The project selection of the third application round of the EIC Accelerator, announced by the European Innovation Council (EIC) on 21 June, has been eagerly awaited. The results are now in and 47 companies can look forward to receiving funding from the European funding programme for deep-tech start-ups and SMEs.

This time around, companies from the engineering and technology sectors did particularly well. They account for around 25 percent of the selected companies, which is very close to the medical and health technology start-ups or SMEs that traditionally account for around 30 percent of the projects funded by the EIC.

Competition was also fierce in the 3rd call for projects: 648 full proposals were submitted to the independent jury, of which 140 companies were invited to the 3rd step of the application process, the interview. As mentioned above, 47 of these projects - representing about 7% of the applicants - were selected for EIC funding.

The 47 winners of the 3rd call will receive a total of €350 million. Of these, the vast majority, 68%, have applied for mixed funding, consisting of a non-repayable grant and equity, with the equity investments being financed by the EIC Fund. Geographically, the selected companies are located in 15 countries, including four associated countries of the EU.


3rd call 2023: Who are the winners?

From the Netherlands, Axelera AI stood out with its funded project "Axelera Europa", a novel hardware and software platform to revolutionise artificial intelligence (AI) at the frontier. Among the selected funded projects is RPU from Quside Technologies of Spain, which has developed quantum-based Random Processing Units (RPUs) for high performance computing and data security.

All other funded projects can be found in the EIC selection list and here is an overview of all funded projects in the EIC Accelerator.

What happens after the grant agreement?

Companies usually receive the funds within two to three months of signing the grant agreement. The first investment decisions are made within the next two months.

Seal of Excellence - a pathway to alternative funding programmes

A further 91 applications met all the criteria of the EIC Accelerator and were positively evaluated by the independent jury in the second evaluation phase but were not selected for funding. In this case, the jury awards a highly coveted seal of excellence to the applicants and supports the companies in their search for alternative funding opportunities. These may include the European Union's Economic Recovery and Resilience Fund or the European Regional Development Fund, as well as national funding opportunities.

The third deadline in June saw a number of project applications submitted through the Plug-In programme. Here, applicants from national innovation programmes are proposed for funding by the EIC Accelerator. This allows them to skip the first step in the application process - submitting a project outline - and apply directly for EIC funding with a full proposal.

EIC Accelerator - the funding programme for future movers and shakers!

The EIC Accelerator offers start-ups and SMEs grants of up to €2.5 million combined with equity investments from the EIC Fund of up to €15 million or more. In addition to financial support, all projects benefit from a range of business acceleration services that provide access to leading experts, companies, investors and ecosystem players.

Companies can submit their ideas to the EIC Accelerator at any time and they will be evaluated within approximately four weeks. Project proposals that meet the EIC's criteria for excellence, impact and risk level will be invited to prepare and submit a full application by one of the regular deadlines. The next deadline for full proposals for the EIC Accelerator will be announced in the EIC Work Programme 2024, which is expected to be adopted in December 2023.

We would like to congratulate all project promoters and are pleased to have accompanied one of the five selected German companies through the application process. We wish them all the best for the implementation of their projects, which will be supported and funded with around €15 million!

Do you want to be among the winners of the next project selection? We will advise and guide you through the application process. Then simply get in touch with us! 

Take advantage of this unique opportunity and elevate your business to the next level with us.

Stefan Durm

Your contact person
Stefan Durm

Do you want to learn more about this topic? Schedule a meeting with an expert.

I have been successfully involved in international projects for about 10 years. I have designed and coordinated international research consortia as well as (co-)developed and successfully implemented more than 50 business plans for highly innovative deep-tech start-ups. To keep sharpening my knowledge, I am a founding member of the European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) and represent EurA there.This makes me a very good first point of contact for questions about international funding projects.

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