EIC Accelerator Extended Banner


  1. Introduction 
  2. Overview of the EIC Accelerator
  3. Summary of the EIC Accelerator Challenges in 2023
  4. Novelties of the EIC Work Programme 2023


The European Commission adopted the 2023 work programme of the EIC on the 7th of December. It opens funding opportunities worth over €1.6 billion in 2023. The EIC Accelerator programme opens funding and investment opportunities worth over €1.13 billion. 

The EIC Accelerator programme helps high-risk, innovative SMEs and start-ups willing to develop and commercialise new products, business models, and services. These developments could potentially drive economic growth and influence new markets or disrupt existing European or global markets.


EIC Accelerator

The EIC Accelerator supports SMEs, in particular startups and spinout companies, to develop and scaleup game-changing innovations.

As a novelty of this funding cycle, also small midcaps (up to 500 employees) are supported, but can only apply for rapid scale up purposes and only for the investment component (i.e. they are not eligible to receive a grant component).

The blended funding dimension of the EIC Accelerator is another novelty of the programme, after being piloted during 2018-2020 as part of EIC/ Horizon 2020. The blended finance is composed of a private investment component via the EIC Fund and a grant component. Applicants can choose to request the private investment only, as in the case of small midcaps, and are not required to request a grant. The terms for the private investment component are quite complex (involving a mix between the EIC Fund and a private investor, typically VC) but very attractive for the funding recipient (scale-up capital), as well as for the private investor.

The EIC Accelerator can provide grant funding (non-dilutive) of up to €2.5 million for innovation development costs, and investments (direct equity) from €500 thousand up to €15 million via the dedicated EIC Fund.

Grants will be offered with a funding intensity of typically 70% of eligible costs incurred for innovation activities. These include: demonstration of the technology in the relevant environment, prototyping and system level demonstration, R&D and testing required to meet regulatory and standardisation requirements, intellectual property management, and marketing approval.

The EIC Accelerator has a total budget allocation of €7.2 billion, split between the “Open Call” (€3.7 billion) and “Challenges” (€3.5 billion). The expected yearly total budget allocation is approximately €1 billion per year.

The cut-off dates for full applications in 2023 are:

  • January 11th 2023 (only EIC Accelerator Open)
  • March 22nd 2023
  • June 7th 2023
  • October 4th 2023

EIC Accelerator Open and Challenges in 2023


"EIC Accelerator Open has no predefined thematic priorities and is open to proposals in any field of technology or application.

The EIC Accelerator supports the later stages of technology development as well as scale up. The technology component of your innovation must therefore have been tested and validated in a laboratory or other relevant environment (e.g. at least
Technology Readiness Level 5 or higher). The EIC Accelerator looks to support companies where the EIC support will act as a catalyst to crowd in other investors necessary for the scale up of the innovation.

The EIC Accelerator focuses on innovations building on scientific discovery or technological breakthroughs (‘deep tech’) and where significant funding is needed over a long timeframe before returns can be generated (‘patient capital’). Such innovations often struggle to attract financing because the risks and time period involved are too high. Funding and support from the EIC Accelerator is designed to enable such innovators to attract the full investment amounts needed for scale up in a shorter timeframe."


EIC Accelerator - Challenges 2023

1. Novel biomarker-based assays to guide personalised cancer treatment

Specific objectives 

"The overall goal of this Challenge is to support and accelerate the preclinical validation and/or clinical phase 1 work carried out by innovative SMEs (including start-ups, spinouts) and small midcaps to develop novel predictive, prognostic and companion diagnostic assays to guide cancer treatment. This Challenge has the following specific objectives:

  • develop novel companion diagnostic assays , including through liquid profiling; to identify who, among cancer patients, is more likely to benefit from a given treatment (guided treatment);
  • develop novel predictive biomarker-based assays to identify who, among patients with potentially precancerous lesions, is more likely to develop cancer;
  • develop novel prognostic assays including through liquid profiling to identify who, among the cancer patients who underwent treatment, is more likely to recur;
  • develop novel companion diagnostic assays, including through liquid profiling to identify who, among the cancer patients receiving treatment, is more likely to develop side effects as a result of the treatment and
  • to develop novel monitoring biomarker-based assays to effectively monitor the clinical course of the disease."

