Focus on the EIC Accelerator pilot « Green Deal »

January 1, 2022

The next cut-off deadline for the EIC Accelerator pilot on 19 May 2020 will be reserved for projects relating to the Green Deal, the European Commission's new flagship initiative to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

Specific challenge and scope

Support may be provided in the form of a grant or blended finance (combining grant and equity). The topic targets high-risk, high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises (including start-ups) from any sector provided that they contribute to Green Deal goals. This Green Deal topic specifically concentrates on those innovations that fuel the societal transition towards sustainability while supporting EU’s competitiveness and leadership in clean technologies.

In this context, the EIC Accelerator pilot supports the development of business concepts into market-ready innovations (new or disruptive technologies, products, processes, services and business models) and their roll-out. The projects funded following the cut-off deadline of 19 May 2020 will benefit from a total budget of €303 million, and each of them will last between 12 and 24 months.

Support may be provided in the form of a grant or blended finance (combining grant and equity).

  • Grant only funding (funding rate 70%) ranges from €0.5 million up to €2.5 million.
  • Under the blended finance option, the grant component is limited to €2.5 million combined with an equity component of up to €15 million. Duly justified higher or lower amounts can be requested too.

These projects are bound to be mono-participant actions and the call for proposals is open on an ongoing basis, with the Commission examining applications at several cut-off deadlines every 3 to 4 months.

The EIC Accelerator pilot « Green Deal » will provide SMEs and start-ups with Business Acceleration Services that may take the form of coaching up to 12 days, training, links to investors, public and private procurers of innovation, partnering and networking with other EIC beneficiaries.

Expected impact

Projects must support the Green Deal implementation by significantly contributing (and proposals must quantitatively estimate that contribution) to at least one of the following sustainability goals:

  • Increasing the EU’s climate mitigation and/or adaptation ambition;
  • Supplying clean, affordable and secure energy;
  • Transitioning of industry to a clean and/or circular economy (including waste prevention and/or recycling);
  • Building and renovating in an energy and resource efficient way;
  • Accelerating the shift to sustainable and smart mobility;
  • Transition to a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system;
  • Preserving and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity;
  • Realising a zero pollution ambition and a toxic-free environment.

 Simultaneously, projects shall do no significant harm to any of those objectives and should enhance European Union’s competitiveness and leadership in clean technologies. Projects dedicated to increase the efficiency of fossil fuels technologies or fossil fuels use are ineligible.

Eligibility and procedure

SMEs and start-ups should declare that their project is at least at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6.  Proposals with activities up to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 8 may be funded by grants or blended finance. Close to market activities (TRL 9 or above) can only be financed by equity participation (as long as the proposal remains non-bankable. Again, the Green Deal topic of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot aims to foster impact investing by supporting the development and market roll-out of innovations that can tilt our socio-economic systems in a more sustainable path. Activities could, for example, include product/service development, trials, prototyping, validation, demonstration and testing in real-world conditions, and market replication.

You should provide evidence of or realistic measures to ensure 'freedom to operate' (i.e., possibility of commercial exploitation) and a convincing knowledge-protection strategy. Care should also be taken not to submit applications which are similar or which relate to a project being financed by the EIC Accelerator (and SME Instrument).   Interested by the EIC Accelerator pilot - Green Deal ? Apply online  until 19 May 2020

Applicants must submit a 30-page proposal (+ annexes). The Commission will aim at having in the pool of the best applications invited to face-to-face interviews at least 25% of applications submitted by  SMEs and start-ups led by women CEOs (or equivalent position)  Please note : the next deadline for the EIC Accelerator call is 7 October 2020.

Would you like to find out more about the expectations of the evaluators  for the EIC Accelerator pilot - Green Deal ?

Take part in the webinar organised  on Thursday 12 March by Mov’eo with the support of Bpifrance and the ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management Agency) !