EIC Accelerator - 2021 Report

Why this report?

The European Innovation Council Accelerator is the most coveted EU Funding Scheme. It has been designed to provide up to €17.5mn in grant and/or equity funding to European deep tech companies operating in capital intensive industries. Since its pilot phase in 2019-2020, the EIC Accelerator has become very popular among several tech ecosystems from across Europe. 

This funding scheme can count on over €1bn per year until 2027. This report provides a data-driven outlook on the EIC Accelerator 2021 results. We present all the relevant data broken down on both a European and national level by # of successful companies, amount raised, average amount raised per company, call type, and funding type.

Summary 2021

Awarded companies
Overall success rate
1 %

Female-led companies

A section of the report is dedicated to the successful companies led by female CEOs. We hope you will enjoy this report and find it insightful.

Open vs Challenge calls

The EIC Accelerator budget is split in Open and Challenge calls. While the Open call is for companies from any industry, the Challenge call is reserved for companies in specific sectors and in line with the EC strategic goals.

In 2021, the EIC Accelerator Challenge call was focused on the themes:

  • Strategic Digital and Health Technologies
  • Green Deal innovations for the Economic Recovery

In 2021, the EIC Accelerator total budget was €1.08bn: €592mn for the open call and €495mn for the challenge calls. However, an additional €15mn was allocated for the open call; while €111mn was not used for the challenge calls.

Funding type

The EIC Accelerator funding scheme offers four funding types: grant-only (GO), grant-first (GF), blended-finance (BF), and equity-only (EO). Companies can apply for grants of up to €2.5mn and equity of up to €15mn. The funding rate of the grant component is 70%.


for companies that require a grant and not equity to bring their technology from TRL6 to TRL8. They still have to show how they will fund 30% of their costs and grow the company afterwards.


for companies that require grant + equity from the EIC to cover all their capital needs while advancing/validating their technology and becoming more attractive for private investors.


for companies that are at a lower TRL requiring to de-risk further through a grant first. The company must commit to reaching a key milestone before availing of the remaining funding and becoming investor-ready.


for companies at TRL8 and ready to scale. Companies can raise equity investment from the EIC alongside private investors.

Companies funded by country

Funding type by country

Awarded funding by country

Average awarded funding per company by country

* Romania had only 1 successful company in 2021

Country summary

Acronyms – GO: Grant Only; GF: Grant First;
BF: Blended Finance; EO: Equity Only.

Female-led companies

30 companies out of the 164 companies funded were led by a female CEO. That represents 18% of the total companies funded and the same % in terms of awarded funding: €174.7mn.

Awarded companies
Of total
1 %
Awarded funding
Average amount awarded


About the author

Emmanuele Angione

One of the Managing Partners at Lira – an international venture funding advisory firm headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. He holds an MA in Communication Studies and an MBA in International Business. He started his career in the online payment sector before co-founding Winmedical, an Italian wearable MedTech company that went successfully from zero to exit in 8 years. He is an individual pre-seed investor focusing on early-stage, wearable MedTech start-ups.

© Copyright Lira.

The right of Lira – Emmanuele Angione to be identified as the author of the Report has been asserted by him in accordance with the Irish Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000. All rights reserved. Apart from any use permitted under Irish copyright law no part of this report may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the author.  

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