At the beginning of 2021, a new European Union Research and Innovation framework program was launched, called Horizon Europe. This is the ninth Framework Program, which largely follows on from the funding measures developed under Horizon 2020.
The European Horizon is the largest framework program to date, with a proposed budget of € 95.5 billion. Most of the funding is aimed at developing research infrastructure and industrial technologies and addressing societal challenges. But it also has a strong place to support innovative businesses and SMEs.
To this end, a measure called the EIC Accelerator has been developed, which will continue the work of the previous SME Instrument and was already piloted in 2019-2020. Despite the high international competition, several Estonian companies were successful in this measure. A total of 16 Estonian companies received financing in the total amount of over 23.3 million euros. Lingvist, Monese, Skeleton Technologies, Cybernetica, 1OT and Icosagen Cell Factory have received support from well-known companies.
The EIC Accelerator project funds late-stage product development projects aimed at developing a marketable product or service. This requires prototype development, testing, piloting and scaling of production processes. Up to 2.5 million euros can be received for product development.
As a new option, EIC Accelerator projects also offer equity financing to cover the costs of launching and marketing a product. In addition, it allows for additional investments to expand the company’s business development activities. In total, up to 15 million euros can be obtained as an investment.
When considering your application, it is definitely worth bearing in mind the high competition aspect mentioned above. Namely, it is a pan-European funding, so all European companies apply together and on an equal footing. As a result, the average success rate among applicants was around 2%.
Therefore, before making an application, we would recommend that you seriously consider the following four points to determine your company’s eligibility for this measure:
- You have an innovative product or technology that has a significant competitive advantage in the market
- You have a tested prototype to prove the feasibility of this technology
- You are solving an important problem at European level
- You can prove the market demand and you have received the first pilot customers
If you find that all of these prerequisites are met, applying for EIC Accelerator funding is a great opportunity for you.
The application process has two phases. The first phase short projects are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year. Projects that have reached the second phase will have the opportunity to submit a full application by the deadline of their choice. In 2021, 2 second phase deadlines have been opened and the next one is on 06.10.2021. 4 second phase deadlines have already been opened next year, the dates of which are still to be specified.
Invent Baltics, is a partner of the Enterprise Europe Network and has very extensive expertise of this measure and has successfully helped 38 companies across Europe to receive this support measure. The evaluation of your project idea and the initial consultation on the suitability of the measure is within the Enterprise Europe Network free of charge.
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