European Innovation Council: New wave of deep tech start-ups set to receive Accelerator grants and equity investments

The European Commission selected 75 innovative start-ups after this year’s second EIC Accelerator cut-off in June. The companies were selected in a highly competitive process, in which 232 companies were interviewed by juries of experienced investors and entrepreneurs out of a total of more than 1000 applications. The 75 selected companies will together receive close to €400 million of funding in a combination of grants and equity investments. The equity investments will be made through the EIC Fund which is now fully operational. The selected companies have a wide geographical spread spanning 21 countries. 20% of the companies have female CEOs. Furthermore, the latest cut-off round for EIC Accelerator applications closed on 5 October, with another 1092 companies submitting full proposals.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:

Recently the Commission has taken a major step in the restructuring of the European Innovation Council Fund with the appointment of an external fund manager. The EIC Accelerator and EIC Fund are now fully operational to provide its unique combination of grants, investments and business acceleration services to Europe’s most promising deep tech start-ups. The high interest in the Accelerator scheme confirms its relevance. I am also pleased to see a good participation of companies with female CEOs but would like to see even more in future.

With 67 companies requesting the Accelerator’s blended finance or grant first options, the selection confirms the high demand for EIC equity investments. In most cases, the companies will receive the grant financing within the next two to three months, while the the first investment decisions will be made next year. Applications that meet all the criteria at the remote evaluation stage and that are assessed positively by the EIC jury, but not recommended for funding, will be awarded a Seal of Excellence to help them find alternative sources of funding.

Here are some examples of the innovative projects and companies that will receive support:

  • Archimedes Drive, company IMSystems (Netherlands) – driving innovation in the robotics industry – speed reducer based on smooth, rolling contact by cylinders
  • BeeOimpact, company BEEODIVERSITY (Belgium) – unique solution using the bee ecosystem to extract valuable biodiversity data and metrics
  • iScan, company Oivi (Norway) – automated retinal scans for early detection of diabetic eye diseases through use of artificial intelligence
  • Neuron Soundware, company Neuron Sandware (Czechia) – early machine failures detection using sound, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things technologies
  • NonInvasive Cortical Bone Microstructure Analysis, company Porous GmbH (Germany) –  solution measuring the cortical bone quality down to the microscopic pore level and replacing the current standard for diagnosis of osteoporosis – bone mineral density

Strong interest for October 2022 cut-off

In parallel to the selection of companies from the June cut-off, a new cut-off closed on 5 October with 1092 full proposals submitted. The number of applications shows a continued strong demand for EIC funding with a total request of €6.3 billion, of which €4.06 billion are for equity investments. The vast majority of companies requested blended finance or grant first option (900). Altogether, they originate from 37 countries, including 15 from Horizon Europe widening countries, which are catching up in their levels of research and innovation performance.

Proposals are now being evaluated by independent experts. The most promising companies will then be invited to pitch in front of a jury of investors and business experts in November, with selection decisions expected in the second half of December.

Background information

The EIC Accelerator 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 or more. 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.

Companies can submit their ideas to the EIC Accelerator at any time, which are then evaluated within approximately 4 weeks. For ideas meeting the EIC criteria for excellence, impact and risk-level, companies are invited to prepare full applications to submit to one of the regular cut-off dates. The next cut-off for EIC Accelerator full proposals is expected to be in January 2023 subject to the approval of the EIC 2023 Work Programme.

Since its launch in March 2021, over 7,000 start-ups and SMEs have sent their ideas and over 4000 have submitted full applications. The companies announced today were among the 1006 that submitted to the second 2022 cut-off on 15 June, and join the 238 companies selected for funding by the EIC in 2021 and 2022.

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