Horizon 2020's funding scheme EIC accelerator for sme | Europe

What is EIC Accelerator?

The EIC Accelerator (former SME Instrument) is the largest funding scheme for SMEs under Horizon 2020, the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.

A total budget of €1.2 billion (2019-2020) is available to support high-risk, high-potential SMEs looking to develop business concepts into market-ready products.

Who can apply?

For-profit SMEs, including young companies and start-ups, from any sector. You must be established in an EU Member State or a Horizon 2020 associated country.

The projects sought are close-to-market (TRL 6 or above) and with a potential to scale up.

What support can you get?

You can receive between €0.5 and €2.5 million in the form of grants, and an optional equity investment up to €15 million. The EIC Accelerator also provides coaching and mentoring to help your business scale up and grow.

How to apply?

You have to submit a well-crafted proposal through the European Commission's Funding and Tender Opportunities portal. The submission package also includes Annex 1 on Security and Ethics; Annex 2 with the team members' CVs; Annex 3 with the justification of the best value for money for subcontracting; Annex 4 covering the Financial and Corporate information; and Annex 5 - a pitch deck of the project.

The standard template is available on the SME Instrument call page on the Horizon 2020 Funding and Tender Portal under ‘Topic conditions and documents’.

Typewiser offers you annotated proposal templates designed by a team of EC evaluators and grants experts. Plus, easy to fill-in templates for all the files in the submission package.

How is my proposal evaluated?

Proposals are graded remotely by four independent experts. All proposals are evaluated based on three award criteria:

  1. Excellence: your project has high innovation potential and is beyond the state of the art. It has a strong added-value, it is viable and better than existing solutions.
  2. Impact: your innovation meets a pressing need in European and global markets, it will generate revenue and create jobs and has an international dimension.
  3. Implementation: your work plan is efficient and coherent with a realistic time-frame. Your team has the technical and commercial competence to deliver.

Proposals are ranked in descending order and the best scores get selected for the second round of evaluation until the available budget is exhausted. You are informed about the outcome through the Participant Portal with a letter and an Evaluation Summary Report (ESR). In the second round, you are invited to Brussels to pitch in front of a Jury. At this stage, you have around 50% of chances to get selected for funding.

When to apply?

The EIC Accelerator is a continuously open call with regular cut-offs. Below are the cut-off dates for 2020. These dates are indicative and may change.

Log-in / Sign-Up