European Innovation Council - Flagship Programme


  1. EIC Work Programme 2023
    1. EIC Accelerator
    2. EIC Pathfinder
    3. EIC Transition
  2. Novelties of the Work Programme 

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 across three main programmes for companies with breakthrough technologies. 


EIC Work Programme 2023


Over €10 billion in grants-funding is available for SMEs and small midcaps via the European Innovation Council (EIC), the European Commission’s flagship innovation funding programme for the period 2021-2027.

The EIC is a key programme of Horizon Europe, established by the European Commission, that aims to identify, develop and scale-up breakthrough technologies and disruptive innovations.

Funding is provided through three main instruments addressing all stages of the innovation lifecycle:

  • Pathfinder for advanced research on breakthrough / game-changing technologies;
  • Transition for transforming research results into innovation opportunities; and
  • Accelerator for companies to develop and scale up breakthrough innovations.

Each instrument comprises open calls for proposals in any field of science, technology or application and challenge-driven calls targeting specific strategic priorities.

All EIC-funded projects and companies - as well as selected applicants - have access to EIC Business Acceleration Services. Moreover, the EIC also provides additional activities such as prizes.


Funding Programmes in 2023

EIC Accelerator (€1.13 billion)

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 Pathfinder (€343 million)

The EIC Pathfinder supports the exploration of bold ideas for radically new technologies. It welcomes the high-risk / high gain and interdisciplinary cutting-edge science collaborations that underpin technological breakthroughs.

Grants of up to €3-4 million support early-stage development of future technologies (Technology Readiness Levels 1-3), up to proof of concept. Pathfinder projects can also receive additional funding for testing the innovation potential of their research outputs.

Calls will open on:

  • December 7th 2023 (Pathfinder Open)
  • June 20th 2023 (Pathfinder Challenges)

EIC Transition (€128.3 million)

The EIC Transition funds innovation activities that go beyond the experimental proof of principle in laboratory to support: the maturation and validation of novel technologies in the lab and in relevant application environments; and the development of a business case and model towards commercialisation.

Grants of up to €2.5 million and more are available to validate and demonstrate technology in application-relevant environment and develop market readiness.

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

  • April 12th 2023
  • September 27th 2023


Novelties in 2023

  • 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.

Our presence in Western, Eastern and Northern Europe enables us to create international business cases for our clients, in the context of attractive funding programmes as well as beyond it, by opening up international development opportunities.

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