Expected outcomes and impacts

“As expected outcomes from this Challenge, clinicians will be able to:

  • Identify, who among cancer patients, is more likely to benefit from a given treatment (guided treatment)
  • Identify, who among patients with potentially precancerous lesions, is more likely to develop cancer
  • Identify, who among the cancer patients having underwent treatment, is more likely to recur
  • Identify who among the cancer patients receiving treatment, is more likely to develop side effects as a result of the treatment, affecting their quality of life and
  • More effectively monitor the clinical course of the disease”

2. Aerosol and surface decontamination for pandemic management

Specific objectives 

“The proposals should target the development and commercialisation of technological solutions facilitating social interaction in the context of pandemic emergencies, by means of one or more of the three following approaches:

  • Full systems for high-efficiency aerosol capture, pathogen deactivation and air circulation management in closed-environments (e.g., office space, in-flight, retail stores, etc.), including advanced air-filtering architectures and dynamic air circulation optimisation.
  • Next-generation face mask technologies with smart filtration materials to exceed N95 performance at low airflow resistance, with improved retention/rejection of sub-micron particles.
  • Rapid surface decontamination devices beyond state-of-the-art UV-C irradiation systems and biocidal agent dispersion.
The proposals should provide preliminary evidence demonstrating that social distancing can be avoided or substantially reduced, under realistic pathogen infectivity assumptions, with the targeted technologies.”

Expected outcomes and impacts

“By reducing the need for social distancing in the event of infectious pandemics, this Challenge will empower society at large to sustain unaltered economic and social dynamics in the event of pandemic outbreaks.”


3. Energy storage

Specific objectives 

“This Challenge targets groundbreaking innovations in any field of technology that have a high potential to meet the following goals:

  • to store electric and/or thermal energy at low cost, high density, high charging/discharging efficiency and enhanced durability.
  • technological approaches (chemical, electrical, electrochemical, mechanical, thermal) for energy storage at different scales (centralized at large industrial facilities premises or distributed and at small scale level – mobile electronics), duration (short – millisecond to day, medium – days to month and long term – months to seasons) and uses (from stationary to mobile).
  • technologies that, without using critical raw materials or ensuring their full recycle/reuse, minimize their carbon footprint measured through a life-cycle analysis (including cost and social impact evaluation). The proposed technologies could also address the smart operation and control of storage assets, their integration with demand response strategies, predictive maintenance, load forecasting and decentralized renewable energy technologies.
The proposed technologies could also address the smart operation and control of storage assets, their integration with demand response strategies, predictive maintenance, load forecasting and decentralised renewable energy technologies, and novel business models (i.e. storage as a service) to increase energy systems flexibility and facilitate the integration of energy storage.”

Expected outcomes and impacts


“The possibility to store electrical or thermal energy at low cost, high density, high charging/discharging efficiency and for different duration (from short to long) will:

  • enable a strong penetration of intermittent renewable energy resources by addressing the spatial and temporal mismatches between generation and demand,
  • set up decarbonized, interconnected, sector-coupled and flexible energy systems.
  • Increase Europe’s energy independence from unreliable suppliers”

4. New European Bauhaus and Architecture, Engineering and Construction digitalisation for decarbonisation

Specific objectives 

“[T]his Challenge aims to support pioneering deep-tech ventures that are building the AEC value chain of the future today. These ventures execute on delivering disruptive, digitally enabled AEC products and services that allow their customers to reduce or eliminate their embedded building emissions in the areas of:

  • Computational design. This relates to ventures that develop and scale radical new products for mass-adoption of parametric, generative and algorithmic design, life-cycle analysis, or breakthrough products in physical simulation or digital twin.
  • Digital fabrication. This relates to ventures developing and commercializing large-scale fabrication products (or components or solutions for that) with a view on future economic industrialisation of the AEC value chain, for example 3D-printing products, such as “construction variants” of Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), Wire-and-Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM), BinderJetting (BJ), Stereolithography (SLA), or Digital Light Processing (DLP), robot assisted composites fabrication, factory and field robotics, automation products, digital moulds, solutions for distributed building factories. This includes innovative solutions to further progress the current Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) processing factories.
  • Alternative materials. This relates to ventures active in the development, production, advanced application of alternative building materials, or building concepts, building elements, design coupled with fabrication concepts, such as stereotomy 2.0, based on advanced uses of alternative materials. This includes innovative applications of timber, timber derivatives such as CLT or Glulam, timber composites, curved CLT surfaces and high performance composed building elements. This also includes other natural materials such as fungal architecture, cork, bamboo, hemp, as well as locally sourced materials such as earth, clay and stone, as well as recycled and waste-based materials, as well as engineered composites of such materials. 
This Accelerator Challenge will consider out-of-scope proposals focusing exclusively on operational carbon emissions and/or the operational energy efficiency of the built environment. However, it is important to highlight that innovations envisioning reductions of embodied CO2 emissions shall be at least as effective in reducing operational CO2 emissions as the technologies they substitute by the time of market adoption. Also, it is noted that a condition for commercial adoption is compliance with standards of building operational performance."

