Funding for R&D innovations, particularly for exploitation and commercialization efforts, has long been and still is, an issue in Europe compared to other innovation-led economies like the USA or China.
To tackle an insufficient availability of venture capital and push R&D startups through the risk of failure, the European Innovation Council (EIC) has launched in 2019 the EIC Accelerator pilot, which offers an attractive financing option (a combination of grant and equity) for startups and SMEs with a strong environmental or social impact. The pilot aims to support these impactful innovations at many stages of development, from pre-commercial, to market, to scale-up stage.
The EIC Accelerator offers successful startups the chance to receive:
- Up to €2.5 million grant (70% of eligible project costs)
- Up to €15 million of equity funding
- Business acceleration
- Coaching services, such as support in developing investment readiness, linking with private investors and customers, assistance in applying for further EU risk finance, and
- A range of other innovation support activities (via the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN)).
Is your startup eligible?
If you are a startup based in Europe, with a radically innovative and marketable product, with a potentially high societal and environmental impact, you could be eligible to benefit from this opportunity.
The application process can indeed be competitive. Applicants will first have to submit a paper-based proposal of their project that will be evaluated remotely by four independent experts. A selected number of proposals will be invited to Brussels to pitch in front of a jury.
In order to understand if your startup has a good chance of success before investing time in the application process, as well as get advice throughout each stage, there are a number of consultancy firms that offer expertise.
EXEQ, a consultancy firm that specialises in helping startups apply for R&D public funding, can assess your eligibility, and support you in drafting, finalising and submitting a successful proposal. With 12 years industry experience, the firm is known for in-depth knowledge of funding schemes under Horizon 2020 and is capable of providing tailored and comprehensive advisory services throughout the grant obtaining process.
We teamed up with EXEQ to offer you a free eligibility check for your startup. If your company is based in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Luxemburg, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Poland, or Slovakia, and you’d like to find out what your chances are of being accepted by the EIT Accelerator.
Update from March 10, 2020: We no longer provide the eligibility check mentioned above.