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Research and innovation

Receiving the Seal of Excellence

Details of who can receive the Seal of Excellence and when and how they receive it.

New in Horizon Europe

What are the EIC Accelerator Seal of Excellence and the EIC Transition activities Seal of Excellence?

The EIC Accelerator Seal of Excellence and the EIC Transition activities Seal of Excellence are quality labels awarded to project proposals submitted by start-ups and SMEs under Horizon Europe, the EU's research and innovation funding programme until 2027, to help these proposals find alternative funding.

Projects that were judged to deserve funding by independent experts gathered within EIC juries, but did not get it only due to budget limits, may receive such Seals of Excellence.

This now well-known quality label recognises the value of the proposal and helps other funding bodies take advantage of the Horizon Europe evaluation process.

Provided that 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.

EIC accelerator in Horizon 2020

All high quality proposals submitted to the Horizon 2020 EIC Pilot Accelerator/former SME Instrument (any cut-off, any topic, in Phase 2), which passed the quality threshold, but could not be funded under the available call budget, were automatically awarded the Seal of Excellence. Above threshold means 13 points or more out of 15.

All individual thresholds for the 3 criteria (i.e. impact, excellence, quality and efficiency of implementation) must be passed as well.

A community of seal holders is growing quickly, showing the value of all the proposals under EIC Accelerator Pilot that passed threshold criteria.

More information on Seal of Excellence results and awarded projects are available on the SoE dashboard. Find out more about country-specific performance in Seal of Excellence: funding requested, participations by region and country, and more - all the information at your fingertips.

To learn how to visualise all the relevant data, please use our Dashboard Quick Guide.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) in Horizon 2020

All proposals submitted to MSCA individual fellowships which score 85% or above and could not be funded due to a lack of budget are automatically awarded the Seal of Excellence. Certificates are awarded in March each year. The first certificates were awarded in 2017 following the 2016 Individual fellowships call.

How you receive the Seal of Excellence

The Seal of Excellence is delivered together with the Evaluation Result Letter (ERL) in the Funding and Tender Opportunities portal.

Seal holders need to log in to the portal with the email address with which they were invited to the proposal.

In the section ‘My proposal(s)’ under the ‘actions’ menu corresponding to your proposal, and under the ‘follow up’ option, the PPGMS (Participant Portal – Grant Management Services) application will open.

The Seal of Excellence is generated together with the ERL and it should be accessible in the  'Process documents' section, where it can be downloaded.