SME Instrument Grant Writing Tips (EIC Accelerator)

I frequently get asked about the application process for the SME Instrument Funding by the EU, so here is a brief overview for every startup that wants to apply:

Proposal writing is the most important part but I am covering this in another post

Choosing an Acronym and Tagline: Each proposal has a short Acronym that is used as a project identifier and a tagline which gives a quick overview of the project. The Acronym does not actually need to have any meaning at all and you can be creative. Here is an example of a fictional health project (“ACRONYM – Tagline”):

  • PATIENT NETWORK – Smart & Secure Software for Hospitals to Automate Essential Patient Data Processing and Create a Unified Patient Network in the EU 


Abstract: Next to the Acronym and Tagline, you will also need to provide an abstract which is 2000 characters long and should give a brief summary of the project. If funded, the Abstract, Acronym and Tagline will be published by the EU. Make sure that every sentence is packed with information and that all information given here counts. Follow the general way scientific work is presented:
Problem > Market Pain Point & Competitors > Your Solution > Your Current State > Your Commercial & Market Impact > EU Benefits 

Keywords: When you create the draft for the submission, you will be asked to select up to 3 keywords with respective sub-keywords from a drop-down list. You can then also add some manual keywords to better describe your project. These keywords will determine the background of our 4 evaluators.

Excluding Evaluators: The EU is regularly publishing a list of all evaluators for the SME Instrument and if you suspect a conflict of interest, you can exclude specific reviewers.

There are many more small things to consider such as legal/financial data and the overall company registration but the points above cover most of the writing parts for the proposal submission.