This article presents the EIC Accelerator evaluation criteria to assess proposals that are submitted to the Programme. It gives an overview of how these proposals are evaluated, how–and by whom. Moreover, it presents the steps and requirements you need to meet in order to succeed. And, in this sense, why AFS’ expertise may be a great contribution to your proposal approval.
After a quick Internet search, you can easily find the blank EIC form you need to fill in. However, as you might imagine, completing this form is not as easy as it looks.
Overall, all requirements must be met. Thus, if something is off, you might lose the chance for your application to pass.
What you need to know
Basically, the applications the evaluation of the applications follows three steps:
- Short Applications (Phase One): The applications can be submitted at any time, any day of the year. The evaluations are on a first-come, first-served basis;
- Full Applications (Phase Two): Successful companies at the short application stage–that is, those that passed Phase One–are invited to prepare a full application. The full application can be submitted within the next 12 months (one day each three months);
- Face-to-Face Interview: All companies receiving a green light from the full applications stage are invited to face-to-face interviews.
While in the first two steps steps (Phase One and Phase Two) experts evaluate the proposals remotely, in the third and final step see the companies selected for the face-to-face interview have to meet a six-member thematic panel in-person.
Who are the experts
The remote experts are selected from a proprietary database owned by the European Commission. This database includes different profiles to ensure that all the fields and sectors are properly covered and efficiently evaluated.
The EIC ensures that the plethora of experts are thoughtfully selected in order to adequately match the project, offering a balanced ensemble in terms of geographical diversity, gender and background. Furthermore, a rotation rule ensures that the experts are renewed each year.
The list of experts is published online and updated periodically.
To know more about the Expert position, please check the “Call for Expression of Interest“.
Now, are you wondering about how the applications are matched with the remote experts? Actually, the answer is pretty simple! The EIC artificial intelligence-based IT platform where the proposals are submitted takes care of it.
How? Through the use of keywords, the AI calculates the affinity between the proposal submitted and the expert. In order to maximise the result, applicants are requested to select up to three keywords to facilitate the process.
The list of keywords covers a wide range of innovation fields and driving markets.
Expert-evaluators also have to select three main keywords and three sub-keywords from this list to facilitate the matching of proposals.
Next, the applications get scored to determine whether they have passed Phase One. The experts use a binary system (GO or NO GO) to assess the proposals in each of the following categories:
- Excellence: degree of novelty; timing for the innovation.
- Impact: scale-up potential; societal, economic, environmental or climate impact.
- Level of risk, implementation, and need for Union support: team capability and motivation.
Short Application – Phase One
The Short Application includes a 5-page proposal, a pitch presentation and a video pitch.
The EIC artificial intelligence platform will select four evaluators. They will will have access to the analyses and look at the innovative/disruptive side of the idea and its impact. Moreover, these experts will evaluate the team behind the project.
It generally takes 4 weeks for the result to arrive. The EIC is expected to provide insightful feedback for the applicant, in order to improve and increase the chances of success of proposals originally rejected.
Full Application – Phase Two
Full Applications are assessed during specific cut-off dates, after which each one is sent to three remote experts. These experts will assess the application as GO or NO GO for each of the three criteria (excellence, impact, level of risk).
If all three evaluators give a GO for all the criteria, then the full application is successful. The company is, hence, invited to the face-to-face interview with an EIC jury. This is the last of the evaluation steps.
On the contrary, if one or more evaluators give a NO GO under any of the criteria, the application is rejected. In this case, the company can resubmit an improved application followingcut-off dates–thus the importance of a detailed feedback.
The evaluations of the Full Application generally take 5-6 weeks.
Who are the Jury Members?
If you wish to know more about the Jury Members, you can check the official EIC list. (As their recruitment is an ongoing process, this list is updated regularly.)
The Jury Members have solid professional experience in different areas. They are entrepreneurs who have started and scaled-up innovative enterprises at the European or global level, investors in all kinds of fields, and experts involved in the innovation ecosystem.
