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NEW EIC Funding Deadlines: A Look Back at 2021 and a Look Forward into 2022

A new set of deadlines for EIC funding applications has been announced!

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


3 minute read

Last week marked the end of the 2021 EIC accelerator funding interviews.

By the time you read this, 130 companies will have been interviewed by the European Innovation Council (EIC). Each one of these companies will have completed a gruelling 3-step application process to try and secure funding from the EIC’s €550 million pot for new, innovative projects.

To celebrate the end of this notoriously tough application process, a new set of deadlines for all 2022 funding applications has been announced.

Find out what these deadlines are, what they mean for next year’s hopeful candidates and how to stand the best chance of securing funding for your next ground-breaking project…

What is the EIC grant funding scheme?

The EIC provides financial support for companies, of any size and within any industry, to develop their new, innovative products, processes or services.

There are three different funding schemes that companies can apply for, depending on the stage of their innovative idea or project is:

  • EIC Pathfinder: The EIC Pathfinder scheme supports the early-stage research and development of new ideas, breakthrough technologies and cutting-edge science.
  • EIC Transition: The EIC Transition scheme is for mid-stage research and development projects. To help companies further develop and validate their innovative ideas, new technology or pioneering science projects.
  • EIC Accelerator: The EIC Accelerator scheme is exclusively for SMEs and start-ups that have developed products or services that are close to market stage. It’s specifically designed to help them scale up and commercialise their innovations.

The EIC Accelerator scheme is a key funding scheme because it encourages economic growth, attracts external investment and keeps young, forward-thinking companies coming into Europe.

But it’s a competitive scheme and applicants must complete a tough 3-stage application process if they want to secure funding.

What is the 3-stage EIC accelerator application process?

When SMEs or start-ups decide to apply for EIC accelerator funding, they must go through the following three stages:

EIC accelerator application stage #1: Short application

During the first stage of the accelerator application process, applicants will be asked to explain what their innovation is and where the motivation behind it came from by submitting a:

  • 3-minute video pitch
  • 10-slide pitch deck
  • Short application form
  • AI-powered innovation diagnostic

If their short application gets a minimum “GO” from two of the four EIC evaluators, they’ll move to stage 2.

EIC accelerator application stage #2: Full application

If applicants reach stage 2, they’ll then have to prepare and submit a full application, which includes a comprehensive proposal detailing every aspect of the innovative project with separate supporting annexes

Applicants need to receive “GOs” from all of the EIC evaluators to move to stage 3.

EIC accelerator application stage #3: Face-to-face interview

The applicants that reach stage 3, will then be invited to attend a 40-minute face-to-face interview with a panel of up to six EIC judges.

How to pass the EIC accelerator funding interview

The interviews currently take place remotely via a video conference call. These interviews consist of a 10-minute presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A session. Candidates should make sure they’re prepared to answer questions like these:

  1. Do you have complete FTO (Freedom to Operate)?
  2. What have you spent the money on to date/what milestones have been reached?
  3. Why have you not used any bank loans to date?
  4. What is your contingency plan?
  5. What are your customer acquisition costs?
  6. What are the highest risks of failure?
  7. How much of the company is investor-owned/how much founder-owned?
  8. Why have VCs not stepped in earlier?
  9. What other applications are you protecting with your IP?
  10. What additional key hires do you have to make?
  11. What is the exit plan?

So, as you can see, applying for EIC accelerator funding is a tough, complicated and time-consuming process.

Applicants have two chances to secure funding over the year, but if the EIC reject their second application at any of the three stages, they’ll be unable to submit another one for 12 months.

And to make the process even harder, applying for accelerator funding is also incredibly competitive: As we established earlier, 130 companies made it through to the final stage, but not all 130 will get the funding they need.

According to Myriad Associates Grants Director, Marc Greatrex, to give yourself the best chance of completing the 3-stage application process successfully:

DON’T RUSH. You only get two chances to win this funding, so take your time. There are four deadlines in 2022, so you don’t need to rush to meet the first one. The stage 2 application takes a minimum of 4-6 weeks to complete” – Marc Greatrex, Grants Director, Myriad Associates

Deadline dates for 2022 accelerator applications

Now we know what the process is, let’s see when the four cut-off dates are for 2022’s accelerator funding applications:

  • Deadline 1: 12th January 2022
  • Deadline 2: 6th April 2022
  • Deadline 3: 15th June 2022
  • Deadline 4: 5th October

What do these new EIC deadline dates mean for hopeful applicants?

The four new accelerator funding deadlines mean one thing: There is far more opportunity to win funding than there was in 2021.

As the dates are spread out over the year, this will eliminate bottlenecks and accelerate decision making. This means that applicants will know the outcome of their application quicker than in previous years.

Calling all biotech, medical device, and clinical study candidates

Following the pandemic, clinical trials are starting again, there’s a real opportunity for companies seeking clinical evaluation to receive funding from the EIC.”- Marc Greatrex, Grants Director, Myriad Associates

To find out more about the EIC accelerator funding application process, or to get advice from a team of expert grant writers, contact Myriad Associates on +353 1 566 2001 or drop them a message here.

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Please contact us to discuss how working with Myriad Associates can maximise and secure R&D funding opportunities for your business.

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