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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 15.10.2019, 22:07

New innovative initiative to support researchers and SMEs in the EU states

Eugene Eteris, European Studies Faculty, RSU, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 25.06.2019.Print version
New European Innovation Council (EIC) will help researchers in the states to turn their most radical ideas into innovative and “revolutionary” technologies. The EIC has three spheres of support: coaching, networking and funding. About €3 billion is provided during 2018-20 to fund most talented innovators and help the SMEs to scale up and expand beyond European borders.

In June 2018, the European Council invited the Commission to launch a new pilot initiative on breakthrough innovation within the remaining period of Horizon 2020, the current EU research and innovation investment programme which runs until the end of next year. In response to this invitation, in March 2019 the Commission announced an Enhanced EIC pilot for 2019-20 to pave the way for an EIC in Horizon Europe.

The EIC pilot is a part of the Horizon 2020 program and the programs for FET and the EIC during 2019-20; once the pilot phase is over, in 2021 the EIC will become a full-fledged program under Horizon Europe.

More on future and emerging technologies, FET in:

https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/future-and-emerging-technologies

 

The EIC approach is to provide various kind of support to innovators, startups and companies with their ideas which are: first, radically different from existing products, services or business models; second, highly risky, and third, having the potential to scale up internationally. Thus, the EIC support perspective ideas from any area of technology or business sector, including novel combinations of technologies and business models from feasibility to development and to the scale-up stages.


More about EIC in: https://ec.europa.eu/research/eic/index.cfm?pg=about; About EIC wizard in: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/data/eic/screen/home.  

 

The EIC is a key new initiative within the “Innovative Europe” pillar of Horizon Europe, the Commission’s next research and innovation framework programme for 2021-2027.


By incorporating FET Open and FET Proactive, the EIC will link ideas, results and participants from FET more directly with the innovators that can bring new technologies to the market.


More on Horizon Europe in: https://ec.europa.eu/info/designing-next-research-and-innovation-framework-programme/what-shapes-next-framework-programme_en#relatedlinks.

 

In the EIC program, the pathfinder scheme is particularly connected to the FET Open and FET Proactive pillars. For 30 years, the “future and emerging technologies” program (FET support) has been key to the development of many of the digital technologies like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and the “Internet of Things” (IoT) and to high-potential new concepts such as neuro-prosthetics and artificial photosynthesis. FET research has also pioneered soft robotics, developed smart textiles that can monitor the wearer’s body, and investigated energy storage at very high temperatures, to name a few.


More in: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/great-science-thrilling-technology


EIC’ pathfinder and accelerator

The European Innovation Council, EIC supports researchers and innovators developing high-risk, breakthrough innovations with the potential to create new markets while –at the same time - boosting jobs, growth and general prosperity in the European states. This “support” proceeds along two pilot-schemes: a) the EIC Pathfinder scheme (from April 2019 to the end of 2020) comprising FET-Open and FET-Proactive; and b) the EIC Accelerator building upon the SME Instrument.


More in: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/h2020-section/european-innovation-council-eic-pilot

 

The EIC’s Pathfinder actions will support the development of future and emerging breakthrough innovations, including ‘deep-tech’ innovations, while its Accelerator will aim to bridge financing gaps in the development, deployment and scaling-up of market-creating  innovations, and leverage private capital and investment.

The EIC “pathfinder” is designed to help researchers bring radically new ideas to practical outcomes and demonstrate their commercial viability. Then the EIC “accelerator” will fund high-risk and high-return innovative projects, and help these SMEs and entrepreneurs to start up in the following spheres: Artificial Intelligence, implantable autonomous devices and materials, breakthrough zero-emissions energy generation for full decarbonisation.


More in: https://ec.europa.eu/research/eic/index.cfm?pg=funding

 

The EIC’s idea is to connect and co-design cooperation between EIC “pathfinder scheme” and the process of bringing innovations to market, i.e. the “cooperation” that would boost EU’s capacity to lead in the field of disruptive and deep-tech innovation. There are also opportunities “to preview” some of the trail-blazing research carried out in the EU states into the technologies of the future, a number of which are already finding their way to users.


Building on thirty years of experience in the FET Programme, the EIC Pathfinder has the potential to become a global landmark for breakthrough science and technology with its pilot scheme to test two main EIC’s ideas in supporting advanced research in business and in creating new markets.

 


Coaching, networking and funding

There are three spheres of support within EIC: coaching, networking and funding.

Coaching and mentoring service to SMEs is regarded as an important part of creating a growing and successful business.


See more in: https://ec.europa.eu/research/eic/index.cfm?pg=coaching.

 

In networking, EIC offers business acceleration services to support SMEs. The networking opportunities exist through: a) matchmaking events with world-leading companies; b) access to trade fairs, and c) invitations to investor meetings.


See more in: https://ec.europa.eu/research/eic/index.cfm?pg=networking.

 

As to financial support and funding, about €360 million of the “pathfinder budget” (up to the end of 2020) will go from the FET Open, supporting the early stages of research on radically new technological ideas.


During the same period, €180 million will fund FET Proactive in targeting breakthrough technology in the following areas: human-centric artificial intelligence; implantable autonomous devices and materials; breakthrough zero-emissions energy generation for full decarbonisation; future technologies for social experience; “measuring the unmeasurable” (so-called sub-nanoscale science for nano-metrology); digital twins for the life-sciences; and environmental intelligence.


More in the report on FET and its impact’s analysis in: 

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/future-and-emerging-technologies-impact-analysis

 

The first EIC phase is financed from the Horizon 2020 and offers funding to innovative companies in support of market-creating innovations. This phase offers €2.7 billion in funding for the period 2018-20, as well as opportunities for networking, mentoring and coaching with a strategic advice to upgrade European innovative ecosystems.


A total amount of around €3 billion will be provided throughout 2018-20 to fund the most talented innovators and help their companies scale up and expand beyond European borders.

 

 

 

 

 






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