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)
Today the website of the European Working Group of Innovation Consultants (EWGIC) was released, with now 20 members across 18 countries, this new initiative is taking a new step in its formal structuration.
The European Working Group of Innovation Consultants (EWGIC) gathers experts in the field of European research and innovation projects. The group aims to facilitate exchange and promotion of best practices and success stories, as well as to promote professional skills and expertise in European RDI projects. Today the group gathers 20 companies and two national associations, active in more than 18 countries around Europe. It is growing every month.
One of the first actions undertaken by EWGIC has been the publication of a Manifesto to support project management in Horizon Europe. The proposed measures include:
In the particular context of the current COVID-19 Crisis, members of EWGIC have helped in filing a significant number of applications to the Horizon 2020 programme and especially the EIC Accelerator March deadline, which many start-ups in the area could not have reached without professional help.
tThe website is accessible at www.ewgic.eu . You will find the objectives of the initiative; recent news about EWGIC, the list of members, a link to the Manifesto and the possibility to support it by signing it online, a registration form to request membership to the Working Group
For more information about EWGIC:
Visit our website at www.ewgic.eu
The current list of members is the following: https://www.ewgic.eu/members.html
Follow our LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/european-working-group-of-innovation-consultants/
Follow us on Twitter: @eu_innovconsult