EIC Accelerator

With the EIC Accelerator, the European Union offers start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises a particularly attractive and lucrative form of support. Successful applicants receive funding of up to €2.5 million and equity of up to €15 million. The approach of the European funding programme is particularly interesting as it focuses on the market-oriented further development, demonstration and market preparation of a technological product or service. The funding programme, which is unique in the world, thus covers a phase in the innovation process that can generally no longer be supported by other funding instruments. 



Million Euros acquired funding






Years of EIC experience

EurA AG - Your partner from start to finish for the EIC Accelerator

We will support you in the conception of your application, guide you through the design of the proposal, advise you on the implementation of the project and help you with the project accounting. In all matters, we are at your side with advice and assistance. 

Invest in this opportunity - let's tackle it together. 


Find out more about our offer

The funding programme at a glance

Learn more about the EIC Accelerator in our video. Dr. Thomas Kraus, Deputy Coordinator for International Funding at EurA AG, explains who the EIC Accelerator is aimed at, at what point in the innovation process the programme takes effect and what makes the funding programme so unique. Read more in the articles below. 



Where does the EIC Accelerator come in?

The EIC Accelerator starts where national funding programmes usually stop in the process of developing a technological product. For example, German funding programmes such as ZIM or KMU-innovative support companies in the development of a prototype or demonstrator. When it comes to optimisation and further development, the companies themselves have to bear the financial burden. This is where the EIC Accelerator comes in, providing funding for companies to further develop their product and launch existing prototypes or demonstrators across Europe. The EIC Accelerator is available from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5. 



The term "Technology Readiness Level" (TRL) was originally coined and applied in the aerospace industry to assess the maturity of a technological product. The EU Commission has adapted the term for the framework programme. It describes nine stages from TRL 1 to TRL 9 in the process of technological development. 

EIC Accelerator TRL

Blue overview table of the Technology Readiness Levels (Levels 1 to 9)

To find out more about what is meant by Technology Readiness Level (TRL), please visit our blog post "Simply explained: Technology Readiness Levels in EU Funding Programmes".


EIC Accelerator - Why?

What makes the EIC Accelerator so unique? 




Icons__Mitarbeiter Icon_cyan_Verwendungsnachweis Icon_cyan_Steigerung Ihres Bekanntheitsgrades

Combining funding and investment

Individual company support  

Thematically there are no limits  

Driving growth & internationalisation

€2.5 million Euros in funding and €15 million euros in investment represent the maximum possible financial support in the EIC Accelerator. In addition, you get access to the European Business Acceleration Services. 

You call the shots: Your idea is in the spotlight; you don't need consortium partners. But you still want to work with partners? You can involve them in the funding project as subcontractors. 

The EIC Accelerator is a funding programme open to all themes and sectors. In addition to the theme-specific challenges - which the EIC announces annually - any start-up or SME can apply, regardless of the topic. 

The funding programme supports you in the growth phase and encourages you in your internationalization project. A particular focus is on the preparation of market launch and commercialisation. 



Who can apply for funding?

The funding programme is aimed at ambitious start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises with growth ambitions. It supports disruptive innovations that have the potential to fundamentally change the market. The EIC Accelerator is the support programme for the market leaders of tomorrow. 

Your company is considered an SME if  

Icon_cyan_Förderung der Kundenbindung-57
  • you employ less than 250 employees  


  • your turnover does not exceed €50 million euros, or your balance sheet total is less than €43 million euros. 

In principle, applications can only be submitted by individual companies. This means that collaborative projects, which are the norm in other European funding programmes, are not eligible. However, depending on the nature of the project, activities of potential project partners can be integrated into the funded project as subcontracts. We would be happy to explore this possibility for you, please contact us. 


Which projects are funded?





Funding is available for projects that focus on the further development and commercialisation of innovations. The focus is on innovations based on either scientific or breakthrough technological ("deep-tech") discoveries. In addition, there should be a need for funding or financing, i.e., substantial resources ( patient capital) are required over a longer period of time before returns can be achieved. 

As an applicant, you are ready for the EIC Accelerator if you know that your project is feasible, and you know your market. You have a working prototype or demonstrator (TRL 5) that needs little further development. You will spend the next two years focusing on final optimisations, developing a commercialisation strategy, and preparing for market launch. 




What can be funded?

