EIC Accelerator Jobs

Are you looking for writing jobs as a freelancer or full-time writer for the EIC Accelerator blended financing (formerly SME Instrument Phase 2, grant and equity)?

Rasph is a collective of expert grant writers who are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to ensure that the right projects are presented to the European Commission (EC) and European Innovation Council (EIC) in the right way. If you want to join our team, you must only fit two central criteria:

  • Be sharp when it comes to technical innovations and projects
  • Be dedicated to going the extra mile and place quality over everything else

Once you have reached out to us, we will assess the initial communication you have shared (i.e. Linkedin profile, Curriculum Vitae, references, publications, …) and get back to you if we are impressed. Prior to hiring you, we will conduct a video interview and request a writing sample from you to identify if you have a style that matches our expectations.

While most other consultancies have a rather unfavorable approach towards their writers, Rasph aims to pay well, provide very strong success incentives and allow a networking component between projects that increases the quality of the grant writing ecosystem. Collaborations are efficient and self-reliant with every writer taking full responsibility for their projects and gaining support from editors, other writers and project developers.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Contact Us Here


The articles found on Rasph.com reflect the opinions of Rasph or its respective authors and in no way reflect opinions held by the European Commission (EC) or the European Innovation Council (EIC). The provided information aims to share perspectives that are valuable and can potentially inform applicants regarding grant funding schemes such as the EIC Accelerator, EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition or related programs such as Innovate UK in the United Kingdom or the Small Business Innovation and Research grant (SBIR) in the United States.

The articles can also be a useful resource for other consultancies in the grant space as well as professional grant writers who are hired as freelancers or are part of a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME). The EIC Accelerator is part of Horizon Europe (2021-2027) which has recently replaced the previous framework program Horizon 2020.


Are you interested in hiring a writer to apply for grants in the EU?

Please feel free to reach out here: Contact

Are you looking for a training program to learn how to apply for the EIC Accelerator?

Find it here: Training

 

Crafting a Successful Proposal: A Comprehensive Guide to the Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder Open Template

The Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder represents a significant opportunity for researchers and innovators to secure funding for groundbreaking projects. To maximize your chances of success, it’s crucial to meticulously prepare your proposal, ensuring it adheres to the provided structure and guidelines. This article delves into the details of the standard application form (Part B) and provides a comprehensive guide to crafting a compelling technical description for your project.

Note: This article is for educational purposes only and no warranties are made regarding its accuracy. All rights belong to the original authors of the templates.

Understanding the Proposal Template

The proposal consists of two main parts:

  1. Part A: This part is generated by the IT system based on the information you enter through the submission system in the Funding & Tenders Portal. It includes administrative details about the project and the participating organizations.
  2. Part B: This is the narrative part of your proposal, where you detail the technical aspects of your project. Part B must be uploaded as a PDF and follows a specific template that addresses three core evaluation criteria: Excellence, Impact, and Quality and Efficiency of the Implementation.

Section 1: Excellence

The first section of Part B focuses on the Excellence of your proposal. Here, you must clearly articulate the visionary aspects of your project and its potential to push the boundaries of current technology and science.

  • Long-term Vision: Describe your vision of the radically new technology towards which the project will contribute in the long term. Highlight the transformative potential of this technology.
  • Science-towards-technology Breakthrough: Explain the science-towards-technology breakthrough that your project aims to achieve. Discuss the novelty and ambition of your approach compared to the current state-of-the-art, and describe how this breakthrough will contribute to the envisioned technology.
  • Objectives: Outline the concrete objectives of your project, ensuring they are measurable, verifiable, and realistically achievable within the project’s duration. Detail the overall methodology and explain its suitability in addressing the scientific and technological uncertainties.
  • Interdisciplinarity: Describe how your project integrates contributions from different scientific and technological disciplines. Explain the added value of this interdisciplinary approach in achieving your project’s goals.

Section 2: Impact

The second section addresses the Impact of your project. This section is crucial in demonstrating the broader significance of your research and its potential to drive innovation and societal change.

  • Long-term Impact: Detail the potential transformative effects of your technology on the economy, environment, and society. Explain how your project will contribute to long-term positive changes.
  • Innovation Potential: Highlight the potential of your project to generate disruptive innovations and create new markets. Describe the measures you will take to protect and exploit your project’s results.
  • Communication and Dissemination: Provide a plan for how you will communicate and disseminate your project’s outcomes to stakeholders, the scientific community, and the public. Ensure these activities will maximize the project’s impact.

Section 3: Quality and Efficiency of Implementation

The final section covers the Quality and Efficiency of the Implementation. This part focuses on the practical aspects of how you will execute your project.

  • Work Plan and Allocation of Resources: Present a detailed work plan, including work packages, tasks, and deliverables. Explain the allocation of resources and justify their adequacy and appropriateness.
  • Quality of the Consortium: Describe the composition of your consortium, emphasizing the expertise and complementarity of the partners involved. Highlight previous successful collaborations and specify the roles of each participant.

Tables and Annexes

To support the narrative, several tables need to be included, detailing work packages, deliverables, milestones, critical risks, and staff efforts. Additionally, depending on the call, you may need to include annexes providing further information on specific aspects such as clinical trials, financial support to third parties, security issues, and ethical considerations.

Formatting and Submission Instructions

The proposal must adhere to specific formatting guidelines:

  • Font and Spacing: Use Times New Roman (Windows), Times/Times New Roman (Apple), or Nimbus Roman No. 9 L (Linux) with a minimum font size of 11 points and standard character spacing.
  • Page Size and Margins: The page size is A4 with at least 15 mm margins on all sides.
  • Page Limit: The combined length of sections 1, 2, and 3 should not exceed 20 pages.

Conclusion

Preparing a successful proposal for the Horizon Europe EIC Pathfinder Open call requires meticulous attention to detail and adherence to the specified template. By clearly articulating the excellence, impact, and quality of your project, and ensuring all required tables and annexes are included, you can significantly enhance your chances of securing funding for your innovative research.

For more detailed guidance, refer to the full proposal template and instructions provided in the Funding & Tenders Portal.


Proposal Template Part B: Technical Description

TITLE OF THE PROPOSAL

[This document is tagged. Do not delete the tags; they are needed for processing.] #@APP-FORM-HEEICPAOP@#

1. Excellence #@REL-EVA-RE@#

1.1 Long-term vision #@PRJ-OBJ-PO@#

Describe your vision of the radically new technology, towards which the project would contribute in the long term.

1.2 Science-towards-technology breakthrough

Describe in concrete terms the science-towards-technology breakthrough of the project. Discuss the novelty and ambition of the proposed breakthrough with respect to the state-of-the-art. Describe the contribution of the science-towards-technology breakthrough to the realization of the envisioned technology.

1.3 Objectives

Describe the objectives of your proposed work. Explain how they are concrete, plausible, measurable, verifiable, and realistically achievable within the duration of the project. Describe the overall methodology, including the concepts, models, and assumptions that underpin your work. Explain its suitability to deal with the scientific and technological uncertainties and how it enables alternative directions and options.

1.4 Interdisciplinarity

Describe the proposed interdisciplinary approach engaging contributions from different scientific and technological disciplines. Explain to what extent the combination of disciplines brings new scientific collaborations and how it contributes to the achievement of the proposed breakthrough.


2. Impact #@IMP-ACT-IA@#

2.1 Long-term impact

Describe the potential transformative positive effects that the envisioned new technology would have on our economy, environment, and society.

2.2 Innovation potential

Describe the envisioned new technology’s potential for generating disruptive innovations in the future and for creating new markets. Explain the measures for the protection of results and other exploitation measures to facilitate future translation of research results into innovations.

2.3 Communication and Dissemination #@COM-DIS-VIS-CDV@#

Describe the proposed communication and dissemination measures, including how you will share the project’s outcomes with stakeholders, the scientific community, and the public. Explain how these measures will maximize the impact of the project.


3. Quality and efficiency of the implementation #@QUA-LIT-QL@# #@CON-SOR-CS@# #@PRJ-MGT-PM@#

3.1 Work plan and allocation of resources #@WRK-PLA-WP@#

Describe the work plan, detailing the work packages, tasks, and deliverables. Explain the allocation of resources and how they are adequate and appropriate for the project.

3.2 Quality of the consortium

Describe the consortium’s composition and explain how it brings together the necessary expertise and complementarity to achieve the project objectives. Highlight any previous successful collaborations and the roles of each participant.


Tables for section 3.1

Table 3.1a: List of work packages

Work package No Work package Title Lead Participant No Lead Participant Short Name Name & surname of Work package leader Gender of Work package leader Start Month End month

Table 3.1b: Work package description

For each work package:

  • Work package number
  • Work package title (Participants involved in each WP and their efforts are shown in table 3.2f. Lead participant and starting and end date of each WP are shown in table 3.2a.)
  • Objectives
  • Description of work (where appropriate, broken down into tasks), lead partner, and role of participants. Deliverables linked to each WP are listed in table 3.2c (no need to repeat the information here).

Table 3.1c: List of Deliverables

Number Deliverable name Short description Work package number Short name of lead participant Type Dissemination level Delivery date (in months)

Table 3.1d: List of milestones

Milestone number Milestone name Related work package(s) Due date (in month) Means of verification

Table 3.1e: Critical risks for implementation #@RSK-MGT-RM@#

Description of risk (indicate level of (i) likelihood, and (ii) severity: Low/Medium/High) Work package(s) involved Proposed risk-mitigation measures

Table 3.1f: Summary of staff effort

WPn WPn+1 WPn+2 Total Person-Months per Participant Participant Number/Short Name Participant Number/Short Name Participant Number/Short Name Total Person Months

Table 3.1g: ‘Subcontracting costs’ items

Participant Number/Short Name Cost (€) Description of tasks and justification

Table 3.1h: ‘Purchase costs’ items (travel and subsistence, equipment, and other goods, works, and services)

Please complete the table below for each participant if the purchase costs (i.e., the sum of the costs for ‘travel and subsistence’, ‘equipment’, and ‘other goods, works, and services’) exceeds 15% of the personnel costs for that participant (according to the budget table in proposal part A). The record must list cost items in order of costs and starting with the largest cost item, up to the level that the remaining costs are below 15% of personnel costs.

Participant Number/Short Name Cost (€) Justification

Table 3.1i: ‘Other costs categories’ items (e.g., internally invoiced goods and services)

Please complete the table below for each participant that would like to declare costs under other costs categories (e.g., internally invoiced goods and services), irrespective of the percentage of personnel costs.

Participant Number/Short Name Cost (€) Justification

Table 3.1j: ‘In-kind contributions’ provided by third parties

Please complete the table below for each participant that will make use of in-kind contributions (non-financial resources made available free of charge by third parties). In-kind contributions provided by third parties free of charge are declared by the participants as eligible direct costs in the corresponding cost category (e.g., personnel costs or purchase costs for equipment).

