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In 2021, the European Innovation Council (EIC) re-launched the EIC Accelerator financing tool, dedicated to the expansion of potentially revolutionary innovation projects developed by start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The greatest innovation introduced by EIC regarding EIC Accelerator 2021 funding is undoubtedly the platform based on Artificial Intelligence (EIC AI-Based Platform).

The EIC AI-Based Platform will reduce the asymmetry of information between innovators and funders

The EIC AI-Based Platform is a tool created to support EIC Accelerator funding, and as such it is proposed to become the future crossroads between researchers, innovators, and European funders, developing the ideas of research projects and fueling the collaboration between the related parties. In this sense, the platform has the main objective to reduce the asymmetry of information between innovators and funders. In fact, artificial intelligence software will provide information and technical support to researchers when presenting their projects, while under evaluation, examiners will receive data and further information on the proposed innovation, in such a way that they can understand the scope of the project without having to necessarily being experts on the subject.

A tool to support the presentation of the EIC Accelerator candidates

By accessing the platform, after subscribing to the Funding & Tenders Portal, there is the possibility, at this stage, to access two only functionalities: the Discovery Module and the Diagnostic Module. 
The first one is a tool that allows the researchers to explore all available, public and private, European and national funding sources, for whatever type of research or innovation idea or project they have in mind, including non-EIC ones.
The diagnostic tool is useful to researchers when they want to present their short application, or preliminary proposal. In fact, in diagnosis module, the AI-based Platform will provide applicants with AI support to assess the project’s innovative scope and its chances to capture the best matching funding scheme. In this way, the platform provides candidates assistance in evaluating and finishing the preliminary project financing proposal. This function is always available, as for funding EIC Accelerator there is no time window in which to present the short application.

The future of the EIC AI-Based Platform

Soon, the module design will be added to the platform, which will allow candidates whose preliminary proposals have been accepted, to receive assistance in the drafting of the final proposal, which plans to develop the initial project in a detailed business plan. The final proposal to obtain EIC Accelerator funding must be done within one of the two Cut-off Dates of June 16 and 6 October 2021.
Furthermore, the EIC announces that the platform in the future will also offer an InnoStore, which will allow researchers to maintain contacts with external resources and stakeholders (such as National Contact Points, consultants, investors, etc.). Finally, in 2022 the EIC AI-Based Platform will be extended to all the funding opportunities of the EIC, including Pathfinder and Transition activities.

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