The EIC Accelerator Seal of Excellence and the EIC Transition activities Seal of Excellence are quality labels awarded to project proposals submitted by start-ups and SMEs under Horizon Europe, the EU's research and innovation funding programme until 2027, to help these proposals find alternative funding. Projects that were judged to deserve funding by independent experts gathered within EIC juries, but did not get it only due to budget limits, may receive such Seals of Excellence. This now well-known quality label recognises the value of the proposal and helps other funding bodies take advantage of the Horizon Europe evaluation process. Provided that the beneficiary company has given prior consent to the EIC & SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) to do so, its basic contact information can be communicated to any trustworthy alternative funding source.
The Seal of Excellence provides indicates basic information on the proposal, the call and the submitter. It demonstrates political commitment by displaying the signatures of the two Commissioners respectively in charge of innovation and regional policy. It is unique and safe. It is digitally sealed against fraud, as is the project proposal and evaluation summary report.
Depending on the decision of the jury responsible for hearing the management team of the start-up/ SME carrying out the corresponding innovation project, excellent proposals submitted to Horizon Europe’s EIC Accelerator or EIC Transition that meet all the selection criteria, but cannot be funded under the available call budget, may be awarded an EIC Seal of Excellence. The Seal of Excellence Certificate is delivered to SMEs, including start-ups, when they receive their evaluation results from the EIC (EISMEA).
The Seal of Excellence
Tips to find funding
Source: European Commission, 2023