Participant Number/Short Name Third party name Category Cost (€) Justification

ANNEXES TO PROPOSAL PART B

Some calls may ask to upload annexes to proposal part B. The annexes must be uploaded as separate documents in the submission system. The most common annexes to be uploaded in Horizon Europe are (standard templates are published in the Funding & Tenders portal):

  • CLINICAL TRIALS: Annex with information on clinical trials.
  • FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO THIRD PARTIES: Annex with information on financial support to third parties.
  • CALLS FLAGGED AS SECURITY SENSITIVE: Annex with information on security aspects.
  • ETHICS: Ethics self-assessment should be included in proposal part A. However, in calls where several serious ethics issues are expected, the character limit in this section of proposal part A may not be sufficient for participants to give all necessary information. In those cases, participants may include additional information in an annex to proposal part B.

Instructions for Formatting and Submission

  • Font and Spacing: The reference font for the body text of proposals is Times New Roman (Windows), Times/Times New Roman (Apple), or Nimbus Roman No. 9 L (Linux). The minimum font size allowed is 11 points with standard character spacing and a minimum of single line spacing.
  • Page Size and Margins: The page size is A4, and all margins (top, bottom, left, right) should be at least 15 mm.
  • Page Limit: The sections 1, 2, and 3, together, should not be longer than 20 pages. All tables, figures, references, and any other element pertaining to these sections must be included as an integral part of these sections and are thus counted against this page limit. Excess pages in over-long proposals will be automatically made invisible and will not be taken into consideration by the experts.

Structure of the Proposal

The proposal contains two parts:

  • Part A: Generated by the IT system based on the information entered by the participants through the submission system in the Funding & Tenders Portal.
  • Part B: The narrative part that includes three sections, each corresponding to an evaluation criterion. Part B needs to be uploaded as a PDF document following the templates downloaded by the applicants in the submission system for the specific call or topic.

The electronic submission system is an online wizard that guides you step-by-step through the preparation of your proposal. The submission process consists of 6 steps:

  1. Logging in the Portal
  2. Select the call, topic, and type of action in the Portal
  3. Create a draft proposal: Title, acronym, summary, main organization, and contact details
  4. Manage your parties and contact details: add your partner organizations and contact details.
  5. Edit and complete web forms for proposal part A and upload proposal part B
  6. Submit the proposal


The articles found on Rasph.com reflect the opinions of Rasph or its respective authors and in no way reflect opinions held by the European Commission (EC) or the European Innovation Council (EIC). The provided information aims to share perspectives that are valuable and can potentially inform applicants regarding grant funding schemes such as the EIC Accelerator, EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition or related programs such as Innovate UK in the United Kingdom or the Small Business Innovation and Research grant (SBIR) in the United States.

The articles can also be a useful resource for other consultancies in the grant space as well as professional grant writers who are hired as freelancers or are part of a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME). The EIC Accelerator is part of Horizon Europe (2021-2027) which has recently replaced the previous framework program Horizon 2020.

This article was written by ChatEIC. ChatEIC is an EIC Accelerator assistant that can advise on the writing of proposals, discuss current trends and create insightful articles on a variety of topics. The articles written by ChatEIC can contain inaccurate or outdated information.

Are you interested in hiring a writer to apply for grants in the EU?

Please feel free to reach out here: Contact

Are you looking for a training program to learn how to apply for the EIC Accelerator?

Find it here: Training

 

Overview of EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition, and EIC Accelerator: Differences and TRL Expectations

The European Innovation Council (EIC) under the Horizon Europe framework offers three distinct programmes to support the entire innovation lifecycle: EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition, and EIC Accelerator. Each programme targets different stages of technology development, providing tailored funding and support to help breakthrough innovations reach the market. This overview explains the differences between these programmes, their specific requirements, and how they are connected through their Technology Readiness Level (TRL) expectations.

The EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition, and EIC Accelerator programmes are intricately designed to provide comprehensive support across the entire innovation lifecycle, enabling companies to benefit from continuous grant nurturing from TRL 1 to TRL 9. EIC Pathfinder supports early-stage, high-risk research to explore novel ideas and achieve proof of concept (TRL 1-4). Successful Pathfinder projects can then progress to EIC Transition, which helps validate and demonstrate the feasibility of these technologies in relevant environments (TRL 3-6), bridging the gap between research and market readiness. Finally, the EIC Accelerator offers targeted support for market-ready innovations (TRL 5-9), providing both grants and equity investment to help companies commercialize their products, scale their operations, and disrupt existing markets. This seamless progression ensures that innovative companies can continuously develop their technologies from initial concept to full market deployment, leveraging the EIC’s comprehensive funding and support mechanisms at each critical stage.

EIC Pathfinder

Purpose

EIC Pathfinder supports visionary research and the exploration of bold ideas to create breakthrough technologies. It focuses on early-stage research to lay the groundwork for transformative innovations.

Key Features

  • Funding Scope: Supports high-risk, high-gain research projects that explore new technological possibilities.
  • TRL Focus: Primarily targets TRL 1 to TRL 4.
    • TRL 1: Basic principles observed.
    • TRL 2: Technology concept formulated.
    • TRL 3: Experimental proof of concept.
    • TRL 4: Technology validated in lab.

Requirements

  • Eligibility: Open to consortia of at least three independent legal entities from different Member States or Associated Countries. Single entities like high-tech SMEs and research organizations can also apply.
  • Proposal: Must outline a visionary, high-risk research project with a strong potential for scientific and technological breakthrough.

Funding

  • Grant Amount: Up to EUR 3 million for Pathfinder Open, up to EUR 4 million for Pathfinder Challenges.
  • Funding Rate: 100% of eligible costs.

EIC Transition

Purpose

EIC Transition aims to bridge the gap between early-stage research and market readiness. It focuses on maturing and validating technologies developed under EIC Pathfinder and other EU-funded projects.

Key Features

  • Funding Scope: Supports activities to validate and demonstrate the feasibility of new technologies in application-relevant environments.
  • TRL Focus: Targets TRL 3 to TRL 6.
    • Starting TRL: TRL 3 (Experimental proof of concept) or TRL 4 (Technology validated in lab).
    • Ending TRL: TRL 5 (Technology validated in relevant environment) to TRL 6 (Technology demonstrated in relevant environment).

Requirements

  • Eligibility: Open to single entities (SMEs, spin-offs, startups, research organizations, universities) or consortia (2-5 entities) from Member States or Associated Countries.
  • Proposal: Must build on results from previous EIC Pathfinder, FET (Future and Emerging Technologies), or other EU-funded projects. Proposals should include a detailed work plan for technology validation and business development.

Funding

  • Grant Amount: Up to EUR 2.5 million, with higher amounts possible if justified.
  • Funding Rate: 100% of eligible costs.

EIC Accelerator

Purpose

EIC Accelerator supports individual SMEs, including startups and spin-offs, to develop and scale up high-impact innovations with the potential to create new markets or disrupt existing ones.

Key Features

  • Funding Scope: Provides both grant funding and equity investment to help SMEs bring their innovations to market.
  • TRL Focus: Targets TRL 5 to TRL 9.
    • Starting TRL: TRL 5 (Technology validated in relevant environment) or TRL 6 (Technology demonstrated in relevant environment).
    • Ending TRL: TRL 8 (System complete and qualified) to TRL 9 (Actual system proven in operational environment).

Requirements

  • Eligibility: Open to individual SMEs from Member States or Associated Countries. Mid-caps (companies with up to 500 employees) can also apply for blended finance (grant + equity).
  • Proposal: Must present a high-potential innovation with a strong business case and clear market potential. Proposals should include a plan for commercialization and scaling.

Funding

  • Grant Amount: Up to EUR 2.5 million for grant-only support, with additional equity investment available up to EUR 15 million.
  • Funding Rate: 70% of eligible costs for grant component, equity component determined based on investment needs.

Connecting the Programmes through TRL Expectations

From Early Research to Market Readiness

The three EIC programmes are designed to support the full innovation lifecycle, from early-stage research to market entry:

  1. EIC Pathfinder (TRL 1-4): Focuses on basic research and experimental proof of concept, laying the scientific and technological foundation for future innovations.
  2. EIC Transition (TRL 3-6): Bridges the gap between exploratory research and market readiness by validating and demonstrating technologies in relevant environments.
  3. EIC Accelerator (TRL 5-9): Supports the development, commercialization, and scaling of market-ready innovations, helping SMEs bring their products to market.

Seamless Progression

  • EIC Pathfinder to EIC Transition: Projects that achieve successful proof of concept and lab validation under EIC Pathfinder can progress to EIC Transition for further validation and demonstration in relevant environments.
  • EIC Transition to EIC Accelerator: Once technologies are validated and demonstrated in relevant environments, they can advance to EIC Accelerator for final development, market entry, and scaling.

Summary

  • EIC Pathfinder: Early-stage research (TRL 1-4), visionary and high-risk projects.
  • EIC Transition: Bridging research and market (TRL 3-6), technology validation, and demonstration.
  • EIC Accelerator: Market readiness and scaling (TRL 5-9), commercialization support for SMEs.

By understanding the distinct roles and TRL expectations of each EIC programme, innovators can strategically plan their project development pathway, ensuring seamless progression from groundbreaking research to successful market introduction.


The articles found on Rasph.com reflect the opinions of Rasph or its respective authors and in no way reflect opinions held by the European Commission (EC) or the European Innovation Council (EIC). The provided information aims to share perspectives that are valuable and can potentially inform applicants regarding grant funding schemes such as the EIC Accelerator, EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition or related programs such as Innovate UK in the United Kingdom or the Small Business Innovation and Research grant (SBIR) in the United States.

The articles can also be a useful resource for other consultancies in the grant space as well as professional grant writers who are hired as freelancers or are part of a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME). The EIC Accelerator is part of Horizon Europe (2021-2027) which has recently replaced the previous framework program Horizon 2020.


This article was written by ChatEIC. ChatEIC is an EIC Accelerator assistant that can advise on the writing of proposals, discuss current trends and create insightful articles on a variety of topics. The articles written by ChatEIC can contain inaccurate or outdated information.


Are you interested in hiring a writer to apply for grants in the EU?

Please feel free to reach out here: Contact

Are you looking for a training program to learn how to apply for the EIC Accelerator?

Find it here: Training

 

Bridging the Gap: The EIC Transition Grant Programme Explained

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Transition Programme is a critical component of the Horizon Europe framework, designed to bridge the gap between early-stage research and market-ready innovations. This programme specifically targets the advancement and maturation of promising technologies developed under EIC Pathfinder projects and other EU-funded research initiatives. By providing funding and support, EIC Transition helps to validate and demonstrate the viability of these technologies in real-world applications, facilitating their path to commercialization and societal impact.