The Face-to-Face Interview
During this step, the companies pitch their projects in front of the members of the EIC Jury. The panel consists of six members who had prior access to the short and full applications and the evaluation results.
The Jury members base their decision (GO or NO GO) on the interview and their overall assessment of the project.
If the proposal receives a GO, the panel may make recommendations recommendations for the negotiation of the grant and/or investment component. Moreover, the panel may make recommendations on project’s milestones, company valuation, and the need for coaching activities.
On the contrary, if the proposal receives a NO GO at the interview, the Jury may choose one of the following routes for the application:
- The applicant is allowed to resubmit a revised application directly to one of the next two face-to-face interviews. This is the case if the project has potential but needs major improvement (resubmission is only allowed once);
- The applicant is awarded a Seal of Excellence to facilitate funding from other sources and access to EIC Business Business Acceleration Services. This is the case when the proposal meets all the criteria but has not adequately demonstrated the need for Union support or the level of risk needed;
- The proposal can be resubmitted directly at the remote stage of one of the following two cut-offs. . However, significant improvements in the proposal are expected.
If it looks overwhelming…that’s because it is!
Why is consulting needed?
Preparing a satisfactory proposal is complicated. The first impression is vital and every candidate must possess a strong and convincing proposal to present.
Not only is it important to have a catchy video pitch and an exhaustive slide deck. All candidates also need to answer a set of questions to explain the project and the team that will work on it.
Therefore, having a good idea is not enough to obtain the funds needed.
Why choosing AFS?
Andriotto Financial Services (AFS) is a complete financial boutique specialised in cryptocurrencies that is able to offer a full range of services: STO, ICO, Corporate Finance, Trading Models, and others.
In addition to those, of course, AFS offers European Grants consulting services.
How to know if your project is eligible for AFS’ consulting service
The first step is to fill in the contact form, if possible, specifying your needs. We will share an evaluation form with basic info about the company or start-up idea for you to fill in. Afterwards, one of our experts will send you feedback. If positive (meaning, that the company could be eligible for the funds), you can thus start a collaboration with AFS.
AFS’ team will coach each candidate throughout the whole application process to the Horizon Europe Programme. They will help the company with the description of the project, pitch, and video presentation.
Once we move onto Phase Two of the proposal, AFS will help the company with all the required elements. This includes the registration of the company in the register of beneficiaries of the European Commission and the presentation of the proposal itself.
Throughout the whole journey, AFS will provide full support, coaching, and interview simulations with our European consultants.
Moreover, Mauro Andriotto, AFS’ CEO, has a great deal of experience with the European Commission. In fact, he is a Jury Member for the Horizon 2020 Programme. He worked with the European Commission from 2020 to 2021 as a Jury Member of the EIC Programme. Moreover, Mauro sits in different Advisory Boards around the world. He is also the author of scientific publications in finance and risk management. Mauro is a former quantitative leader at EY for the South Europe area.
In addition to Mauro’s experience, AFS’ team is composed by a heterogeneous ensemble of highly qualified professional with different experiences in several industries. We are a group of PhDs, MBAs, entrepreneurs, professors, bankers, engineers, big-4 consultants, executives, lawyers. AFS definitely has what it takes to grant you a top-of-the-line service.
If you want to know more about the EIC Accelerator and Horizon Europe, make sure to check out our article “Why do you need consulting service for preparing an EIC Accelerator proposal?“
- Andriotto Financial Services’ team is an official advisor of the European Commission for Horizon Europe.
- AFS has a Centre of Excellence in Switzerland with some of the most skilled EU grant specialists, writing successful proposals and supporting clients during different implementation phases of projects.
- AFS evaluates and selects the best projects and enterprises around Europe to receive public funding.
- Our client portfolio includes some of the most important public institutions in Italy and in Europe.
- Participating in Horizon Europe is an ambitious challenge. AFS has one of the highest success rates amongst our European competitors.
Are you looking to fund your next venture or unlock grant opportunities?
Reach out at [email protected]!