)

Blended finance:

< € 2.5 million grant component for technology development and validation (TRL 5/6 to 8);

€ 0.5 - 15 million investment component for scaling up and other activities. Grant only/grant first under certain conditions. Investment component only for small mid-caps or as follow up to grant only (i.e. for SMEs, including start-ups)


Interested? Contact your NCP !

Read 49 times Last modified on Wednesday, 15 September 2021 17:17