Objectives of the EIC Transition Programme

The EIC Transition Programme aims to:

  1. Validate Technologies: Support projects in proving the feasibility and robustness of new technologies in application-relevant environments.
  2. Develop Business Plans: Assist in creating comprehensive business plans that outline the commercial potential and market strategy for the technology.
  3. Reduce Market Risks: Mitigate the technical and commercial risks associated with bringing new technologies to market.
  4. Foster Innovation: Encourage the development of innovative solutions that can address significant societal and economic challenges.

Eligibility Criteria

Who Can Apply?

The EIC Transition Programme is open to:

  1. Single Entities: Such as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), spin-offs, startups, research organizations, and universities.
  2. Consortia: Comprising a minimum of two and a maximum of five independent legal entities from different Member States or Associated Countries.

Specific Requirements

  • Source of Results: Projects must build on results from EIC Pathfinder, FET (Future and Emerging Technologies) projects, or other EU-funded research initiatives.
  • Stage of Development: Technologies should be at a TRL (Technology Readiness Level) between 3 and 4 at the start of the project, aiming to reach TRL 5 to 6 by the project’s end.

Funding and Support

Financial Support

The EIC Transition Programme provides substantial financial support to successful projects:

  • Grant Amount: Up to EUR 2.5 million per project, although higher amounts can be requested if justified.
  • Funding Rate: 100% of eligible costs, covering expenses such as personnel, equipment, consumables, and subcontracting.

Additional Support

In addition to financial support, EIC Transition offers:

  • Business Acceleration Services: Tailored services including coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities with industry leaders, investors, and ecosystem partners.
  • Access to Expertise: Guidance from EIC Programme Managers and access to a pool of external experts to support the technology maturation process.

Application Process

Proposal Submission

Applicants must submit their proposals via the EU Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal. Proposals should provide detailed information on:

  1. Technology and Innovation: Description of the technology, its novelty, and the specific innovation it represents.
  2. Work Plan: Comprehensive plan outlining the project’s objectives, methodology, milestones, deliverables, and risk management strategies.
  3. Market Potential: Analysis of the market potential, including target markets, competitive landscape, and commercialization strategy.
  4. Consortium Capabilities: Evidence of the consortium’s ability to execute the project successfully, including expertise, resources, and prior experience.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals are evaluated based on three main criteria:

  1. Excellence:
    • Innovation: The novelty and groundbreaking nature of the technology.
    • Scientific and Technological Merit: The soundness of the proposed methodology and technological approach.
  2. Impact:
    • Market Potential: The potential for commercialization and market uptake.
    • Societal and Economic Benefits: The anticipated benefits for society and the economy.
  3. Quality and Efficiency of Implementation:
    • Work Plan: The clarity, coherence, and effectiveness of the work plan.
    • Consortium Competence: The capabilities and expertise of the consortium members.

Evaluation Process

The evaluation process involves multiple stages:

  1. Remote Evaluation: Proposals are first evaluated remotely by independent experts based on the above criteria.
  2. Consensus Meetings: Evaluators discuss and agree on the scores and comments for each proposal.
  3. Interviews: Top-ranked proposals may be invited for an interview with an evaluation jury, including experts and potential investors.

Key Benefits of EIC Transition

Bridging the Valley of Death

The EIC Transition Programme addresses the so-called “valley of death,” the critical phase where many promising technologies fail to reach commercialization due to lack of funding and support. By providing financial resources and expert guidance, EIC Transition helps projects overcome this hurdle and move closer to market readiness.

Accelerating Innovation

By focusing on both technological validation and business development, EIC Transition accelerates the innovation process. This dual approach ensures that projects are not only technically feasible but also commercially viable, increasing their chances of success in the market.

Strengthening European Competitiveness

EIC Transition plays a vital role in enhancing the competitiveness of European technologies and companies on the global stage. By supporting high-potential innovations, the programme contributes to the development of cutting-edge solutions that can address global challenges and drive economic growth.

Success Stories

Several projects funded under the EIC Transition Programme have made significant strides towards commercialization. Notable examples include:

  1. Project A: A groundbreaking technology for sustainable energy storage, which successfully validated its prototype and attracted significant investment for further development.
  2. Project B: An innovative medical device that improved patient outcomes and secured partnerships with leading healthcare providers for market entry.
  3. Project C: A novel material with superior properties for industrial applications, which demonstrated its feasibility and scalability, leading to commercial agreements with major industry players.

Conclusion

The EIC Transition Programme is a pivotal initiative designed to support the maturation and commercialization of breakthrough technologies. By providing substantial funding, expert guidance, and business support, the programme helps to bridge the gap between research and market, ensuring that high-potential innovations can make a tangible impact on society and the economy. Researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to leverage this opportunity to bring their technologies to market and contribute to the advancement of European innovation.

Navigating the EIC Transition Evaluation Criteria: A Comprehensive Guide

Introduction

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Transition Programme is designed to help promising technologies transition from early-stage research to market-ready innovations. A critical aspect of the EIC Transition Programme is the evaluation process, which rigorously assesses proposals to ensure that only the most promising and impactful projects receive funding. Understanding the evaluation criteria is essential for applicants to align their proposals effectively and maximize their chances of success. This article provides a detailed overview of the EIC Transition evaluation criteria, offering insights into what evaluators look for in proposals and how applicants can best meet these expectations.

Overview of the Evaluation Process

The evaluation process for EIC Transition proposals involves multiple stages, each designed to assess different aspects of the proposed project. Proposals are evaluated by independent experts based on three main criteria: Excellence, Impact, and Quality and Efficiency of Implementation. Each criterion is further divided into specific sub-criteria to provide a structured framework for evaluation.

Stages of Evaluation

  1. Remote Evaluation: Proposals are initially reviewed and scored individually by independent expert evaluators.
  2. Consensus Meetings: Evaluators discuss their individual assessments to reach a consensus on scores and comments for each proposal.
  3. Interviews: Top-ranked proposals may be invited for an interview with an evaluation jury, including experts and potential investors, to further assess the project’s potential.

Detailed Evaluation Criteria

1. Excellence

The Excellence criterion assesses the scientific and technological quality of the proposal. It evaluates the novelty, feasibility, and innovation potential of the proposed technology.

Sub-criteria:

  • Innovation Potential:
    • Key Question: How innovative and groundbreaking is the proposed technology?
    • Expectation: Proposals should present a novel technology that has the potential to significantly advance the state of the art and offer unique advantages over existing solutions.
  • Scientific and Technological Merit:
    • Key Question: How sound is the proposed methodology and technological approach?
    • Expectation: The proposal should outline a robust scientific and technical approach, supported by preliminary data and a clear understanding of the underlying principles. The methodology should be well-defined and feasible.
  • Feasibility and Risk Management:
    • Key Question: How feasible is the proposed project, and how well are potential risks identified and mitigated?
    • Expectation: The proposal should provide a detailed plan for the development and validation of the technology, including realistic timelines, milestones, and deliverables. Potential risks should be clearly identified, along with appropriate mitigation strategies.

2. Impact

The Impact criterion evaluates the potential of the proposed technology to generate significant economic, societal, and environmental benefits. It also assesses the project’s potential for market uptake and commercialization.

Sub-criteria:

  • Market Potential and Commercial Strategy:
    • Key Question: What is the market potential of the proposed technology, and how well-defined is the commercialization strategy?
    • Expectation: Proposals should include a comprehensive market analysis, identifying target markets, customer segments, and competitive landscape. The commercialization strategy should be clear, with a detailed plan for market entry, business development, and scaling.
  • Societal and Economic Benefits:
    • Key Question: What are the anticipated societal and economic impacts of the technology?
    • Expectation: The proposal should articulate the broader benefits of the technology, such as job creation, economic growth, environmental sustainability, and improvements in quality of life. The project should align with relevant societal challenges and EU priorities.
  • Dissemination and Exploitation:
    • Key Question: How effective are the proposed measures for disseminating and exploiting the project results?
    • Expectation: The proposal should outline a clear plan for disseminating the project outcomes to relevant stakeholders, including scientific publications, industry partnerships, and public outreach. Exploitation measures should focus on protecting intellectual property and enabling commercialization.

3. Quality and Efficiency of Implementation

This criterion assesses the feasibility of the project plan and the ability of the consortium to deliver the proposed research. It evaluates the overall coherence and effectiveness of the work plan, the allocation of resources, and the competence of the project team.

Sub-criteria:

  • Work Plan and Structure:
    • Key Question: How coherent and effective are the work plan and risk mitigation measures?
    • Expectation: The work plan should be detailed and well-structured, with clearly defined tasks, deliverables, milestones, and timelines. The proposal should include risk management strategies and contingency plans to address potential challenges.
  • Allocation of Resources:
    • Key Question: How appropriate and effective is the allocation of resources?
    • Expectation: Resources, including budget and personnel, should be appropriately allocated to ensure the project’s success. The proposal should justify the requested budget and demonstrate that the allocated resources are sufficient and well-distributed across the project tasks.
  • Quality of the Consortium:
    • Key Question: To what extent does the consortium have the necessary capacity and expertise?
    • Expectation: The consortium should consist of high-quality, complementary partners with proven expertise and capabilities to carry out the proposed research. The roles and responsibilities of each consortium member should be clearly defined, and the consortium should demonstrate a strong track record of successful collaboration.

Scoring and Thresholds

Each sub-criterion is scored on a scale from 0 to 5:

  • 0: The proposal fails to address the criterion or cannot be assessed due to missing or incomplete information.
  • 1 (Poor): The criterion is inadequately addressed, or there are serious inherent weaknesses.
  • 2 (Fair): The proposal broadly addresses the criterion, but there are significant weaknesses.
  • 3 (Good): The proposal addresses the criterion well, but there are a number of shortcomings.
  • 4 (Very Good): The proposal addresses the criterion very well, but a small number of shortcomings are present.
  • 5 (Excellent): The proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion. Any shortcomings are minor.

Thresholds

To be considered for funding, proposals must meet or exceed the following thresholds:

  • Excellence: Minimum threshold of 4/5
  • Impact: Minimum threshold of 3.5/5
  • Quality and Efficiency of Implementation: Minimum threshold of 3/5

Tips for Applicants

  1. Clarity and Vision: Clearly articulate the technology’s innovation potential and long-term vision. Explain how your project represents a significant advancement in the field.
  2. Detailed Methodology: Provide a robust and well-defined scientific and technical approach. Include preliminary data to support the feasibility of your technology.
  3. Market Strategy: Develop a comprehensive market analysis and commercialization strategy. Identify target markets, potential customers, and competitive advantages.
  4. Impact Articulation: Clearly describe the societal and economic benefits of your technology. Highlight how it addresses relevant societal challenges and aligns with EU priorities.
  5. Structured Work Plan: Ensure your work plan is detailed and well-structured. Define clear tasks, deliverables, milestones, and timelines, and include risk management strategies.
  6. Resource Justification: Justify the allocation of resources and ensure they are sufficient and well-distributed. Demonstrate that the budget and personnel are appropriate for the project.
  7. Consortium Quality: Assemble a consortium with complementary expertise and a strong track record. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each member.

