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Introduction to the European Innovation Council

The headline in EIC is innovation and with this programme, so-called high risk, high gain innovations are identified and implemented. The applicant can apply for financial support to the development of innovations from idea to market through three instruments: Pathfinder, Transition and Accelerator

What is Funded?

The EIC funding and support is organised into three main funding schemes: the EIC Pathfinder for advanced research to develop the scientific basis to underpin breakthrough technologies; the EIC Transition to validate technologies and develop business plans for specific applications; and the EIC Accelerator to support companies (SMEs, start-ups, spin-outs and in exceptional cases small mid-caps) to bring their innovations to market and scale up. In each case, the direct financial support to innovators is augmented with access to a range of Business Acceleration Services.

EIC Pathfinder

EIC Pathfinder supports consortia who wish to realise an ambitious vision for radically new technology with potential to create new markets and/or to address global challenges. EIC Pathfinder supports early stage development of such future technologies, based on high-risk,high-gain science-towards-technology breakthrough research (including ‘deep-tech’). This research must provide the foundations of the technology you are envisioning.

EIC Transition

EIC Transition funds innovation activities that go beyond the experimental proof of principle in laboratories. It supports both the validation of your novel technology in the lab and in some relevant application environments (by making use of prototyping, formulation, models or other validation tests) as well as the business modelling towards the innovation’s future commercialisation.

EIC Accelerator

The EIC Accelerator supports companies (principally start-ups and SMEs) to scale up high impact innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones. The EIC Accelerator provides a unique combination of funding from €0.5 to €17.5 million.

The EIC Accelerator focuses in particular on innovations building on scientific discovery or technological breakthroughs (‘deep tech’) and where significant funding is needed over a long time frame, before returns can be generated (‘patient capital’). Such innovations often struggle to attract financing because the risks and time period involved are too high. Funding and support from the EIC Accelerator is designed to enable such innovators to attract the full investment amounts needed for scale up in a shorter time frame.

The EIC Accelerator is open to innovations in any field of technology or application.

Calls and Deadlines

Calls and deadlines for Pathfinder, Transition and Accelerator will be announced at:

Who can Apply and Requirements for Applicants?

EIC Pathfinder

A consortium of minimum three legal entities from a minimum of three different EU or EU-associated countries. At least one member of the consortium must be based in an EU country. There are no limits to the type of organisation which can be part of the consortium. EIC Pathfinder encourages interdisciplinary research and development.

The expected outcome of the project is the proof of principle that the main ideas of the envisioned future technology are feasible, thus validating its scientific and technological basis.

EIC Transition

Single entities or small consortia of up to five entities:

  • A single legal entity (‘mono-beneficiary’): if you are an SME or a research performing organisation (university, research or technology organisation). Larger companies (i.e. which do not qualify as SMEs) are not eligible to apply as a single legal entity; or
  • A small consortium of maximum five independent legal entities (‘multi-beneficiary’) that may for example include universities, research organisations, SMEs or larger companies, user/customer organisations or potential end-users (e.g. hospitals, utilities, industry, regulatory and standardization bodies, public authorities).

EIC Accelerator

In order to apply, you must meet one of the following eligibility conditions:

  • A single company classified as a SME and established within an EU Member State or Associated Country
  • A single company classified as a “Small mid-cap” (up to 500 employees) established within an EU Member State or Associated Country. However, your application can only be for rapid scale-up purposes (e.g. TRL 9) and only for the investment component.
  • One or more natural persons or legal entities intending to establish an SME as defined above in an EU or Association Country. This includes individual entrepreneurs from third countries who are ready to establish an SME (including start-ups) or to relocate an existing SME to an EU Member State or Associated Country. In such cases, you must have established a company which fulfils the above requirements by the time of submitting a full application.

More Information About the Programme

More information about the European Innovation Council (EIC) at:

Counselling on Horizon Europe

EuroCenter in The Danish Agency for Higher Education and Science, along with the EU-DK Support network of EU advisors, offers counselling on Horizon Europe. The advisors can help you with the process all the way from project idea to the application and implementation of your project.


Emma Emilie Højer Winther
Tlf.: +45 72 31 78 99
Email: ehw@ufm.dk
Barbara Spano
Tlf.: +45 72 31 95 15
Email: bsp@ufm.dk

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last modified October 30, 2023