Who can apply?

For-profit SMEs, including young companies and start-ups, from any sector. You must be established in an EU Member State or a Horizon 2020 associated country.

What topics are covered?

There are no set topics. Negative impacts on climate and the environment should be avoided.

How does it work?

The EIC Accelerator provides full-cycle business innovation support. It has three phases, including a coaching and mentoring service.

Specific Challenge:

The EIC Accelerator supports high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and bring to market new products, services and business models that could drive economic growth.

The EIC Accelerator is for innovators with ground-breaking concepts that could shape new markets or disrupt existing ones in Europe and worldwide.

Competition for EIC Accelerator support is tough.

The EIC Accelerator is very selective.

Only the most convincing and excellent proposals can be funded after a thorough evaluation by multinational panels of technology, business and finance experts.

Selected companies receive funding and are offered business coaching to scale up their innovation idea, and can also receive mentoring. They are helped in networking with other EIC Accelerator clients, with other companies of all sizes, and with potential co-investors and follow-up investors across Europe. As an EIC Accelerator client, you will gain visibility and boost your chances of success in European and international markets.

EIC Accelerator proposals and support

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.

Starting on 18 March until 19 May 2020, applicants will be able to apply for the Green Deal topic specifically concentrating on those innovations that fuel the societal transition towards sustainability while supporting EU’s competitiveness and leadership in clean technologies.  The topic targets high-risk, high-potential small- and medium-sized enterprises (including startups) from any sector provided that they contribute to one or more of the Green Deal goals as mentioned in the draft work programme.

Business acceleration services and coaching

The EIC pilot offers free coachingbusiness acceleration services and mentoring to help your business scale up and grow. These are open to all small businesses that are EIC clients, simultaneously to their grant.

Coaching covers business development, organisational development, cooperation, and financing. SMEs taking part in EIC Accelerator, FTI or Pathfinder are offered up to 12 coaching-days.
The free-of-charge coaching service is facilitated by the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN).
Other business acceleration services are offered in the form of partnering and networking with investors, larger firms and other SME clients. These happen through specific events and through the online EIC Community.

Key dates in the call for project

  • 07 November 2017 - Opening date