Conclusion

The EIC Transition Programme’s evaluation criteria are designed to identify projects with the highest potential for groundbreaking innovation and significant impact. By understanding and aligning with these criteria, applicants can enhance their proposals and increase their chances of securing funding. The EIC Transition Programme offers a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between research and market, driving technological and societal progress for the benefit of Europe and beyond.

EIC Transition Programme: TRL Expectations from Start to End

Introduction

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Transition Programme is designed to support the maturation and commercialization of promising technologies initially developed under EIC Pathfinder projects and other EU-funded research initiatives. One critical aspect of the EIC Transition Programme is the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) framework, which helps gauge the maturity of technologies throughout the project’s lifecycle. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the TRL expectations for projects under the EIC Transition Programme, outlining the starting and ending TRLs and the milestones that projects are expected to achieve.

Understanding Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)

Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) are a scale used to assess the maturity of a technology. The TRL scale ranges from 1 to 9, where TRL 1 represents the basic principles observed and TRL 9 signifies a technology that has been fully demonstrated in an operational environment. The EIC Transition Programme focuses on advancing technologies from the experimental proof-of-concept stage (TRL 3-4) to a stage where they are closer to market readiness (TRL 5-6).

TRL Scale Overview

  1. TRL 1: Basic principles observed
  2. TRL 2: Technology concept formulated
  3. TRL 3: Experimental proof of concept
  4. TRL 4: Technology validated in lab
  5. TRL 5: Technology validated in relevant environment
  6. TRL 6: Technology demonstrated in relevant environment
  7. TRL 7: System prototype demonstration in operational environment
  8. TRL 8: System complete and qualified
  9. TRL 9: Actual system proven in operational environment

TRL Expectations for EIC Transition

The EIC Transition Programme aims to support projects starting from a TRL of 3 or 4 and advancing them to TRL 5 or 6 by the end of the project. Here’s a detailed look at what these TRL stages entail and the specific expectations at each stage.

Starting TRLs: TRL 3-4

TRL 3: Experimental Proof of Concept

At the beginning of the EIC Transition project, technologies should have achieved an experimental proof of concept. This means that the basic technological principles have been observed and validated through initial experiments. The proof of concept should demonstrate that the technology is feasible and has the potential to meet the desired objectives.

  • Expectations:
    • Preliminary experimental data supporting the feasibility of the technology.
    • Initial prototypes or models demonstrating the core functionality of the technology.
    • Identification of key technical challenges and potential solutions.

TRL 4: Technology Validated in Lab

For technologies starting at TRL 4, they should have undergone more rigorous testing and validation in a controlled laboratory environment. The focus at this stage is to ensure that the technology can perform reliably under lab conditions.

  • Expectations:
    • Comprehensive experimental results demonstrating the technology’s functionality and performance.
    • Development and refinement of prototypes or models.
    • Identification and initial mitigation of technical risks.

Ending TRLs: TRL 5-6

TRL 5: Technology Validated in Relevant Environment

By the end of the EIC Transition project, technologies should aim to reach TRL 5. This involves validating the technology in an environment that closely resembles real-world conditions. The technology should be tested to ensure it can operate effectively outside of a laboratory setting.

  • Expectations:
    • Demonstration of the technology in a relevant environment, such as a pilot plant, industrial setting, or simulated real-world conditions.
    • Collection of data on the technology’s performance, reliability, and scalability.
    • Refinement of prototypes to address any issues identified during validation.

TRL 6: Technology Demonstrated in Relevant Environment

Achieving TRL 6 means that the technology has been demonstrated to work in a relevant environment, showing that it can meet the operational requirements expected in a real-world application. This stage involves more extensive testing and validation to ensure the technology’s readiness for commercialization.

  • Expectations:
    • Full-scale prototypes or systems demonstrated in relevant environments, showing operational functionality and reliability.
    • Detailed performance data and analysis to support the technology’s viability.
    • Finalization of technical designs and preparation for scaling up production or deployment.

Key Milestones and Activities

To move from TRL 3-4 to TRL 5-6, projects typically need to achieve several key milestones and undertake specific activities. These include:

  1. Prototype Development and Testing:
    • Develop and refine prototypes that incorporate the core technological innovations.
    • Conduct iterative testing and validation to improve performance and address technical challenges.
  2. Risk Management:
    • Identify and assess technical, commercial, and operational risks.
    • Implement mitigation strategies to address potential barriers to progress.
  3. Market and Commercialization Strategy:
    • Conduct market analysis to identify target customers, market needs, and competitive landscape.
    • Develop a business model and commercialization strategy, including plans for scaling up production and market entry.
  4. Stakeholder Engagement:
    • Engage with potential end-users, industry partners, and investors to gather feedback and build support for the technology.
    • Establish partnerships or collaborations that can facilitate the technology’s transition to market.
  5. Regulatory and Compliance Considerations:
    • Identify relevant regulatory requirements and standards that the technology must meet.
    • Ensure compliance with necessary regulations and prepare for certification or approval processes.

Conclusion

The EIC Transition Programme plays a vital role in advancing promising technologies from the experimental proof-of-concept stage (TRL 3-4) to validation and demonstration in relevant environments (TRL 5-6). By understanding the TRL expectations and focusing on key milestones, applicants can align their projects to meet these requirements and enhance their chances of success. The EIC Transition Programme provides essential support to bridge the gap between research and commercialization, driving technological innovation and delivering impactful solutions to market.


The articles found on Rasph.com reflect the opinions of Rasph or its respective authors and in no way reflect opinions held by the European Commission (EC) or the European Innovation Council (EIC). The provided information aims to share perspectives that are valuable and can potentially inform applicants regarding grant funding schemes such as the EIC Accelerator, EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition or related programs such as Innovate UK in the United Kingdom or the Small Business Innovation and Research grant (SBIR) in the United States.

The articles can also be a useful resource for other consultancies in the grant space as well as professional grant writers who are hired as freelancers or are part of a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME). The EIC Accelerator is part of Horizon Europe (2021-2027) which has recently replaced the previous framework program Horizon 2020.


This article was written by ChatEIC. ChatEIC is an EIC Accelerator assistant that can advise on the writing of proposals, discuss current trends and create insightful articles on a variety of topics. The articles written by ChatEIC can contain inaccurate or outdated information.


Are you interested in hiring a writer to apply for grants in the EU?

Please feel free to reach out here: Contact

Are you looking for a training program to learn how to apply for the EIC Accelerator?

Find it here: Training

 

Navigating the EIC Pathfinder Evaluation Criteria: A Comprehensive Guide

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Pathfinder is a flagship programme under the Horizon Europe framework, designed to support high-risk, high-reward research projects aimed at developing breakthrough technologies. Understanding the evaluation criteria for EIC Pathfinder proposals is crucial for applicants seeking funding. This article provides a detailed overview of the EIC Pathfinder evaluation criteria, offering insights into what evaluators look for in proposals and how applicants can align their projects to meet these expectations.

Overview of the Evaluation Process

The evaluation process for EIC Pathfinder proposals is rigorous and involves multiple stages. Proposals are assessed by independent expert evaluators based on three main criteria: Excellence, Impact, and Quality and Efficiency of the Implementation. Each criterion has specific sub-criteria that provide a structured framework for evaluation.

Stages of Evaluation

  1. Individual Evaluation: Each proposal is first evaluated individually by at least four expert evaluators.
  2. Consensus Group: Evaluators discuss their individual assessments and reach a consensus on scores and comments.
  3. Panel Review: A panel of evaluators reviews the consensus reports and finalizes the rankings.

Detailed Evaluation Criteria

1. Excellence

The Excellence criterion assesses the scientific and technological quality of the proposal. It is the most heavily weighted criterion, reflecting the EIC Pathfinder’s focus on groundbreaking research.

Sub-criteria:

  • Long-term Vision:
    • Key Question: How convincing is the vision of a radically new technology?
    • Expectation: Proposals should articulate a clear and ambitious vision for a novel technology that can transform the economy and society.
  • Science-towards-Technology Breakthrough:
    • Key Question: How concrete, novel, and ambitious is the proposed breakthrough?
    • Expectation: The proposed research should represent a significant advancement over current technologies, with the potential for a major scientific breakthrough.
  • Objectives:
    • Key Question: How concrete and plausible are the objectives?
    • Expectation: Objectives should be clearly defined, achievable, and aligned with the overall vision. The research approach should be high-risk/high-gain.
  • Interdisciplinarity:
    • Key Question: How relevant is the interdisciplinary approach?
    • Expectation: Proposals should demonstrate a well-integrated interdisciplinary approach, combining expertise from different fields to achieve the breakthrough.

2. Impact

The Impact criterion evaluates the potential of the proposed technology to generate significant economic, societal, and environmental benefits.

Sub-criteria:

  • Long-term Impact:
    • Key Question: How significant are the potential transformative effects?
    • Expectation: The envisioned technology should have the potential to create new markets, improve quality of life, or address global challenges.
  • Innovation Potential:
    • Key Question: To what extent does the technology have potential for disruptive innovations?
    • Expectation: Proposals should outline a clear pathway to innovation, including measures for intellectual property protection and exploitation.
  • Communication and Dissemination:
    • Key Question: How suitable are the measures to maximize expected outcomes and impacts?
    • Expectation: Proposals should include a robust plan for disseminating results and raising awareness about the project’s potential.

3. Quality and Efficiency of the Implementation

This criterion assesses the feasibility of the project plan and the ability of the consortium to deliver the proposed research.

Sub-criteria:

  • Work Plan:
    • Key Question: How coherent and effective are the work plan and risk mitigation measures?
    • Expectation: The work plan should be detailed and well-structured, with clearly defined tasks, deliverables, milestones, and timelines. Risk management strategies should be in place.
  • Allocation of Resources:
    • Key Question: How appropriate and effective is the allocation of resources?
    • Expectation: Resources, including budget and personnel, should be appropriately allocated to ensure the project’s success.
  • Quality of the Consortium:
    • Key Question: To what extent does the consortium have the necessary capacity and expertise?
    • Expectation: The consortium should consist of high-quality, complementary partners with proven expertise and capabilities to carry out the proposed research.

Scoring and Thresholds

Each sub-criterion is scored on a scale from 0 to 5:

  • 0: The proposal fails to address the criterion or cannot be assessed due to missing or incomplete information.
  • 1 (Poor): The criterion is inadequately addressed, or there are serious inherent weaknesses.
  • 2 (Fair): The proposal broadly addresses the criterion, but there are significant weaknesses.
  • 3 (Good): The proposal addresses the criterion well, but there are a number of shortcomings.
  • 4 (Very Good): The proposal addresses the criterion very well, but a small number of shortcomings are present.
  • 5 (Excellent): The proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion. Any shortcomings are minor.

