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Tuesday, April 5, 2022

EIC Accelerator supports most innovative SMEs

The European Commission is using the EIC Accelerator to support highly innovative SMEs with a combination of grants and equity investments to develop and scale-up pioneering innovations. A budget of over 1.1 million euros is available in 2022.


EIC Accelerator: equity financing is popular

The EIC Accelerator programme supports extremely innovative start-ups and SMEs in developing new innovative products, services and business models. Apart from grants, the programme also offers equity investment. Companies can opt for grant only or for a combination of both, also known as blended finance. From the results of the first two completed calls for proposals it is clear that the demand for equity financing is increasing:


EIC Accelerator 2021

Companies selected for financing

Companies selected for equity financing

Awarded budget (million euros)

Equity financing (million euros)

Blended finance




















In the June round, of the 65 companies that received financing, 60 applied for equity financing. This means that 227 million euros of the total 363 million euros went to this type of financing; almost 63%. In the October round, this percentage was even higher at over 66%.


EIC Accelerator 2022: who can apply?

Individual start-ups and SMEs (including spin-outs), private individuals (who are planning to start a start-up/SME) and in exceptional cases small mid-caps (250-499 employees) can submit an application. The grant amounts to a maximum of 2.5 million euros for technological development (TRL 5/6 to 9). There is also an investment component of 0.5 to 15 million euros for scale-up and other activities. Applying for ‘grant only’ or ‘grant first’ is possible under certain conditions. Only small mid-caps can use the investment component as a follow-up to ‘grant only’.


Deadlines and grant budget

An application process comprises two components. Parties can submit brief applications on a continuous basis. If at least two assessors assess a brief application positively, the applicant can produce a full application. The remaining deadlines for full applications are:

  • 23 March 2022
  • 15 June 2022
  • 5 October 2022.


In 2022, the grant budget for EIC Accelerator amounts to almost 1.17 billion euros and is divided over the following categories:

  • Open (630.9 million euros): no predetermined priority themes and open to proposals in any technology area except military applications.
  • Challenges (536.9 million euros):
  • Technologies for open strategic autonomy through which Europe builds and strengthens its supply and value chains for strategically important deep-tech solutions:
  • components, technologies and systems for the pharmaceutical industry
  • strategic healthcare technologies
  • sustainable and innovative approaches, including circular approaches to critical raw materials (CRM)
  • new applications of quantum technologies
  • edge computing applications
  • innovative applications that use data and signals from EU space infrastructure
  • developments in space travel technologies
  • critical safety technologies
  • technologies for innovative financial and payment infrastructures and services.
  • Technologies for ‘Fit for 55’ that reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and realise the following goals:
  • higher conversion and use of clean energy
  • decarbonisation of industries that are difficult to decarbonise
  • energy efficiency and safety in the built environment
  • emission-free mobility solutions
  • climate neutrality in land use
  • water, gas and indoor air management/monitoring systems
  • green digital technologies.


What is new in 2022?

The 2022 EIC Accelerator programme contains various new elements as a result of experiences gained with the 2021 EIC work programme:

  • more frequent cut off dates for full applications: three instead of two
  • applicants can apply for an investment component of more than 15 million euros under certain conditions
  • the definition of women-led businesses has been broadened to recognise the role of women in senior management positions in addition to the role of CEO.


Curious as to how we can help you?

If you’re interested in obtaining EIC Accelerator support, our experts would be delighted to help you further develop your innovation. And with a success rate of twice the market average, they are also more than happy to help you prepare an effective EIC Accelerator application.

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