Finding the right path in the new Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder
26th February 2021 at 7:21 pm
The EIC Pathfinder, previously known as the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) in Horizon 2020 (H2020), will allocate more than € 300 million for high-risk and radical new ideas, to be funded through open calls and innovative challenges. Although this funding scheme shifted from the basic science-driven “Excellent Science” pillar in H2020 to the more market-driven “Innovative Europe” pillar in Horizon Europe, the structure of the EIC Pathfinder remains similar to the FET programme.
The EIC Pathfinder Open (FET-Open in Horizon 2020) will accept project proposals for research in any area for grants of up to € 3 million. In the latest draft Work Programme from January 2021, the foreseen submission deadline is on 19 May 2021 and the proposal is limited to 17 pages. A total of 55 to 60 projects are expected to be funded in 2021.
The EIC Pathfinder Challenges (FET-Proactive in Horizon 2020) will fund breakthrough projects for grants up to € 4 million in five specific challenges:
- Awareness inside (consciousness in Artificial Intelligence systems)
- Tools to measure & stimulate activity in brain tissue
- Emerging Technologies in Cell & Gene Therapy
- Novel routes to green hydrogen production
- Engineered living materials
The deadline for the EIC Pathfinder Challenges is later in the year, on 27 October 2021. For certain challenges, there will be the possibility to apply as a single entity. The proposal size is set at a maximum of 25 pages.
Contrary to the EIC Accelerator (SME Instrument in Horizon 2020), no restrictions concerning resubmissions are foreseen in the EIC Pathfinder. However, evaluators can advise not to resubmit in the Evaluation Summary Report.
The FET-Open scheme was known to be one of the most competitive in H2020. In the last call from June 2020, the success rate was around 5%. Our success rate for this funding instrument is over 50%.
For example, we have supported Lumiblast, a project leading towards a minimally-invasive clinical treatment for cancer cells in hard to reach areas (e.g. brain cancer), that was awarded with the Innovation Radar prize in 2019 for innovative science.
We are also a project partner in CLASSY, where we lead communication, dissemination and exploitation activities and assist the Coordinator in smoothly running the project. CLASSY aims to implement its vision of a sustainable “chemical factory of the future” through the development of a radically new self-regulating chemical reactor that will result in close to zero waste streams.
Interested in increasing your chances in this competitive scheme? From FET to EIC Pathfinder, our taste for project ideas that are challenging current paradigms stays the same. Contact our EIC Pathfinder experts to discuss how we can best support you with your ambitions.