EIC Fund is ready to kick off

The Commission has made a significant advancement in the restructuring of the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund with the appointment of an external fund manager to make investment decisions in the 139 start-ups and SMEs that have already been chosen for EIC investments. With the completion of this step, the EIC is now fully operational and ready to support Europe’s most promising start-ups with a distinctive mix of grants, investments, and business acceleration services.

After the stringent EIC Accelerator selection process and the European Investment Bank’s due diligence, the external fund manager AlterDomus Management Company S.A. will be in charge of making investment choices on the high-risk, high-impact enterprises. The EIC Fund’s Investment Guidelines must be adhered to, and the Fund Manager will get the assistance of an expert advisory group. The first investment decisions are anticipated to be made in October, and the rest will likely follow in the following months.

Significant progress has been made in the meantime to guarantee that chosen enterprises receive the grant portion of their support as soon as possible. Up from 100 grant signings just a few weeks ago, 150 grant agreements have now been signed as of today. By eliminating the need to approve EIC Accelerator funding through college-level decisions generally starting tomorrow, the Commission will take one more step toward streamlining the decision-making process and cutting the time between when a company applies and when it receives its first grant payment toward the five-month target set by the EIC Board.

The EIC Fund has undergone a reorganisation to become an alternative investment fund (AIF), with investment decisions made and managed by an external (alternative investment) fund manager (AIFM), who is fully compliant with the AIFM Directive.

All start-ups and SMEs chosen for blended (grant and equity) or equity-only financing through the EIC Accelerator review process will be subject to investment choices made by the Fund Manager. Companies are chosen based on factors such as the innovation’s potential for scaling up, its breakthrough nature (especially in “deep tech”), and risk levels that are too high for private investors to bear alone. The European Investment Bank (EIB) performs due research before making investment decisions, and those decisions must adhere to the investment guidelines of the EIC Fund.

In order to maximise the chances of success for the selected companies, the EIC and SME Executive Agency (EISMEA) will continue to oversee the application and evaluation processes for the EIC Accelerator, provide grant support and business acceleration services to the selected companies, and ensure a coordinated approach with the EIC Fund investments. The EIC Board offers high-level, independent guidance on the strategy and execution of the EIC.

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