In 2021, the European Innovation Council (EIC) was launched as a major novelty under the Horizon Europe programme following a successful pilot phase between 2018 and 2020.
On Wednesday, the European Commission (EC) adopted the 2022 work programme of the European Innovation Council.
It opens funding opportunities worth over €1.7B in 2022 for breakthrough innovators to scale up and create new markets, particularly in quantum computing, new generation batteries and gene therapy.
The European Innovation Council has a total budget of over €10B for the period 2021 to 2027.
What’s new this year?
According to the European Commission, the 2022 work programme has several new elements.
EIC Scale-up 100 initiative: This initiative is to identify 100 promising deep-tech EU companies that have the potential to become ‘unicorns.’
Equity investments above €15M: The EIC Accelerator will allow companies working on technologies of strategic European interest to apply for EIC investments of more than €15M.
More power to women innovators: The 2022 edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators will include two additional prizes for innovators under 35, taking the total number of prizes awarded to six.
According to the EC, the funding will be split amongst three divisions of the EIC:
- EIC Pathfinder will receive €350M for multi-disciplinary research teams to undertake ambitious research
- EIC Transition will receive €131M to turn research results into innovation opportunities and build a business case for specific applications
- EIC Accelerator will get €1.16B for startups and SMEs to develop and scale-up high-impact innovations
The European Commission says all projects of the European Innovation Council have access to Business Acceleration Services, which provides coaches, mentors and expertise, partnering opportunities with corporates, investors and others, and a range of other services and events.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth, says, “The European Innovation Council has already supported 4 unicorns and more than 90 centaurs. The work programme for this year is backed by the biggest ever annual funding for visionary entrepreneurs and researchers, as well as new measures to support female innovators and scale-ups. Europe is committed to supporting innovation and new technologies and we are on track to meet our ambition to make the EIC Europe’s unicorn factory.”