The EIC (European Innovation Council) is the brand new ambitious innovative initiative that is part of Horizon Europe. The programme looks to develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and disruptive innovations in Europe by helping to finance and support new products and services that could drive economic growth, shape new markets and change existing markets. It will be open to all innovators, in any field, at any time, but it is a highly competitive programme for Europe’s high potential investors. The EIC Board consists of entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and more.
The program will have a budget of €10 billion for the period 2021-2027. This budget will be divided into three different funding programs called Pathfinder, Transition, and Accelerator. The European Innovation Council will provide access to Business Acceleration Services such as coaches, mentors, investors & knowledge partners. There will also be EIC Program Managers to help develop visions for breakthroughs, manage portfolios, and connect to ecosystems. Pro-active management will help with roadmaps, reviews, re-orientations and more.
EIC Pathfinder will support science-towards-technology breakthrough research for the early stages of products or companies. The evaluation of the project will follow a peer review method where proposals are evaluated, scored, and ranked by experts based on weighted criteria and thresholds.
EIC Transition will support innovation activities that want to go beyond the experimental phase of the project. Proposals will first be evaluated remotely, scored, and ranked based on criteria and thresholds. For the top tanked applicants which are invited to the face-to-face interview, the jury will decide based on a binary scoring system (GO/NO GO).
EIC Accelerator support high risk/high gain innovations from start-ups and SMEs to go to the market and scale up and create new markets or disrupt existing ones. Proposals will be evaluated remotely and at face-to-face interviews based on the same binary scoring system (GO/NO GO).
Each of these programs will have two different funding schemes called OPEN and CHALLENGES. OPEN is focusing on a bottom-up approach with no predefined topic from the EIC. CHALLENGES is focusing on top-down challenge-driven calls for tackling specific technology breakthroughs directly chosen by the EIC. You can see the specific CHALLENGES that the EIC is focusing on below.
Here are some important dates that you should consider if you plan to apply for these programs: