The EIC Accelerator supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with particular focus on startups and spinout companies to develop and scaleup game-changing innovations. In some cases small mid-caps (up to 500 employees) are supported. The EIC Accelerator is open to innovations in any field of technology or application with particular attention to innovations building on scientific discovery or technological breakthroughs (‘deep tech’) and where significant funding is needed over a long timeframe before returns can be generated (‘patient capital’).
It particularly welcomes applications from startups and SMEs with female CEOs.
EIC Accelerator should be considered if:
· You have a high-impact innovative product, service or business model that could create new markets or disrupt existing ones in Europe and even worldwide
· Your company can demonstrate ambition and commitment to scale up
· Funding needs are substantial but risks involved by developing your solution are too high for private investors alone to invest
You should NOT consider EIC accelerator if:
· You seek for regular R&D funding with no substantial need
· The solution exists without objective for disruption or potential to create or disrupt markets
· The solution is considered as bankable
Following applicants are eligible to apply:
· A single company considered as SME and established within an eligible country
· A single company considered as a ‘Small mid-cap’ (> 500 employees) for investment component only
· One or more natural persons (incl. individual entrepreneurs) or legal entities, either:
- from an eligible Country intending to establish an SME or small mid-cap (as defined above) in a Member State or Associated Country by the time of signing the Accelerator contract or, in the case blended finance is awarded, at the latest when agreeing on its investment component;
- intending to invest in an SME or small mid-cap in a Member State or an Associated Country and who may submit a proposal on behalf of that SME or small mid-cap, provided that a prior agreement exist with the company. The contract will be signed with the beneficiary company only;
- From a non-associated third country intending to establish an SME (including start-ups) or to relocate an existing SME to a Member State or an Associated Country, by the time of submitting a full application. Your company must prove its effective establishment in a Member State or an Associated Country. The Commission may set specific conditions and milestones in the contract to ensure that the interest of the Union is met.
Form of support
The EIC Accelerator offers a combination of funding:
· € 0.5 to 2.5 million grant support for activities below TRL 8 (system complete and qualified)
· € 0.5 to 15 million investment component for activities at TRL9 (i.e. actual system proven in operational environment – solution is ready for commercial deployment)
Applicants can apply to several funding options:
· Blended finance is the main type of support offered to applicants, allowing them to combine grant support for activities below TRL 8, while investment component
· Grant-only support is also possible, but requires setting a milestone at mid-term or at the latest 6 months before the end of the project, for the EIC to assess deployment perspectives and capabilities.
· Grant-first support targets applicants having based the solution on scientific discovery or novel technology still requiring significant work to validate and demonstrate in relevant environments the solution. Grant can be followed by equity investment subject to achievement of a milestone agreed with the EC.
· Investment component-only option targets companies which do not require support for activities below TRL 8 and looking for patient capital to deploy activities rapidly into the market. Equity is main form of investment and will be completed by other forms of support such as loans and bank guarantees.
Investment component is provided by the EIC Fund, which is a unique entity owned by the European Commission and established to make direct equity investments in companies.