Thresholds

  • Excellence: Minimum threshold of 4/5
  • Impact: Minimum threshold of 3.5/5
  • Quality and Efficiency of the Implementation: Minimum threshold of 3/5

Proposals must meet or exceed these thresholds to be considered for funding.

Tips for Applicants

  1. Clarity and Vision: Clearly articulate your long-term vision and how your project represents a significant advancement in technology.
  2. Interdisciplinary Approach: Highlight the interdisciplinary nature of your consortium and how it enhances the project.
  3. Impact Pathway: Provide a detailed impact pathway, including plans for intellectual property protection, exploitation, and dissemination.
  4. Detailed Work Plan: Ensure your work plan is detailed, with clear tasks, deliverables, milestones, and risk mitigation strategies.
  5. Resource Allocation: Justify the allocation of resources and demonstrate that your consortium has the necessary expertise and capacity.

Conclusion

The EIC Pathfinder’s evaluation criteria are designed to identify projects with the highest potential for groundbreaking innovation and significant impact. By understanding and aligning with these criteria, applicants can enhance their proposals and increase their chances of securing funding. The EIC Pathfinder offers a unique opportunity to transform visionary ideas into reality, driving scientific and technological progress for the benefit of society.


The articles found on Rasph.com reflect the opinions of Rasph or its respective authors and in no way reflect opinions held by the European Commission (EC) or the European Innovation Council (EIC). The provided information aims to share perspectives that are valuable and can potentially inform applicants regarding grant funding schemes such as the EIC Accelerator, EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition or related programs such as Innovate UK in the United Kingdom or the Small Business Innovation and Research grant (SBIR) in the United States.

The articles can also be a useful resource for other consultancies in the grant space as well as professional grant writers who are hired as freelancers or are part of a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME). The EIC Accelerator is part of Horizon Europe (2021-2027) which has recently replaced the previous framework program Horizon 2020.


This article was written by ChatEIC. ChatEIC is an EIC Accelerator assistant that can advise on the writing of proposals, discuss current trends and create insightful articles on a variety of topics. The articles written by ChatEIC can contain inaccurate or outdated information.


Are you interested in hiring a writer to apply for grants in the EU?

Please feel free to reach out here: Contact

Are you looking for a training program to learn how to apply for the EIC Accelerator?

Find it here: Training

 

Understanding TRL Requirements and Expectations for the EIC Pathfinder

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Pathfinder is a key initiative under the Horizon Europe programme, designed to support high-risk, high-gain research aimed at developing groundbreaking technologies. A critical aspect of the EIC Pathfinder is the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) framework, which provides a systematic metric to assess the maturity of a particular technology. This article delves into the TRL requirements and expectations for projects under the EIC Pathfinder, providing a comprehensive guide for applicants.

What is TRL?

Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) are a scale from 1 to 9 used to measure the maturity of a technology. Originally developed by NASA, this scale is now widely adopted by organizations, including the European Commission, to evaluate the development stages of technological innovations. Here’s a brief overview of the TRL scale:

  1. TRL 1: Basic principles observed
  2. TRL 2: Technology concept formulated
  3. TRL 3: Experimental proof of concept
  4. TRL 4: Technology validated in lab
  5. TRL 5: Technology validated in relevant environment
  6. TRL 6: Technology demonstrated in relevant environment
  7. TRL 7: System prototype demonstration in operational environment
  8. TRL 8: System complete and qualified
  9. TRL 9: Actual system proven in operational environment

TRL Requirements for EIC Pathfinder

The EIC Pathfinder focuses primarily on the early stages of technology development, typically ranging from TRL 1 to TRL 4. The EIC Pathfinder focuses on supporting early-stage development of groundbreaking technologies, with projects typically starting at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 1 to 2, where basic principles are observed and technology concepts are formulated. The expected end TRL for Pathfinder projects is generally between TRL 3 and TRL 4. At TRL 3, projects achieve experimental proof of concept, demonstrating initial feasibility through laboratory experiments. By TRL 4, the technology is validated in a lab environment, showcasing the ability to perform as expected under controlled conditions. This progression aims to establish a solid scientific and technical foundation for future advancements and potential commercialization.

The expectations at each TRL stage under the Pathfinder are as follows:

TRL 1: Basic Principles Observed

At this initial stage, the basic principles of a novel technology are observed. Research is primarily theoretical, focusing on the foundational scientific principles that could underpin future technological applications.

  • Expectation: Clear articulation of the basic principles observed. Publications in scientific journals or presentations at conferences are common outputs.

TRL 2: Technology Concept Formulated

At TRL 2, the focus shifts to defining the technology concept. This involves hypothesizing potential applications based on the observed principles and identifying the necessary scientific and technical knowledge required to proceed.

  • Expectation: Formulation of a clear and plausible technology concept. Detailed theoretical models and initial feasibility studies are expected.

TRL 3: Experimental Proof of Concept

TRL 3 involves experimental validation of the technology concept. Initial experiments and laboratory studies are conducted to demonstrate that the concept is feasible.

  • Expectation: Experimental data showing proof of concept. Demonstration that the theoretical models work under controlled conditions.

TRL 4: Technology Validated in Lab

At this stage, the technology undergoes more rigorous testing in a laboratory environment. The aim is to validate the technology’s functionality and performance against expected outcomes.

  • Expectation: Experimental validation results. Development of prototypes or models that demonstrate the technology’s capability in a lab setting.

Expectations from EIC Pathfinder Projects

Projects funded under the EIC Pathfinder are expected to push the boundaries of current knowledge and technology. Here’s a breakdown of the expectations for projects at each TRL stage:

Early-Stage Research (TRL 1-2)

  • Innovation: Projects should propose innovative and original ideas that challenge existing paradigms and have the potential to lead to major scientific and technological breakthroughs.
  • Scientific Excellence: High-quality, rigorous research is essential. Projects should aim to publish in top-tier scientific journals and present at leading conferences.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: EIC Pathfinder encourages collaboration across diverse scientific disciplines to foster new perspectives and approaches.

Proof of Concept (TRL 3)

  • Feasibility: Projects should aim to demonstrate the feasibility of the technology concept through experimental proof of concept. This involves developing and testing initial prototypes or models.
  • Documentation: Detailed documentation of experimental procedures and results is crucial. This includes data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Intellectual Property: Consideration of intellectual property (IP) protection strategies. Projects should explore patenting or other forms of IP protection where applicable.

Validation in Laboratory (TRL 4)

  • Rigorous Testing: Projects should conduct rigorous testing and validation of the technology in a controlled laboratory environment. This includes stress testing, performance evaluation, and reliability assessment.
  • Prototype Development: Development of more refined prototypes that can be used for further testing and validation.
  • Pathway to Commercialization: Projects should begin to explore potential pathways to commercialization, including market analysis, potential partnerships, and funding opportunities for further development.

Support and Resources

The EIC Pathfinder provides substantial support and resources to help projects achieve their TRL milestones. This includes:

  • Funding: Grants of up to EUR 3 million for EIC Pathfinder Open and up to EUR 4 million for EIC Pathfinder Challenges. Larger amounts can be requested if justified.
  • Business Acceleration Services: Access to a wide range of services including coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities to help projects progress from research to commercialization.
  • EIC Programme Managers: Dedicated programme managers provide guidance and support throughout the project lifecycle, helping to steer projects towards successful outcomes.

Conclusion

The EIC Pathfinder is a vital initiative aimed at fostering groundbreaking research and innovation across Europe. By focusing on the early stages of technology development and providing substantial support and resources, the EIC Pathfinder helps transform visionary ideas into tangible technologies. Understanding the TRL requirements and expectations is crucial for applicants to align their projects with the goals of the EIC Pathfinder, ultimately contributing to the advancement of science and technology for the benefit of society.


The articles found on Rasph.com reflect the opinions of Rasph or its respective authors and in no way reflect opinions held by the European Commission (EC) or the European Innovation Council (EIC). The provided information aims to share perspectives that are valuable and can potentially inform applicants regarding grant funding schemes such as the EIC Accelerator, EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition or related programs such as Innovate UK in the United Kingdom or the Small Business Innovation and Research grant (SBIR) in the United States.

The articles can also be a useful resource for other consultancies in the grant space as well as professional grant writers who are hired as freelancers or are part of a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME). The EIC Accelerator is part of Horizon Europe (2021-2027) which has recently replaced the previous framework program Horizon 2020.


This article was written by ChatEIC. ChatEIC is an EIC Accelerator assistant that can advise on the writing of proposals, discuss current trends and create insightful articles on a variety of topics. The articles written by ChatEIC can contain inaccurate or outdated information.


Are you interested in hiring a writer to apply for grants in the EU?

Please feel free to reach out here: Contact

Are you looking for a training program to learn how to apply for the EIC Accelerator?

Find it here: Training

 

A Comprehensive Guide to the EIC Pathfinder Grant Funding Program

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Pathfinder is a key initiative under the Horizon Europe programme, aimed at fostering advanced research to develop the scientific basis for breakthrough technologies. The EIC Pathfinder supports ambitious projects that push the boundaries of science and technology, laying the groundwork for innovations that can transform markets and address global challenges. This article provides a detailed overview of the EIC Pathfinder, its objectives, funding opportunities, application process, and evaluation criteria.

EIC Pathfinder Overview

Objectives of the EIC Pathfinder

The EIC Pathfinder is designed to support the earliest stages of scientific, technological, or deep-tech research and development. Its primary objectives are:

  1. Developing Scientific Foundations: To underpin breakthrough technologies that can disrupt existing markets or create new ones.
  2. High-Risk/High-Gain Research: Encouraging projects that involve significant risk but have the potential for substantial rewards.
  3. Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Promoting collaboration across diverse scientific and technological disciplines to achieve innovative breakthroughs.

Key Components of the EIC Pathfinder

The EIC Pathfinder is divided into two main components:

EIC Pathfinder Open

The EIC Pathfinder Open provides support for projects in any field of science, technology, or application without predefined thematic priorities. It targets early-stage development of future technologies, emphasizing high-risk/high-gain science-towards-technology breakthrough research. The key features include:

  • Ambitious Vision: Projects should have a long-term vision for a radically new technology with transformative potential.
  • Scientific Breakthrough: Proposals should outline a concrete, novel, and ambitious science-towards-technology breakthrough.
  • High-Risk/High-Gain Approach: The research approach should be innovative and potentially risky, aiming for significant advancements.

EIC Pathfinder Challenges

The EIC Pathfinder Challenges focus on predefined thematic areas with specific objectives. These challenges aim to create coherent portfolios of projects that collectively achieve the desired outcomes. Each challenge is overseen by a dedicated Programme Manager who guides the projects towards common goals. The key features include:

  • Specific Objectives: Each challenge has defined goals and expected outcomes.
  • Portfolio Approach: Projects within a challenge are expected to interact and collaborate, leveraging each other’s strengths.
  • Dedicated Programme Managers: Programme Managers play a proactive role in steering the projects towards successful outcomes.

