EIC Accelerator Challenges 2021

The EIC Accelerator Challenges supports companies (principally start-ups and SMEs) to scale up high impact innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones in identified areas of strategic relevance. Like EIC Accelerator Open, the EIC Accelerator Challenges focus 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’).


Innovations that harm the environment or social welfare or that are designed primarily for military applications will not be supported.

You should apply to the EIC Accelerator Challenge – Strategic Digital and Health Technologies, if you believe that your company has the potential to be a global leader in developing strategic technologies in one of the following areas:

  • Digital technologies: devices, methods, systems as well as working principles, processes and standards1 which apply to the ICT technology industry such as advanced high performance computing, edge computing, quantum technologies, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, block-chain, cloud infrastructure technologies and technologies for the Internet of Things
  • Healthcare technologies: AI-driven tools for early diagnosis; point-of-care diagnostics; novel approaches in cell and gene therapy, in particular for cancer; development of novel biomarkers for clinical prognosis, patient stratification or monitoring purposes across a wide spectrum of disorders; bioprocessing 4.0 (digitalisation across stages of biodevelopment in biotech/biopharma industry); healthcare intelligence services; and e-health (including mobile health) solutions for healthcare systems, medical practice and Intensive Care Units.

Admissibility conditions: In order to apply you must meet one of the following eligibility conditions:

  • A single company classified as a SME and established within a Member State or an Associated Country;
  • A single company classified as a ‘Small mid-cap’ (up to 500 employees) established in a Member State or an Associated Country, but your application can only be for rapid scale up purposes (e.g. Technology Readiness Level 9) and only for the investment component;
  • One or more natural persons (including individual entrepreneurs) or legal entities, which are either:

a.     from a Member State or an Associated Country (for Associated Countries other than EEA, this possibility will be subject to the related association agreements) intending to establish an SME or small mid-cap (as defined above) in a Member State or Associated Country by the time of signing the Accelerator contract or, in the case blended finance is awarded, at the latest when agreeing on its investment component;

b.     intending to invest in an SME or small mid-cap in a Member State or an Associated Country and who may submit a proposal on behalf of that SME or small mid-cap, provided that a prior agreement exist with the company. The contract will be signed with the beneficiary company only;

c.     from a non-associated third country intending to establish an SME (including start-ups) or to relocate an existing SME to a Member State or an Associated Country, by the time of submitting a full application. Your company must prove its effective establishment in a Member State or an Associated Country. The Commission may set specific conditions and milestones in the contract to ensure that the interest of the Union is met.

Deadline dates:
09 June 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time
06 October 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time

For more information, please visit the European Commisssion web page.

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