The EIC Accelerator is a large and highly competitive funding programme for deep-tech start-ups in Europe. The programme is running a pilot phase since June 2019, and the last call of the EIC Accelerator pilot programme took place on the last 7th of October 2020
Thus, even though there is little official information out about what the EIC Accelerator programme will look like in the future, it is expected that significant changes and updates will happen linked to the launching of the next EU Framework Programme (Horizon Europe) expected by early 2021.
Analysis of the results and development of the pilot programme so far have shown certain issues to think about. For example, a success rate around 1 % (In October 2020, 4,200 proposals requesting over €15 billion were received, highest ever for the EIC Accelerator Pilot) or the high number of proposals resubmitted. Questions now are:
How important is the luck factor to secure funding?
Will the expected programme updates help European deep-tech champions bring to the market their innovations?
To sum up
Horizon Europe and the fully-fledged version of the EIC Accelerator are coming closer. That said, there are still points of uncertainty for all parties interested in taking part in the funding scheme. We now know more about the submission, application, and evaluation processes, but there is still no official confirmation on details nor on deadlines for 2021.
In general, the fully-fledged EIC Accelerator Programme seeks to support a simpler application process and offer improved funding. Nevertheless, it is still to be seen the effectiveness of changes as the ones above to help high-quality proposals secure funding and reduce the impact of luck over the selection process.