EIC ACCELERATOR (HORIZON EUROPE) – GUIDE FOR APPLICANTS

On the 25/03 the EU officially launched Horizon Europe’s Strategic Plan (2021-2024) which sets out key strategic orientations for the support of research and innovation. Horizon Europe is Europe’s largest research and innovation framework program running from 2021-2027.

This article provides an overview of one of Horizon Europe’s most important calls, the EIC Accelerator, as well as a step-by-step overview of how the new process is structured.  

01. The EIC Accelerator

What is it? 

The EIC Accelerator aims to support companies to scale up high impact innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones.

  • Develop high risk/high impact innovations. 
  • Have the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones. 
  • Build on scientific discovery or technological breakthroughs. 
  • Require significant funding over a long timeframe before returns can be generated.

Deadline: 

  • Short application: recommendation at the beginning of April
  • Long application:  16th of June or 6th October 

02. Who can apply?

If you meet one of the following conditions: 

  • Single start-up or SME. 
  • Small mid-cap (up to 500 employees) established in an EU Member State or Associated Country. 
  • One or more natural persons or legal entities: 
    • EU Member State or Associated Country intending to establish an SME or small mid-cap in a Member State or Associated Country. 
    • Intending to invest in an SME or small mid-cap in a Member State or an Associated Country. 
    • From a non-associated third country and you are ready to establish an SME (including start-ups).

03. Which types of funding can you get?

The blended finance is composed of an investment and grant component: 

  • Investment component:  min. EUR 0.5 million and max. EUR 15 million. 
  • Grant Component: max. EUR 2.5 million. 

04. What will be assessed?

Short application

  1. Excellence: Degree of novelty and timing for the innovation. 
  2. Impact: potential to scale-up in societal, economic, environmental or climate impact. 
  3. Level of risk, implementation, and need for Union support: Team capability and motivation.

Long application

  1. Excellence: Technological feasibility (TRL 5/6 min); IPR; timing; the degree of novelty.
  2. Impact: scale-up potential; market analysis including competitive analysis; commercialization strategy; key partners, broader impact.
  3. Level of risk, implementation, and need for Union support: team, clear implementation plan; high investment risk; market risks assessed and mitigated.

05. Who will be assessing your proposals?

  • Remote Experts: Proposals are evaluated remotely at step 1 (short application) and step 3 (full application) by independent expert-evaluators selected from a proprietary database of the European Commission. Different profiles are selected to ensure a variety of high-level skills, knowledge and experience in different domains and sectors.
  • Jury Members: Jury members are going to assess your full proposal during step 4 (face-to-face interview). They have solid experience in different areas as entrepreneurs who have started and scaled- up innovative enterprises at the European or global level.  They will be allocated to a thematic panel of a maximum of 6 members.

06. How do you apply? Step by step process

STEP 1: Calls opens 18th of March

Register on the Funding and Tenders Portal (F&T portal) and obtain a 9-digit Participant Identification Code (PIC). 

STEP 2: EIC Accelerator – Short Application

Deadline: Recommended early in April.  

What should be summited? 

  1. Proposal information.
  2. Company and CEO information.
  3. A pitch-deck of up to 10 slides following a set format. 
  4. A (link to a) video pitch of up to 3 minutes where the core members of your team (up to three people) should provide the motivation for your application.
  5. A 5-page form describing the proposal and responding to a set of questions on the innovation, the potential market and the team.

STEP 2.1: WAITING PERIOD

Outcome: Within 4 weeks or less – outcome of the evaluation including detailed comments from the individual remote experts. There are two possible results: 

  • Not successful: 
    • 1st time rejected: resubmit short application improved. 
    • 2nd time rejected: you cannot resubmit the same application for 12 months. 
  • Successful: invited to prepare a full application (step 2).

STEP 3: Long Application

If you are invited to submit the full application, you will have to choose between: 

Open CallsThis call is for innovations in any field of technology and innovations that cut across different scientific, technological, sectoral and application fields or represent novel combinations.

Challenge Driven Calls:  These calls take into account EU priorities for transitioning to a green, digital and healthy society, as well as the overall for strategic planning for Horizon Europe, and the inputs of stakeholders, experts and the EIC pilot Advisory Board. 

Deadline: 9th of June (or 6th October)

What should be summited? 

Full application on the EIC artificial intelligence-based IT platform. This application includes: 

  1. Full business plan. 
  2. Full information on company finances and structure and type of funding you are applying. 
  3. Set of milestones to for the EIC to manage the funding. 
  4. MORE INFORMATION NOT YET AVAILABLE

STEP 3.1: WAITING PERIOD

Outcome: Within 5 weeks from the cut-off date. Receive detailed feedback from the individual experts. There are two possible results: 

  • Not successful: 
    • 1st time rejected: resubmit full application improved in one of the next two cut offs.  
    • 2nd time rejected: you cannot resubmit the same application for 12 months. 
  • Successful: invited to next round. 

STEP 4: Face to face interviews with the EIC Jury 

When? 8-9 weeks after the cut-off date. Probably take place in September and December. The exact dates will be communicated in due time.

How? Will be assessed by a panel of a maximum of 6 jury members. Maximum of 40 minutes (10 minutes supported by the pitch, 30 minutes of questions and answers)

STEP 4.1: WAITING PERIOD

Outcome: Result 2-3 weeks after your interview. Possible results: 

  • Not successful: 
    • 1st time rejected: resubmit full application improved in one of the next two cut-offs.  
    • 1st time rejection and the jury decides is a potential GO after improvements: invited to resubmit to one of next two interview sessions. 
    • 2nd time rejected: you cannot resubmit the same application for 12 months. 
  • Successful: INVITED TO NEGOTIATE AND SIGN AN INITIAL CONTRACT. 

STEP 5: NEGOTIATE AND SIGN INITIAL CONTRACT

Thinking of applying? Reach out to 1stMile and get started! 

Here is a full overview of Guide for the Applicants. 

Guide-for-Applicants-without-the-link