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The European Innovation Council’s (EIC) accelerator program, EIC Accelerator, has announced it will invest €285 million to support deep-tech startups. The investment, which combines grants and equity, aims to bolster innovative companies following the final 2023 EIC Accelerator cut-off in November. 

A total of 42 companies were selected from a pool of 1,083 proposals, “showcasing the high level of competition and the quality of innovative companies seeking support.”

The chosen companies come from 15 countries, underscoring EIC’s commitment to fostering innovation across Europe. Among the beneficiaries are companies like: 

  • Alias Robotics (Spain): A robot cyber security company, focused on implementing security-first approach in robotics. 
  • IQM Finland (Finland):  A quantum computing company that builds and delivers full stack quantum computers and applications to HPCs, research institutes, universities and business enterprises.
  • Powerful Medical (Slovakia): An AI-powered healthcare solutions company that diagnoses and treats cardiovascular diseases. 
  • Smart Farm Robotix (Bulgaria): A solar powered weeding robot used as a farmer’s tool to remove weeds with surgical precision. 

According to EIC, the funding is meant to also attract other investors to “increase the overall investment to over three times the EIC investment on average.” 

Recently, the EIC also released an Impact Report 2023 that demonstrated the Council’s progress as a deep-tech investor.  According to the report, in 2023 the EIC concluded over 100 investments in deep tech companies worth around €1.2 billion. “The total value of the overall portfolio of EIC supported companies, including those from the pilot and predecessor, is almost €70 billion, an increase of €20 billion in the last two years,” said EIC. 

Further Funding Opportunities By EIC In 2024

Last year, the EIC proposed to redirect €10 billion towards the Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP) with primary focus on three strategic sectors – deeptech, clean tech, and biotech. 

For the 2024 funding opportunities, the EIC Work Programme has allocated over €1.2 billion for strategic technologies and innovations in critical fields such as space, critical raw materials, semiconductors, and quantum technologies.

The EIC Accelerator is part of the broader European Innovation Council and SME’s Executive Agency’s efforts to support high-risk, high-potential SMEs and innovators. It aims to help them develop and bring to market new innovative products, services, and business models that could drive economic growth.

While the announced funding round is good news for deep-tech startups, the EIC budget limitations announced last year put early-stage startups at a disadvantageous position.

Read more: Early-stage startups may miss out as Europe’s accelerator fund gets a 50% cut

The funding model primarily adopted by the EIC Accelerator is blended finance, which combines grants and equity investments. According to the Council, “partnering with the EIC Fund is a strategic opportunity for investors to invest in breakthrough European innovation with minimal risk.”

This approach not only provides the necessary capital to drive the companies’ growth but also attracts additional investments, amplifying the impact of the EIC’s support, according to the accelerator.