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EIC Accelerator Pilot

The SME instrument was replaced by the EIC Accelerator Pilot in mid-2019.

Significant changes:

The SME instrument was replaced by the EIC Accelerator Pilot in mid-2019.

  • Introduction of blended finance measures in the accelerator program (grants and equity)
  • New funding instruments (Pathfinder, Accelerator) are planned to be used in the new Horizon Europe framework program from 2021 onwards
  • Accelerator:
    • From the early commercialization phase to market launch and scale-up
    • Financing innovations that cannot yet be borne by the market
    • Introduction of ‘blended finance’
    • Equity component is optional (for applicants). The remaining projects are still ‘Grant only’ up to a maximum of EUR 2.5 million in funding
  • The weighting of the evaluation criteria Excellence, Impact and Implementation is distributed equally (1/3 each)
  • The process of evaluation changes with Blended Finance: external evaluation, invitation of the top 10% of companies to an interview in Brussels, due diligence and contract signing.

The EIC Accelerator Pilot promotes high-risk innovation projects that offer applicant companies great potential for increasing growth and competitiveness. This potential must be demonstrated in the project application through a strategic business plan and an initial commercialization plan.

It is assumed that the applicant has already developed a functional prototype at the start of the project, which corresponds to a TRL 6 (Technology Readiness Level). The goal of the Accelerator is the implementation of the innovation project and a further developed business plan with a detailed commercialization strategy (including financial plan) for the newly developed idea.

The funding rate is 70% of all project-related eligible costs that are generated as part of the innovation project. The guide value for funding per measure is between 0.5 and 2.5 million euros. Optionally, the blended finance option can be selected, in which in addition to the non-repayable grant from the EIC Fund, equity capital of up to 15 million euros is made available.

The Accelerator Pilot has the following cut off dates in 2020:

  • 08.01.2020
  • 03.18.2020
  • 19.05.2020
  • 07.10.2020

For organizational reasons, a lead time of at least 12 weeks before a cut-off date should be planned to ensure the best possible support.

For more information, please contact our expert:

Javier Calvet-Stoffel, BA, T +43 (1) 5331090-22, E


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