EIC: Green Deal innovations for the Economic Recovery – HORIZON-EIC-2021-ACCELERATORCHALLENGES-01-02


€ 496.760.000

European Commission



EIC Accelerator Challenges "Green Deal innovations for the Economic Recovery".

On May 26th 2021, a new version of the Guide for Applicants was released.

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.

Project must support the Green Deal implementation by significantly contributing to at least one of the following sustainability goals:

  • Increasing the EU’s climate mitigation and/or adaptation ambition; 
  • Supplying clean, affordable and secure energy; 
  • Transitioning of industry to a clean and/or circular economy (including waste prevention and/or recycling); 
  • Building and renovating in an energy and resource efficient way; 
  • Accelerating the shift to sustainable and smart mobility; 
  • Transition to a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system; 
  • Preserving and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity (including nature based solutions that provide co-benefits for climate adaptation and mitigation);
  • Realising a zero pollution ambition and a toxic-free environment.

In that particular regard, at least 50% of the companies selected for the interview phase must have submitted proposals relating to one the following areas: 

  • Renewable energy, including renewable Hydrogen and energy storage
  • Deep Renovation of buildings
  • Low carbon industries
  • Batteries and other energy storage systems

Proposals must describe the project’s contribution to the implementation of at least one of these Green Deal goals, using where possible quantitative impact assessments. Furthermore, apart from substantially contributing to one or more of the above listed objectives, proposals must not cause significant harm to any of the EU taxonomy environmental goals.

The EIC Accelerator supports the development of business concepts into market-ready innovations (new or breakthrough technologies, products, processes, services and business models) and their rollout. This Green Deal Challenge specifically focuses on those innovations that fuel the societal transition towards a climate-neutral and circular economy while supporting EU’s competitiveness and leadership in green technologies and the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. The Challenge targets high-risk, high-potential small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) (including start-ups) from any sector provided that their proposal contributes to Green Deal goals (as explained above).

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 (see Annex 3 of the EIC Work Programme 2021);
  • 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.

Budget: 496 760 000



Consorzio; Impresa o Professionista; Fondazione; Privato; Cooperativa

micro impresa; piccola impresa; media impresa; grande impresa;

Industria; Costruzioni; Servizi; ICT; Trasporti; Energia



Contributo; Venture Capital

The EIC Accelerator provides blended finance (Innovation and Market Deployment Action) which is composed of:

  • An investment component usually in the form of direct equity or quasi-equity such as convertible loans. 29 The minimum investment component is EUR 0.5 million and the maximum is EUR 15 million
  • A grant component to reimburse eligible costs incurred for innovation activities, including 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 (e.g. at least Technology Readiness Levels 5/6 to 8). Eligible costs are reimbursed up to a maximum of 70%. 

Applicants can choose to request the investment component only and are not required to request a grant component.

You may request a grant component only or grant first:

  • Grant only: You can provide evidence that you have sufficient financial means (e.g. revenue flow, existing investors or shareholders) to finance the deployment and scaling up of your innovation. In such a case, you will have to detail in your proposal all elements demonstrating that you possess or are in the process to obtain those necessary resources and financial means to provide for necessary TRL 9 expenditures normally covered by the investment component. Should the above-mentioned milestone assessment show that you do not have the abovementioned deployment capacities, the grant may be terminated
  • Grant first: Your innovation is based on a scientific discovery or novel technology and still requires significant work to validate and demonstrate in relevant environments in order to properly assess its commercial potential. Such innovations may include, but are not limited to, those based on research results from the EIC Pathfinder and Transition, as well as European Research Council.

For this challenge, projects can receive a grant for an Innovation and Market Deployment Action to cover the eligible costs, necessary for the implementation of your project. Support may be provided in the form of blended finance (combining grant of up to EUR 2.5 million and investment component of between EUR 0.5 and EUR 15 million) or grant only/ grant first support as set out in EIC Accelerator Open call. 

Investimento minimo

€ 0

Investimento massimo

€ 0



Planned opening date: 08 April 2021.

Deadline dates:

  • 09 June 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time
  • 06 October 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time


The first deadline (cut-off) date for the EIC Accelerator Challenges 2021 has been postponed by a week. The new deadline (cut-off) date is 16 June 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time.




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