The European Commission has provided an update on the EIC Accelerator – Europe’s flagship programme for start-ups and SMEs developing breakthrough technologies and innovation. It claims implementation is back on track amid continued strong interest in the programme.

State of implementation

Since its launch in March 2021, the EIC Accelerator has experienced delays in the signature of grant and investment agreements. This is due to disagreement over the management of the EIC Fund.

Things finally appear to be back on track as the European Commission expects to approve all delayed grant decisions from the 2021 cut-offs by the end of the summer. They also announced the first equity investment this month, with further investments set to follow in the next few weeks.

Revised strategic goals

The EIC Board has published a revised set of strategic goals for 2021-27. In short, the European Innovation Council aims to:

  1. Be the investor of choice for those with visionary ideas.
  2. Crowd €30-50 billion investment into European deep tech.
  3. Pull through high-risk technologies in critical areas for society and strategic autonomy.
  4. Increase the number of European unicorns and scale ups.
  5. Catalyse innovation impacts from European public R&D.
  6. Achieve operational excellence.

Operational excellence is underpinned by two significant key performance indicators: i) startups to receive first grant payment within 4-5 months of applying to the EIC and ii) EIC Fund to agree investment term sheet within 8 weeks. You can read the full list of strategic goals and key performance indicators here.

Level of interest

The European Innovation Council received 986 full applications to the June 15th cut-off. The highest number of applications came from Germany (110), Israel (87), Italy (85) and Spain (81). Successful companies will be invited to interview in September, with selection decisions expected in October.

UK participation

UK entities can apply to most Horizon Europe funding opportunities on the same terms as EU-based applicants. While this includes the grant element of the EIC Accelerator, UK applicants are unfortunately not eligible to receive loans or equity from the EIC Fund.

Please note that the UK is still in the process of associating to Horizon Europe. However, there is a ‘Horizon Europe guarantee’ scheme in place for successful UK applicants who are unable to sign grant agreements with the EU.

RedKnight has a strong track record of securing innovation funding and can help you develop a competitive application! Please contact us in order to arrange a free consultation.