Welcome to Acceler8‘s comprehensive guide on European Innovation Council (EIC) funding opportunities, specifically tailored for startups, organisations, and entrepreneurs based in Europe.

Throughout this article, we present a curated list of 13 growth avenues supported by the EIC, spanning diverse sectors from health and biotechnology to cleantech and circular economy initiatives.

From cash grants to tailored support programs, these EIC funding opportunities are designed to propel startups to new heights, so, whether you’re in health, deeptech, or sustainability, read on to discover the potential funding sources that can accelerate your venture’s journey.


1. Ventures Thrive

For whom? Startups focused on health, medicine, biotechnology, veterinary medicine, agriculture and waste, marine or energy.

What? An 8-month venture building programme designed to accelerate the growth of deep-tech ventures in Widening Area Countries.

How much? Up to €95,000 in cash and services.

Deadline: 31st January 2024

Link: https://www.venturesthrive.eu/


2. Synergist EIC Open Call #2

For whom? Digital and deep tech startups focused on climate-tech, clean-tech, circular economy and agri-food challenges.

What? Tailored specific and hands-on support to European impact driven green tech start-ups to become more competitive and increase their readiness to be successful in the EIC Accelerator.

How much? Up to €50,000 per start-up

Deadline: 13th March 2024

Link: https://synergisteic.eu/open-calls/open-call-2/


3. X2.0

For whom? Startups focused on Manufacturing & Circular Economy, AgriTech, HealthTech & BioTech, Smart Cities and Sustainability, and Data & AI.

What? Deeptech growth programme that seeks to ensure the scaling up of EU deeptech start-ups by providing custom, industry-focused, growth programme that will act as a catalyst in delivering market-ready applications and technology solutions.

How much? €1,500,000 to 50 startups.

Deadline: No open calls at the moment.

Link: https://x2-0.eu/


4. EIC Accelerator 2024

For whom? Startups and SMEs, individuals intending to launch a SME and small mid-caps (can apply for equity only).

What? Develop and scaleup innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones (TRL 5-9).

How much? Up to €2.5 million of grants, up to €15 million of equity investments, coaching & mentoring, networking.

Deadline: Short application – 24th December 2024

Link: https://eic.ec.europa.eu/eic-funding-opportunities/eic-accelerator_en


5. EIC Tech to Market Entrepreneurship & Venture Building

For whom? EIC Pathfinder and EIC Transition beneficiaries.

What? EIC Tech to Market Programme (T2M) helps innovators from projects funded under EIC Pathfinder and Transition in their transition from lab to market.

How much? Indicative budget of €4,500,000

Indicative timetable: From Q4 2024.

Link: https://eic.ec.europa.eu/eic-funding-opportunities/business-acceleration-services/tech-market-programme-t2m_en


EIC-Funded Cascade Funds

6. Open Call 1A: Business Consultancy Services for Ukrainian tech start-ups

For whom? SMEs working on innovative solutions, services or products registered in Ukraine, or relocated from Ukraine to one of the Member States of the EU and its OCTs or Horizon Europe Associated Countries after 24.02.2022 or, be registered in one of the Member States of the EU and its OCTs or Horizon Europe Associated Countries and have at least one founder or co-founder, or top manager holding Ukrainian Citizenship.

What? This open call provides grants up to €10,000 to purchase up to 2 months of Business Consultancy Services that will help your company in upgrading its business model, business plan, or growth strategy.

How much? Up to €10,000.

Deadline: Multiple cut-offs, as listed below.

  • 20 February 2024
  • 20 May 2024
  • 20 August 2024
  • 20 November 2024
  • 20 February 2025

Link: https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/competitive-calls-cs/4521?keywords=EIC


7. EmpoWomen Open Call #1

For whom? EmpoWomen primarily focuses on women-led deep tech early-stage startups in Widening Areas.

What? The purpose of EmpoWomen_OC#1 is to actively involve women-led digital and deep tech startups in the widening area region. This call seeks to identify and choose promising startups to participate in a customized acceleration programme. The overarching goal is to offer support that nurtures the development and investment potential of these startups, with the ultimate aim of cultivating them into leading female figures in deep tech innovation within Europe.

How much? Up to €45,000. EmpoWomen extends support through mentoring, caching and networking opportunities.

Deadline: 8th March, 2024

Link: https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/competitive-calls-cs/4741?keywords=EIC&programmePart=


8. InnoBuyer – Call for Solvers

For whom? Innovative SMEs.

What? The InnoBuyer Call for Solvers aims to select and fund 15 innovative companies (Solvers), to co-create pilots addressing the specific innovation needs (Challenges) of public organisation (Challengers). Each pair of selected Challengers and Solvers is expected to collaborate for a period of 10 months to implement the solution/pilot proposed by the Solver to address the Challenge presented by the Challenger, notably by (1) implementing a round of co-creation sessions bringing together Challenger and Solver personnel, for co-developing a joint solution and (2) piloting the co-created solution in a real environment to test its functionality and assess its effectiveness. Interested SMEs can apply either for the Open Challenges or the InnoBuyer Ready-made Challenges.

