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  • EIC Funding 2024: What You Need to Know

    by Amy Murphy | Jan 23, 2024 | Reading time: 8 minutes | Blog

    As we step into 2024, the European Innovation Council (EIC) is ushering in substantial changes across its funding programs—namely, the EIC Accelerator, EIC Transition, and EIC Pathfinder schemes. Let’s go over the changes in store for this year.


    EIC Accelerator

    The EIC Accelerator is designed for single applicants (startups and SMEs) looking to develop and scale their deep-tech projects, creating new markets or disrupting existing ones.


    What is the EIC Accelerator Budget?

    The EIC Accelerator’s 2024 budget is €675M: €375M for Open calls and €300M for the 6 Challenge calls. Funding options include grants up to €2.5M and investments from €0.5 to €15M. The funding rate is 70% of the project’s costs.

    What are the EIC Accelerator Challenges?

    The introduction of new challenges in 2024 revolves around transformative themes

    • Human Centric Generative AI
    • Virtual worlds and augmented interaction (Industry 5.0)
    • Smart edge & quantum technology components
    • Food from precision fermentation and algae
    • Monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics for emerging viruses, and 
    • Renewable energy sources. 

    For detailed insights, refer to our article on these newest challenges.

    When are the EIC Accelerator 2024 Cut-off dates?

    There are only two scheduled cut-off dates for full applications in 2024: 13th March 2024 and 3rd October 2024 for both the Challenge & Open calls.

    What is the evaluation process and criteria?

    The application process for the EIC programme is still the same as before: three steps: Short Apllication, Full Application & Interviews. This being said, there are changes in the evaluation criteria.

    Short Application: short proposals submitted from this year onwards will require 3 positive evaluations (GOs) to pass. 

    Full Application: In case of a single No-Go from one evaluator, a consensus meeting determines whether the applicant can proceed to the face-to-face interview.

    EIC Jury: The EIC jury will have access to the evaluation of the Full Application but not the Short Application or previous submission. Additionally, the jury will not be able to change the form of support, nor the amount of equity requested.

    Is there a submission limit for the EIC Accelerator?

    Yes, there is a new Max. 3 Submissions rule which limits applicants to a maximum of 3 submissions. Exceeding three NO-GOs at any stage bars applicants from submitting to the EIC until the next Framework Programme in 2028. In other words, don´t waste your chance with a poor-quality proposal! 

    What are the main changes to the EIC Accelerator in 2024?

    • 1) There has been a reduction in the budget from the €1.1B in 2023 to the €675M budget for this year, as well as fewer cut-off dates (2 cut-offs), which will likely increase the competitiveness of the programme and reduce the number of companies selected.


    • 2) To add to the previous point, the evaluation process will be more stringent (Short applications now require 3/4 GOs, there is a maximum of submissions allows and there will be consensus meetings).


    • 3) The Grant-first option is no longer available. The removal of the Grant-first option means a shift to blended finance, offering more flexibility in deciding when to proceed with investments. Now, applicants can choose blended finance, even if there’s no immediate investment need or if the investment is spread over several years.


    • 4) The Lump Sum cost model will be used in an effort to simplify the financial reporting stage. This will also impact the payment modality since the Lump sum share will be paid upon completion of each Work Package.
    EIC Accelerator 2024 Infographic



    EIC Transition

    EIC Transition invites single applicants or small consortia (2 to 5 entities) to validate technology in an application-relevant environment, starting at TRL 3/4 with the goal of achieving TRL 5/6. It builds upon the achievements of EIC Pathfinder projects, ERC Proof of Concept projects, and, for the first time, results from Horizon collaborative projects in Pillar 2 and societal challenges. 


    What is the budget allocated for EIC Transition?

    The budget for EIC Transition in 2024 is €94M, which is for its Open call. It offers grant funding up to €2.5M. The funding rate is 100% of the project’s costs.

    Are there any Transition challenge calls scheduled for the year 2024?

    There will be no EIC Transition challenge calls in 2024.

    When is the cut-off date for the EIC Transition call?

    There is a single cut-off date for EIC Transition full applications on the 18th September 2024.

    What are the main changes for the EIC Transition programme in 2024?


    • The EIC Transition Call for 2024 witnesses a significant budget reduction dropping from €128.36M in 2023 to €94M.
    • There are no transition challenge calls scheduled this year, probably due to the drop in budget.
    • Changes include a broader scope for eligible projects: for the first time, EIC Transition funding is open to follow-up results from Horizon collaborative projects of Pillar 2
    • Lastly, resubmission restrictions have been removed for the Transition call- however, bear in mind that if you received a low score in the first evaluation, do not resubmit without significant improvements!


    EIC Transition 2024 Infographic


    EIC Pathfinder

    The EIC Pathfinder is for early research teams to make technology breakthroughs and achieving TRL3 /4. The Open call is for consortia, and the Challenges call allows smaller consortia (>2 entities), single applicants, and larger consortia to apply.


    What is the new Budget for the EIC Pathfinder Call in 2024?

    The EIC Pathfinder’s 2024 budget is €256M: with €136M for the Open calls and €120 M for the Challenges calls. Funding covers 100% of project costs, with a maximum grant of €3M for the open call and €4M for challenges.

    What are the EIC Pathfinder Challenges for 2024?

    The EIC Pathfinder challenges call for 2024 will focus on the following groundbreaking areas:

    • ”Solar-to-X” devices
    • Towards cement and concrete as a carbon sink
    • Nature-inspired alternatives for food packaging and films.
    • Nanoelectronics for energy-efficient smart edge devices and 
    • Protecting EU space infrastructure.

    See our article here about 2024 challenges for more details.

    When are the EIC Pathfinder 2024 Cut-off dates?

    In 2024, the EIC Pathfinder Open call closes on March 7th, while the EIC Pathfinder Challenge call has a deadline set for October 16th.

    What are the main changes for the EIC Pathfinder programme in 2024?

    • Budget Reduction: Like the other EIC programmes, The EIC Pathfinder’s 2024 budget is also reduced, adjusted to €256M, down from €343M in 2023, making it more competitive and selective.
    • Fresh Challenges
    • Introduction of lump-sum lump funding to simplify post-grant reporting.
    • Evaluation process modifications with the Consensus meetings and the elimination of rebuttal for strengthened evaluations.
    EIC Pathfinder 2024 Infographic


    As the EIC Work Programme unfolds in 2024, the EIC signals a shift—expect less funding and heightened competition. Despite the hurdles, the EIC Accelerator remains the world’s largest deep-tech funding instrument, ready to sow the seeds of transformative innovations with profound societal impact.



    Evolution: Your Strategic Ally for EIC Success.

    The EIC Pathfinder is for early research teams to make technology breakthroughs and achieving TRL3 /4. The Open call is for consortia, and the Challenges call allows smaller consortia (>2 entities), single applicants, and larger consortia to apply.

    At Evolution, we stand as your strategic ally in this evolving EIC landscape. With a proven track record and numerous success stories in EIC funding, our expert consultants will seamlessly guide you through the application process and post-grand project management. Explore our success cases, connect with our experienced team, and let us help you maximize your chances for success in turning your innovation dreams into reality. 


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