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EIC Transition – new funding opportunity to advance your FET results

17th March 2021 at 2:50 pm

The work programme of the European Innovation Council (EIC) is expected to be published in the coming days, with an official launch ceremony on 18-19 March and a first submission deadline in mid-May for the highly competitive EIC Accelerator and Pathfinder Open instruments as well as the new EIC Transition.

The most important novelty compared to the EIC pilot in Horizon 2020 is indeed the EIC Transition instrument, which replaces the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Innovation Launchpad in its ambition to provide further support to exploit the results of FET projects. Aside from the goal, both instruments have very little in common.

In fact, the upcoming EIC Transition has a much broader scope than its predecessor in that it goes beyond market and commercialisation activities by also supporting the development and demonstration of breakthrough technologies. This also translates into a substantial increase in the EU funding available for EIC Transition projects, increasing from a lump-sum of 100,000 euro for the FET Innovation Launchpad to up to 2.5 million euro for a single EIC Transition project.

Another key difference is that the EIC Transition is not only addressed to Horizon 2020 (H2020) FET and Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder projects, but also to projects funded under the European Research Council (ERC) Proof-of-Concept, which supports ERC grantees in exploring the commercial potential of their work. You can find in the table below a detailed comparison between the H2020 FET Innovation Launchpad and the new Horizon Europe EIC Transition instrument.

As in the EIC Pathfinder and the EIC Accelerator programmes, there will be the possibility to apply for an “Open” call with no pre-defined topics or for defined challenges within the EIC Pathfinder Transition scheme. In the 2021 call, more than 40 million euro will be allocated to the following two challenges:

The first tentative deadline for both options, pre-defined topics and open call, is on 22 September 2021. You can apply either as a single beneficiary (except if your company is not considered a Small and Medium Enterprise / SME) or as a small consortium from two to a maximum of five partners. The proposal document will be of a maximum of 25 pages.

The evaluation process for the Pathfinder Transition will be divided into two phases: First, there will be the usual peer-review by EIC expert evaluators and, if successful, second, a face-to-face interview with an EIC jury. The results of the first phase are expected to be communicated within 5-6 weeks, while the results of the interview will be released within 2-3 weeks. The first grant agreements are expected to be signed within 6 months from the call deadline.

No restrictions are foreseen with regards to resubmissions.

Comparison table for EIC Transition instrument

A similar call in Horizon 2020 funded innovation activities in 13 projects under the FET Proactive scheme but was only targeting specific areas.

Since the introduction of the FET programme in H2020, we have supported the preparation of six successful FET projects, reaching a success rate of 60% in what is known to be one of the most competitive EU research schemes to date. We are currently supporting exploitation activities in CLASSY (systems chemistry), FRINGE (novel cancer therapy) and macQsimal (quantum metrology and sensing). This includes the drafting of dissemination and exploitation plans and contributing to stakeholder mapping, IP management and the organisation of end-user workshops.

Our expertise builds on a combined 75 years of experience of managing innovation in more than 70 European research and innovation projects. Are you interested in this new and exciting opportunity to take the results of your EU-funded project further? Please contact our EIC Pathfinder experts to discuss how we can best support you with your ambitions.

Dr Johannes Ripperger
Research & Innovation Manager