About EIC Accelerator Pilot
The EIC Accelerator Pilot is part of Horizon 2020 - EU's framework programme for innovation and research. The EIC Accelerator Pilot offers excellent opportunities for start-ups and SMEs with breakthrough market-creating innovations including radically new products, services, processes or business models.
Possibilities under the EIC Accelerator Pilot
The EIC Accelerator Pilot helps you develop your business concept further into a market-ready product, service or process aligned with your company's growth strategy. The EIC Accelerator Pilot is for innovation projects that are supported by a sound and strategic business plan aimed at commercialisation. The programme is fully ‘bottom-up’, which means your project is not required to fall under any specific themes.
EIC Accelerator Pilot – Grant Only or Blended Finance
The programme has a total budget of EUR 1 billion (2019/2020), of which EUR 100 million will be available as equity financing. Applicants have two options for funding:
Grant Only: Grant (EUR 0,5M-2,5M)
Grant Only support is for SMEs in need of one last push before the scaling-up phase.
- Activities could, for example, include product/service development, trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real-world conditions.
Blended Finance: Grant (EUR 0,5M-2,5M) + Equity Funding (up to EUR 15M)
Blended Finance combines grant and equity for SMEs who also need extra support for commercialisation activities.
- Activities could include product/ service development, trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real-world conditions, as well as market replication and commercialisation activities.
The EIC Accelerator Pilot application process
In both cases, the company submits a written project proposal. If the evaluators deem your project fundable, you will be invited to pitch your proposal in Brussels. For the equity, additional due diligence will be undertaken before receiving the investment.
Requirements for participation in the EIC Accelerator Pilot
The applicant must be an SME under the EU definition:
- Fewer than 250 employees
- An annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50M, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43M
How to calculate your SME data depends on the ownership structure of your company. Read more about the EU SME definition here.
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