The European Innovation Council (EIC) has received the highest number of applications this year for its popular funding instrument, the EIC Accelerator. No less than 1,083 applications were submitted for this year's final deadline. Following the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel in October, the EIC decided at short notice to postpone the deadline from 19 October to 8 November in solidarity with Israeli applicants.
Blended finance, consisting of EIC funding and equity, was particularly popular. 666 applicants, or around 61% of all the candidates, applied for this. In contrast, 148 companies applied for EIC grant only. 269 companies applied for the grant first option, which allows applicants to apply for funding first and equity at a later stage.
Around 17 per cent of the applications came from companies with a female leader, for example in the role of CEO, CTO or CSO. The applicants come from 39 different countries, with the highest number of applications coming from Germany, France and Israel. Around 14% of the companies are based in the associated countries of the European Union.
The 1,083 applications will now enter the evaluation phase, where an independent jury will analyse the applications. Successful applicants will then be invited to the third stage, the interview. There they will have to convince the jury of investors and business experts. Invitations to the interview are expected to be sent out in January 2024, and the selection process will be completed by the end of February, according to a press release from the EIC.
What's next for the EIC Accelerator?
Like other European institutions, the EIC publishes its work programme every year. It sets out the main activities and framework conditions for the coming year. The work programme serves to provide the general public and other institutions with comprehensive information about the funding instrument and its framework conditions. It is certain that the 2024 work programme will look different from the previous one and that some adjustments will be made to the application process. Eligible applicants for the EIC Accelerator, start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises are eagerly awaiting the new 2024 work programme and application deadlines. The EIC has stated that the work programme will be published before Christmas.
However, in times of planning uncertainty, it is good news that start-ups and SMEs can complete the first step, the short application, at any time. The short application consists of several questions on the EU portal with a maximum of 30,000 characters, a pitch deck (max. 10 pages) and a video pitch (max. 3 minutes). We recommend applicants to submit the short application this year, in order to be able to submit the full application for the first application deadline next year if the review is positive. Do not hesitate to contact us, we will advise and guide you through the application process.
With the EIC Accelerator, the EU offers start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises a particularly attractive and lucrative form of support. Successful applicants will receive funding of up to €2.5 million and equity of up to €15 million. The approach of the European funding programme is particularly interesting as it focuses on the market-oriented further development, demonstration and market preparation of a technological product or service.
Do you have an idea and wonder if it is suitable for the EIC Accelerator? Or do you already have a concrete project and want to start the application process right away? Then get in touch with us. EurA has been part of the programme since its launch in 2014 and, with over 200 applications, is the market leader in the EIC Accelerator and one of the largest consulting firms in Germany. Then simply get in touch with us!
Take advantage of this unique opportunity and elevate your business to the next level with us!