Basically, all the necessary steps in the innovation development process that prepare the product for the market launch are eligible for funding. For example,

building demonstrators and testing with potential customers,  
conducting clinical trials or working to obtain regulatory approvals,  
up-scaling, miniaturisation, revising designs and constructions, or even adapting  
adapting to different market requirements in different countries. 

In addition, activities that help to develop a commercialisation and financing strategy and contribute to long-term market uptake will also be supported. This includes activities such as 

developing a sales structure and team, and establishing sales/distribution partners,  
developing a business and pricing model,
• developing a marketing and communications strategy and activities,
detailing the business plan, and  
• assessing the need for funding and approaching potential investors. 


What kind of support will I receive?

Unterstützung EN paint


The EIC Accelerator usually supports start-ups and SMEs with blended finance, consisting of a grant component and an investment component. In special cases, grant-only funding is also possible. The amount of funding for the grant component is between €500,000 and €2.5 million, with a funding rate of 70% for all applicants. The typical project duration is 24 months. At the beginning of the project, grantees receive a pre-financing of up to 45% of the total funding amount. This is followed by a further maximum 40% after the interim report and the remaining amount after the final report. 



What does blended finance mean for my project?

In addition to grant funding, the EIC Accelerator also offers applicants the opportunity to apply for blended finance. The EIC Fund can provide up to €15 million of equity capital as an additional investment. This can be used, for example, to cover the costs of work packages and activities that cannot be financed as part of the grant. This applies to activities at Technology Readiness Level 8 and above. In return, the EU receives shares in the company in the form of a participation. It is important to stress that the EU does not intervene in business decisions. Companies opting for blended finance will have to undergo a simplified due diligence process after signing the grant agreement. With the equity, the EU wants to create an incentive for private and public co-investors to invest at least the same amount. 

Blended finance is now established as the standard funding and financing model in the EIC Accelerator. Nevertheless, it is still possible to apply to the EIC for sole funding ( Grant Only) or only equity capital ( Equity-Only). 

Funding will be paid in the form of a lump sum, the amount of which will be determined during the evaluation process. Applicants must therefore propose the amount of the lump sum on the basis of the estimated project costs. 


EIC Accelerator Blended Finance


What other support will I receive?

Additional benefits for successful applicants





The European Innovation Council (EIC) supports successful applicants not only financially but also in terms of content. There is the opportunity to participate in valuable mentoring and coaching activities. You will also be given access to the Business Acceleration Services. 

Want to know more about the EIC's Business Acceleration Services? Check out our blog post for all the information you need. 



Which costs are eligible for funding?

The EIC covers 70% of your total project costs. Due to the special focus on market preparation and commercialisation, many types of costs are supported that are not normally eligible for funding. Total project costs consist of direct project costs, including personnel, travel, material and equipment costs, indirect costs ( 25% of direct project costs) and subcontracting costs. 




Application process: how can I apply?

Applicants to the EIC Accelerator go through a three-stage application process. Before the full application can be submitted, a short application consisting of a short description, pitch deck and short motivational video must be submitted to the EIC assessors. Only those who are positively assessed at this stage can proceed to the next stage, the preparation of the full application. The short application, step 1 in the application process, enables the EIC to make a pre-selection and increases the chances of those applicants who are allowed to submit a full application. 




Once the short application has been approved, the full proposal is processed. This consists of a full project description, several annexes and a budget. 

The full application consists of mandatory content and optional annexes. The following content must be submitted as part of the full application: 

  • Main part: Development of a comprehensive project description covering technological, financial, market and organisational aspects. 
  • Pitch deck: Presentation of your company and innovation (must be presented in the interview and cannot be edited in advance) 
  • Video pitch: short presentation of the company and elevator pitch; it is possible to use the video from the first application step. 
  • Freedom to Operate analysis: Presentation of own patents and other property rights; alternatively, a two-page statement on this topic must be submitted 
  • Data management plan: Information on the protection and dissemination of project data 
  • CVs of key personnel 
  • Comprehensive financial planning: 
  • Financial overview with profit and loss account, cash flow and balance sheet 
  • Current financial data (debt overview, cash burn rate and runway) 
  • Financing history (equity, debt, etc.) 
  • Presentation of ownership and shareholding structure (cap table) 
  • Presentation of funding requirements (equity, proposed post-money valuation, etc.) 

