European Innovation Council (EIC)

The EIC aims at identifying and supporting breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations with the potential to scale up internationally and become market leaders. It supports all stages of innovation from research and development on the scientific underpinnings of breakthrough technologies, to validation and demonstration of breakthrough technologies and innovations to meet real world needs, to the development and scaling up of start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Financial support is provided through three main funding schemes:

  • the EIC Pathfinder for advanced research on breakthrough / game-changing technologies;
  • ‘EIC Transition’ for transforming research results into innovation opportunities
  • EIC Accelerator’ for individual companies to develop and scale up breakthrough innovations with high risk and high impact.

EIC Pathfinder

The overall objective of the EIC Pathfinder for advanced research is to develop the scientific basis to underpin breakthrough technologies. It provides support for the earliest stages of scientific, technological or deep-tech research and development. Pathfinder projects aim to build on new, cutting-edge directions in science and technology to disrupt a field and a market or create new opportunities by realising innovative technological solutions through:

  • EIC Pathfinder Open’, open to proposals in any field of science, technology or application without predefined thematic priorities;
  • EIC Pathfinder Challenges’ to support proposals within a predefined thematic area and addressing specific objectives.

EIC Pathfinder calls  call is open for collaborative research. The proposal must be submitted by the coordinator, on behalf of a consortium that includes at least three independent legal entities, each one established in a different Member State or Associated Country and with at least one of them established in a Member State.

EIC Transition

 EIC Transition funds innovation activities that go beyond the experimental proof of principle in laboratory. It supports both the maturation and validation of the novel  technology from the lab to the relevant application environments (by making use of  prototyping, formulation, models, user testing or other validation tests) as well as explorations and development of a sustainable business case and business model towards commercialisation. EIC Transition projects should address, in a balanced way, both technology and market/business development, possibly including iterative learning processes based on early customer or user feedback. These activities should include, subject to the level of maturity of the technology, a suitable mix of research, technology development and validation activities to increase the maturity of the technology beyond proof of principle to viable demonstrators of the technology in the intended field of application (i.e. up to Technology Readiness Level 5 to 6).

EIC Transition operates via two schemes

  • EIC Transition Open which has no predefined thematic priorities and is open to proposals in any field of science, technology or application
  • EIC Transition Challenges in predefined thematic areas of emerging and strategic technologies.

One can apply for EIC Transition either as:

  • A single legal entity established in a Member State or an Associated Country (‘mono-beneficiary’) if you are an SME or a research performing organisation (university, research or technology organisation, including teams, individual Principle Investigators and inventors in such institutions who intend to form a spinout company).
  • A small consortium of two independent legal entities from two different Member States or Associated Countries,
  • A consortium of minimum three and maximum five independent legal entities (‘multi-beneficiary’) which must include at least one legal entity established in a Member State and at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.

For more information please refer to EIC Work Programme 2022