The European Innovation Council (EIC), which falls under the banner of Horizon Europe, is the European commission’s flagship innovation programme. It is aimed at identifying, developing and commercializing breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations that are high-risk and high-impact in nature.The goal of EIC is to support researchers, start-ups and SMEs with the development and go-to-market of their innovations through providing funding and business support opportunities.
EIC funding is possible through three main funding schemes, being ‘EIC Pathfinder’, ‘EIC Transition’ and ‘EIC Accelerator’. Each scheme is intended to support a certain level of development maturity. From early stage research to the scale-up stage.
Recently, the European commission has adopted the new 2022 work programme for EIC. This action opens up a budget of no less than a total €1.7 billion in funding opportunities for new innovation projects.
EIC Accelerator is especially interesting for innovative companies. It is indeed tailored towards start-ups and scale-ups with R&D projects at TRL 5 or 6 (technology validated or demonstrated in a relevant environment), aiming to reach commercialization. In this framework, here are some interesting new additions to the 2022 work programme:
- A new EIC Scale-Up 100 initiative:
The identification of 100 promising deep tech EU companies that have the potential to become ‘unicorns’ (companies with a valuation of over €1 billion).
- Equity investments above €15 million:
Companies working on technologies of strategic European interest will be allowed to apply for EIC investments of more than €15 million through EIC Accelerator.
- Stronger support for women innovators
- More frequent application deadlines:
- For EIC Accelerator, application deadlines will be more frequent. These will be 23/03, 15/06 and 05/10;
- Second time applicants to EIC Accelerator will now be able to defend the improvements made to a resubmission.
Is your company working on breakthrough innovations? Then perhaps you are eligible for one of the EIC funding schemes. You can always contact the PwC Incentives Hub for more information or support with your application.