Optional annexes can be used to clarify the application documents. It is important to provide only content that strengthen your application. Additional content can be structured as follows:  

  • Letters of Intent (LOI): These are particularly suitable for demonstrating project partnerships and to prove initial market traction. You have the option to include an unlimited number of LOIs.  
  • 10 optional pages, where you can give free rein to your creativity. 

In the third step, candidates who have been successful with their full application will be invited to an interview. Interviews usually take place eight to nine weeks after the proposal deadline. During these interviews, applicants present their highly innovative, cutting-edge technology to a panel of around six jury members with either a technology or business background. Each interview consists of a 10-minute pitch and a 35-minute question and answer session. Results are usually available within two to three weeks of the interview phase.  

Watch the video (part 1 and 2) to find out how to convince the EIC jury of your application in an interview. 



With the new EIC Work Programme 2024, each applicant has a maximum of three attempts to submit an application. This also applies to proposals submitted via the Fast-Track- or the Plug-in Programme. After three unsuccessful submissions to the EIC Accelerator (regardless of the application step), an applicant cannot reapply under the current European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation "Horizon Europe". 


When can I submit my application to the EIC Accelerator?

There are two deadlines for the full application in 2024. One in spring and one in autumn. Applications can be submitted through an open call and a theme-specific call. 





Which challenges has the EIC announced?

A total budget of €675 million is available for 2024. In addition to the open call, this year there are also so-called EIC Accelerator Challenges. Here, the EIC is specifically calling for project proposals that contribute to a pan-European challenge. The EIC is looking for innovations that could provide a solution to a challenge or contribute to the achievement of one of the EU's objectives. The EIC has defined six thematic challenges for this year's Accelerator and calls for proposals in the following areas: 

Deep-Tech Innovations & Sustainable Solutions: 

  1. Human Centric Generative AI made in Europe 
  2. Virtual worlds and augmented interaction, including support to Industry 5.0 
  3. Enabling the smart edge & quantum technology components 
  4. Food from precision fermentation and algae 
  5. Monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for emerging viruses 
  6. Renewable energy sources and their whole value chain

Budget allocation_2024


Would you like to find out more about the individual EIC Accelerator Challenges? We will discuss your project idea and advise you on the EIC Challenges 2024 in a free consultation


How long does the application process take?

The short application can be submitted to the EIC at any time. You will usually receive a response within 4 to 6 weeks. The full application can be submitted at any of the deadlines. Feedback can usually be expected within 5 to 6 weeks. After a successful application, you will be invited to an interview. Afterwards, you will receive feedback usually within 2 to 3 weeks. 

Due to its popularity and the large number of applications, the EIC Accelerator uses an extensive application process. It usually takes a year from the short application to the grant agreement. 

You want to be optimally prepared and on time for the start?  

We'll help you all the way to the home stretch! 


What should I consider when engaging a consultancy firm?

Maximum funding of €2.5 million and an investment of up to €15 million: many European start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises are hoping to be awarded funding from the EIC Accelerator. In order to receive one of the few grant agreements from the EIC, applicants must master a three-stage application process consisting of a short application, a full application and an interview. Applicants often seek help for this and commission a consultancy firm to prepare the application. But what should applicants look out for when choosing a consultancy firm?

The EIC is aware of the large number of consultancies and also sees their benefit in the development of project ideas all the way to the application documents. For this reason, in November 2023, the EIC published a Code of Conduct for consultants offering services related to the submission of applications for EIC project calls and the management of grant projects. Through this Code of Conduct, the EIC aims to ensure transparency and promote professionalism and ethical working practices in the European innovation consultancy market. It also aims to support applicants in finding high-quality consulting companies.

The EIC expects European consulting firms to comply with the code. In addition, clients can check whether consulting service providers are complying with the code. The code can be viewed online and companies that are clearly committed to the code of conduct display a corresponding seal on their website or social media channels.

We at EurA AG are expressly committed to the Code of Conduct for Funding Consultants and work in accordance with its principles and guidelines. The principles of expertise, ethical working methods, transparency, confidentiality and the guarantee of high-quality work set out therein have characterised our cooperation with our clients since our foundation in 1999.


Find out more about our offer



    EurA AG
    Max-Eyth-Straße 2
    73479 Ellwangen

    T- 079619256-0