If you’re not familiar with the EIC Accelerator (and Horizon Europe) yet, please make sure to check out this article first:
Now, let’s get down with the topic of this article instead: how are the applications for the EIC Accelerator programme evaluated?
Here’s the official document:
After a quick search on the Net, you can easily find the blank form, but as you might imagine, filling it is not as easy as it looks. First of all, all the requirements must be met, and if something is off, you might lose the chance for your application to pass.
What do you need to know
The applications are evaluated in, basically, three steps:
- Short applications (Phase One): The applications can be submitted at any time, any day of the year, to be evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis;
- Full applications (Phase Two): Companies successful at the short application stage – those who passed the Phase One – are invited to prepare a full application that 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 the face to face interviews.
While the first two steps (Phase One and Phase Two) are evaluated remotely by experts, the third and final steps see the companies selected for the face-to-face interview judged by a thematic panel of six jury members.
Who are the experts?
The remote experts are selected from a proprietary database owned by the European Commission that 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. A rotation rule, furthermore, ensures that the experts are renewed each year.
The list is published online and updated periodically.
If you want to know more about the expert position, you can visit the EU official page “Call for Expression of Interest” here:
If you’re wondering how the applications are matched with the remote experts, the answer is pretty simple: it’s done by the EIC artificial intelligence-based IT platform used for the submission of the proposals. Through the use of keywords the affinity is calculated between the submission and the expert; in order to maximize 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.
The full keyword nomenclature can be found here:
At the same time, expert-evaluators are requested to select three main keywords and three sub-keywords from the same list to facilitate the matching of proposals.
Next, the applications aget scored to determine whether they have passed Phase One. The experts use a specific criteria using a simple binary system of GO or NO GO for 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
It includes a 5-page proposal, a pitch presentation and a video pitch. The four evaluators selected by the EIC artificial intelligence platform will have access to analyses and look at the innovative/disruptive side of the idea, it’s impact and the tem behind the project.
It generally takes 4 weeks for the result to arrive, since the EIC is expected to provide insightful feedback for the applicant. in order to improve as well as increasing the chances of success of proposals originally rejected.
Full application – Phase Two
The applications are assessed during specific cut-off dates, after which each one is sent to three remote experts who will conduct the assessment based on a GO or a NO GO for each of the three criteria (excellence, impact and level of risk).
If all three evaluators give a GO for all the criteria, then the full application is successful and the company is invited to the face to face interview with an EIC jury, the last of the evaluation steps.
On the contrary, if one or more evaluators give a NO GO under any of the criteria then the application is rejected. In this case, the company can resubmit an improved application at the following cut-off dates (thus the importance of a detailed feedback).
For the full application to be evaluated it generally takes 5-6 weeks.
Who are the jury members?
The full list can be found here:
Since their recruitment is an ongoing process, the list is updated regularly.
The Jury members have solid experience in different areas and include 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 have 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 for the negotiation of the grant and/ or investment component, and on aspects such as the project’s milestones, the company valuation, and the need for coaching activities.
On the contrary, if the proposal receives a NO GO at the interview, the Jury has the possibility to choose one of the following routes for the application:
- The applicant is are allowed to resubmit a revised application directly to one of the next two face-to-face interviews if the project has potential but needs major improvement (esubmission is only permitted once);
- The applicant is awarded a Seal of Excellence to facilitate funding from other sources and access to EIC Business Acceleration Services 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 but will be expected to have made significant improvements.
If it looks overwhelming…that’s because it is!
Why is consulting is 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, but they will also need to answer a set of questions to explain the project and the team that will work on it. Having a good idea is not enough to obtain the funds needed.
Why choosing AFS?
Andriotto Financial Services is a complete financial boutique specialized in cryptocurrencies that is able to offer a full range of services: – STO, ICO, Corporate Finance, Trading Models, etc.; in addition to those, of course, there is also the European Grants consulting.
Down below, you can learn more about the individual services:
How to know if the project is eligible for the consulting service
After filling an evaluation form with basic info about the company or the startup idea, our expert will send a feedback. If positive, then the company could be eligible for the funds and thus start a collaboration with AFS.
The team of AFS is formed by professionals and experts that will coach each candidate throughout the whole process of application to the Horizon Europe Programme, helping the company with the description of the project, the pitch, and the video presentation.
Once we move onto phase two of the proposal, AFS will also help the company with all the required elements, with 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.
Besides, Mauro Andriotto, the CEO of the company, has great experience with the European Commission since he has been a jury member himself for the Horizon 2020 program. He personally worked with the European Commission from 2020 to 2021 as a jury member of the EIC programme. He also sits in different Advisory Boards around the world and he is the author of scientific publications in finance and risk management and he is a former quantitative leader at EY for the South Europe area.
His experience along with the team’s contribution – a heterogeneous ensemble with different experiences in several industries, of PhDs, MBAs, entrepreneurs, professors, bankers, engineers, big-4 consultants, executives, lawyers and professionists – will certainly grant a top-of-the-line service.
You can find more info about the AFS team here:
HOW TO CONTACT AFS: