The European Commission’s Horizon Europe programme funds research and innovation to reduce the time to market for bright ideas. Within Horizon Europe, the EIC Accelerator supports small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and bring onto market their innovative, disruptive, high-risk, high-potential, new solutions which are at the early commercial stage of development (TRL 5) and have a potential to scale up.
Selected applicants can receive non-refundable grant up to 2.5 million euros and, if requested, optional equity investment worth up to 15 million euros. The grant-only finance scheme is targeted at SMEs, having own resources, with innovative projects that are not bankable or attractive for private investment. The following TRL 5-8 activities can be financed by the non-refundable grant, with a grant intensity of 70%: trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real-world conditions, IP management and market replication.
TRL 9 and further business activities can be financed by the equity investment under the blended finance scheme that awards up to Euro 15 million per SME in addition to the grant. Projects funded under the blended-finance scheme are subject to a due diligence process, which will mainly focus on evaluating compliance and risk level. The Commission will use the outcome of the due diligence to substantiate its final investment decision and to match investors with sufficient elements to take an informed decision so as to tailor the monitoring of the grant and equity to the particular features and situation of the company.
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