EIC Pilot – SME Instrument and Fast Track to Innovation

The EIC pilot supports top-class innovators, entrepreneurs, small companies and scientists with bright ideas and the ambition to scale up internationally. It brings together the parts of Horizon 2020 that provide funding, advice and networking opportunities for those at cutting edge of innovation.

SME Instrument

SME Instrument is for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs – including start-ups) with a radical innovation that can disrupt established value networks and markets. The companies should have the ambition and potential to scale-up. The SME Instrument has a total budget of more than €1.6 billion for 2018-2020.

The SME Instrument is split into two types:

  • Phase 1 – €50,000 per project for exploring and assessing the technical feasibility and commercial potential of a breakthrough innovation that a company wants to exploit and commercialise.
    • Typical project length: 3 to 6 months
    • Typical activities include: IP audit, risk assessment, concept feasibility, innovation strategy, partner search, etc
  • Phase 2 – grants up to €2.5 million with a 70% co-financing rate for activities including testing, piloting and scaling-up.
    • Typical project length: 18 to 24 months
    • Typical activities include: Development prototyping, test, piloting, scaling up, design, market replication, etc

Phase 3 provides no direct funding, but is used to provide business acceleration services such as coaching, brokerage events and partnering and many more.

Visit the dedicated SME Instrument page for all details on upcoming deadlines.

Fast Track to Innovation (FTI)

Fast Track to Innovation is for relatively mature ground-breaking technologies, concepts and business models which are close to market in any technology or application. This thematic openness – combined with the possibility for all kinds of innovation actors to work together and deliver innovation onto the market and/or into society – is set to nurture trans-disciplinary and cross-sectoral cooperation.

Fast Track to Innovation has a total budget of around €300 million for 2018-2020.

The FTI’s aim is to:

  • reduce time from idea to market,
  • stimulate the participation of first-time applicants to EU research and innovation funding, and
  • increase private sector investment in research and innovation.

Proposals for funding must be submitted by consortia comprising between three and five legal entities established in at least three different EU Member States or associated H2020 countries.

Projects must be ‘business-driven’ as they are intended to give breakthrough innovation ideas the last push before shaking up the market. Substantial industry involvement in FTI projects is mandatory to ensure quick market take-up (‘quick’ meaning within a three-year period after the start of the FTI-project).

Grants of up to €3 million are available for each project at 70% intervention rate for profit-organisations and 100% for non-profit organisations.

Visit the dedicated Fast Track to Innovation page for the all the details on upcoming calls.

Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Open

FET Open offers grants of typically €3 million to promote collaborative, inter-disciplinary research and innovation on future and emerging technologies. These grants are for consortia of at least 3 entities. FET Open has a total budget of around €700 million for 2018-2020.

FET Open also offers ‘FET Innovation Launchpad’ grants of up to €100,000 for short individual or collaborative actions to help turn the results of FET Open projects into innovations.

Visit the FET homepage for more details on upcoming deadlines.

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