The European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator Pilot will work with an extra €150 million to support game-changing innovations to tackle the coronavirus crisis. The additional budget, approved by the European Commission today, will fund the best start-ups and SMEs who applied under the March cut-off.
The Commission will also award special Seals of Excellence to high quality coronavirus relevant applications that cannot be funded with this €150 million in order to support their financing from other sources. Companies selected for EIC support will be announced in late May.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “With the EIC, we aim to be flexible, adaptable and fast, just like the entrepreneurs we serve and support. This response to increase EIC Accelerator funding for coronavirus innovations in just a few weeks shows how fast we can act during times of urgency. It demonstrates our strong support for the top entrepreneurs and companies in their indispensable work in providing solutions against the coronavirus.”
The extra €150 million, set out in the revised EIC pilot work programme, is specifically for companies with Coronavirus relevant innovations and comes on top of the €164 million already announced on the 25 March, which will be used to support a wide range of other breakthrough innovations.
A record number of close to 4000 start-ups and SMEs applied to the EIC Accelerator pilot in March – over 1000 of which have innovations relevant to the coronavirus outbreak. Remote evaluation of all the applications have been completed, and the highest ranked applications are being invited for live interviews from 11 to 20 May 2020, where experts in specific coronavirus-relevant fields have been especially recruited to help select the strongest proposals.
This support to start-ups and SMEs is part of the Commission’s coordinated coronavirus response.