The next cut-off date of 19 May, 2020, will be dedicated to the Green Deal, the European Commission's strategic plan to make the EU economy sustainable.
The Horizon 2020 EIC Accelerator tool is aimed at start-ups and SMEs with a strong potential for growth and expansion in international markets based on highly innovative and disruptive but also marketable business ideas, and since October 2019 it has definitively replaced the SME Instrument Phase II. Since last October, in addition to the traditional grant (up to a maximum of €2.5 million), it is possible to apply for an equity investment share (up to a maximum of €15 million).
A first announced innovation is that the first cut-off date, scheduled for 19 May 2020, will be dedicated exclusively to Green Deal issues, therefore focusing on those innovations that fuel society's transition to sustainability, while supporting the EU's competitiveness and leadership in clean technologies. With a substantial budget of €300 million, the theme is aimed at high-risk and high-potential small and medium-sized enterprises (including start-ups) in any sector, provided they contribute to one or more of the objectives of the Green Deal, namely:
- increase climate mitigation and/or adaptation targets;
- provide clean, cheap and secure energy;
- support industry's transition to a clean and/or circular economy (including waste prevention and/or recycling);
- ensure greater energy efficiency in buildings;
- accelerate the transition to sustainable and smart mobility;
- support the transition to a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system;
- preserve and restore ecosystems and biodiversity;
- achieve the objective of zero pollution and a toxic-free environment.
In addition, from the cut-off date in May, special attention will be paid to female entrepreneurship, as it will be ensured that at least 25 % of the finalists of Accelerator projects are companies in which a woman plays a central role (CEO or equivalent positions). In the event that after the first remote selection phase the number of companies led by women is less than 25 %, the Commission states that additional interviews will be scheduled.
For more information and to know how to participate, please visit the official page.