Applications for the three funding programmes of the European Innovation Council (EIC) are now open!

27 October 2021

The European Innovation Council (EIC) is “Europe’s flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovations”. After a pilot phase during 2018-2020, the EIC was established under the Horizon Europe programme in March 2021. Horizon Europe is a key EU innovation funding programme with a €95.5 billion budget running until 2027 to boost EU´s competitiveness and growth and achieve the UN´s Sustainable Development Goals.

The EIC has a budget of €10.1 billion designed to fund game-changing innovations throughout the lifecycle from early-stage research to proof of concept, technology transfer, and the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs. It comprises three main funding mechanisms, each with their own purpose – EIC Accelerator, EIC Pathfinder and EIC Transition.

The EIC accelerator offers start-ups and SMEs grants up to a maximum of €2.5 million which can be combined with equity investments from the European Innovation Fund that can range from €0.5 to €15 million. On top of this financial support, the selected organisations receive several value adding services such as coaching, mentoring and access to a wide network as part of the EIC community.

Some €1.1 billion will be available in 2021 for the EIC Accelerator. While most of the funds are open to innovations in all fields, a specific subset of €495 million is kept for Strategic Health, Digital technologies and Green Deal solutions.

Sixty-five innovative start-ups and SMEs have already benefited from €363 million in the first round of EIC grants across healthcare, digital technologies, energy and other areas. In the diabetes field, one of the recipients is exploring needle-free continuous glucose monitoring.

The EIC accepts applications from innovative start-ups and SMEs from all EU Member States and from countries that are associated to the wider Horizon Europe programme, with a particular invitation to apply from organisations run by female CEOs.

Altogether, some 4,000 start-ups and SMEs have sent their ideas to the EIC Accelerator since the launch of the programme in March, with 801 of them presenting full applications by the programme’s first cut off date in June 2021, and another 1,098 for the second cut off date of October 2021, which are now being assessed.

Application for EIC Accelerator funding is open on a continuous rolling basis through the EIC platform. The application consist of a video pitch, a slide deck and response to a set of questions about the innovation and the team. Feedback on the application will be given by the EIC experts within four weeks and applicants who meets the basic criteria will be invited to prepare a full application to the funding committee.

EIC Pathfinder is dedicated to more innovative research-oriented projects with a budget of €300 million. The projects can receive grants up to €4 million based on their needs. EIC Pathfinder welcomes the high-risk/high gain approach to innovative research in this context. Applications are available on an open rolling basis on the EIC platform with the next cut off dates for 2022 to be determined shortly.

The EIC Transition funding aims at turning innovative research into real business opportunities. It is endowed with a €100 million budget. The grants can go up to €2.5million to “validate and demonstrate technology in application-relevant environment and develop market readiness”. Applications are available on an open rolling basis on the EIC platform with a call deadline to submit proposals by 22 September 2022.

The next cut of date for the EIC Accelerator will be at the beginning of 2022. We encourage all innovative organisations in the diabetes community to apply NOW!

Refer to the following website for useful tips on how to prepare the perfect project proposal and make a difference in the success of your project! You can download a full description of the requirements and purposes of the three funding programs here.