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Research and innovation
News article27 April 2020Directorate-General for Research and Innovation2 min read

Top innovation leaders envisage a strong role for the European Innovation Council in coronavirus recovery

‘For Europe to come out stronger after the Corona crisis, we need to already direct our investments towards game-changing innovations that create a sustainable and human centric digital future’, according to the vision statement of the European Innovation Council Advisory Board published today.

The Board , made up of leading entrepreneurs, researchers, investors and innovation experts,  underlined the need for the EIC to become the investor of choice for visionary ideas, pioneering a new European approach to ‘support relevant innovations in a responsible and inclusive way’. They emphasis the importance of a budget at least at the level proposed by the Commission (€10 billion in Horizon Europe 2021 – 2027) for the EIC to crowd in €30-50 billion from the private market, and ‘radically transform tech investments and company growth across Europe’.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:

I welcome the vision of the EIC advisory board, which is the key roadmap as we prepare for the launch of the EIC from 2021. We have seen significant demand to date for EIC funding – over €10 billion in the last month – this clearly demonstrates how important it is to support high-impact innovation during the coronavirus recovery period and beyond.

As well as support to solve global challenges and a credible budget, the board called for a focus on deep-tech interdisciplinary research and entrepreneurship - with a constant strive for simplicity - and high-class mentoring and advice for successful applicants.


The Commission-appointed board is made up of 22 innovators from the worlds of entrepreneurship, venture capital, science and technology to the European Innovation Council Advisory Board are providing strategic advice to the Commission for the implementation of the current €3 billion pilot (2018-20) and launch of the  full EIC under Horizon Europe. This is the Board’s first public statement and it is due to provide further advice in the coming months on how to implement the vision.

In June 2018, the Commission proposed the most ambitious Research and Innovation programme yet, Horizon Europe, with a proposed budget of €100 billion for 2021-2027. In March 2019 the European Parliament and the Council of the EU reached a provisional agreement on Horizon Europe. A key novelty of Horizon Europe is the establishment of a European Innovation Council with a proposed budget of €10 billion. An agreement of the European Parliament and Council on the EIC was reached as part of the Common Understanding on Horizon Europe. A first pilot phase of the EIC was launched in October 2017, followed by a reinforced pilot in March 2019, with the objective of funding Europe’s most exciting innovations, including researchers, startups and scaleups.

The European Innovation Council is part of a wider ecosystem that the EU is putting in place to give Europe's many entrepreneurs every opportunity to become world leading companies. Other initiatives include the [Industry strategy, SME strategy, Digital Europe strategy, the European Institute for Innovation and Technology and the forthcoming European Research Area]

More information

EIC website

News alert on appointment of the board

Press release: provisional agreement on Horizon Europe

Factsheet on Horizon Europe


Publication date
27 April 2020
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation