The EIC Accelerator is the European Innovation Council’s flagship programme for start-ups and SMEs. It provides blended finance to support the development of cutting-edge innovation projects with high growth potential.

Under Horizon Europe, the EIC Accelerator has a new 4-step application process:

1. Diagnostic Module

The Diagnostic module is a mandatory step in the application process. At this stage, you will answer a series of questions on your innovation. The Diagnostic will then assess the details you have provided to give an idea of your chances of success.

2. Short Application

There are five sections to complete within the short application:

  1. Firstly, you must supply general information about your proposal.
  2. Provide information about your company and CEO.
  3. Next, you should upload a pitch deck in pdf format. While there is no pre-defined template, it should not exceed ten slides.
  4. Upload a video up to 3 minutes long. In this video, the core members of your team (up to three people) should explain your innovation and the main motivation behind your application.
  5. Lastly, you must answer a series of questions that comprise a 5-page form. They cover the details of your innovation, your potential market, and your team. There is a limit of 1000 characters per section.

Your short application will be assessed remotely by four expert evaluators and you will receive the outcome within four weeks. They will each give a GO or NO GO. If at least two evaluators give a GO, your short application has been successful and you can move forward.

If you were unsuccessful, you can resubmit your proposal. You should make improvements in line with the feedback you received, as if your next application is rejected, you will not be allowed to resubmit for 12 months.

3. Full Application

The full application is in the form of an online questionnaire, comprised of three modules: Ideation, Development and Go 2 Market. You can find an indicative template of questions in the Guide for Applicants.

In addition, you will need to:

  • Define the type of funding you are applying for – please note that UK entities are only eligible for the grant component.
  • Submit a pitch deck – this should be different from the one in your short application. There is no pre-defined template nor limit of slides. However, remember that you will present this pitch deck if you get through to the face-to-face interviews.
  • Complete the Financial Annex and use the 10 extra pages allowed to provide Letters of Intent or similar.

Full applications will be assessed after the set cut-off dates by three remote experts. To be successful, you will need all 3 of the remote experts to give a GO for all the criteria.

If 1 or more give a NO GO under any of the criteria, your application will be rejected. However, you will be eligible to resubmit an improved full application to one of the next two cut-offs. If rejected again, you may submit a new or significantly improved short application after 12 months.

4. Face to Face Interview

Interviews will take place remotely or in Brussels, approximately 8-9 weeks after the cut-off date. You can send a maximum of 3 representatives to the interview, where they will be assessed by a panel of up to 6 jury members.

The interview will last up to 40 minutes and include 10 minutes of presentation and a 30 minute Q&A to clarify aspects of your proposal. Following the interview, the jury members will prepare an Evaluation Summary Report that includes i) the evaluation outcome and ii) specific comments related to the three award criteria.

You will learn the interview outcome within 2-3 weeks. Successful applicants will then negotiate terms and sign an initial agreement for the grant component. If you requested an investment component, your company will simultaneously be subject to a due diligence process by the EIC Fund.

If your proposal is unsuccessful, you may resubmit based on the following rules:

  • First rejection: resubmit an improved full proposal to the remote evaluation at one of the two following cut-offs
  • First rejection and the jury decides your proposal is a potential GO after improvements: you will be able to resubmit a revised proposal directly to one of the next two interview sessions
  • Second rejection: after 12 months, you may submit a new or significantly improved short application
About RedKnight

Our team can support both short and full applications. Contact us to arrange a free consultation where we can discuss your project’s suitability for the EIC Accelerator.

Source: EIC Accelerator Guide for Applicants