The EIC Work Programme of 2022: € 1.7 billion for Europe’s most promising innovators
On 9 February, the European Commission presented the European Innovation Council (EIC) Work Programme for 2022. A whopping budget of € 1.7 billion will be allocated to open funding opportunities for breakthrough innovators to scale up and create new markets. In this article we have listed the major changes of the EIC Work programme of 2022 compared to 2021.
Which EIC funding programmes are there?
The funding and support is organised into 3 main schemes across the full innovation spectrum from early stage edge research to the scale-up of innovative SMEs:
- the Pathfinder for advanced research to develop the scientific basis to underpin breakthrough technologies;
- the Transition funding to validate technologies and develop business plans for specific applications (follow up on Pathfinder and European Research Council results); and
- the Accelerator to support start-ups to bring their innovations to market and scale up.
What are the major changes compared to 2021?
- New EIC challenges
- More frequent cut-off dates for full applications
- Stronger support to women innovators
- Equity investments above € 15 million
1. New EIC Challenges
The majority of funding will be awarded through open calls with no predefined thematic priorities (‘EIC Open’) to enable support for any technologies and innovations. The challenge driven approach (‘EIC Challenges’) provides funding to incentivise and support specific technological and innovation breakthroughs. In the work programme of 2022, the following challenges are presented:
EIC Pathfinder Challenges:
- Carbon dioxide and nitrogen management and valorisation
- Mid to long term and systems-integrated energy storage
- Towards the Healthcare Continuum: technologies to support a radical shift from episodic to continuous healthcare
- DNA-based digital data storage
- Alternative approaches to Quantum Information Processing, Communication, and Sensing
EIC Transition Challenges:
- Green digital devices for the future
- Process and system integration of clean energy technologies
- RNA-based therapies and diagnostics for complex or rare genetic diseases
EIC Accelerator Challenges:
- Technologies for Open Strategic Autonomy
- Technologies for ‘Fit for 55’
2. More frequent cut-off dates for full applications
The EIC introduces regular cut-off dates for Transition applications and more frequent cut-off dates for Accelerator full applications.
|EIC Accelerator||Short applications: continuous|
For both Open & Challenges
3. Stronger support to women innovators
Several measures will be undertaken in 2022 to continue ongoing efforts to increase support to women innovators within the EIC programmes, while fully respecting the principle of excellence:
- The companies and projects invited to the face to face interviews with the EIC Accelerator and Transition juries will be selected on the basis of excellence, while aiming at having a strong representation of women-led SMEs and, where relevant, work package leaders;
- Encouragement of gender balance among Work Package leaders in EIC Pathfinder and EIC Transition by using women representation as a criterion in case of equal score;
- At least 40% of the EIC juries and EIC expert evaluators will be women, with the objective to reach 50%.
4. Equity investments above € 15 million
The EIC Accelerator will allow companies working on technologies of strategic European interest to apply for EIC investment component amounts of above € 15 million. Investment requests over € 15 million are allowed in cases for:
- Proposals in technologies that are strategic for the Union;
- Where there is a global competition; and
- Where the funding needs significantly exceed what is available in Europe.
Advice or support with your EIC proposal
Are you interested in applying for one of the EIC programmes? Some of the cut-off dates are approaching soon, so do not wait too long with preparing your proposal. Do you still have unanswered questions regarding some of the changes? Feel free to contact us for more information. We would be pleased to answer your questions and discuss the possibilities during a one-on-one meeting!