The European Innovation Council (EIC) has just introduced the third edition of the EIC Corporate Partnership Programme. Since its inception in 2017, the programme has become one of the EIC’s most successful business initiatives. It aids EIC-supported companies in scaling up by securing new customers and business partners.

The EIC will be assisted by a consortium of partners, led by Hello Tomorrow, including and EU-Startups, to deliver this acceleration service. The consortium was selected through an open call for tenders.

To date, more than 1,200 EIC-supported start-ups and scale-ups have participated in the programme. They were joined by over 2,500 high-level representatives from more than 100 large companies. This collaboration has resulted in significant organisational impacts, progress tracking, and deal closures, often within six months.

This new edition aims to organise 31 business acceleration activities over the next two and a half years. Moreover, it aims to significantly increase participation and the overall success rate of business ventures between EIC-funded companies and large European firms.

Key enhancements in the renewed programme include the expansion of corporate partners. Also, there is dedicated deal-making support to facilitate business deals before, during, and after events. Additionally, the programme integrates best practices in project, task, and data management.

The European Innovation Council is currently inviting applications from the largest and most innovative European companies. These companies should be interested in joining its dynamic ecosystem and engaging with top-tier start-ups and scale-ups funded by the EIC. Participants in the Corporate Partnership Programme will benefit from access to disruptive ideas and emerging technologies that can significantly influence their business strategies.


Overview of the Corporate Partnership Programme

Through the Corporate Partnership Programme, EIC fosters collaboration between the innovative companies it funds and large firms. The aim is to drive European innovation and support partnerships and business deals between EIC start-ups, EIC scale-ups, and corporations.

EIC established the Corporate Partnership Programme in 2017. Since then, the programme has enabled EIC companies to expand networks and engage with key decision-makers from top European firms.

From October 2017 to June 2023, the EIC organised 69 initiatives, including EIC Corporate Days, EIC Multi Corporate Days, and Enhanced Cooperation Initiatives such as Planet.Tech and Energy4Planet. These initiatives have involved over 100 corporate partners. To name a few: ABB, Airbus, BMW, CaixaBank, CommerzBank, Enel, Ferrovial, L’Oreal, Medtronic, Neste, Novo Nordisk, Roche, Saint-Gobain, Shell, Siemens Energy, Solvay, and Telefonica. More than 1,200 EIC-funded start-ups and scale-ups, along with over 2,500 high-level corporate representatives. This has led to significant business impacts, follow-ups, and deals often within six months.

The satisfaction rate among corporate representatives has reached 100%, proving the concept’s efficiency. That is: bridging the gap between innovative SMEs and large companies is a vital strategy for business acceleration and growth.


The Offer

The European Innovation Council plans additional 31 activities between 2024 and 2026. It is open to new collaborations with the largest and most innovative corporations in Europe.

Corporations will have the opportunity to:

– Access a pipeline of over 6,000 pre-selected and EU-funded SMEs in Europe, covering all verticals including health, energy, green, digital, and deep tech;

– Present their challenges and select EIC companies to collaborate with.


Moreover, there are three different activity formats for the European Corporate Partnership Programme:

– EIC Corporate Days: An exclusive curated business acceleration service bridging the gap between EIC-funded innovators and large firms.

– EIC Multi Corporate Days: Corporate Days involving several corporations focusing on sector-specific challenges and opportunities.

– Corporate Clients Capitalisation: A business acceleration service where corporations act as intermediaries, facilitating access for EIC beneficiaries to their commercial networks.


Essentially, the EIC seeks large corporations with an open innovation spirit. These corporations should be interested in integrating innovations from start-ups and scale-ups directly into their business offerings.


Criteria for the EIC Corporate Partnership Programme

To achieve the highest impact for EIC awardees, the EIC specifically looks for:

1. Size and Reach

– Largest corporations in Europe (cumulative criteria):

– Over €1 billion turnover

– More than 1,000 employees worldwide

– Presence in at least 10 EU27 Member States

– Investment in start-ups and scale-ups

2. Alignment with EIC Portfolio

– Focus on the EIC portfolio needs

– Main topics: Health and Biotech, Energy and Sustainability, Digital and ICT

3. Innovation and Investment

– Corporate investment and experience in “Open innovation” and Corporate Venture Capital (CVC)


Lastly, before embarking on a collaboration, the EIC asks corporations to agree with the EIC Corporate Partnership Programme Declaration of Intent.


Andriotto Financial Services


At AFS, we are passionate about fostering innovation and empowering ambitious minds to flourish. Our mission is to provide best-in-class financial services for traditional and crypto deals, exploit European grants, and use quantitative methods to improve clients’ performance. We aim to help our customers unlock their full business potential.

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