European Innovation Council

The EIC represents the most ambitious European innovation initiative with over €10 billion available across 2021-2027 and aims at identifying and supporting breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovations with the ambition to scale up internationally and become market leaders.

The EIC Work Programme has been built on the experience of the EIC pilot under Horizon 2020 and on the advice from the EIC pilot Advisory Board with the aim of integrating the direct support to innovators through the EIC with improvements to the overall European ecosystem.

The EIC aims to identify and support breakthrough technologies and game-changing innovations to create new markets and scale up internationally.

The funding will be awarded through:

  • “EIC Open Funding” – open calls with no predefined thematic priorities to support any technologies and innovations that cut across different scientific, technological, sectoral and application fields or represent novel combinations.
  • “EIC Strategic Challenges” – a challenge-driven funding to address specific technological and innovation breakthroughs taking into account EU priorities (green, digital, and healthy society transition).

EIC Pathfinder

EIC Pathfinder supports the development and exploration of the bold ideas that underpin breakthrough technologies. With a total budget of €300 million for 2021, EIC Pathfinder supports early-stage development (up to TRL 4) of future technologies, based on high-risk / high-gain science-towards-technology breakthrough research (including “deep-tech”).

EIC Pathfinder offers grants of typically €3 million (100% funding rate) to promote collaborative, inter-disciplinary research and innovation on future and emerging technologies. These grants are for consortia of at least 3 entities (universities, research organisations, SMEs, start-ups, industrial partners or natural persons) from different Member State or Associated Country and with at least one of them established in a Member State.

EIC Transition

EIC Transition is for the validation of technologies and to develop business plans for specific applications. With an estimated total budget up to €100 million for 2021, EIC Transition funds innovation activities that go beyond the experimental proof of principle. It supports both the maturation and validation of novel technology in the lab and in relevant application environment as well as the development of a business case and business model towards the commercialisation (up to TRL 5-6).

EIC Transitions offers grants up to €2.5 million (100% funding rate) to support:

  • A single legal entity (SME, university, research or technology organisation, individual Principal Investigators or inventors) established in a Member State or an Associated Country. Large companies are not eligible.
  • Consortia up to 5 independent legal entities including universities, research organisations SMEs or larger companies, user/customer organisations or potential end users (e.g. hospitals, utilities, industry, regulatory and standardisation bodies, public authorities).

EIC Accelerator

EIC Accelerator is for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs – including start-ups and spin-outs) with a radical innovation that can disrupt established value networks and markets. The companies should have the ambition and potential to scale-up. The EIC Accelerator has a total budget of more than €1 billion for 2021 and its funding scheme allows companies to choose to apply for non-refundable grants, or to add to these grants access to risk capital:

  • Grant only – up to €2.5 million with a 70% co-financing rate for activities including testing, piloting and scaling-up (TRL 8).
  • Blended finance (Grant + Equity) – up to €2.5 million as grant to cover activities to reach TRL 8 and up to €15 million as investment to reach TRL 9.

For the EIC Accelerator, proposals will be evaluated remotely and at face to face interviews based on a binary scoring (GO/NO GO).

For all the latest developments on Horizon Europe, visit the dedicated European Innovation Council page.

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