We are pleased to announce our latest member from Spain: Vector Horizonte has just joined us, following our monthly call this September. Welcome to EWGIC!
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EIC Accelerator: 15 recommendations to reduce the part
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.
With success rates falling rapidly below 1% (over 5,000 submissions expected in October 2020 vs funding available for 30-40 companies), the EIC Accelerator has fallen victim to its popularity. Today, success in this programme requires a very high-quality application, and a fair amount of luck (represented by the subjective opinion of third-party evaluators).
To address these issues, the EIC Task Force has suggested to implement a radically new evaluation process with a pre-screening stage (short application), a regular written stage (full application) and an interview stage. The scoring scale (out of 15) is replaced with a simple “go / no go” approach. Most importantly, only two submissions would be allowed at each stage before a 24-month cooling off period.
Overall, these changes are likely to be favourable to the best applicants as they will reduce the application “noise” (sub-par applications that will not go through the pre-screening) and reduce the number of resubmissions overall. The EC will thus provide higher quality evaluations of a smaller set of full stage applications, and therefore reducing the “luck factor” of the evaluation process.
However, the approach will also put a higher responsibility on a smaller number of evaluators which, as a result, must be carefully selected and trained in the context of 3 main challenges:
· Challenge 1: reducing oversubscription
· Challenge 2: supporting a fair evaluation with clear evaluation criteria
· Challenge 3: recruiting skilled and trained evaluators
With its members having supported over 1000 successful applicants in the programme, EWGIC is proposing 15 possible improvement areas that should result in a fair and transparent evaluation process (read them here).
Will the new EIC Accelerator reduce the impact of luck vs skills in the selection of the European deeptech champions?
EWGIC believes the suggested changes are supporting a more transparent and fair evaluation, but only when combined with clear and consistent evaluation criteria, as well as a thorough overhaul of the expert pool recruitment and training processes.
Access the short version of the position paper here (4 pages)
Access the full version of the position paper here (12 pages)
The European Commission (EC) is launching a survey on Horizon Europe’s first Strategic Plan, which will guide the work programmes and topics for the next four years. All stakeholders with an interest in EU research and innovation are invited to participate in this consultation, which will end on 18 September 2020.
In view of Horizon Europe's launch in 2021, this Strategic Plan is being developed through a co-design process, for which over 9000 people have contributed, making it the largest consultation ever led by the EC.
The survey’s results will be discussed in the virtual European Research and Innovation Days on 22-24 September 2020, and we look forward to hearing your feedback there.
Find out more here.
On September 22-24, the European Commission invites stakeholders to debate and shape the future research and innovation landscape through a virtual event.
During this annual flagship event and through interactive sessions, participants will provide input on the EU’s research and innovation policy.
Participants include policymakers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and citizens, who will debate the role of funding and research and innovation policies in the EU’s recovery. As a response to the global pandemic, the EU must now enable a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient transition.
This 3-day event will be the occasion to contribute to policy co-designing, thought-provoking panels and participate in matchmaking opportunities.
At EWGIC, we expect this event to be instrumental in the coordination of excellent science and beneficial for Europe’s recovery, as we also look forward to Horizon Europe’s launch event.
Visit this link for more information and to view the full programme.