Most competitive EIC Accelerator cut-off awards major funding round to 74 of Europe’s high potential start-ups

The European Commission selected 74 innovative companies under the first 2022 EIC Accelerator cut-off. They are set to receive up to €382 million of funding in a combination of grants and investments. The companies were selected from over 1000 start-ups and SMEs that submitted a full application for funding for the 23 March 2022 cut-off, of which 266 were interviewed by juries of experienced investors and entrepreneurs. The selected companies will each receive grants and/or equity investments, depending on their needs, up to €17.5 million.

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

The new wave of innovation is currently led by deep tech start-ups that target societal challenges. I am happy to see so many of them applying to the EIC, in particular from countries that are catching up in their levels of research and innovation performance. Thanks to the European Innovation Council, they will get the support they need to accelerate their growth and lead on the next wave of deep tech.

The selected companies have a wide geographical spread spanning 18 countries. 12% of them originate from Horizon Europe “widening countries” which are catching up in their levels of research and innovation performance. The selection confirms the high demand for EIC equity investments with 61 of the 74 companies requesting equity investments or grant first option. In most cases, the companies will receive the grant financing within the next two to three months, while the finalisation of the equity investment is expected during the autumn. Most of the companies invited to the jury interviews and who were not selected for funding, will be awarded a Seal of Excellence and access to services to help them find alternative sources of funding.

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

  • Seven Sense (Estonia) – using telehaptics to give mobility and independence to those who are blind and visually impaired
  • I-CREATE (Finland) – developing novel oncolytic immunotherapy to fight ovarian, head & neck and lung cancers
  • LAYER® (France) – developing an organic photovoltaic module that generates energy from ambient light
  • Magrail (Poland) – bringing frictionless mobility (levitating trains) to conventional tracks
  • Mushlabs (Germany) – using biotechnology to create the next generation of tasty, nutritious and sustainable foods from mushroom mycelium
  • Seawei Project, Seaborg (Denmark) – delivering clean, affordable, and safe nuclear energy with a new type of reactor

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. 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. While there have been delays to funding companies selected in 2021, the EIC is rapidly catching up on this backlog and the new set of companies announced today are expected to receive their support much faster.

Companies can submit their ideas to the EIC Accelerator at any time. 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.

Since its launch in March 2021, over 6,000 start-ups and SMEs have sent their ideas and almost 3000 have submitted full applications. The companies announced today were among the 1093 who submitted to the first 2022 cut-off on 23 March, and join the 164 companies selected for funding by the EIC in 2021. The next cut-offs for full applications is 15 June and 7 October.

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