The EIC Pathfinder Open – more than just a continuation of H2020 FET Open
30th March 2021 at 2:39 pm
The European Commission has recently published the European Innovation Council (EIC) Work Programme for the years 2021-2022. The EIC Pathfinder, known as the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) in Horizon 2020 (H2020), has moved from the basic science-driven “Excellent Science” pillar in H2020 to the more market-driven “Innovative Europe” pillar in Horizon Europe. This move is an important step in achieving the EC vision to establish an integrated agile support system across the full innovation spectrum from early-stage research to start-up and scale-up of innovative ideas and technologies.
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. The submission deadline is the 19th of May 2021; 55 to 60 projects are expected to be funded this year. The EC has also published a proposal template reflecting some important differences in the structure of the proposal, when compared to H2020 FET Open:
From a new proposal structure ….
- Part A of the proposal will be automatically generated based on information entered by the participants directly into the submission system.
- The profiles of the participants are now integrated into part A; part B2, known from FET Open proposals, does not exist anymore.
- The participants will be required to fill in a new table in part A, “Researchers involved in the proposal”. This table contains some basic information about all researchers involved in the proposal, including gender, nationality, career stage and role in the project. The table is for researchers only; other personnel involved in the proposal does not need to be included.
- Part A also contains a second new table, “Role of participation organization in the project”. This table provides a list of various potential roles the participants could choose from; selecting more than one option is possible.
- Ethics self-assessment and security issues tables are also included in Part A.
- Part B of the proposal is restricted to 17 A4 pages.
- The table of contents of Part B is simplified, it contains fewer subsections and only 3 main sections corresponding to the evaluation criteria Excellence, Impact, and Quality and Efficiency of the Implementation.
- The proposal template provides detailed explanation on what is expected to be included in the different (sub)sections of Part B.
- Definitions of important proposal elements, for example critical risks, milestones, outcomes, are provided.
… to a stronger impact on Europe`s economy and society
The new EIC Work Programme reveals more than mere structural difference between the two funding instruments. Like its predecessor, the EIC Pathfinder Open will fund science-towards-technology breakthrough interdisciplinary high-risk research. But the move to the EIC shows, that the focus will very likely shift to selecting and supporting projects that can clearly demonstrate an ambitious long-term vision for developing a radically new technology with potential to have a transformative positive effect on European economy and society. In this respect, the EIC Pathfinder Open is expected to be more business and market-driven than its predecessor was.
Our track record
Since the introduction of the FET programme in H2020, we have supported the preparation of multiple FET proposals, including Lumiblast, Pre-ART, FRINGE, CLASSY and SciFiMed. Our success rate is more than 60% in what is known to be one of the most competitive EU research schemes to date. With many years of proposal writing experience, we can support you throughout your application process and then during the implementation of your Pathfinder Open project. 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 focus areas are in the Health and the Lifesciences, Energy and the Green Deal, as well as several other research and technologies which we have been involved in over the years.