Funding and Support

The EIC Pathfinder offers substantial funding and support to selected projects. The funding is provided through grants for Research and Innovation Actions. The key details are:

  • Budget: The total indicative budget for EIC Pathfinder Open is EUR 136 million, while the budget for EIC Pathfinder Challenges is EUR 120 million.
  • Grant Amount: For EIC Pathfinder Open, grants of up to EUR 3 million are typical, though larger amounts can be requested if justified. For EIC Pathfinder Challenges, grants can be up to EUR 4 million.
  • Funding Rate: The funding rate is 100% of the eligible costs.

In addition to financial support, successful applicants receive access to a wide range of Business Acceleration Services, including coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities.

Application Process

The application process for the EIC Pathfinder involves several steps:

  1. Proposal Submission: Proposals must be submitted via the EU Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal.
  2. Admissibility and Eligibility Check: Proposals are checked for adherence to the eligibility criteria.
  3. Evaluation: Proposals are evaluated by expert evaluators based on predefined criteria.
  4. Funding Decision: The final funding decision is made based on the evaluation results.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Consortium Requirements: For collaborative projects, the consortium must include at least three independent legal entities from different Member States or Associated Countries.
  • Single Beneficiary Projects: In certain cases, single entities such as SMEs or research organizations can apply.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals are evaluated based on three main criteria:

  1. Excellence: Including the novelty and ambition of the vision, the soundness of the approach, and the interdisciplinary nature of the project.
  2. Impact: Assessing the potential transformative effects, innovation potential, and the measures for dissemination and exploitation of results.
  3. Implementation: Evaluating the quality and efficiency of the work plan, the allocation of resources, and the capability of the consortium.

EIC Pathfinder Challenges for 2024

The 2024 Work Programme includes several specific challenges under the EIC Pathfinder. These challenges target strategic areas of interest for the European Union, such as:

  1. Solar-to-X Devices: Developing renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials as climate change mitigation pathways.
  2. Cement and Concrete as Carbon Sinks: Innovating materials to absorb carbon dioxide.
  3. Nature-Inspired Alternatives for Food Packaging: Creating sustainable packaging solutions.
  4. Nanoelectronics for Energy-Efficient Smart Devices: Advancing energy-efficient technologies.
  5. Protecting EU Space Infrastructure: Enhancing the resilience and sustainability of space operations.

Conclusion

The EIC Pathfinder is a pivotal initiative under the Horizon Europe programme, driving advanced research to develop breakthrough technologies. By supporting high-risk/high-gain projects with substantial funding and comprehensive support services, the EIC Pathfinder aims to foster innovations that can transform markets, address global challenges, and position Europe as a leader in cutting-edge technologies. Researchers, startups, SMEs, and innovators are encouraged to leverage this opportunity to push the boundaries of science and technology and make a significant impact on the future.

EIC Pathfinder Challenges

Unlocking the Future of Renewable Energy: The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Solar-to-X Devices”

In an era where climate change poses a significant threat to global ecosystems and economies, the European Innovation Council (EIC) has taken a proactive stance with its Pathfinder Challenge on “Solar-to-X Devices.” This initiative, under the 2024 EIC Work Programme, seeks to catalyze the development of groundbreaking technologies that convert solar energy into various useful forms, such as renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials. By addressing this challenge, the EIC aims to mitigate climate change impacts and foster sustainable industrial processes, thus contributing to the European Union’s green transition goals.

The Vision and Objectives

The “Solar-to-X Devices” Challenge is driven by a visionary approach to harness solar energy beyond electricity production. It envisions transforming solar energy into versatile and storable forms of energy and materials, which can be utilized in diverse applications. The primary objectives of this challenge include:

  1. Decentralized Renewable Production: Developing technologies that enable local and decentralized production of renewable fuels, chemicals, and materials.
  2. Climate Change Mitigation: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by replacing fossil-based processes with sustainable solar-driven alternatives.
  3. Technological Innovation: Pushing the boundaries of current solar technologies to achieve higher efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and scalability.

Scope of the Challenge

The “Solar-to-X Devices” Challenge focuses on innovative technologies that can convert solar energy into various products. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Solar Fuels: Converting solar energy into fuels such as hydrogen, methane, or liquid hydrocarbons through processes like artificial photosynthesis or solar thermochemical cycles.
  • Solar Chemicals: Producing chemicals using solar energy, which can serve as raw materials for the chemical industry.
  • Solar Materials: Creating materials that can capture and store solar energy for later use or that utilize solar energy in their production process.

Expected Outcomes

Projects funded under this challenge are expected to deliver several key outcomes:

  1. Proof of Concept: Demonstrate the feasibility of converting solar energy into desired products at a lab scale.
  2. Increased Efficiency: Achieve significant improvements in the efficiency of solar-to-X conversion processes.
  3. Scalability: Develop scalable solutions that can be adapted for industrial-scale applications.
  4. Sustainability: Ensure that the developed technologies are environmentally sustainable, economically viable, and socially acceptable.

Application Process

Eligibility

The challenge is open to a wide range of applicants, including universities, research organizations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), startups, and other entities capable of innovative research and development. The specific eligibility criteria include:

  • Consortium Requirements: Proposals must be submitted by a consortium comprising at least three independent legal entities from different Member States or Associated Countries.
  • Individual Applicants: Single entities such as high-tech SMEs and startups can also apply, provided they meet the eligibility conditions.

Proposal Submission

Applicants must submit their proposals through the EU Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal by the specified deadline, which for the 2024 call is October 16, 2024. Proposals should be detailed, outlining the vision, methodology, expected impact, and a comprehensive work plan.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on three main criteria:

  1. Excellence: The novelty and ambition of the proposed technology, the soundness of the approach, and the interdisciplinary nature of the research.
  2. Impact: The potential transformative effects, the innovation potential, and the measures for dissemination and exploitation of results.
  3. Implementation: The quality and efficiency of the work plan, the allocation of resources, and the capability of the consortium.

Funding and Support

The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Solar-to-X Devices” offers significant financial support to successful projects. The key details include:

  • Total Budget: EUR 120 million allocated across various challenges, including “Solar-to-X Devices.”
  • Grant Amount: Up to EUR 4 million per project, although larger amounts can be requested if justified.
  • Funding Rate: 100% of eligible costs, provided as a lump sum.

In addition to financial support, successful applicants will receive tailor-made access to a wide range of Business Acceleration Services, including coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities with industry leaders, investors, and ecosystem partners.

Strategic Importance

The “Solar-to-X Devices” Challenge aligns with several strategic goals of the European Union, particularly in achieving the green transition and enhancing energy security. By promoting decentralized production of renewable energy carriers and materials, this challenge contributes to:

  1. Reducing Dependence on Fossil Fuels: By developing alternative energy sources, Europe can reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels and enhance energy security.
  2. Promoting Sustainable Industrial Processes: The challenge supports the shift towards sustainable industrial processes, reducing the carbon footprint of key industries.
  3. Stimulating Economic Growth: Innovations in solar-to-X technologies can create new market opportunities, drive economic growth, and generate high-tech jobs.

Case Studies and Success Stories

While the “Solar-to-X Devices” Challenge is a recent initiative, it builds on the success of previous EIC Pathfinder projects. Notable examples include:

  1. Artificial Photosynthesis: Projects that mimic natural photosynthesis to produce hydrogen and other fuels using sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide.
  2. Solar Thermochemical Processes: Innovations in solar reactors that convert solar energy into chemical energy stored in fuels or feedstocks for the chemical industry.

These projects have demonstrated the feasibility and potential of solar-to-X technologies, paving the way for more advanced and scalable solutions under the 2024 challenge.

Conclusion

The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Solar-to-X Devices” represents a bold step towards a sustainable and resilient future. By fostering high-risk, high-gain research and supporting the development of transformative technologies, the EIC aims to unlock new pathways for renewable energy and materials production. Researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to seize this opportunity to contribute to the green transition and make a lasting impact on society and the environment.

Revolutionizing Construction: The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Cement and Concrete as Carbon Sinks”

Introduction

The construction industry is a major contributor to global carbon emissions, with cement production alone accounting for approximately 8% of the world’s CO2 emissions. To address this critical issue, the European Innovation Council (EIC) has launched the Pathfinder Challenge on “Cement and Concrete as Carbon Sinks” under its 2024 Work Programme. This challenge aims to transform cement and concrete from carbon-intensive materials into effective carbon sinks, thereby playing a crucial role in mitigating climate change.

The Vision and Objectives

The “Cement and Concrete as Carbon Sinks” Challenge is driven by a vision to revolutionize the construction industry by developing and deploying innovative materials and processes that can capture and store carbon dioxide. The primary objectives of this challenge include:

  1. Carbon Neutrality: Developing cement and concrete materials that can absorb more CO2 than they emit during their lifecycle.
  2. Sustainable Construction: Promoting sustainable practices in the construction industry by leveraging carbon-storing materials.
  3. Innovation in Materials Science: Pushing the boundaries of materials science to create high-performance, carbon-negative construction materials.

Scope of the Challenge

This challenge focuses on groundbreaking technologies and processes that enable cement and concrete to act as carbon sinks. This includes:

  • Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS): Developing methods to incorporate CCS directly into the production and curing processes of cement and concrete.
  • Carbonation: Enhancing the natural carbonation process where CO2 reacts with calcium compounds in the cement to form stable calcium carbonates.
  • Novel Materials: Creating new types of cementitious materials that have an inherent ability to absorb CO2.

Expected Outcomes

Projects funded under this challenge are expected to deliver several key outcomes:

  1. Proof of Concept: Demonstrate the feasibility of new materials or processes at a laboratory scale.
  2. Enhanced Carbon Uptake: Achieve significant improvements in the carbon uptake capacity of cement and concrete.
  3. Scalability: Develop scalable solutions that can be integrated into existing industrial processes.
  4. Sustainability: Ensure that the new materials and processes are economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

Application Process

Eligibility

The challenge is open to a broad spectrum of applicants, including universities, research organizations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), startups, and other entities engaged in innovative research and development. The specific eligibility criteria include:

  • Consortium Requirements: Proposals must be submitted by a consortium consisting of at least three independent legal entities from different Member States or Associated Countries.
  • Individual Applicants: Single entities such as high-tech SMEs and startups can also apply, provided they meet the eligibility conditions.

Proposal Submission

Applicants must submit their proposals through the EU Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal by the specified deadline, which for the 2024 call is October 16, 2024. Proposals should be comprehensive, detailing the vision, methodology, expected impact, and a robust work plan.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on three main criteria:

  1. Excellence: The novelty and ambition of the proposed technology, the soundness of the approach, and the interdisciplinary nature of the research.
  2. Impact: The potential transformative effects, the innovation potential, and the measures for dissemination and exploitation of results.
  3. Implementation: The quality and efficiency of the work plan, the allocation of resources, and the capability of the consortium.

