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EIC launches its biggest ever programme with a budget of €1.7 billion

Javier Uranga

Javier Uranga

Entrepreneurship Consultant

The European Innovation Council (EIC) is launching its second work programme following the success of the first programme (2021). This new programme has an increased budget of €1.7 billion compared to €1.5 billion in the previous programme.

EIC falls under Pillar III of the new Horizon Europe framework programme (2021-2027) and has a total budget of €10 billion. The objective of this programme is to identify, develop and scale cutting-edge technologies and disruptive innovations, which have a market impact, in Europe. The EIC is the only programme in the world that combines research into emerging technologies with the acceleration of SMEs, startups, and scaleups. In addition, the EIC is on its way to becoming the largest deep-tech investor in Europe (>€3,000M invested) and works closely with other European funding programmes such as the EIT and ERC to foster the European innovation ecosystem.

This new programme, like its predecessor, has three main funding instruments: Pathfinder, Transition, and Accelerator, covering all stages of maturity (TRL) of new technological development. Each of these instruments follows both a bottom-up (Open) approach, open to any topic, and a top-down (Challenge) approach, restricted to specific topics and challenges defined by the EIC.




Under the Transition and Accelerator calls, if a submitted proposal has been positively evaluated but has not been funded due to a shortage of funds, it may be awarded the Seal of Excellence, which in turn gives access to other funding instruments.

In addition to financial support, the EIC offers a series of Business Acceleration Services, including access to mentors and advisors, business partners, and the innovation ecosystem.

This new 2022 work programme, which is a continuation of the previous one, also includes a number of new features:

  • Updated challenges in the Challenge calls and an increased number of cut-off dates per call.
  • Significant simplifications and improvements in the application processes, such as improvements in the rebuttal process of the Pathfinder call, the better definition of eligible consortia in the Transition call, or improvements in the proposal representation process or in the acquisition of the seal of excellence in the Accelerator call.
  • New grants for scaling up companies that allow access to an investment of more than €15M in the Accelerator call (limited to 15% of the budget in 2022), participation in the EIC Scaleup initiative, to identify 100 potential unicorn companies or access to groups of experts in the last stages of financing for the scaling up of the beneficiary companies.
  • Additional support for women innovators, such as giving priority to projects led by women or increasing from €4M to €10M the budget of the WomenTech.EU programme, which provides €75,000 in grants to 130 women founders of deep tech companies.

The EIC 2022 programme offers the opportunity for both companies and researchers to test, develop and mature disruptive innovations with the aim of bringing them to market to increase and strengthen Europe's competitiveness. It is a very competitive programme with success rates well below the average of other funding programmes, but it also offers beneficiaries unique advantages and support to create a business from these innovations. It is therefore essential, in addition to having a good project idea, to create an excellent proposal, aligned with the call to be a beneficiary of the EIC.

If you are a startup, research centre, SME, university... with an idea that can change the market and you are interested in participating in this programme, from Zabala Innovation and specifically from the entrepreneurship knowledge area we have experience in this new programme and we can help you to validate the fit of the idea with the different calls and with the drafting of the proposal.

Expert person

Javier Uranga
Javier Uranga

Pamplona Office

Entrepreneurship Consultant

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