How much? Up to €58,500

Deadline: 24th January, 2024

Link: https://innobuyer.eu/solvers/


9. X2.0 Driving Deeptech Growth

For whom? Deeptech startups.

What? X2.0 – Driving Deep Tech Growth is an EU-funded deeptech growth program that seeks to ensure the scaling up of EU deeptech startups by providing custom, industry-focused, 5 months growth programs that will act as a catalyst in delivering market-ready applications and technology solutions in 5 key impact areas. The fifth and final impact area is Data & A.I.

How much? X2.0 – Driving Deeptech Growth’s innovation vouchers can cover (1) needs-based growth and scaling services in the max. amount of €20,000, (2) access to large-scale startup and investor-oriented events, exhibitions, and fairs in the amount of €5,000, and (3) 1-on-1 mentorship with experts from the field of need in the min. amount of €5,000.

Deadline: 4th March, 2024

Link: https://x2-0.eu/


EIC Prizes

10. The European Prize For Women

For whom? The prize is awarded every year to women from across the EU and countries associated to Horizon Europe, who have transformed their ideas into disruptive innovations to benefit people and the planet.

What? Facing fast-paced developing technologies and science, it is crucial to involve women and girls in the design, development and up-take of innovative solutions. Achieving gender equality and diversity benefits not only individuals, but also increases the performance of business, research and innovation.

How much?

  • Women Innovators Category
    • 1st Prize – €100,000
    • 2nd Prize – €70,000
    • 3rd Prize – €50,000
  • Rising Innovators Category
    • 1st Prize – €50,000
    • 2nd Prize – €30,000
    • 3rd Prize – €20,000

Indicative deadline: Q3-Q4 2024

Link: https://eic.ec.europa.eu/eic-2024-work-programme_en


11. The European Capital of Innovation Awards (iCapital)

For whom? The European Capital of Innovation Awards will recognise the cities’ role as catalysers of the local innovation ecosystem and will stimulate new activities aimed at boosting game-changing innovation.

What? The traditional city innovation ecosystem is opening up to new models of innovation engaging citizens, ensuring their involvement in the decision-making process, and reinforcing democracy and rights. An increasing number of cities are acting as test beds for innovation and run people-driven initiatives to find solutions to societal challenges, such as climate change, digitalisation, sustainable growth or social cohesion, including through new endeavours such as nature0based solutions and EU Missions.

How much?

  • European Capital of Innovation
    • Winner – €1,000,000
    • 1st Runner-Up – €100,000
    • 2nd Runner-Up – €100,000
  • European Rising Innovative City
    • Winner – €500,000
    • 1st Runner-Up – €50,000
    • 2nd Runner-Up – €50,000

Indicative deadline: Q2 or Q3 2024

Link: https://eic.ec.europa.eu/eic-2024-work-programme_en


12. The European Innovation Procurement Awards

For whom? The awards would recognise public and/or private procurers, individuals/natural persons and/or legal entities that are using innovation procurement to support the transition to a sustainable, net-zero economy, and are driving innovation across key sectors such as energy, transportation, construction and manufacturing.

What? The European Union has recognised the importance of innovation procurement as a tool for modernising the public sector, strengthening Europe’s industrial competitiveness, and addressing key societal challenges such as climate change and the transition to a sustainable, net-zero economy. The New European Innovation Agenda sets out a vision for harnessing the power of innovation to drive economic growth, social progress, and environmental sustainability in Europe. The Agenda emphasises the need for strategic investments in key technologies, including deep tech, and for stronger collaboration between public and private sector actors to foster innovation and promote the uptake of new solutions. In this context, it is proposed that the European Innovation Procurement Awards 2025 societal challenge would focus on the theme of net-zero, in line with the EU’s commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and the recent proposal for a NetZero Industry Act.

How much?

  • Innovation Procurement Initiative Award
    • Winner – €75,000
    • 1st Runner-Up – €50,000
    • 2nd Runner-Up – €25,000
  • Facing Societal Challenges Category
    • Winner – €75,000
    • 1st Runner-Up – €50,000
    • 2nd Runner-Up – €25,000

Indicative deadline: Q3 or Q4 2024

Link: https://eic.ec.europa.eu/eic-2024-work-programme_en


13. The European Social Innovation Competition 2024

For whom? This competition is open, among others, to non-profit and for-profit organisations, such as entrepreneurs and social enterprises, corporate responsibility departments of private companies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), educational institutions and universities.

What? The competition will look for technological and non-technological social innovations, with a particular focus on new participatory and engagement models, breakthroughs, socially sustainable or breakthrough, market-creating and deep-tech innovations embracing the objectives of this year’s edition, which, consequently, will have a positive impact on civic engagement, local prosperity as well as sustainable economic growth.

How much?

  • Winner: €75,000
  • 1st Runner-Up: €50,000
  • 2nd Runner-Up: €25,000

Indicative deadline: Q2-Q3 2024

Link: https://eic.ec.europa.eu/eic-2024-work-programme_en