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European Innovation Funding Programmes

EIC Accelerator

The programme aims at contributing to the development of game-changing innovations to the market-ready status (starting TRL 5 or higher; target TRL 8/9).

The EIC Accelerator has no predefined thematic priorities and is open to proposals in any field of technology or application. The programme supports the later stages of technology development and acts as a catalyst to crowd in other investors necessary for the scale up of the innovation. The technology component of your innovation must therefore have been tested and validated in a laboratory or other relevant environment.

The focus is on innovations building on scientific discovery or technological breakthroughs (‘deep tech’) and where significant funding is needed over a long timeframe before returns can be generated (‘patient capital’). Such innovations often struggle to attract financing because the risks and time period involved are too high. Funding and support from the EIC Accelerator is designed to enable such innovators to attract the full investment amounts needed for scale up in a shorter timeframe.

The expected outcomes of an EIC Accelerator project are:

- a technology system completed and qualified through testing and demonstration, i.e. technology fully developed and demonstrated/tested to be effective in the operational environment - most usually at potential customers (TRL 8)

- a technology system ready to be proven in the operational environment, i.e. ready to production and full commercialisation (TRL 9)

- a business model is fine-tuned; sales and metrics show business model holds and can sale (BRL 8); business model finalised; business scaling with recurring revenues (BRL 9)

EIC Transition

The programme aims at maturing both your technology and business idea, thus increasing its technology and market readiness (starting TRL 5; target TRL 6/7) The EIC Transition funds innovation activities that go beyond the experimental proof of principle in laboratory to support both:

- the maturation and validation of your novel technology in the lab and in relevant application environments (by making use of prototyping, formulation, models, user testing or other validation tests), and

- the development of a sustainable business case and (business) model towards the innovation’s future commercialisation.

The projects should address both technology and market/business development, possibly including iterative learning processes based on early customer or user feedback. The activities must in all cases address market readiness towards commercialisation and deployment (market research, business case, prospects for growth, intellectual property protection, competitor analysis etc.) and possibly aspects of regulation, certification and standardisation (if relevant), aimed at getting both the technology and the business idea investment-ready.


- Individual researchers and research teams

- Small and medium enterprises (SMEs)


Grants of up to €2.5 million EUR and more are available to validate and demonstrate technology in application-relevant environment and develop market readiness.

The expected outcomes of an EIC Transition project are:

- a technology demonstrated in a relevant environment (TRL 6); ready for demonstration in an operational environment (TRL 7)

- a full business model developed, including pricing verified on customers (BRL 6); ready for product/market fit demonstration; attractive revenue/cost projections (BRL 7)

EIC Pathfinder

The programme offers support to visionary research teams with bold ideas to research or develop an emerging breakthrough technology (starting TRL 1; target TRL 4/5)

The overall objective of the EIC Pathfinder for advanced research is to develop the scientific basis to underpin breakthrough technologies. It provides support for the earliest stages of scientific, technological or deep-tech research and development.

The programme works through:

- ‘EIC Pathfinder Open’, open to proposals in any field of science, technology or application without predefined thematic priorities

- ‘EIC Pathfinder Challenges’ to support proposals within a predefined thematic area and addressing specific objectives


- Visionary scientists, entrepreneurial researchers and research organisations

- Start-ups, high-tech small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and industrial stakeholders interested in technological research and innovation

Projects typically involve consortia of researchers and other partners from at least three different countries, but there are also opportunities for individual teams and small consortia (two partners).


Grants of up to 3 to 4 million EUR support early stage development of future technologies (e.g. various activities at low Technology Readiness Levels 1-3), up to proof of concept;

Pathfinder projects can also receive additional funding for testing the innovation potential of their research outputs.

The expected outcomes of an EIC Pathfinder project are:

- a technology that is validated in a laboratory environment (TRL 4); ready for validation in a relevant environment (TRL 5)

- a first version of the business model ready, with first projections of economic viability and market potential done (BRL 4); ready for business model testing and first revenue model, with a competitive position verified in the market (BRL 5)