Expected outcomes and impacts

"This AEC Accelerator Challenge ideally attracts a range of pioneering business ventures in the areas of design, fabrication and materials for AEC that aim at deployment of novel and disruptive solutions building upon the latest deep-tech developments in these areas. 

The focus will be on achieving a reduction in embodied rather than operational carbon emissions. Other impacts may include higher productivity, higher product quality, reduced material consumption and waste, improved construction logistic in the urban environment or increased safety.

Expected adjacent impacts of this AEC Accelerator Challenge are also to inspire an ambition for the AEC sector to create higher quality jobs in a more progressive and appealing business culture that is ready to deliver a transformation of the built environment in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal and the New European Bauhaus."


5. Emerging semiconductor or quantum technology components

A. Quantum technology components

Specific objectives

"The objective of this Challenge is to support ground-breaking innovations that have a high potential to develop:

  • fault-tolerant quantum computing with:
    • improved performance;
    • significantly simplified QPU (Quantum Processing Units) integration with control electronics;
    • scalable control systems (scalable to tens of thousands of qubits, needed for meaningful practical applications);
  • Quantum sensing components to function in real/harsh environment for various application areas, such as ecotoxicology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical, space, corrosion detection in power plants, gas/oil tanks, raw material detection, medical imaging, automotive and many more.
  • Quantum communication devices that can be deployed in a real environment such as quantum repeaters, devices for quantum-based encryption etc."

Expected outcomes and impacts

"This Challenge is expected to support the EU in taking a leading role in the development of cutting-edge quantum computing and quantum sensing and quantum communications that can be used in real environment and deployed in various areas.

In mid and long term, this Challenge is expected to expand the quantum capabilities of Europe, underpin its economic resilience and digital sovereignty. It should pave the way for Europe to be at the cutting-edge of quantum capabilities by 2030 as envisioned by the 2030 Digital Compass: the European way for the Digital Decade Policy Programme."


A. Semiconductor chip development

Specific objectives

"The aim of this Challenge is to support the design and development of innovative semiconductor components and intellectual property for analogue and digital integrated circuits and systems including memory, logic, optical components, and sensors, in relevant technology fields such as: Artificial Intelligence, edge computing, Internet of Things, electric and autonomous vehicles, 5G/6G communication, cybersecurity, health and wellness, environmental sustainability. The scope also includes innovative design approaches that address combination of different functionalities such as computing, RF, power, memory and sensing. Moreover, this Challenge should support advanced chips design in order to keep Europe in the front line of the semiconductor industry in the coming years as the industry thrives for higher performance and greater circuit integration.

The proposing entities should demonstrate ground-breaking innovation in the respective applications fields and high potential for commercial deployment in important EU industry sectors such as automotive, industry automation, information and communication, healthcare, aerospace, security, energy."

Expected outcomes and impacts

"This Challenge is expected to support innovative semiconductor start-ups in bringing their innovations to higher level of maturity and closer to commercial deployment, addressing the funding gap that deep-tech companies in this space have been facing in the last couple of decades.

In the mid to long term, this Challenge is expected to foster the development of the semiconductor chip design ecosystem in Europe by increasing the number of innovative fabless start-ups and semiconductor IP companies in the EU, thereby contributing to the 2030 Digital Compass target of doubling EU’s production of advanced sustainable chips and Europe’s digital autonomy."


