The popularity of the European funding instrument for cutting-edge technologies has once again been demonstrated by the number of applications submitted. An impressive 551 applications were received this year in response to the second call for proposals on 22 March. 51 start-ups and SMEs from the EU and associated countries were selected to receive funding from the EIC Accelerator.
The winners of the second round of applications had to prove their innovation and business model in a highly competitive selection process, with only 139 of the 551 applications making it through to the third stage of the application process, the interview. In the end, 51 companies convinced the independent jury of experienced entrepreneurs and investors.
In total, the successful applicants will receive €260 million in a combination of grants and equity investments, with the equity investments made through the EIC Fund. The selected companies are geographically spread across 17 countries, including three EU associated countries. Almost 30% - 15 of the 51 companies - have a female CEO, CTO (Chief Technology Officer) or CSO (Chief Scientific Officer).
Particularly successful in this round were the Netherlands with eight commitments, France with six and the UK with five. Four highly innovative technologies were selected from Germany, including Cellbox-Solutions GmbH, LUBIS EDA GmbH, Twinsity GmbH and Angilutions GmbH.
The judges were particularly impressed by projects in the fields of medical technology, medical development, semiconductor development and energy generation.
For example, the Danish spin-off SUBRA's "SUBRACABLE" project is investigating what superconducting power grids could look like as a solution for European electricity supply. The "TWINSPECT" project, from the German start-up Twinsity, deals with the first fast and automated (<5 min) AI-based inspection to increase the operational safety of large critical infrastructures such as bridges, dams, oil and gas platforms and refineries. The "WIDMO cities" project by the Polish company SGPR.tech impressed by providing complete information on the underground of urban areas. From France, the start-up Cephalgo was awarded funding for its project Adapte, a novel and accurate emotion recognition system for real-time and continuous monitoring of patients in psychiatry. The jury was also impressed by the "PATS" project, an automated insect control platform for pest eradication by Dutch start-up Mu-G Knowledge Management BV.
The application process for the EIC Accelerator has also seen an innovation. In March, the first "Plug In" applicant proposed by a national innovation programme was recommended for funding. There was also another successful company from the "Fast Track" programme, where other EU programmes such as the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) select relevant companies for the EIC Accelerator.
In most cases, companies will receive funding within the next two to three months, with initial investment decisions made within two months. A further 88 applications that meet all the application criteria and are positively assessed by the EIC jury, but are not recommended for funding, will receive a Seal of Excellence. This will help them find alternative sources of funding, such as the European Regional Development Fund or even the European Economic Recovery and Resilience Fund.
Do you also want to be an EIC Accelerator winner?
Following the first open call for proposals for the EIC Accelerator in January and the second and third open and thematic calls in March and June, there will be another call for proposals this year. The Accelerator has a total budget of €1.13 billion. It will be awarded in the form of grants of up to €2.5 million and equity investments of between €0.5 and €15 million.
Highly innovative start-ups and SMEs can apply for funding at any time via the EIC platform. The application process is multi-stage and starts with the submission of a video and a presentation, as well as answering short questions about the innovation and the team composition. A response will be given within four weeks. The next step is to submit a full application by 4 October.
Do you have questions about the EIC Accelerator? We will advise and guide you through the application process. Then simply get in touch with us!
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