European Innovation Council (EIC)

The European Innovation Council (EIC) offers integrated, agile support across the full innovation spectrum from early-stage research to start-up and scale-up. It aims at identifying and supporting breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations with the potential to scale up internationally and become market leaders.

Purpose and objectives

The overall objective of the EIC is to identify, develop and deploy high-risk innovations of all kind with a particular focus on breakthrough, market-creating and deep-tech innovations. It aims to support the rapid scale-up of innovative technologies and companies (mainly start-ups and SMEs) at EU and international level along the pathway from ideas to market. The EIC is part of the Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation.

Who can apply?

Depending on the funding scheme, a great variety of organisations can apply for EIC funding: SMEs, research organisations, universities, industry, spin-offs, start-ups, individuals (intending to launch a start-up/SME) and in exceptional cases small mid-caps (fewer than 500 employees).

What to apply for?

The EIC has a separate Work Programme with three main ‘funding schemes’:


Supports early stage development of future technologies (e.g. various activities at low Technology Readiness Levels 1-4), based on high-risk/high-gain science-towards-technology breakthrough research (including ‘deep-tech’). Participation is possible in general consortia of at least three different independent legal entities (e.g. research organisations, universities, SMEs, industry) established in at least three different eligible countries and with at least one of them established in a Member State.


Supports transforming research results into innovation opportunities, both technologically and business-wise. Single applicants (SMEs, spin-offs, start-ups, research organisations, universities) and small consortia of two to five partners can participate.


Supports companies to scale-up high-impact innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones. Applicants can be single start-ups, SMEs (including spin-outs), individuals (intending to launch a start-up/SME). The Accelerator grant consists of two components: grant funding only or blended finance with the possibility of an optional equity investment. ‘Small mid-cap’ (up to 500 employees) can apply for rapid scale-up purposes (e.g. Technology Readiness Level 9) and only for the investment component.

Want to know more?

Do you want to know more about the EIC grants or do you have an innovative idea or project plan? Contact our specialists at +31 (0)88 838 13 81 or send us a message:

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