The new EIC Accelerator

The EIC Accelerator is also an important part of the new Horizon Europe framework programme. Find out what the new EIC Accelerator looks like!

The new EIC Accelerator will have a different application process from 2021 on

Generally speaking:
You are ready for the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) when you know that your project is feasible and what your target market looks like. In addition, you already have a working prototype / demonstrator that requires only minor further development. In the next two years, your focus will be on optimization, the development of a commercialization strategy and the start of the market launch.


What is eligible for funding?


On the one hand, necessary work steps towards a product that is ready to conquer the market funded:

  • Construction of demonstrators and testing with customers
  • Clinical studies, work on obtaining approvals
  • Up-scaling, miniaturization, revision of design and construction
  • Adaptation to different market requirements in different EU countries

On the other hand, activities are also supported to develop a commercialisation and financing strategy with regard to market introduction:

  • Development of sales structures and a sales team, establishment of sales partners
  • Development of a price model
  • Development of a marketing and communication strategy and associated measures
  • Detailing the Business Plan
  • Evaluation of the financing requirements and approach of potential investors

How is funding provided?


  • Funding: The funding amounts to 0.5 to 2.5 million €. At the beginning of the project you will receive pre-financing of up to 55% of the funding amount, a further 30% after your interim report and the remaining amount after your final report.
  • Blended Finance Option: In addition to funding of up to 2.5 million €, companies can apply for a further 15 million € equity capital. Equity capital is to cover work packages that are no longer funded (further than TRL 8). For this, the EU will acquire a maximum of 25% of the shares in the company through a silent participation and will not intervene in any decisions. There will be a simplified due diligence for companies in the blended finance option.

  • Even if blended finance is the standard, there is still the possibility to apply for Grant only or Grant first (with optional equity after the grant phase)
  • In addition, you will receive coaching and mentoring measures of up to 12 days.
  • Admission to the Business Acceleration Services is also part of the sponsorship.

The EU covers 70% of your total project costs.

These are structured as follows:

   Personnel costs (person months x gross salary)
+ Travel expenses (to customers, trade fairs, partners, ...)
+ Materials (e.g. for production, tests, marketing, certifications, training, ...)
+ Equipment (depreciation during the project)
----------------------------------------------------------------
= direct project costs

+ Overhead rate (surcharge of 25% of the direct project costs)
+ External services (costs for external service providers)
====================================
= Total project costs

Funding: 70% of the total project costs


The application process takes more time than before. Anyone considering to submit an application should begin well before the next deadline.


What does the application process look like?


There have been fundamental changes to the application process. A record number of applications submitted, historically low success rates and the large amount of luck it now takes to be invited for an interview due to the large number of applicants make these changes necessary.

Until 2021, companies had to directly submit a full application (30 pages + pitch deck + integrated financial planning) - a big hurdle especially for start-ups. Only those who receive top marks here are invited to an interview. The jury there then decides on funding.

 

From 2021 on, the process is extended by a preliminary stage consisting of a short application, a pitch deck and a motivation video . Only those who are positively assessed here will be allowed to submit a full proposal. This will enable the EIC to make a pre-selection and thus increase the chances of success for those who are selected to submit a full proposal.

EIC Accelerator 2021: A third application step will be introduced consisting of a short apllication pitch deck and video

In addition, the number of re-submissions (so far unlimited) are to be limited to 2 attempts per application step. If these attempts are unsuccessful, the company will not be able to resubmit for a longer period of time (the exact period of closure is still unclear). This is also an attempt to reduce the large number of resubmissions.

Important: The submission and evaluation of short applications will take place at any time and is no longer bound to certain deadlines. Only for the full proposal there will be fixed deadlines for submission and evaluation.

Mandatory elements of the full proposal:

  • In the main proposal, EU's questions are answered on the bases of an AI tool. Most with a charackter limit of 1000.
  • The pitch deck for the interview round in Brussels must be submitted directly - subsequent changes are now not possible.
  • A Freedom to Operate analysis or a 2-page statement on this topic must be uploaded.
  • A Data Management Plan must be uploaded
  • An extensive financial planning of the company has to be attached, consisting of...
    1. A financial overview including income statement, cash flow and balance sheet
    2. Current financial data (debt, cash burn rate)
    3. The financing history (equity, loans, etc.)
    4. The ownership and share structure (founders, management team, investors, business angels, etc.)
    5. Current financial requirements (equity requirements, proposed post-money valuation, etc.)

 Optional elements:

  • In addition, letters of intent can be uploaded to the portal without limit - we strongly advise this.
  • Optional content can be uploaded as an attachment limited to 10 pages. However, the reviewers are not obliged to view this content. It is therefore important to only include meaningful content that supports the information provided in the online tool.

When are the next deadlines?


Short applications can be submitted at any time.
For the full proposal, deadlines of 6 October in 2021 and 4 deadlines for 2022 are planned:

EIC Accelerator Deadlines 2022

* The deadlines for 2022 are still provisionally.

How long do the individual steps take?

Short apllication: Can be submitted at any time. Feedback in approx. 4 weeks.

 

Full proposal: Can be submitted by the respective deadlines. Feedback in approx. 5-6 weeks.

Interview: Takes place approx. 2-3 months after the deadline for the full proposal. Feedback approx. 3 weeks after the interview pitch.


You want to be on time and optimally prepared?
Then get in touch with us!



EurA - Horizon 2020 Experts

 

EurA AG, Max-Eyth-Straße 2, 73479 Ellwangen - Tel. +497961 9256-0