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On 12 December 2023, the European Commission officially adopted the EIC 2024 Work Programme, making available €1.2 billion in funding opportunities for strategic technologies and scaling up companies. The biggest part of the budget is targeting the development and scaling up of “deep tech” innovations in start-ups and SMEs, including key sectors such as critical raw materials, generative artificial intelligence (AI), space, semiconductors and quantum technologies.

Funding opportunities under three different schemes

The EIC Programme funding is structured into 3 main funding instruments – Pathfinder, Transition and Accelerator – providing support to all along the innovation value chain, from early exploration of bold ideas for radically new technologies to scaling up to market.

  • EIC Pathfinder: In 2024, a total of €256 million is foreseen for multi-disciplinary research teams to undertake visionary research with the potential to lead to technology breakthroughs (grants up to €4 million).

Deadlines: 7 March 2024 (Open call) // 16 October (Challenge call)

  • EIC Transition: For next year, €94 million will be made available to turn research results into innovation opportunities. Applications to this instrument must focus on following up on results generated by EIC Pathfinder projects, European Research Council Proof of Concept projects and now also to project results from Horizon Europe collaborative projects from Pillar 2 societal challenges (grants up to €2.5 million).

Deadline: 18 September 2024 (Open call)

  • EIC Accelerator: In 2024, there will be €675 million available for start-ups and SMEs to develop and scale up innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones (grants below €2.5 million, investments from €0.5 to €15 million).

Deadlines: 13 March and 3 October 2024 (for both Open and Challenge calls)

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