EIC Accelerator

EIC Accelerator - Vom Prototypen zum Markteintritt

From prototype to market entry with the EIC Accelerator

Are you an innovator? Secure up to 2.5 million euros in grants for the market entry of your innovation. In addition, up to 15 million euros in equity capital is possible. We guide you through the three-stage application process and secure your funding.

Funding with the EIC Accelerator

SME instrument until 2020

Until 2020: SME instrument (Horizon 2020)

In the 8th Research Framework Programme (FP) Horizon 2020, the EU provided funding totalling around 80 billion euros. The SME instrument supported highly innovative SMEs in the implementation of their innovation projects from the idea to the market launch with up to 2.5 million euros. The Horizon 2020 framework programme ended after seven years at the end of 2020.

Horizon Europe 2021

The new EIC Accelerator from 2021 (Horizon Europe)

The new 9th Research Framework Programme Horizon Europe (Horizon Europe) thus started in 2021 and has a financial framework of 100 billion euros until 2027. In preparation for the new Horizon Europe framework programme, the European Innovation Council (EIC) was established. It brings together the most important EU funding instruments under its leadership. The European Commission thus intends to bring innovations to market faster and to promote growth and employment in the EU in the long term.

The EIC coordinates the funding programmes EIC Transition, EIC Pathfinder, EIC Accelerator, Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) and the EIC Horizon Prizes. Already during the Horizon 2020 framework programme, the EIC is starting a pilot phase as the EIC Accelerator Pilot.

EIC Accelerator Contact via phone

+49 681 976 898 10

Early planning of the application

We recommend planning an EIC Accelerator project at an early stage:

  1. First come – first serve: Whoever submits their application first to STEP 1 will also be assessed first. We use this advantage!
  2. In the past, the portals were closed early due to high demand – with an application prepared in time, we escape this risk.
  3. The processing time can vary depending on the project – if we start early, your EIC application will be completed before the deadline and can be submitted promising success.

Start now – and fill out our funding check free of charge and without obligation. You will receive our personal recommendation and evaluation of your project within a very short time.

Who receives funding?

EIC Accelerator - Funding for Innovation

The EIC Accelerator is intended as a funding instrument for small and medium-sized enterprises that meet the SME criteria. Start-ups and young companies as well as natural persons are also eligible to apply. For an SME to be eligible to apply, it must be established in an EU Member State, or in a Horizon 2020 associated country. Only individual companies that submit a project application as a company will be funded.

What does the EIC Accelerator promote?

A prerequisite for funding in the EIC Accelerator is a high-risk idea with a high market potential and degree of innovation. Therefore, it should be a disruptive innovation that involves a complete restructuring of existing, traditional business models, products, technologies or services.  Both technical and non-technical innovations, such as social innovations or innovations in the service sector, are supported.

For example, the programme can promote the following activities:

  • Prototyping
  • Miniaturisation
  • Scale-up
  • Productdesign
  • Performance verification
  • Test series
  • Pilot line development
  • Validation for market replication

Other types of activities that bring innovations to investment readiness and maturity for market launch are also eligible.

TRL – Technology Readiness Level

EIC Accelerator - Consulting and Application

In order to be able to submit a project application, a technical project must be at technology readiness level 6 (TRL 6). For this, TRL 5 must be largely completed. This means that the research must be (largely) completed and the technology must function in a relevant environment. A functioning demonstrator should therefore exist shortly or already exist.

However, the TRL term is very technical and not applicable to all topics in the EIC Accelerator. Depending on the topic, corresponding levels of maturity must be reached at the time of application.

The funding programme is generally open to all sectors and topics, but also sets additional challenges in the current funding period:

  • Biomarkers for cancer
  • Decontamination for pandemic management
  • Energy storage
  • New European Bauhaus
  • Quantum or semiconductor components
  • Resilient agriculture
  • Space technologies and services

Applicants to the EIC Accelerator can thus either refer to the open call (EIC Accelerator Open) or set a thematic focus (EIC Accelerator Challenges).

Business Acceleration Services

SMEs that receive Accelerator funding can also claim so-called Business Acceleration Services. This funding supports measures to facilitate market entry. Eligible measures can be:

  • Trainings
  • Contacts with investors
  • Networking with other EIC SMEs or larger companies
  • Participation in foreign trade fairs
  • Support in applying for further EU risk financing (InnovFin)
  • Networking with private investors and clients
EIC Accelerator Contact via phone

+49 681 976 898 10

How does the EIC Accelerator provide funding?

EIC Accelerator - Consulting and application process

As a rule, the project duration should be 12 to 24 months. Nevertheless, in exceptional and well-justified individual cases, the duration can be applied for longer.

Funding is offered in two possible options:


The grant-based funding can amount to between 0.5 and 2.5 million euros and be a maximum of 70 percent of the total project costs. Here, the programme finances activities from TRL 6-8 .

blended finance

The EIC Accelerator also offers the possibility of obtaining equity capital. The amount of equity capital requested depends on the activities and financial needs of the applicant company. Amounts of 0.5 – 5 million euros are possible, and in individual cases this can be up to 15 million euros. From TRL 8, mixed financing must be provided.

How does the application process work?

Step 1: Short Application

The application process for the EIC Accelerator starts with a project outline including a pitch deck and a 3-minute pitch video (short application). This is followed by an initial evaluation by the four reviewers. To advance to the next round, applicants need at least two “GO’s” from the experts. In the event of rejection, a new outline can be submitted for the next funding period. If this is rejected for the second time, applicants have to wait another 12 months before they can try again.

Step 2: Full application

After the project outline, the full application including pitch deck is submitted. Three experts then assess the EIC application and if it is unanimously approved, the applicants can prepare for round three, the pitch interview. In case of rejection, the full application can be resubmitted for the next round. Here, too, the rule applies: after two rejections, there is a 12-month rest period before a new full proposal or even a new project outline must be submitted.

Start now with STEP 1 – arrange your personal and free initial consultation.

Step 3: Pitchinterview

EIC Accelerator - Consulting and Application

The pitch interviews take place after the full application either in Brussels or remotely. Applicants for the EIC Accelerator have to prove themselves in front of the expert jury within 40 minutes by convincing in a 10-minute pitch and presenting their company and innovation in the 30-minute Q&A session. The most convincing ones will receive funding – and access to the Business Acceleraion Services.

What happens if an application is rejected?

In case of rejection, there are several possibilities:

  • If the application is rejected for the first time, a new full application can be submitted OR one is given the opportunity to convince again at the pitch.
  • After two rejections, applicants can start again with a new outline after 12 months.
  • If the application meets the criteria of the EIC Accelerator, but the argument for funding is not sufficient, there is the possibility of the Seal of Excellence. This opens the door to the Business Acceleration Services.
EIC Accelerator Contact via phone

+49 681 976 898 10

When can applications be submitted? EIC Accelerator Cut-Off Dates 2023

In 2023, the EIC Accelerator has four deadlines (“cut-off date”) at which full proposals can be submitted:

  • 11th January 2023 (open call)
  • 22nd March 2023 (open call and challenges)
  • 7th June 2023 (open call and challenges)
  • 4th October 2023 (open call and challenges)

We recommend: Start your application now!

EIC Accelerator Consulting

EIC Accelerator Consulting

Your chances of success in the EIC Accelerator is five times higher with expert advice from DORUCON. With many years of experience on the European funding level and several successes in the EIC Accelerator, we accompany you from the application to the project management to the settlement with the funding body.

An initial consultation with us is always free of charge.

EIC Accelerator Contact via phone

+49 681 976 898 10


European Innovation Council – offizielle Webseite

Horizon Europe – offizielle Webseite