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Check the EIC dates and our tips to succesfully apply for funding

Be sure to mark the cut-off dates for 2023 in your calendar 

1st11 January Open Call
2nd22 MarchOpen Call and specific topics for life sciences & health: Biomarker assays for cancer and Decontamination for pandemic management
3rd7 JuneOpen Call and specific topics for life sciences & health: Biomarker assays for cancer and Decontamination for pandemic management
4th4 OctoberOpen Call and specific topics for life sciences & health: Biomarker assays for cancer and Decontamination for pandemic management

Five tips and tricks to make your EIC application a success 

The European Innovation Council (EIC) has published the cut-off dates for the EIC Accelerator! This is a great opportunity for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to raise substantial funding for their innovations. Applying for funding is not something that can be done overnight though. FFUND’s team leader Lorina Gjonaj and consultant Katja Jansen gladly share their top five tips for making a successful EIC Accelerator application.

Tip 1: Start on time. Really!

First of all, keep a close eye on the cut-off dates, which are strict deadlines. Starting too late can mean missing out on millions of euros of non-dilutive funding or direct equity investments. Properly filling in the final application, which is about 120 pages long, will require a serious amount of time and effort. Start on time by collecting all the necessary information, especially regarding your Work Packages and budget. You’re going to need the time. Trust us. 

Tip 2: Familiarize yourself with the online platform 

Do not only prepare your files in a Word document. The final application is set up on an online platform and contains many fields, some of which change based on previous selections. Most have a 1,000-character limit, others a bit more, and others have a bit less. Especially the Work Packages and budget section requires a lot of clicking. Get to know the platform and teach your team how to work in it, so you won’t be caught off guard later. The biggest advantage of the online platform is that more than one person at a time can access it and save their changes. Make use of this. 

Tip 3: Have a sharp and compelling storyline 

Ideally, you should focus your innovation activities and targeted market on one indication. Explain the value proposition of your device or solution. To do this in the best possible way, assign your experts to a section in their field of expertise. So, assign your business specialist to the fields that contain business-related information, for example, and your CTO to the technology section. A project as large as this requires all hands on deck. Once you have compiled your information, be sure to make it accessible and approachable. You are telling a story. Make it stick. 

Tip 4: Focus on the European market 

The most important goal is to focus your application on EU incentives and the European market. The EIC Accelerator is meant to speed up the process of upscaling so that products can be launched quicker on the European market. The EIC’s priority is Europe, so yours should be too, at least initially. Focus on European sales first and expand intercontinental later. 

Tip 5: Don’t underestimate your Freedom to Operate (FTO) document 

Be aware of the time and money can take to draw up a Freedom to Operate (FTO) document, which is a mandatory annex for the EIC.  An official FTO analysis can only be acquired via your lawyer. Furthermore, depending on how deep your analysis goes, the costs can easily run up to around thirty thousand euros. Smaller ventures do not usually have that kind of money lying around, so make sure you are prepared with an alternative 2-page FTO statement; it can prove valuable to include a small quote from your legal advisors regarding the likelihood of FTO based on current knowledge and that you plan on performing an official FTO at a certain timepoint within the EIC project. 

About the EIC Accelerator 

The EIC Accelerator provides non-dilutive grant funding of up to €2.5 million for innovation development costs, direct equity investments of up to €15 million managed by the EIC Fund for scaling up and other relevant costs, and investments of more than €15 million for companies working on technologies of strategic European interest. In addition, EIC-selected companies receive coaching, mentoring, access to investors and corporates, and many other opportunities as part of the EIC community. 

About the author
Picture of Katja Jansen

Katja Jansen