The EIC Accelerator is designed for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMES) with radically new ideas underpinned by a business plan for rolling out marketable innovation solutions and with ambitions to scale up. It targets for-profit SMEs only, including young companies and start-ups, from any sector - there are no set topics. From 5 June 2019 only single companies (as opposed to consortia) can apply for EIC Accelerator.
Companies that apply must be established in an EU Member State or a Horizon 2020 associated country. Large corporates, research centers or scientists cannot apply directly but they can participate in projects as subcontractors or third parties and don't need to be established in an EU Member State or associated country.
Have a look the EU definition of SMEs to see if your company fits the bill. If not, the EIC enhanced pilot offers different kinds of support at different stages of the innovation cycle and for different types of applicants. Try out the EIC wizard to see which innovation funding instrument suits you the best.
What support can you get?
The EIC provides support to the full business innovation cycle. For early-stage research and innovation, projects can seek support from EIC Pathfinder pilot. SME Instrument phase 1 has been phased-out and this funding is no longer available.
EIC Accelerator helps you develop your business concept further into a market-ready product, service or process aligned with your company's growth strategy. Activities could, for example, include trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real-world conditions, and market replication. If the activity concerns a primarily technological innovation, a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6-8 is envisaged for projects requesting grants only. Projects will receive between € 0.5 and € 2.5 million in the form of grants. They can request a higher or lower amount when applying but it needs to be duly justified. Projects should normally take 12 to 24 months to complete, but could be longer in exceptional and well-justified cases.
From 5 June 2019 the EIC Accelerator offers blended finance in the form of an optional investment in equity in addition to the grant, to single for-profit SMEs. Grants will finance activities from TRL 6-8. Activities above TRL 8 will financed only through blended finance.
Applicants will be asked to indicate if they want blended finance and the amount requested for equity. The maximum of investment in the form of equity is € 15 million.