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EIC Accelerator: Open challenge

Project Size:
Up to €2.5 million


Do you have a high-impact innovative product, service or business model that could create new markets or disrupt existing ones in Europe and even worldwide? Are you a start-up or a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) with the ambition and commitment to scale up?


If your answers to the above questions are ‘yes’, then the EIC Accelerator may be the right programme for you.

The EIC Accelerator focuses on innovations building on scientific discovery or technological breakthroughs (‘deep tech’) and where significant funding is needed over a long timeframe before returns can be generated (‘patient capital’). Such innovations often struggle to attract financing because the risks and time period involved are too high.



Eligible applicants include single companies classified as a SME and established within a Member State or an Associated Country.


The UK is no longer an EU Member State; however the UK’s association has been agreed.  On this basis UK companies are eligible to apply. However, UK applicants are only eligible to apply for an EIC Accelerator grant (i.e. up to €2.5M), they are not eligible to apply for the equity financing element of the competition.


Grant funding will reimburse eligible costs incurred for innovation activities, including demonstration of the technology in the relevant environment, prototyping and system level demonstration, R&D and testing required to meet regulatory and standardisation requirements, intellectual property management, and marketing approval (e.g. at least Technology

Readiness Levels 5/6 to 8). Eligible costs are reimbursed up to a maximum of 70%. 


Projects should be 1 to 2 years in duration.


Unlike predecessor competitions delivered under the auspices of Horizon 2020, there are limitations on the number of times you can apply.


The EIC Accelerator Open challenge targets innovations in any field of technology or application area. The competition features a series of open calls. Unlike most other Horizon Europe competitions it doesn’t have predefined thematic priorities. The Open challenge supports any technologies and innovations that cut across different scientific, technological, sectoral and application fields or represent novel combinations. The exception being that innovations that harm the environment or social welfare or that are designed primarily for military applications will not be supported.

The Accelerator competition supports the later stages of technology development as well as scale up. The technology component of your innovation must have been tested and validated in a laboratory or other relevant environment (e.g. you should be at Technology Readiness Level 5/6 or higher). 

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