6. Novel technologies for resilient agriculture

Specific objectives

"The specific objectives of this Challenge are:

  • Development and scaleup of interdisciplinary solutions for regenerative agriculture and soil health in the areas of
    • Sustainable fertilisation;
    • Crop protection under principles of Integrated Pest Management with a focus on mechanical/physical and biological measures;
    • Irrigation
    • Soil management, protection and restoration;
    • Crop and livestock management.
  • Novel processes, materials, equipment, management practises and microorganisms adapted to harsh environments, climate adaptation needs and resource scarcity, including diversification of crops, mixed farming systems, interseasonal cropping and technologies to increase crops adaptation to climate changes.

The proposals should include groundbreaking innovations that will lead to a radical transformation beyond the state-of-the-art of the current fertilisation, crop protection, irrigation and soil management practices. From a food system point of view, they will take into account strategies for climate adaptation, and a life cycle approach. Consideration should be also given to possible effects of such innovations on the food supply chain. From an environment point of view it is expected they will help to ensure healthier and richer biodiversity and more resilient ecosystems."

Expected outcomes and impacts

"This Challenge aims to improve the resilience of the European food supply chain and security, notably by improving agricultural productivity and fostering environmentally sustainable technologies, all while regenerating and increasing soil health and ecosystem services. By aiming to valorise crop residues, this Challenge also aims to contribute to better carbon and nitrogen management practices, to mitigation of climate change and environmental challenges including biodiversity loss and pollution.

In doing so, the results arising from this Challenge will foster the EU technological autonomy and leadership via focused support of innovations in the areas of sustainable and resilient agricultural production, food security, biodiversity and environmental protection."


7. Customer-driven, innovative space technologies and services

Specific objectives

“The overall goal of this Challenge is to ensure Europe is able to service and protect its own Space infrastructure, avoiding the risk of losing its strategic autonomy, and enhance the competitiveness of its space industry by encouraging the emergence of innovative, interoperable, scalable, and autonomous “customer-driven” innovative space technologies and services.

In terms of technological developments, the specific objectives of this Challenge are:

  • To have the means to inspect spacecraft in orbit, to augment satellite capabilities and resilience;
  • To develop autonomous and in-space collision avoidance capabilities e.g., use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)/ Machine Learning (ML) for collision avoidance manoeuvres, space debris positioning data and develop in-space mobility propulsion capabilities;
  • To further mature assembly and manufacturing in orbit with different applications (e.g., in-orbit, cis lunar exploration, Earth observation, space debris inspection, space situational awareness, etc.);
  • To collect space debris with a view for recycling, recovering and transforming purposes (e.g., microgravity platforms);
  • To design and construct a R&I low Earth orbit unmanned platform assembled in orbit and to host in-orbit microgravity experiments or collect/re-use space debris considering and make use of a sustainable, modular concept for the platform and its operation;
  • To scale up disruptive innovations for space situational awareness (SSA), inspace logistics, observation, navigation, satellite communications (SATCOM), and others.

Expected outcomes and impacts

"This Challenge aims at developing:

  • an European servicing and re-use/recycling capability for servicing European space infrastructure, while contributing to the management and reduction of space debris;
  • timely and cost-effective Space Traffic Management services for on-time collision avoidance manoeuvres;
  • the re-use, refurbish or recycling of a spacecraft components or launchers upper stages;
  • scientific and technological solutions for in-orbit services and reuse/refurbishing and recycling of old spacecraft (e.g. satellites, rockets upper stages or critical raw materials etc.);
  • Innovative propulsion solutions for in-space mobility of spacecraft;
  • Innovative technologies for space transportation, Earth observation, navigation, satellite communications, space science, space situational awareness."


Novelties of the 2023 EIC Work Programme

  • "A set of eight challenges for start-ups and SMEs to become global leaders in strategic areas of technology, with budget for grants and investments of €525 million
  • A new scheme to increase the flow of innovative talent into deep tech start-ups through internships of promising researchers
  • Enhanced support to women innovators, linking the EIC Accelerator to companies supported by Women TechEU initiative
  • Support to test EIC innovations among public and private procurers
  • Further collaborations with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), through opening up business acceleration services and launching a joint EIC-EIT woman innovators prize."


At Winnovart, it is part of our mission to bridge the gap between stakeholders of the grants-funding market space across Europe. We believe in the potential of grants to create ecosystems that drive innovation, and growth and reduce disparities between the regions of Europe.  Our aim is to support innovative SMEs, private investors and funding agencies to become part of this ecosystem and make the most of it.

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