The EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity) has opened its doors to Step 1 submissions in early April 2021. After a long wait, the first evaluation results have been published on May 12th 2021 after more than one month of evaluations. While no notifications of these results were sent to applicants, a delayed email signed by Head of Unit Cornelius Schmaltz was sent 2 days later which contained an official letter detailing the results of the Step 1 evaluation.
This article presents a short update on the specifics of the process as conducted by the European Innovation Council (EIC) with respect to the templates, deadlines and further evaluation stages:
- EIC Accelerator Step 1 results have been released on May 12th 2021 on the EIC’s AI Platform for those who have applied by mid-April 2021.
- Detailed feedback and a scoring (GO vs. NO GO) from 4 to 6 evaluators are provided for each project giving all applicants the most elaborate information on their submission yet. A detailed analysis of these evaluations will follow in a separate article.
- The EIC aimed to simulate the past Seal of Excellence (SOE) threshold in Step 1 which means that 2020’s scoring threshold of ’13’ should be as difficult to pass as 2021’s Step 1. This would have meant that 70% of all applicants were rejected but it seems like it was rather only less than 50% being rejected. This would match the previously predicted effort-chances scenario 1 in this article.
- The official template for Step 2 has already been published but the AI Platform for Step 2 is not ready yet.
- The Step 2 AI Tool’s Ideation and Development modules will be available as of May 17th 2021.
- The Step 2 AI Tool’s Go2Market module will be available as of May 21st 2021.
- The coach selection module will become available on May 25th 2021.
- In-person coaching support is offered on a first-come-first-serve basis in June 2021 but will be available for all applicants for their submission to the October 2021 deadline.
- The interview sessions are planned in:
- September 2021 for proposals submitted to the June 2021 deadline.
- December 2021 or January 2022 for proposals submitted to the October 2021 deadline.
The Step 3 interviews come with a significant delay and instead of being 6 weeks after the Step 2 deadline, they are pushed back to 3 months after the June cut-off (read: Having a Successful Interview Pitch).
This article was last modified on
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) under Horizon Europe are:
- Step 1 (short proposal)
- open now
- Step 2 (business plan)
- 1st cut-off: -
- 2nd cut-off: -
- 3rd cut-off: June 7th 2023
- 4th cut-off: October 4th 2023
- Step 3 (interview)
- 1st cut-off: -
- 2nd cut-off: May 22nd to June 2nd
- 3rd cut-off: September 11th to 22nd
- 4th cut-off: November 27th to December 8th
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.
Want to see all articles? They can be found here.
For Updates: Join this Newsletter!
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:
A Quick FTO Guide for EIC Accelerator Applicants in a Rush
2023 Budget Allocations for EIC Pathfinder, Transition and Accelerator
Developing the Unique Selling Points (USP) for the EIC Accelerator
Explaining the Resubmission Process for the EIC Accelerator
A Short but Comprehensive Explanation of the EIC Accelerator
Deciding Between EIC Pathfinder, Transition and Accelerator
A Winning Candidate for the EIC Accelerator
EIC Accelerator Interview Preparation Process: Scripting the Pitch (Part 1)