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EIC Pathfinder Challenges 2024 – more than just 5 new call topics for proposals

16th April 2024 at 2:27 pm

Blog series 7/7: Pathfinder

The EIC Pathfinder Challenges programme supports the discovery of innovative and groundbreaking scientific technologies that have the potential to shape our future. This year’s thematic falls into two areas of Cleantech (aligned with the EU Green Deal), and Digital, Industry and Space. Why these areas?

The deadline for submission of Challenge proposals is set for 16 October 2024, and up to €120 are allocated to this year’s calls.

Challenge 1: “Solar-to-X” devices for the decentralized prosumption of renewable fuels, chemicals and materials as climate change mitigation pathway

This Challenge seeks out innovative projects that apply the design of Solar-to-X technologies that can directly store and convert solar energy and other small molecules (i.e. water or carbon dioxide) into liquids and gasses, within a single platform. Solar-to-X devices serve as artificial photosynthesis or solar fuel technologies, that would allow communities to move away from only being producers and consumers of electricity, but also of renewable fuels, chemicals and materials. This Challenge aims to develop novel technologies that can show function across the full value chain (generation to use) and are self-sustaining and benefit both the prosumer and the environment. More details on this call topic are summarised in the Challenge guide.

Challenge 2: Towards cement and concrete as a carbon sink

In another effort aid the EU commitment to radically reduce emissions, this Challenge aims to support breakthrough innovations and methodologies to decarbonise cement and concrete, and surpass current Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) technologies. The Challenge is looking for groundbreaking projects with an aim to develop game-changing and cost-effective innovations that can capture, store and utilise carbon dioxide. The details of this call topic can be found in the Challenge guide.

Challenge 3: Nature inspired alternatives for food packaging and films for agriculture

This Pathfinder Challenge aims to bring together multiple interdisciplinary projects to lead the development and production of environmentally friendly and sustainable alternatives to food packaging and agricultural products. These novel materials must retain the functional characteristics of plastics while reducing the environmental impact in the process of design and manufacturing, add toward a circular economy, and aim to be recyclable, reusable and fully biodegradable. To gain a better understanding of the objectives of this call topic please visit the its Challenge guide.

Challenge 4: Nanoelectronics for energy-efficient smart edge devices

One of the most prominent challenges of electronics is the energy consumption and heat dissipation. The state-of-the-art chip designs have the ability to lower energy consumption of electronic devices and system, while enhancing their performance. However, there is much room for improvement in the power consumption towards near-fundamental limits. This Challenge aims to examine novel materials, beyond current information processing models, to sharply reduce energy consumption to meet application-specific needs of smart edge devices. Further details of the objectives and Portfolio activities can be found in the call topic Challenge guide.

Challenge 5: Strengthening the sustainability and resilience of EU space infrastructure

The role of this call topic is to address the challenges that the European Space Industry faces due to the presence of many uncontrolled debris in space. Its growth has escalated significantly, reaching a colossal number of 11,500 tonnes in December 2023, and poses a threat of collision not only to the space infrastructure, including the satellites surrounding our planet, but also to air and naval traffic. To protect the EU’s space infrastructure, this Pathfinder Challenge aims to develop green, compact and affordable de-orbiting solutions and methods of in-space recycling of space debris. Please have a look into the this call’s Challenge guide to specific objectives, outcomes and impacts.

Supporting you in your Pathfinder Challenges proposal preparation

We at accelopment have successfully supported the preparation of multiple Pathfinder Challenge and Open proposals, including the ongoing PEARL-DNA, POLINA, PIONEAR, CORENET and CLASSY projects. With many years of proposal writing experience, we can support you through your application process and during the implementation of your funded Pathfinder Challenge project. Have a look at our Proposal Writing, Project Management and Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation services and contact our EIC Pathfinder experts to discuss how we can best support you with your proposal and ambition.

Andreia Cruz
Research & Innovation Project Manager

Dr. Jörn-Frederik Wotzlaw

Dr. Jörn-Frederik Wotzlaw
Research & Innovation Project Manager

Blog series 7/7: Pathfinder