The European Commission has recently adopted the Work Program for 2024 of the European Innovation Council (EIC), a key initiative introduced in March 2021 under the Horizon Europe program. The 2024 EIC work program is strategically directed toward advancing pivotal technologies and scaling up companies.
The funding allocation for 2024 surpasses the €1.2 billion, with a predominant focus on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and startups to develop and scale up “deep tech” innovations in critical fields such as generative artificial intelligence (AI), space, critical raw materials, semiconductors, and quantum technologies.
The EIC Work Programme 2024 outlined the three principal funding schemes։
- EIC Pathfinder (€256 million) for multi-disciplinary research teams to undertake visionary research with the potential to lead to technology breakthroughs (grants up to €4 million).
- EIC Transition (€94 million) to turn research results into innovation opportunities, following up on results generated by EIC Pathfinder projects, European Research Council Proof of Concept projects and open for the first time to project results from Horizon collaborative projects from Pillar 2/ societal challenges (grants up to €2.5 million).
- EIC Accelerator (€675 million) for start-ups and SMEs to develop and scale up innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones (grants below €2.5 million, investments from €0.5 to €15 million). €405 million is earmarked for investments to be managed by the EIC Fund, which will receive an additional €180 million to follow on investments in companies selected under previous EIC Accelerator calls.
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