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EIC Work Programme 2022 - EIC Accelerator

The Horizon Europe EIC Work Programme for 2022 was published last week. As in previous work programme, it covers the following three funding schemes:

  • EIC Pathfinder – for multi-disciplinary research teams to undertake visionary research with the potential to lead to technology breakthroughs.

  • EIC Transition – funding to turn research results into innovation opportunities.

  • EIC Accelerator – for start-ups and SMEs to develop and scale up high-impact innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones.

"EIC Work Programme 2022, an integrated, agile support across the full innovation spectrum from early stage edge research to the scale-up of genuinely innovative SMEs." - European Innovation Council

Zooming into the EIC Accelerator, we have prepared a summary with the key points of this year's EIC Accelerator, covering its main traits, funding schemes and evaluation process flow, among others.

But what are the main changes affecting EIC Accelerator, compared to previous edition?

What' new #1 - More frequent cut-off dates for full applications

Compared to 2021 -where only two cut-off dates were available-, this year applicants can submit to either of the three deadlines for the full application stage, which are as follows:

March 23rd, 2022

June 15th, 2022

October 5th, 2022

These are joint deadlines for both EIC Accelerator Open and EIC Accelerator Challenges.

As previously, there are no deadlines for the short application stage, that can be submitted anytime for evaluation.

What's new #2 - Resubmissions after first rejection

As you might remember, last year applicants who wanted to resubmit after the first rejection either at short or full proposal stage, were obliged to do so within the next two cut-off dates. This limitation has disappeared in 2022, meaning that applicants may resubmit at one of the following deadlines, upon their convenience.

What's new #3 - Rebuttal of evaluation comments

This is a brand-new functionality, that provides an important advantage for future resubmissions. Those applicants that have been rejected once at full application stage, may rebut the experts' comments of the initial submission, when resubmitting it with improvements lateron. Experts evaluators shall take into account the rebuttal comments by the applicant in the resubmission, for the evaluation process.

What's new #4 - EIC Scale-Up 100

According to European Commission, in the United States there are three times more scale-ups than in Europe. Having this in mind, this work programme addresses this concern by pursuing a new initiative, born to scout 100 deep-tech companies with the potential to scale-up as global leaders or potential unicorns. The aim? To have at least 10-20 companies being on a suitable path to reach the status of "unicorn".

What's new #5 - Higher equity investments possible

Investment component of last year's EIC Accelerator was capped at €15 Mio, which might not be sufficient in specific cases. Therefore, EIC Accelerator 2022 foresees higher equity investments as possible, for technologies of strategic European interest, or where there is global competition, or when funding needs significantly exceed what it is available in Europe. If so, these applications will be submitted to EIC / EIE Programme Committee for opinion.

What's new #6 - Broader definition of women-led companies

EIC Accelerator 2022 aims at having a strong representation of women-led SMEs and, in this regard, broadens the definition of women-led companies, beyond CEO. What other roles in executive Board positions will be recognized as women-led companies in 2022? Chief Technology Officer and Chief Scientific Officer are also welcome!

What's new #7 - Simplified Seal of Excellence

Seal of Excellence is a certification awarded to an SME that, having attended the EIC Jury interviews, has finally not been directly funded by the EIC. The advantage of counting with a Seal of Excellence is that it provides SME access to Business Acceleration Services. Having this in mind, this year's edition simplifies the process of being awarded with a Seal of Excellence compared to 2021, no matter what criteria are unmet according to the EIC Jury interview for not being funded. However, exceptionally, EIC juries may recommend the application not to receive a Seal of Excellence, if weaknesses are found in the proposal -that were not previously identified by the expert evaluators-.

EIC Accelerator 2022, worth €1,16 Bio

For initial information, you may wish to attend the European Innovation Council online Info Day, scheduled for February 22nd, 2022. If you already have concrete plans or want to get started now, you are welcome to contact us and we can discuss your project idea and proposal for EIC Accelerator 2022.


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