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Research and innovation

Information for funding bodies

Who can fund projects, tips on how to deal with Seal of Excellence proposals, information on the community of practice to help support Seal of Excellence proposals

Who can fund Seal of Excellence projects?

The Seal of Excellence offers a unique opportunity for funding bodies other than the European Commission to benefit from the high-quality Horizon Europe evaluation process..

Any public authority or private organisation with funding power, interested in investing in promising companies, researchers or institutions with innovative project proposals can fund Seal of Excellence projects.

If the beneficiary company has given prior consent to the EIC and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA) to do so, its basic contact information can be communicated to any trustworthy alternative funding source.

Tips for funders

Seal of Excellence projects are great projects that passed a highly competitive and transparent selection process, performed by a jury of international and independent experts, and were found to deserve funding but could not receive it due to budgetary constraints. 

You can shorten your selection process when considering Seal of Excellence projects. There is no need to re-evaluate the content, just limit the checks to the minimum required by your rules.

Consider offering different types of support (e.g. grants, loans, guarantees, coaching) and possibly combining a few.

Seal of Excellence proposals may expect grants and the same aid intensity as Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe, but they could also be happy with other degrees of support.

When you receive the Seal of Excellence, check the authenticity and integrity of the electronic certificate. You should also ask for the digitally protected submitted proposal and the evaluation summary report.

National and regional funders

It is up to regional and national funders to decide whether or not to establish a funding scheme to support Seal of Excellence recipients using institutional, regional, national or EU funding such as the European Structural and Investment Funds.

Funders in several EU countries have already introduced schemes to support Seal of Excellence recipients.
Seal of Excellence opportunities - MSCA

Potential funders can adapt the MSCA rates and conditions as they see fit.

The Community of Practice

Seal of excellence Community of Practice was set up in 2015 to facilitate exchange of information and good practices among interested to support Seal of Excellence projects funders. It works through regular meetings jointly chaired by the Commission (DG RTD and DG REGIO) and it is one of the best examples of multilevel cooperation.

Interested to join the  join Seal of Excellence Community of practice? Send an e-mail to: RTD-SEAL-OF-EXCELLENCEatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (RTD-SEAL-OF-EXCELLENCE[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu).

Meeting documents

General publications29 April 2024
16th Seal of Excellence community of practice meeting

The folder includes the following documents

  • Agenda of the meeting
  • Introduction to STEP
  • Latest on the EIC Seal of Excellence, EIC SoE and Horizon Dashboards
  • Update on MSCA Seal of Excellence support schemes
  • Seal of Excellence ERC Proof of Concept
  • Presentations on Two national schemes from Slovenia and Slovakia
General publications18 October 2023
15th Seal of Excellence community of practice meeting

The folder includes the following documents

  • Agenda of the meeting
  • Updates on the EIC seals of excellence and demonstration of the IT tool showing the EIC Accelerator seals
  • Presentation on InvestEU portal
  • Presentation on the recent changes in the General Block Exemption rules
General publications21 October 2022
14th Seal of Excellence community of practice meeting

The folder includes the following documents

  • Agenda of the meeting
  • Presentation of the Synergies guidance document
  • Updates on the EIC seals of excellence 
  • Presentation on the synergies opportunities with the Clean Hydrogen joint undertaking