Enhanced EIC Pilot

The Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot aims to support top-class innovators, start-ups, small companies and researchers with bright ideas that are radically different from existing products, services or business models, are highly risky and have the potential to
scale up internationally.

The Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot supports researchers and innovators developing high-risk, breakthrough innovations with the potential to create new markets and boost jobs, growth and prosperity in Europe. It pilots two new schemes:

  1. the EIC Pathfinder pilot (grant only), comprising FET-Open and FET-Proactive.
  2. the EIC Accelerator pilot (grant only and blended finance), building upon the SME Instrument

The Enhanced EIC pilot also includes other calls and actions such as Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) and the Horizon Prizes. The 2020 has seen a COVID response enhasement of the calendar with quite a-few  impromptu calls for COVID-relevant proposals.

The Enhanced EIC Pilot Work Programme 2018-2020 under Horizon 2020 aims at facilitating that transition towards a fully-fledged EIC. The Work Programme contains three main novelties:

1. Reformed and simplified funding instruments;

2. A more flexible and pro-active approach to management (needed for high-risk projects and fast evolving technologies and markets); and,

3. A revised governance in the form of an Advisory Board composed of high-level experts from across the European innovation community.

A total amount of around €3 billion will be provided throughout the period 2018-2020 to fund the most talented innovators and help their companies scale up and expand beyond European borders.

The Enhanced EIC pilot is able to support

  • ideas from any area of technology or business sector, including novel combinations of technologies and business models
  • all stages from feasibility to development to scale-up
  • innovators from all EU Member States, from other countries associated to the EU
    Horizon 2020 programme, and to innovators from all parts of the world
    who establish their activities in Europe

What comes after the EIC pilot phase 2018-2020?

 By the end of 2017, the High Level Group of innovators has been requested to present their  recommendations for  a  European  Innovation  Council.  In  early  2018,  the  European  Commission  will  consult  all  stakeholders  on  their  views  on  the  next  framework  programme  for  research  and  innovation  that  will  start  in  2021  (‘FP9’).  Taking account of the views of stakeholders, the Commission will present its legislative proposals for the next EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme to the European Parliament and the Member States by summer 2018.

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