The European Green Deal – A Dedicated Cut-Off for the EIC Accelerator

Here is some information on the new “Green Deal” deadline for the EIC Accelerator – the EU’s innovation startup funding (up to €17.5m per project). One of the four cut-off dates in 2020 has been dedicated to innovations which are focusing on anything that can have a positive and quantifiable impact on targets outlined in the Green Deal (communication of December 2019). 

This can be a significant opportunity for all startups that qualify (see conditions below) since the allocated budget will be almost double the regular budget for a Phase 2 cut-off. The usual budget per deadline in 2019 and 2020 has consistently been €160m while the “Green Deal” deadline has a €300m budget for a single deadline on May 19th. Provided the thresholds are met, there will likely be twice as many companies who will receive funding under the EIC Accelerator

Here are the conditions for the applicants. All companies must address at least one of the following targets: 

  • Mitigating climate change
  • Clean, affordable and secure energy
  • Clean industry (circular economy, recycling, waste prevention)
  • Building and renovating with high resource efficiency
  • Sustainable smart mobility
  • Food system (fair, healthy, environmentally friendly)
  • Preserving and restoring biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Zero pollution and toxic-free environments


This “expected impact” must be quantified and addressed in the application in relation to the targets outlined in the Green Deal. Any innovation which goes against these targets or focuses on increasing the efficiency and use of fossil fuels is ineligible. 

An additional change for the May deadline is the focus on women-led companies. At least 25% of selected startups must have women as their CEO or similar leadership positions (founders, directors, presidents etc.). If this threshold is not met then the EU has the option to invite additional companies to the second evaluation step even though they did not meet the initial threshold to be invited. 

Due to the current travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the step 2 interviews might be conducted via video conference calls instead of in-person interviews, be cancelled or be delayed to give every participant an equal opportunity. 

This article was last modified on Oct 14, 2020 @ 12:39

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: -
    • 4th cut-off: October 19th 2023 (extended)
  • Step 3 (interview)
    • 1st cut-off: -
    • 2nd cut-off: -
    • 3rd cut-off: October 2nd to 6th (extended)
    • 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.

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