European Innovation Council

The European Innovation Council (EIC) aims to identify and support breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations to create new markets and scale up internationally.

The European Innovation Council (EIC) has been established under the Horizon Europe programme. It has a budget of €10.1 billion to support game changing innovations throughout the businees lifecycle, from early stage research, to proof of concept, technology transfer, to the financing and scale up of start-ups and SMEs.

Innovations in EIC

The main 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 European and international level along the pathway from ideas to market. In this context the EIC is also an initiative contributing the EU technology sovereignty.

The strategy and implementation of the EIC is steered by the EIC Board, which has independent members appointed from the world of innovation (entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, corporates and others from the innovation ecosystem). The EIC and SME Executive Agency (EISMEA) is responsible for supporting the EIC Board and its President, and for implementing the EIC’s activities which are set out in an annual EIC Work Programme.

Types of EIC funding

The funding and support is organised into three main funding schemes:

Linkages between the funding schemes will be maximised through proactive project management and a portfolio approach implemented by EIC Programme Managers, who develop visions for innovation and technology breakthroughs and steer portfolios of projects to achieve EIC goals.

The majority of funding will be awarded through open calls with no predefined thematic priorities (so-called ‘Open Funding’). This is designed to enable support for any technologies and innovations that cut across different scientific, technological, sectoral and application fields or represent novel combinations. Other calls have a challenge driven approach (‘Strategic Challenges’) and provides funding to address specific technological and innovation breakthroughs. These challenges take into account EU priorities for transitioning to a green, digital and healthy society, as well as the overall strategic planning for Horizon Europe, and the inputs of stakeholders, experts and the EIC pilot Advisory Board.

Information, call and deadlines

For more information on the EIC, please refer to the EIC webpage. Call information and deadlines in the EIC can be found on the Funding and Tenders portal. 

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