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.
We've just received the 100th signature of our Manifesto! The European Working Group of Innovation Consultants is looking to expand throughout Europe. Do you represent an Innovation Consulting firm Active in Europe? Would you like to actively participate in the #EWGIC actions?
European Consultants in Innovation ask for greater recognition of Professional project management in Horizon Europe. In 35% of cases, organizations have relied on consulting companies to prepare their proposals for the current R&I funding programme - Horizon 2020.
As the R&I Days kicked-off in Brussels on 24 September, fifteen consultants in Innovation Management from six European countries gathered together to foster a discussion about common interests with a possibility of future collaborations and actions.
The representatives of Innovation Management Consulting Firms addressed the issues concerning the management of European research and innovation projects. The discussion among European consultants also covered the preparations for Horizon Europe, the upcoming Framework Programme.
Currently and as it was revealed during the Research and Innovation Days held last week by the European Commission in Brussels, organizations have relied, in 35% of cases on consulting services to prepare their proposals for Horizon2020, the largest funding and research program in the EU.