The SME instrument EIC Accelerator (previously: SME-instrument) of Horizon2020 supports the Hightech SME’s with scaling up and international market launch of their innovation.
Grants: € 500.000 to € 2,5 million (70%) – project duration: 12-24 months.
Equity: € 500.000 to € 15 million – aimed at an equity interest between 10% and 25%.
A SME entrepreneur can submit a project proposal once per cut-off date. This is done individually (no cooperation). An organization can resubmit several times. Other organizations such as knowledge institutes and other businesses can only participate as a subcontractor. Evaluation of project applications is carried out on 3 criteria:
- Impact: Significant socio-economic value creation with a strong business case
- Excellence: Groundbreaking concepts that can form new markets or disrupt existing markets in Europe or worldwide.
- Implementation: The ability and capacity of the team to reach the set objectives.
The degree of groundbreaking nature of the innovation, a strong business case, and a varied and experienced team are decisive in the evaluation.
EIC Accelerator focuses on risky innovative scale-ups that want to grow and bring a new product, process or service to the European and/or global market.