EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument Phase 2) helps you develop your business concept further into a market-ready product, service or process aligned with your company's growth strategy. Activities could, for example, include product/service development, trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real-world conditions, and market replication. If the activity concerns a primarily technological innovation, a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 5/6 or above is required for primarily technological innovation or the equivalent for non-technological innovation. You can subcontract work essential for your innovation project.
Phase 2 offers a grant only support to SMEs in need of one last push before the scaling-up phase; and it will offer blended finance (combining grant and equity)41 to SMEs looking to further develop, grow and scale-up their idea.
Beneficiaries of the EIC Accelerator pilot (SME instrument) have access to Business Acceleration Services as described below.
You can apply to Phase 1 as a means of preparing for Phase 2, or you can apply directly to Phase 2.
Your proposal must be based on a strategic business plan that was either developed in Phase 1 or by another means. Your proposal must specify the expected outcome of the project and criteria for success, as well as the expected impacts on your company in both qualitative and quantitative terms (e.g. on turnover, employment, market size, IP management, sales, return on investment, profitability, and particularly the level of risk/ de-risking factor associated with support under the EIC Accelerator pilot).
You must pay particular attention to IP protection and ownership, and present convincing evidence or measures to ensure the possibility of commercial exploitation (often known as 'freedom to operate'). You should also address regulatory and standardisation issues.
Grant only funding is provided (funding rate 70%) of between €0.5 million and €2.5 million.
Under the blended finance option, the grant component is limited to €2.5 million combined with an equity component of up to €15 million.42 You can request a higher or lower amount, duly justified, when applying.
Proposals with activities up to TRL 8 will be funded by grants or a blended finance option. Close to market activities (i.e. TRL 9 or above) included in a proposal, will only be financed by equity participation as long as the proposal remains non-bankable.
The grant dimension of your project should normally take 12 to 24 months to complete, but could be longer in exceptional and well-justified cases.