On March 18th, 2019, the European Commission announced some important decisions regarding the European Innovation Council (EIC), which is currently in the pilot phase under the Horizon 2020 program. For 2019-2020, the pilot will be enhanced in this way:

- over €2 billion of funding will be allocated, adressed on one hand to “pathfinder” projects which will support future and emerging technologies (FET) in research base, and on the other hand to “accelerator” funding for startups and SMEs in order to attract private investments;

- 15 to 20 innovation leaders will be appointed to an EIC Advisory Board, with the purpose to oversee the pilot, prepare EIC future works and promote it on a global level.

The strengthening of the European Innovation Council for 2019-2020 is based on the results of the pilot phase in 2018. Last year the EIC had a budget of €778 millions under the Horizon 2020 program, which funded 1276 innovation projects mainly promoted by SMEs across the European Union.

Given the encouraging results of the pilot phase and the central role of innovation in maintaining and boosting EU industrial competitiveness, the Commission proposed to allocate a total budget of €10 billion for the European Innovation Council within Horizon Europe, the European funding program for research and innovation for 2021-2027.

Main deadlines:

Opening of “pathfinder” calls

From March 19th to September 3rd, 2019

Opening of “accelerator” calls

From June 2019

Call for innovation leaders for EIC Advisory Board

By May 10th, 2019


Further information on EIC can be found on the dedicated website: https://ec.europa.eu/research/eic/index.cfm.

An info sheet on the 2019-2020 novelties of the pilot of EIC can be found here.

The summary guide on the functioning of EIC can be downloaded here.



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