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EIC Pathfinder Open proposal submissions in early 2024 at an all-time high

27th March 2024 at 5:52 pm

Blog series 5/7: Pathfinder

The fourth deadline for the EIC Pathfinder Open in Horizon Europe, which closed on 7 March 2024, set a new submission record with a total of 1,119 applications. This occurs at a year when the funding made available by the European Innovation Council significantly decreased from close to €180 million in 2023 to €136 million in 2024. Consequently, fewer projects will be funded (40 to 45) compared to the previous years (55 to 60), and the success rate is expected to go under the bar of five per cent for the first time since 2016.

Submission statistics for the FET Open (2014-2020) and EIC Pathfinder Open (2021-2024) calls
Evolution of FET Open/EIC Pathfinder Open success rates over the years.

Results expected in Summer 2024

As stated on the EIC webpage, the evaluation process already started, and the results will be communicated this summer Because many high-quality proposals are likely not to be funded this year, a resubmission in 2025 might be worth considering.

Next year’s deadline will be known once the 2025 EIC Work Programme is published towards the end of the year.

Taking on a (EIC Pathfinder) Challenge?

While we anticipate the results of the 2024 Pathfinder Open call, don’t miss out on an opportunity to apply for one of the EIC Pathfinder Challenges. This year, five new and exciting project topics have been announced in the areas of Cleantech and Digital, Industrial & Space. The 2024 scheme offers up to €4 million for projects in the following areas:

  1. “Solar-to-X” devices for the decentralized prosumption of renewable fuels, chemicals and materials as climate change mitigation pathway.
  2. Towards cement and concrete as a carbon sink.
  3. Nature-inspired alternatives for food packaging and films for agriculture.
  4. Nanoelectronics for energy-efficient smart edge devices.
  5. Strengthening the sustainability and resilience of EU space infrastructures.

If you are up to one of the Challenges, the deadline for the submission of proposals is 16 October 2024.

Turning “crazy” research ideas into reality together

Since the start of Horizon Europe, we have supported the preparation of four winning Pathfinder projects, i.e., CORENET, PEARL-DNA, POLINA and PIONEAR. Our passion for groundbreaking research projects addressing major societal challenges is also reflected in the number of projects supported under the FET Open scheme, the EIC Pathfinder’s predecessor, such as CLASSY, FRINGE, Lumiblast If you are interested in our support for your planned Pathfinder Open and/or Challenge proposal, feel free to contact us. If you want to be notified as soon as we publish any EIC-related news, you can subscribe to our blog posts and stay updated about the latest developments, trends, and results.

Dr. Jörn-Frederik Wotzlaw
Research & Innovation Project Manager

Dr. Anna Ziemele
Research & Innovation Project Associate

Blog series 5/7: Pathfinder