Great start from the European Commission – it is time for cooperation between Member States to enable Europe-wide industry participation.
The European Association of Innovation Consultants (EAIC) welcomes the recovery and resilience facility which will allow faster recovery from the pandemic and renew Europe for better competitiveness. However, we suggest acting in a more coordinated way between Member States to ensure the funds allocated will be properly and efficiently spent. As experts around Europe on innovation funding, EAIC offers its support in advising how to improve national innovation policies to maximise industrial investments, find best partners and balance competence gaps between Member States and Regions.
Position Paper "EIC Accelerator: 15 recommendations to reduce the part of luck vs skills in the selection of future European Deeptech champions"
This week EWGIC released its position paper on EIC Accelerator under Horizon Europe in view of the ongoing Horizon Europe negotiations. Created in 2014 under the “SME instrument” name, the EIC Accelerator has become the largest and most competitive public funding scheme for deeptech startups in Europe.
The Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027 is undergoing intense negotiations within the European Institutions. Horizon Europe’s budget has been decreased by 5 billion euros, straying away from the European Commission’s initial ambitious plan. The European Council and Parliament (EP) have just a few months left to complete their negotiations.
EWGIC, the European Working Group of Innovation Consultants, welcomes the European Council’s agreement on the MFF and the Next Generation EU budgets, but regrets the treatment of European research and innovation funding especially related to Horizon Europe.
EWGIC supports Parliament’s stance that the Council’s budget deal needs to be transformed to a more future-oriented approach. We are now calling the European Parliament to ensure Horizon Europe will get back at least to the original proposal that the EC made in 2018 of 83.5 B€ (2018 prices). So that R&I can actually contribute to our continent's recovery and allow for the development of added-value products and solutions developed in Europe.
Will COVID-19 kill the EIC Accelerator?
Or will the EIC Accelerator be the medical ventilator of distressed European SME champions?
We face the most serious healthcare crisis of the last 100 years, a crisis that is highly impacting all components of our economic infrastructure. Through the release of this new Position Paper, the EWGIC calls on the EU Parliament and European Commission to take immediate action, through implementing an EIC Accelerator Airdrop that can offer liquidity to start-ups and innovative SMEs affected by the current crisis.
This position paper focuses on SMEs and the role that the European Commission must play to protect them, via the Horizon 2020 EIC Accelerator programme.
The EWGIC has summarised the most urgent problems to solve, with regards to the EIC Accelerator Programme, highlighting the following challenges to address:
The EC, along with EASME, REA and the EIB, all have a strong influence on the future of European SMEs, which is why the EWGIC now urges them to save our European SME champions.