European Innovation Council (EIC) Calls Open for 2023

The Pathfinder, Transition and Accelerator strands of the EIC have all launched calls for applications to support all stages of innovation.

The European Innovation Council (EIC) has launched the majority of its calls under the 2023 Work Programme, unlocking millions of funding for Europe’s most promising innovators.

The EIC is the Commission’s primary tool for identifying and supporting breakthrough technologies and significant innovations with the potential to scale up internationally and become market leaders. It supports all stages of innovation, from R&D on the scientific underpinnings of breakthrough technologies, to validation and demonstration of breakthrough technologies and innovations to meet real world needs, to the development and scaling up of start-ups and SMEs.

Financial support through the EIC is primarily provided under three main instruments:

  • The EIC Pathfinder (worth €343 million in 2023) – for multi-disciplinary research teams to develop the scientific basis to underpin breakthrough technologies.
  • The EIC Transition (worth €128 million in 2023) – for transforming research results into innovation opportunities, and to validate technologies and develop business plans for specific applications.
  • The EIC Accelerator (worth €1.13 billion in 2023) – to support companies (SMEs, start-ups, spin-outs and in exceptional cases small mid-caps) to bring their (usually high-risk/high-impact) innovations to market and scale up.

The majority of funding issued through the EIC takes the form of Open Funding with no predefined thematic priorities. This enables support for any technologies and innovations that cut across different scientific, technological, sectoral and application fields or represent novel combinations. However, a challenge-driven approach is also used to provide funding to address specific technological and innovation breakthroughs, taking into account EU priorities for transitioning to a green, digital and healthy society, as well as the overall strategic planning for Horizon Europe.

Application details for the three channels are as follows:

EIC Pathfinder

Proposals must be submitted by the coordinator on behalf of a consortium by the 7 March 2023 deadline. The Pathfinder Challenges will open on 20 June 2023 with a deadline of 18 October 2023.

EIC Transition

Applicants for both the EIC Open Call and Challenges will need to apply by either of the two deadlines: 12 April 2023, 27 September 2023.

EIC Accelerator

Applicants for both the Open Call and Challenges calls should submit a Short Application via the Commission’s Funding & Tenders Portal at any time. Those successful at the Short Application stage will be invited to submit a Full Application by one of the periodic cut-off dates. The 2023 cut-off dates are as follows:

  • 22 March 2023
  • 7 June 2023
  • 4 October 2023

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)