Funding and Support

The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Cement and Concrete as Carbon Sinks” provides significant financial support to successful projects. Key details include:

  • Total Budget: EUR 120 million allocated across various challenges, including “Cement and Concrete as Carbon Sinks.”
  • Grant Amount: Up to EUR 4 million per project, although larger amounts can be requested if justified.
  • Funding Rate: 100% of eligible costs, provided as a lump sum.

In addition to financial support, successful applicants will receive tailored access to a wide range of Business Acceleration Services, including coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities with industry leaders, investors, and ecosystem partners.

Strategic Importance

The “Cement and Concrete as Carbon Sinks” Challenge aligns with several strategic goals of the European Union, particularly in achieving climate neutrality and enhancing sustainability in the construction sector. By promoting the development of carbon-storing construction materials, this challenge contributes to:

  1. Reducing Carbon Emissions: By transforming cement and concrete into carbon sinks, the challenge aims to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry.
  2. Promoting Sustainable Building Practices: Encouraging the use of sustainable materials in construction projects across Europe.
  3. Driving Innovation in Construction Materials: Stimulating research and development in novel materials that can address environmental challenges while meeting construction needs.

Potential Impact and Benefits

The successful implementation of the “Cement and Concrete as Carbon Sinks” Challenge can have far-reaching impacts, including:

  1. Environmental Benefits: Significant reduction in CO2 emissions from the construction sector, contributing to global climate goals.
  2. Economic Advantages: Development of new industries and markets for carbon-negative construction materials, creating jobs and economic growth.
  3. Social Impact: Promoting healthier living environments by reducing the carbon footprint of buildings and infrastructure.

Case Studies and Success Stories

While the “Cement and Concrete as Carbon Sinks” Challenge is a recent initiative, it builds on the success of previous projects and research in the field. Notable examples include:

  1. CarbonCure Technologies: A company that injects captured CO2 into concrete during mixing, where it becomes permanently embedded, improving the material’s strength and reducing its carbon footprint.
  2. Solidia Technologies: An innovative approach that uses a different chemical composition to produce cement that can absorb CO2 during the curing process, achieving significant carbon savings.

These projects demonstrate the potential for innovative materials and processes to transform the construction industry, providing a strong foundation for future advancements under the 2024 challenge.

Conclusion

The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Cement and Concrete as Carbon Sinks” represents a groundbreaking initiative aimed at transforming one of the most carbon-intensive industries into a key player in the fight against climate change. By fostering high-risk, high-gain research and supporting the development of innovative, sustainable construction materials, the EIC aims to drive significant environmental, economic, and social benefits. Researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to leverage this opportunity to contribute to a sustainable future and make a lasting impact on the construction industry and beyond.

Embracing Sustainability: The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Nature-Inspired Alternatives for Food Packaging”

Introduction

The escalating environmental impact of plastic waste has become a critical global issue. In response, the European Innovation Council (EIC) has introduced the Pathfinder Challenge on “Nature-Inspired Alternatives for Food Packaging” under its 2024 Work Programme. This challenge aims to revolutionize the food packaging industry by developing sustainable, biodegradable, and nature-inspired alternatives to traditional plastic packaging. By addressing this challenge, the EIC seeks to reduce plastic pollution, enhance environmental sustainability, and promote the circular economy.

The Vision and Objectives

The “Nature-Inspired Alternatives for Food Packaging” Challenge is driven by a vision to replace conventional plastic packaging with eco-friendly alternatives derived from natural materials. The primary objectives of this challenge include:

  1. Reducing Plastic Waste: Developing packaging materials that are biodegradable and compostable, thus reducing the environmental burden of plastic waste.
  2. Sustainability: Promoting the use of renewable and sustainable resources in the production of food packaging.
  3. Innovation in Materials Science: Creating high-performance packaging solutions inspired by natural materials and processes.

Scope of the Challenge

This challenge focuses on innovative approaches to create sustainable food packaging alternatives. Key areas of interest include:

  • Biodegradable Materials: Developing materials that can decompose naturally without harming the environment, such as bioplastics derived from plant-based sources.
  • Compostable Packaging: Creating packaging that can break down in composting conditions, contributing to soil health and reducing landfill waste.
  • Edible Packaging: Exploring materials that can be safely consumed along with the food, thereby eliminating waste entirely.
  • Nature-Inspired Designs: Leveraging biomimicry to develop packaging solutions that replicate the efficiency and sustainability of natural processes and materials.

Expected Outcomes

Projects funded under this challenge are expected to deliver several key outcomes:

  1. Proof of Concept: Demonstrate the feasibility of new materials or processes at a laboratory scale.
  2. Enhanced Performance: Achieve significant improvements in the functionality and performance of biodegradable and compostable packaging materials.
  3. Scalability: Develop scalable solutions that can be adopted by the food packaging industry.
  4. Sustainability: Ensure that the new materials and processes are economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

Application Process

Eligibility

The challenge is open to a wide range of applicants, including universities, research organizations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), startups, and other entities engaged in innovative research and development. The specific eligibility criteria include:

  • Consortium Requirements: Proposals must be submitted by a consortium consisting of at least three independent legal entities from different Member States or Associated Countries.
  • Individual Applicants: Single entities such as high-tech SMEs and startups can also apply, provided they meet the eligibility conditions.

Proposal Submission

Applicants must submit their proposals through the EU Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal by the specified deadline, which for the 2024 call is October 16, 2024. Proposals should be comprehensive, detailing the vision, methodology, expected impact, and a robust work plan.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on three main criteria:

  1. Excellence: The novelty and ambition of the proposed technology, the soundness of the approach, and the interdisciplinary nature of the research.
  2. Impact: The potential transformative effects, the innovation potential, and the measures for dissemination and exploitation of results.
  3. Implementation: The quality and efficiency of the work plan, the allocation of resources, and the capability of the consortium.

Funding and Support

The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Nature-Inspired Alternatives for Food Packaging” provides significant financial support to successful projects. Key details include:

  • Total Budget: EUR 120 million allocated across various challenges, including “Nature-Inspired Alternatives for Food Packaging.”
  • Grant Amount: Up to EUR 4 million per project, although larger amounts can be requested if justified.
  • Funding Rate: 100% of eligible costs, provided as a lump sum.

In addition to financial support, successful applicants will receive tailored access to a wide range of Business Acceleration Services, including coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities with industry leaders, investors, and ecosystem partners.

Strategic Importance

The “Nature-Inspired Alternatives for Food Packaging” Challenge aligns with several strategic goals of the European Union, particularly in promoting sustainability and reducing environmental pollution. By fostering the development of eco-friendly packaging materials, this challenge contributes to:

  1. Reducing Plastic Pollution: By replacing conventional plastic packaging with biodegradable alternatives, the challenge aims to significantly reduce plastic waste and its environmental impact.
  2. Promoting the Circular Economy: Encouraging the use of renewable resources and the creation of compostable materials supports the transition to a circular economy.
  3. Driving Innovation in Packaging: Stimulating research and development in novel packaging materials that can address environmental challenges while meeting industry needs.

Potential Impact and Benefits

The successful implementation of the “Nature-Inspired Alternatives for Food Packaging” Challenge can have far-reaching impacts, including:

  1. Environmental Benefits: Significant reduction in plastic pollution and its associated impacts on ecosystems and human health.
  2. Economic Advantages: Development of new industries and markets for sustainable packaging materials, creating jobs and economic growth.
  3. Social Impact: Promoting environmentally responsible consumer behavior and reducing the environmental footprint of food packaging.

Case Studies and Success Stories

While the “Nature-Inspired Alternatives for Food Packaging” Challenge is a recent initiative, it builds on the success of previous projects and research in the field. Notable examples include:

  1. Biodegradable Films from Chitosan: Research into chitosan, a natural polymer derived from chitin found in shellfish, has shown promise as a biodegradable film for food packaging.
  2. PLA-based Packaging: Polylactic acid (PLA) is a biodegradable plastic derived from renewable resources like corn starch, which has been used to create compostable packaging solutions.
  3. Edible Packaging Innovations: Companies like Notpla have developed edible packaging made from seaweed and plants, offering a zero-waste alternative to plastic.

These projects demonstrate the potential for innovative materials and processes to transform the food packaging industry, providing a strong foundation for future advancements under the 2024 challenge.

Conclusion

The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Nature-Inspired Alternatives for Food Packaging” represents a bold initiative aimed at addressing one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. By fostering high-risk, high-gain research and supporting the development of sustainable packaging materials, the EIC aims to drive significant environmental, economic, and social benefits. Researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to leverage this opportunity to contribute to a sustainable future and make a lasting impact on the food packaging industry and beyond.

Advancing Technology: The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Nanoelectronics for Energy-Efficient Smart Devices”

Introduction

As the demand for smart devices continues to surge, so does the need for energy-efficient solutions. Nanoelectronics, the study and application of extremely small electronic components, holds the key to creating the next generation of energy-efficient smart devices. To spearhead this technological evolution, the European Innovation Council (EIC) has launched the Pathfinder Challenge on “Nanoelectronics for Energy-Efficient Smart Devices” under its 2024 Work Programme. This challenge aims to stimulate groundbreaking research and innovation in nanoelectronics to develop smart devices that are not only powerful and efficient but also environmentally sustainable.

The Vision and Objectives

The “Nanoelectronics for Energy-Efficient Smart Devices” Challenge is driven by a vision to harness the potential of nanoelectronics to revolutionize smart device technology. The primary objectives of this challenge include:

  1. Energy Efficiency: Developing nanoelectronic components and systems that drastically reduce the energy consumption of smart devices.
  2. Miniaturization: Pushing the boundaries of miniaturization to create smaller, more powerful, and efficient components.
  3. Sustainability: Promoting sustainable manufacturing processes and materials in the production of nanoelectronic components.
  4. Innovation in Device Functionality: Enhancing the functionality and performance of smart devices through advanced nanoelectronics.

Scope of the Challenge

This challenge focuses on innovative approaches to create energy-efficient smart devices using nanoelectronics. Key areas of interest include:

  • Low-Power Consumption: Developing nanoelectronic components that significantly lower the power consumption of smart devices.
  • Advanced Materials: Utilizing novel materials such as graphene, 2D materials, and other advanced semiconductors to enhance device performance.
  • Integration and Miniaturization: Achieving higher levels of integration and miniaturization in electronic components to enable more compact and efficient devices.
  • Sustainable Manufacturing: Implementing environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and sustainable materials in nanoelectronics.

