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First calls open for fully formed European Innovation Council

Image: Pernillan [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

€1 billion offered for breakthrough innovations, with half earmarked for sustainability, digitisation and health

The European Commission has opened the first funding calls for the European Innovation Council since the council was launched as a fully formed funder of R&D-based businesses under the EU’s Horizon Europe programme.

Calls worth over €1 billion were launched on 9 April for the EIC Accelerator instrument, which is intended to scale up startups and small- and medium-sized businesses. More than half of the funding is open for innovations in any field, with €495 million earmarked for supporting environmental sustainability, digitisation and health. 

A call was also opened for the EIC Pathfinder instrument, offering €168m for interdisciplinary teams to work on ideas with transformative socioeconomic potential.

The opening of the calls follows a three-year pilot of the EIC and the launch of the fully fledged version in March, at which Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the EIC would “complete the research and innovation landscape in Europe”.

EU R&D commissioner Mariya Gabriel said that the EIC would operate “at the forefront of innovation and new technologies, and help us tackle the health, environmental and societal challenges we are facing”.