EIC – European Innovation Council

European Innovation Council

The European Innovation Council is a key novelty of Horizon Europe  and represents the most ambitious innovation initiative that Europe has taken, with a budget of €10 billion for the period 2021-2027.
The European Innovation Council  aims to identify and support  breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations to create new markets and scale up internationally
It supports all stages of innovation from R&D on the scientific underpinnings of breakthrough technologies, to validation and demonstration of breakthrough technologies and innovations to meet real world needs, to the development and scaling up of start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The funding and support is organised into three main funding schemes: the EIC Pathfinder for advanced research to develop the scientific basis to underpin breakthrough technologies; the EIC Transition to validate technologies and develop business plans for specific applications; and the EIC Accelerator to support companies (SMEs, start-ups, spin-outs and in exceptional cases small mid-caps) to bring their innovations to market and scale up. In each case, the direct financial support to innovators is augmented with access to a range of Business Acceleration Services.

EIC Pathfinder

The EIC Pathfinder supports the exploration of bold ideas for radically new technologies. It welcomes the high-risk / high gain and interdisciplinary cutting-edge science collaborations that underpin technological breakthroughs.

EIC Transition

EIC Transition funds innovation activities that go beyond the experimental proof of principle in laboratory to supports both:

– the maturation and validation of your novel technology in the lab and in relevant application environments

-the development of a business case and (business) model towards the innovation’s future commercialisation.

EIC Accelerator

The EIC Accelerator supports individual Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in particular Startups and spinout companies to develop and scaleup game-changing innovations. In some cases small mid-caps (up to 500 employees) are supported.

The EIC Accelerator provides substantial financial support with:

-grant funding (non-dilutive) of up to €2.5 million for innovation development costs,

-investments (direct equity investments) of up to €15 million managed by the EIC Funds of the preceding  for scale up and other relevant costs.

In addition, EIC selected companies receive coaching, mentoring, access to investors and corporates, and many other opportunities as part of the EIC community.

The EIC welcomes applications from innovators in all EU Member States and countries associated to the Horizon Europe programme. It particularly welcomes applications from startups and SMEs with female CEOs.

Useful links:

Eic main calls 2021

Who can applyWhat forOpen calls deadlinesIndicative
Budget (EUR
Consortia of at least three
different independent legal
entities (e.g. research
organisations, universities, SMEs,
industry) established in at least 3
different eligible countries.
Single applicants or small
consortia (two partners) may be
able to apply for Pathfinder
Challenges according to the call
Grants of up to EUR 3 million (open) or EUR 4
million (challenge driven) (or more if properly
justified) to achieve the proof of principle and
validate the scientific basis of breakthrough
technology (TRL 1-4)
19 May 2021168.001. Awareness inside
2. Tools to measure &
stimulate activity in
brain tissue
3. Emerging
Technologies in Cell
& Gene Therapy
4. Novel routes to green
hydrogen production
5. Engineered living
27 October
Single applicants (SMEs, spin-offs,
start-ups, research organisations,
universities) or small consortia
(two to 5 partners). Applications
must build on results from eligible
Pathfinder, FET or ERC Proof of
Concept projects
Grants of up to EUR 2.5 million (or more if
properly justified) to validate and
demonstrate technology in applicationrelevant environment (TRL 4 to 5/6) and
develop market readiness
59.601. Medical devices
2. Energy harvesting
and storage
22 September
Single Start-ups and SMEs
(including spin-outs), individuals
(intending to launch a start-up/
SME) and in exceptional cases
small mid-caps (fewer than 500
Blended finance: up to EUR 2.5 million grant
component for technology development and
validation (TRL 5/6 to 8); EUR 0.5 - 15 million
investment component for scaling up and
other activities.Grant only/grant first under
certain conditions. Investment component
only for small mid-caps or as follow up to
grant only (i.e. for SMEs, including start-ups)
Any time
by 9 June
2021 and 6
592.50 1. Strategic Health and
Digital Technologies
2. Green Deal
innovations for the
economic recovery
Any time
by 16 June
2021 and 6
October 2021