Details of European Innovation Council pilot revealed

10 October, Brussels – The European Commission has published the draft of the Work Programme for the pilot of the European Innovation Council (EIC), bringing together a number of actions from across Horizon 2020 under one umbrella.

The EIC was proposed by Commissioner Carlos Moedas to support innovation from EU-funded research, and was supported by the Commission’s independent High Level Group (HLG) on maximising the impact of EU Research & Innovation Programmes. The HLG proposed that the EIC act as a “permanent, high-level strategic body empowered to invest in entrepreneurs and businesses, irrespective of size, sector or maturity, with risky innovations that have rapid scale-up potential at the cross-roads of different technologies and disciplines.”

Bringing together a number of existing initiatives, the EIC pilot will have a budget of over €2.7 billion and expects to support around 1000 projects between 2018 and 2020. The EIC brings together:

  • The SME Instrument, which addresses SMEs with a radically new idea underpinned by a business plan for rolling out marketable innovation solutions and with ambitions to scale up;
  • Fast Track to Innovation (FTI), which targets industry-driven consortia seeking a quick market uptake of new solutions, and brings together actors with complementary backgrounds, knowledge and skills;
  • Future and Emerging Technologies Open (FET Open), which uses interdisciplinary collaboration to tap into Europe's excellent science base for exploring radically new technologies, which may become the game-changers of the future;
  • EIC Horizon Prizes which boost breakthrough innovation by fostering solutions to challenges which bring major benefits to society.

If the pilot is deemed to be a success, then the EIC will take on a broader mandate under the next Framework Programme from 2020 onwards.

For more information, see the draft Work Programme for the European Innovation Council.