What is the EIC Accelerator?
The European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator, previously known as the SME Instrument, is a funding program that supports innovative and high-potential companies in Europe, specifically those with significant innovation and commercial potential. It supports organisations and companies in various fields centred around sustainable technologies and solutions. The EIC Accelerator provides both grant funding and equity investment, depending on the stage and needs of the project. To be eligible for funding, your project should demonstrate a high degree of innovation, a strong market potential, and a clear societal or environmental impact. The EIC Accelerator particularly emphasizes projects that contribute to the European Green Deal objectives, such as climate change mitigation, resource efficiency, or environmental sustainability, and funding can be used to cover activities such as feasibility studies, technology development, prototyping, testing, validation, and demonstration.
In addition to grant funding, the EIC Accelerator offers the option of equity investment. This is provided through the EIC Fund and is available for companies in the later stages of development or scaling up. The equity investment aims to attract private capital and can range from a few hundred thousand euros to several million euros.
What are the main areas of focus for the EIC Fund?
The EIC Fund, which operates as part of the EIC Accelerator program, focuses on supporting innovative projects in various areas. While the specific areas of focus may evolve over time, the EIC Fund generally prioritizes the following main areas:
1. Sustainable technology funding
Support for a wide range of sustainable technologies and solutions is available for projects that contribute to the European Green Deal objectives. Below is a list of sustainable technologies and solutions that have received funding from the EIC Fund in the past:
Clean Energy Technologies
Some of the most commonly supported types of projects have been focused on renewable energy generation, energy storage, and energy efficiency. This includes technologies such as solar power, wind energy, advanced batteries, smart grids, and energy management systems.
Circular Economy Solutions
Several projects that aim to promote a circular economy and reduce waste have previously received EIC funding. Examples of this include innovations in recycling, waste management, upcycling, sustainable packaging, and resource recovery.
Sustainable transportation and mobility solutions have received EIC funding, including electric vehicle projects, alternative fuels, charging infrastructure, smart transportation systems, and logistics optimization.
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
EIC funding has been provided to projects focusing on sustainable farming practices, precision agriculture, vertical farming, Agtech innovations, food waste reduction, and sustainable food packaging.
Clean Water and Sanitation
Technologies aimed at improving access to clean water, wastewater treatment, water purification, and water management systems are supported by the EIC Fund. Projects related to water conservation, monitoring, and purification have also received funding.
Climate Change Mitigation
Another example of one of the most common types of successfully funded projects, any sustainable technologies that address climate change mitigation challenges are typically considered by the EIC. This includes technologies for carbon capture and storage, greenhouse gas reduction, sustainable construction, energy-efficient buildings, and emissions reduction in various sectors.
Environmental Monitoring and Sustainability Solutions
Projects focused on environmental monitoring, pollution control, air quality improvement, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable land use have received support from the EIC Fund in the past.
2. Funding for deep tech
Deep tech refers to technologies that are based on substantial scientific or engineering advancements and have the potential to bring about significant changes in various sectors. The EIC Fund supports projects that leverage deep technology and disruptive innovations, including projects based on advanced scientific or technological advancements with the potential to create significant impact and market disruption. Some examples of this include:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
Funding has been provided previously to projects focused on AI and ML technologies, including natural language processing, computer vision, robotics, autonomous systems, predictive analytics, and deep learning algorithms.
The EIC Fund supports projects related to advanced materials and their applications. This includes projects working on novel materials for industries like aerospace, automotive, construction, energy, and electronics.
Deep tech projects that aim to address environmental challenges have received funding in the past. This includes innovations in clean energy, energy storage, carbon capture and storage, water treatment, waste management, and sustainable manufacturing processes.
Photonics and Optics
The EIC Fund has previously supported projects that leverage photonics and optics technologies. This includes applications in fields such as telecommunications, data communications, imaging, sensing, laser technologies, and optical components.
Previous funding has been provided to projects focused on quantum technologies, including quantum computing, quantum communication, quantum sensors, quantum cryptography, and quantum simulation.
The EIC Fund supports deep tech projects in the space sector, including satellite technologies, Earth observation, satellite communication, space exploration, and space-based services.
Projects in areas such as semiconductor technologies, integrated circuits, sensors, wearable devices, Internet of Things (IoT), and flexible electronics have received funding in the past.
How Linq Consulting can help secure EIC funding
The dedicated experts at Linq Consulting are available to assist with EIC proposals at every stage of the writing and application process. With our expertise in grants management, we can help you secure funding from the EIC Accelerator, as well as any other grant opportunities that may be available. Whether you represent a large organisation or run a small business, Linq Consulting will help locate funding opportunities and secure funding for your project.
Get in touch with us today, if you or your organisation would like to secure available funding set aside for sustainability research and development. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org