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EIC Accelerator Open 2021 (HORIZON-EIC-2021-ACCELERATOROPEN-01)

General information

Programme: Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)

Call: EIC Accelerator Open 2021 (HORIZON-EIC-2021-ACCELERATOROPEN-01)

Type of action: HORIZON-EIC HORIZON EIC Grants

Type of MGA: HORIZON Action Grant Budget-Based [HORIZON-AG]

Deadline model: multiple cut-off

Planned opening date: 08 April 2021

Deadline dates: 09 June 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time 06 October 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time

Topic description


The EIC Accelerator supports companies (principally start-ups and SMEs) to scale up high impact innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones. The EIC Accelerator provides a unique combination of funding from EUR 0.5 to EUR 17.5 million and Business Acceleration Services (see Chapter V of the EIC Work Programme 2021).

The EIC Accelerator focuses in particular on innovations building on scientific discovery or technological breakthroughs (‘deep tech’) and where significant funding is needed over a long timeframe before returns can be generated (‘patient capital’). Such innovations often struggle to attract financing because the risks and time period involved are too high. Funding and support from the EIC Accelerator is designed to enable such innovators to attract the full investment amounts needed for scale up in a shorter timeframe.

The EIC Accelerator is open to innovations in any field of technology or application. However, innovations that harm the environment or social welfare or that are designed primarily for military applications will not be supported.

The EIC Accelerator supports the later stages of technology development as well as scale-up. The technology component of your innovation must therefore have been tested and validated in a laboratory or other relevant environment (e.g. at least Technology Readiness Level 5/6 or higher). The EIC Accelerator looks to support companies where the EIC support will act as a catalyst to crowd in other investors necessary for the scaleup of the innovation.

For further information, please see the EIC Work Programme 2021

Topic conditions and documents

1. Admissibility conditions: In order to apply you must meet one of the following eligibility conditions:

  • A single company classified as a SME and established within a Member State or an Associated Country (see Annex 3 of the EIC Work Programme 2021);
  • A single company classified as a ‘Small mid-cap’ (up to 500 employees) established in a Member State or an Associated Country, but your application can only be for rapid scale up purposes (e.g. Technology Readiness Level 9) and only for the investment component;
  • One or more natural persons (including individual entrepreneurs) or legal entities, which are either:

a.     from a Member State or an Associated Country (for Associated Countries other than EEA, this possibility will be subject to the related association agreements) intending to establish an SME or small mid-cap (as defined above) in a Member State or Associated Country by the time of signing the Accelerator contract or, in the case blended finance is awarded, at the latest when agreeing on its investment component;

b.     intending to invest in an SME or small mid-cap in a Member State or an Associated Country and who may submit a proposal on behalf of that SME or small mid-cap, provided that a prior agreement exist with the company. The contract will be signed with the beneficiary company only;

c.     from a non-associated third country intending to establish an SME (including start-ups) or to relocate an existing SME to a Member State or an Associated Country, by the time of submitting a full application. Your company must prove its effective establishment in a Member State or an Associated Country. The Commission may set specific conditions and milestones in the contract to ensure that the interest of the Union is met.

The standard admissibility and eligibility conditions are detailed in Annex 2 and information on eligible Associated Countries in Annex 3 of the EIC Work Programme 2021.

There are limitations on the number of times you can submit an application described in the section II.3 (Table 5) of the EIC Work Programme 2021 on resubmission limits.

If you are currently a participant in an eligible project funded by Horizon Europe or Horizon 2020 then you may be able to apply through your existing project under the Fast Track scheme (see Annex 4 of the EIC Work Programme 2021). This scheme is managed by the funding body responsible for the existing project and for 2021 it applies to funding bodies managing grants under the EIC Pathfinder and Transition (including EIC pilot 2018-20); ERC Proof of Concept; and Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Applicants may also be able to apply if they have a project financed by an eligible programme managed by a Member State or an Associated Country under the pilot Plug-in scheme. The Plug-in scheme to apply to the EIC Accelerator is detailed in Annex 5 of the EIC Work Programme 2021.

Proposal page limits and layout: You must prepare your application (Short and Full application) on the EIC artificial intelligence-based IT platform via on-line forms, by answering a series of questions:

Short applications:

  • An on-line form where you must summarise your proposal and respond to a set of questions on your innovation, your potential market and your team;
  • A pitch-deck of up to 10 slides following a set format;
  • A (link to a) video pitch of up to 3 minutes where the core members of your team (up to three people) should provide the motivation for your application.

Full applications:

  • An on-line form that follows a methodology embedded in the EIC artificial intelligence-based IT platform that produces a full and detailed business plan with information on you company’s finances and structur;
  • A pitch-deck to be used if invited to the interviews

2. Eligible countries: described in section II.3 and in Annex 3 of the EIC Work Programme 2021.

Applicants from the United Kingdom can apply to the EIC Accelerator, but can only request and receive funding in the form of “grant only”. The signature of any grant agreement will be subject to the positive conclusion of the association negotiation with the United Kingdom.

3. Financial and operational capacity and exclusion: described in Annex 2 of the EIC Work Programme 2021.

4. Evaluation and award:

Call document and annexes:
EIC Work Programme 2021
Guide for Applicants
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Additional documents:
EU Financial Regulation 2018/1046
Rules for Legal Entity Validation, LEAR Appointment and Financial Capacity Assessment
Funding & Tenders Portal Online Manual
Funding & Tenders Portal Terms & Conditions
Funding & Tenders Portal Privacy Statement