The ultimate guide to the European Innovation Council

The Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) Pilot is designed to support innovators, small companies and scientists to progress their research and innovations.

With aims to become a global funding body, the Enhanced EIC Pilot will utilise the parts of Horizon 2020 that provides funding, advice and networking opportunities for innovators.

Around €3bn will be provided between 2018 and 2020 to fund some of the most talented innovators and help companies expand beyond European boarders.

EIC Pathfinder Pilot

The EIC Pathfinder Pilot includes FET-Open and FET-Proactive to offer grants of up to €4m in order to promote collaborative, inter-disciplinary research and innovation on science-inspired and radically new technologies.

The grants are for consortia of at least 3 bodies from 3 different Member States and associated countries. Featuring ‘targeted calls’ based on topics or challenges identified in the Work Programme along with open bottom-up call for proposals, the topics include; Artificial intelligence, implantable autonomous devices and materials, and breakthrough zero-emissions energy generation for full decarbonisation.

The EIC Pathfinder Pilot has a total budget of around €660m for 2019-2020.

EIC Accelerator Pilot

Building on the SME Instrument Phase II, the EIC Accelerator Pilot provides grant-only support in addition to blended finance, combining grant and equity.

The EIC Accelerator Pilot will support high risk, high potential small to medium sized enterprises that are willing to develop and commercialise products, services and business models.

Those who are applying for funding must already be established in an EU Member State or a Horizon 2020 associate country.

The EIC Accelerator Pilot has a total budget for more than €1.3bn between 2019 and 2020.

Fast Track to Innovation

The Fast Track to Innovation scheme is for mature innovative technologies, concepts and business models which are close to market.

Proposals must come from 3 to 5 legal entities which want to encourage quick market uptake of new technologies, with grants of up to €3m to be awarded to innovators.

The Fast Track to Innovation has a total budget of €300m for 2018 to 2020.

EIC Horizon Prizes

The EIC Horizon Prizes are to be awarded to those who can most effectively meet a defined challenge, without prescribing how the challenge should be solved.

These prizes will boost innovation across sectors by fostering cutting edge solutions. These solutions will bring major benefits to citizens and society.

Individual EIC Horizon Prizes will amount to €5m or €10m with the total budget for the scheme being €40m until 2020.

Coaching through the EIC Pilot

The EIC Pilot offers coaching and mentoring services to SMEs in addition to individual innovators. A Key Account Manager from the Enterprise Europe Network will be assigned to the Pilot’s beneficiary applying for business coaching. The Key Account Manager will be tasked with finding a coach for the EIC beneficiary.

“Wolfgang’s approach to our company made us change immensely the strategy for the better. We have also engaged in fruitful discussions with potential partners as part of his network.” Manuel Nina, Smart Separations.

“The experience with the business coach was excellent. The coach provided help for our project from the internationalisation point of view. Coaching was one of the best outcomes that we got from the SME instrument.” Carmelo Simón, Urbana de Exteriores.

Who are on the Advisory Board for EIC?

The Enhanced EIC Pilot consulted with a range in innovators and academics. The group was convened by Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General for DG R&I, and endorsed by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

Some of the EIC Pilot advisory board include:

  • Mark Gerguson is the Chair of the EIC Pilot Advisory Board. Ferguson is the Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland.
  • Hermann Hauser, Vice-Chair of the EIC Pilot Advisory Board, co-founded Amadeus Capital Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in European technology companies.
  • Kerstin Bock is the co-founder and CEO of Openers, a network of facilitators and service provider at the intersection of innovation which helps technology companies enter new markets.
  • Jo Bury is the Managing Director of Flanders Institute of Biotechnology, a multisite institution based on a joint venture agreement of their five university partners.
  • Dermot Diamond is the Principe Investigator for INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics, Dublin City University.
  • Laura Gonzalez-Estefani, the CEO and founder of VentureCity, a new venture and growth acceleration model that helps diverse founders achieve a global impact.

Individuals and businesses can find out if they are eligible for the funding using the EIC wizard.

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