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Iris Vanaelst, Jonas Van Hove and Mike Wright

In this chapter, Iris Vanaelst, Jonas Van Hove and Mike Wright, after a brief review of US policy towards accelerators, focus on how EU policy engages with different stakeholders in order to support accelerator activity within the EU area. The EU interactions with accelerators are threefold: (1) the EU supports the setup of accelerator networks to create momentum for accelerators to meet and exchange experiences, expertise and knowledge (e.g. Accelerator Assembly); (2) the EU supports and funds accelerator programs (e.g. EU-XCEL-European Virtual Accelerator, IoT Accelerator Programme, Copernicus Accelerator Programme); and (3) accelerators serve as intermediaries between the EU and start-ups looking for funding (e.g. EuropeanPioneers) in addition to the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) funding instruments of the EU (e.g. SME Instrument). Interesting examples of each of these initiatives are discussed in more detail.

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Jonas Van Hove, Iris Vanaelst and Mike Wright

In this chapter, Jonas Van Hove, Iris Vanaelst and Mike Wright explore the differences across countries and regions in accelerator support programs in order to improve understanding of the continuously evolving accelerator landscape and concomitant activities by complementary actors within an ecosystem community. They emphasize the role of institutional intermediaries in shaping the ecosystem through the preservation of the aligned interests between policymakers and practitioners. Reviewing the evolution of the landscape of policy support for accelerators across national and regional levels, with particular emphasis on the UK context, they outline the challenges accelerators face and which policymakers need to take into account. They conclude with policy implications and recommendations focusing on how the ecosystem community can meet such challenges in order to spur ecosystem development and fuel the next generation of start-ups.