Expected Outcomes

Projects funded under this challenge are expected to deliver several key outcomes:

  1. Proof of Concept: Demonstrate the feasibility of new materials, processes, or components at a laboratory scale.
  2. Enhanced Energy Efficiency: Achieve significant improvements in the energy efficiency of nanoelectronic components.
  3. Scalability: Develop scalable solutions that can be integrated into mass production for the smart device industry.
  4. Sustainability: Ensure that the new materials and processes are economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

Application Process

Eligibility

The challenge is open to a broad spectrum of applicants, including universities, research organizations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), startups, and other entities engaged in innovative research and development. The specific eligibility criteria include:

  • Consortium Requirements: Proposals must be submitted by a consortium consisting of at least three independent legal entities from different Member States or Associated Countries.
  • Individual Applicants: Single entities such as high-tech SMEs and startups can also apply, provided they meet the eligibility conditions.

Proposal Submission

Applicants must submit their proposals through the EU Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal by the specified deadline, which for the 2024 call is October 16, 2024. Proposals should be comprehensive, detailing the vision, methodology, expected impact, and a robust work plan.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on three main criteria:

  1. Excellence: The novelty and ambition of the proposed technology, the soundness of the approach, and the interdisciplinary nature of the research.
  2. Impact: The potential transformative effects, the innovation potential, and the measures for dissemination and exploitation of results.
  3. Implementation: The quality and efficiency of the work plan, the allocation of resources, and the capability of the consortium.

Funding and Support

The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Nanoelectronics for Energy-Efficient Smart Devices” provides significant financial support to successful projects. Key details include:

  • Total Budget: EUR 120 million allocated across various challenges, including “Nanoelectronics for Energy-Efficient Smart Devices.”
  • Grant Amount: Up to EUR 4 million per project, although larger amounts can be requested if justified.
  • Funding Rate: 100% of eligible costs, provided as a lump sum.

In addition to financial support, successful applicants will receive tailored access to a wide range of Business Acceleration Services, including coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities with industry leaders, investors, and ecosystem partners.

Strategic Importance

The “Nanoelectronics for Energy-Efficient Smart Devices” Challenge aligns with several strategic goals of the European Union, particularly in promoting technological innovation and sustainability. By fostering the development of energy-efficient smart devices, this challenge contributes to:

  1. Reducing Energy Consumption: By developing low-power nanoelectronic components, the challenge aims to reduce the energy consumption of smart devices, contributing to global energy-saving efforts.
  2. Promoting Technological Advancement: Encouraging cutting-edge research in nanoelectronics to drive technological advancements in the smart device industry.
  3. Sustainable Development: Promoting sustainable practices in the development and manufacturing of electronic components, aligning with the EU’s sustainability goals.

Potential Impact and Benefits

The successful implementation of the “Nanoelectronics for Energy-Efficient Smart Devices” Challenge can have far-reaching impacts, including:

  1. Environmental Benefits: Significant reduction in the energy consumption of smart devices, leading to lower greenhouse gas emissions and a reduced carbon footprint.
  2. Economic Advantages: Development of new industries and markets for advanced nanoelectronic components, creating jobs and economic growth.
  3. Technological Innovation: Driving innovation in the smart device industry, leading to the development of more advanced, efficient, and powerful devices.

Case Studies and Success Stories

While the “Nanoelectronics for Energy-Efficient Smart Devices” Challenge is a recent initiative, it builds on the success of previous projects and research in the field. Notable examples include:

  1. Graphene-Based Transistors: Research into graphene transistors has shown promise in significantly reducing power consumption while enhancing performance, paving the way for more efficient smart devices.
  2. 2D Material Devices: Innovations in 2D materials, such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), have led to the development of ultra-thin, low-power electronic components.
  3. Energy-Harvesting Devices: Projects that integrate energy-harvesting technologies, such as piezoelectric materials, into nanoelectronics to power smart devices sustainably.

These projects demonstrate the potential for innovative materials and processes to transform the nanoelectronics and smart device industries, providing a strong foundation for future advancements under the 2024 challenge.

Conclusion

The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Nanoelectronics for Energy-Efficient Smart Devices” represents a bold initiative aimed at addressing one of the most critical technological and environmental challenges of our time. By fostering high-risk, high-gain research and supporting the development of advanced nanoelectronic components, the EIC aims to drive significant environmental, economic, and technological benefits. Researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to leverage this opportunity to contribute to a sustainable and advanced future, making a lasting impact on the smart device industry and beyond.

Safeguarding the Final Frontier: The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Protecting EU Space Infrastructure”

Introduction

Space has become an indispensable domain for various critical functions, including communications, navigation, earth observation, and scientific research. As reliance on space infrastructure grows, so do the risks and threats it faces, from space debris to cyber-attacks. Recognizing the strategic importance of protecting these assets, the European Innovation Council (EIC) has launched the Pathfinder Challenge on “Protecting EU Space Infrastructure” under its 2024 Work Programme. This challenge aims to foster innovative solutions to safeguard space infrastructure, ensuring the resilience and security of the European Union’s (EU) space assets.

The Vision and Objectives

The “Protecting EU Space Infrastructure” Challenge is driven by a vision to develop and implement advanced technologies and strategies that can protect space infrastructure from various threats. The primary objectives of this challenge include:

  1. Threat Mitigation: Developing technologies to detect, prevent, and mitigate threats to space infrastructure.
  2. Resilience Building: Enhancing the resilience of space assets to withstand and recover from adverse conditions.
  3. Sustainability: Promoting sustainable practices in space operations to prevent and mitigate space debris.
  4. Innovation in Space Security: Encouraging groundbreaking research and innovation in the field of space security and infrastructure protection.

Scope of the Challenge

This challenge focuses on innovative approaches to protect space infrastructure. Key areas of interest include:

  • Space Debris Management: Developing technologies to track, mitigate, and remove space debris to prevent collisions and damage to space assets.
  • Cybersecurity: Enhancing the cybersecurity of space-based systems to protect against cyber-attacks and unauthorized access.
  • Space Weather Monitoring: Developing systems to monitor and predict space weather events that could impact space infrastructure.
  • Resilient Satellite Systems: Designing satellite systems with enhanced resilience to withstand physical and cyber threats.

Expected Outcomes

Projects funded under this challenge are expected to deliver several key outcomes:

  1. Proof of Concept: Demonstrate the feasibility of new technologies or processes at a laboratory scale.
  2. Enhanced Security: Achieve significant improvements in the security and resilience of space infrastructure.
  3. Scalability: Develop scalable solutions that can be integrated into existing space operations.
  4. Sustainability: Ensure that the new technologies and processes are economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

Application Process

Eligibility

The challenge is open to a wide range of applicants, including universities, research organizations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), startups, and other entities engaged in innovative research and development. The specific eligibility criteria include:

  • Consortium Requirements: Proposals must be submitted by a consortium consisting of at least three independent legal entities from different Member States or Associated Countries.
  • Individual Applicants: Single entities such as high-tech SMEs and startups can also apply, provided they meet the eligibility conditions.

Proposal Submission

Applicants must submit their proposals through the EU Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal by the specified deadline, which for the 2024 call is October 16, 2024. Proposals should be comprehensive, detailing the vision, methodology, expected impact, and a robust work plan.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated based on three main criteria:

  1. Excellence: The novelty and ambition of the proposed technology, the soundness of the approach, and the interdisciplinary nature of the research.
  2. Impact: The potential transformative effects, the innovation potential, and the measures for dissemination and exploitation of results.
  3. Implementation: The quality and efficiency of the work plan, the allocation of resources, and the capability of the consortium.

Funding and Support

The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Protecting EU Space Infrastructure” provides significant financial support to successful projects. Key details include:

  • Total Budget: EUR 120 million allocated across various challenges, including “Protecting EU Space Infrastructure.”
  • Grant Amount: Up to EUR 4 million per project, although larger amounts can be requested if justified.
  • Funding Rate: 100% of eligible costs, provided as a lump sum.

In addition to financial support, successful applicants will receive tailored access to a wide range of Business Acceleration Services, including coaching, mentoring, and networking opportunities with industry leaders, investors, and ecosystem partners.

Strategic Importance

The “Protecting EU Space Infrastructure” Challenge aligns with several strategic goals of the European Union, particularly in enhancing security and resilience in space. By fostering the development of advanced protection technologies, this challenge contributes to:

  1. Securing Critical Infrastructure: By developing technologies to protect space assets, the challenge aims to secure critical infrastructure essential for communications, navigation, and other vital services.
  2. Promoting Technological Innovation: Encouraging cutting-edge research in space security to drive technological advancements.
  3. Sustainable Space Operations: Promoting sustainable practices in space to prevent the accumulation of space debris and ensure long-term operational viability.

Potential Impact and Benefits

The successful implementation of the “Protecting EU Space Infrastructure” Challenge can have far-reaching impacts, including:

  1. Enhanced Security: Improved protection of space infrastructure from physical, cyber, and environmental threats.
  2. Economic Advantages: Development of new technologies and services in space security, creating jobs and economic growth.
  3. Technological Leadership: Positioning the EU as a leader in space security and infrastructure protection technologies.

Case Studies and Success Stories

While the “Protecting EU Space Infrastructure” Challenge is a recent initiative, it builds on the success of previous projects and research in the field. Notable examples include:

  1. ESA’s Space Debris Mitigation Efforts: The European Space Agency (ESA) has been at the forefront of developing guidelines and technologies for space debris mitigation, including active debris removal missions.
  2. Cybersecurity for Space Operations: Research initiatives focused on enhancing the cybersecurity of satellite communications and control systems, ensuring robust protection against cyber threats.
  3. Space Weather Monitoring Systems: Development of advanced monitoring and prediction systems for space weather events, which can significantly impact satellite operations.

These projects demonstrate the potential for innovative technologies to transform the field of space security, providing a strong foundation for future advancements under the 2024 challenge.

Conclusion

The EIC Pathfinder Challenge on “Protecting EU Space Infrastructure” represents a bold initiative aimed at addressing one of the most critical technological and security challenges of our time. By fostering high-risk, high-gain research and supporting the development of advanced protection technologies, the EIC aims to drive significant security, economic, and technological benefits. Researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs are encouraged to leverage this opportunity to contribute to a secure and resilient space infrastructure, making a lasting impact on the future of space operations and beyond.


The articles found on Rasph.com reflect the opinions of Rasph or its respective authors and in no way reflect opinions held by the European Commission (EC) or the European Innovation Council (EIC). The provided information aims to share perspectives that are valuable and can potentially inform applicants regarding grant funding schemes such as the EIC Accelerator, EIC Pathfinder, EIC Transition or related programs such as Innovate UK in the United Kingdom or the Small Business Innovation and Research grant (SBIR) in the United States.

The articles can also be a useful resource for other consultancies in the grant space as well as professional grant writers who are hired as freelancers or are part of a Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME). The EIC Accelerator is part of Horizon Europe (2021-2027) which has recently replaced the previous framework program Horizon 2020.


This article was written by ChatEIC. ChatEIC is an EIC Accelerator assistant that can advise on the writing of proposals, discuss current trends and create insightful articles on a variety of topics. The articles written by ChatEIC can contain inaccurate or outdated information.


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