EIC Accelerator is Looking for the Next European Unicorns

May 14, 2021Opportunities

Do you have a high-risk/high-impact innovative product that could create new markets or disrupt existing ones in Europe and even worldwide?

This is one of the key questions for those willing to apply to the EIC Accelerator call.

The European Commission is looking for deep-tech Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and startups to be the next unicorns in Europe, and support them in the last steps of their development and market scale-up. A budget of around 1 Billion/€ is allocated for this specific European programme.

EIC Accelerator supports:

The EIC Accelerator supports individual SMEs, in particular, startups and spinout companies to develop and scale up game-changing innovations. In some cases, small mid-caps (with up to 500 employees) can also be supported.

The EIC Accelerator provides substantial financial support with:

  • Grant funding (non-dilutive) of up to €2.5M for innovation development costs.
  • Investments (direct equity investments) of up to €15M for future market scale-up and other deployment relevant costs.

Applicants can apply either for the grant component, the equity alone, or for blended finance (grant and equity). In addition, EIC-selected companies will receive coaching, mentoring, access to investors and corporates, and many other opportunities as part of the EIC Community.

Ways to apply:

  • EIC Accelerator open funding is for breakthrough innovations in any field of technology and application with a 592M€ budget (296M€ grant, 296M€ investment) for 2021.
  • EIC Accelerator challenge funding (with a 496M€ budget – €248M grant and €248M investment – for 2021) targets breakthrough innovations with major impacts on 1) Strategic Digital and Health technologies 2) Green Deal innovations for the economic recovery

In both cases, only individual projects are expected.

Submission process:

The submission is divided into three main steps:

  • Short proposal, that can be submitted at any time. It is a 5-pages proposal, a Pitch Deck, and a video.
  • Full proposal for those receiving an invitation from the previous phase. The cut-off dates are 16 June and 6 October.
  • Interview for those receiving an invitation from the previous phase for final decision.

As a novelty, a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform has been launched for the submission process. 

Zabala Innovation and EIC Accelerator:

Zabala, a FIWARE Foundation Gold Member, is a consultancy firm with more than 35 years of experience in supporting companies with their innovation strategy. Zabala has a 35% success rate in the Horizon 2020 framework program and deep expertise in EIC Accelerator call (and former SME Instrument). Zabala can guide SMEs and startups to define their project idea to submit a competitive proposal, supporting them in the whole process. 

In addition, Zabala is a partner of the FIWARE Accelerator Programme, which helps high-potential startups and enterprises to develop innovative smart solutions and bring them to the market. The programme promotes the uptake of FIWARE technologies among solution integrators and application developers, with a special focus on SMEs and startups, offering them various perks including training, visibility, networking opportunities, and resources. For more information about the FIWARE Accelerator Programme, click here

Special fee conditions will be available for FIWARE members. Do you want to know more? Contact Tonia Sapia.

More information on the programme: Click here.

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