EIC announces new wave of start-up champions


The European Innovation Council (EIC) operating under the European Commission umbrella has announced the selection of 65 innovative start-ups and SMEs to receive € 363 million of funding for breakthrough innovations. The beneficiary companies will receive a combination of grant financing and equity investment up to € 17 million for developing and scaling their innovative idea in digital technologies, energy, healthcare, space and other industries. The selected companies constitute the first round of companies that will be funded via the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator under Horizon Europe. 

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The EIC Accelerator is a unique European funding instrument of the European Innovation Council. It supports the development of top-class innovations through crowding-in private investors and offers a portfolio of services to support their scaling-up. With the European Innovation Council we aim to bring Europe to the forefront of innovation and new technologies, by investing in new solutions for the health, environmental and societal challenges we are facing.” 

The selected companies are established in 16 different countries, who underwent a rigorous two-step selection process. The applicants were assessed by external experts and interviewed by a jury of experienced investors and entrepreneurs.  

Following a successful pilot phase between 2018 and 2020, EIC was launched in March 2021 under the Horizon Europe programme with a budget of over € 10 billion of which approximately € 1.1 billion is available in 2021 for the EIC Accelerator. The EIC Accelerator on the other hand, offers start-ups and SMEs grants of up to € 2.5 million combined with equity investments through the EIC Fund ranging from € 0.5 to € 15 million. In addition to financial support, all projects benefit from a range of Business Acceleration Services that provide access to leading expertise, corporates, investors and ecosystem actors. 


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