Choosing an Acronym for the EIC Accelerator Grant (SME Instrument Phase 2)

The acronym of the EIC Accelerator grant (SME Instrument Phase 2 for European startups) can be viewed as an even more condensed version of the proposal which should give the reader a memorable indication of what the project is about.

If the abstract (see: Abstract Guide) summarizes the proposal and the title (see: Title Guide) summarizes the abstract then, in turn, the acronym should summarize the title (i.e. acronym < title < abstract < proposal) with a restriction of 20 characters (i.e. see the official template).

While it is called an acronym, there is no requirement for it to be an actual abbreviation of the title or correspond to keywords in any way. Likewise, a successful acronym must not even be using capital letters although it can be useful to capitalize it in the proposal to highlight it throughout the text (i.e. bold and capitalized formatting in the main proposal colour).

The acronym is like a micro-abstract and, while it could be equivalent to an existing product name or a trademark, it is usually recommended for professional writers or consultants to create a new acronym which summarizes the project well. Since character space is very limited (i.e. 20 characters including spaces), it is important to choose the most innovative feature or central part of the technology as the acronym. The acronym chosen should directly refer to either the long-term vision or the innovation of the project.

As an example, instead of choosing WOOD MANUFACTURING which describes the industry rather than the innovation or vision, you cold pick AI WOOD RECYCLING, SUSTAINABLE WOOD or SMART WOOD as well as any other acronym which better highlights unique parts of the technology.

These tips are not only useful for European startups, professional writers, consultants and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) but are generally recommended when writing a business plan or investor documents.

Deadlines: Post-Horizon 2020, the EIC Accelerator accepts Step 1 submissions now while the deadlines for the full applications (Step 2) will be on June 16th 2021 and October 6th 2021 under Horizon Europe. The Step 1 applications must be submitted weeks in advance of Step 2. The next EIC Accelerator cut-off for Step 2 (full proposal) can be found here. After Brexit, UK companies can still apply to the EIC Accelerator under Horizon Europe albeit with non-dilutive grant applications only - thereby excluding equity-financing.

Contact: You can reach out to us via this contact form to work with a professional consultant. 

EU, UK & US Startups: Alternative financing options for EU, UK and US innovation startups are the EIC Pathfinder (combining Future and Emerging Technologies - FET Open & FET Proactive) with €4M per project, Thematic Priorities, European Innovation Partnerships (EIP), Innovate UK with £3M (for UK-companies only) as well as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants with $1M (for US-companies only). 

Any more questions? View the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.

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by Stephan Segler, PhD
Professional Grant Consultant at Segler Consulting

General information on the EIC Accelerator template, professional grant writing and how to prepare a successful application can be found in the following articles:

Examples of successful abstracts, titles and acronyms can be found in the  Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) database and on the EIC Accelerator call page.