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European Innovation Council

EIC Pathfinder - new template

What for
Deep tech projects
Taking forward breakthrough deep tech projects with a high degree of scientific and technological ambition and risk (TRL 1-4)
Who can apply
Research teams
Consortia of different independent legal entities established in different countries or single applicants (Pathfinder Challenges only)
What you get
Grants and investments
Grants of up to EUR 3 million (Pathfinder open) or EUR 4 million (Pathfinder Challenges), coaching & mentoring, networking.

What is the EIC Pathfinder ?

The EIC Pathfinder is a funding programme under Horizon Europe that offers support to research teams by:

  • funding research to develop the scientific basis to underpin breakthrough technologies
  • supporting the earliest stages of scientific, technological or deep-tech R&D
  • aiming to build on new, cutting-edge directions in science and technology to disrupt a field and a market or create new opportunities
  • realising innovative technological solutions to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and disruptive innovations in Europe
Grant funding 

Grants of up to 3 to 4 million euro to support early stage development of future technologies (e.g. various activities at low TRL 1-3), up to proof of concept.

  • Pathfinder Challenges - grants of up to EUR 4 million or more if duly justified
  • Pathfinder Open - grants of up to EUR 3 million or more if duly justified

Pathfinder projects can also receive additional funding for testing the innovation potential of their research outputs.

Extensive support

Access to a range of tailor-made Business Acceleration Services (BAS) for beneficiaries:

  • Access to global partners 
  • Access to coaches, mentors, expertise and training
  • Access to innovation ecosystem and peers
EIC Pathfinder Challenges

For projects that match any of the predefined thematic areas of the Pathfinder Challenges. The overall budget for the EIC Pathfinder Challenges in 2024 is €120 millions.

Pathfinder Challenges 2024  

EIC Pathfinder Open

For projects in any field of science, technology or application without predefined thematic priorities. 

The overall budget for the EIC Pathfinder Open in 2024 is €136 million

Pathfinder Open 2024

EIC work programme 2024 thumbnail
General publications12 December 2023
EIC work programme 2024

The European Innovation Council work programme 2024 opens funding opportunities worth over €1.2 billion for strategic technologies and scaling up companies. The majority is dedicated to SMEs and start-ups to develop and scale up “deep tech” innovations in critical fields such as generative artificial intelligence (AI), space, critical raw materials, semiconductors and quantum technologies.


Who can apply?

Consortia from EU Member States and countries associated to the Horizon Europe programme

  • Consortia of at least three different independent legal entities
  • At least one legal entity established in a Member State
  • At least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries
  • Additionally, single applicants or small consortia (two partners) for EIC Pathfinder Challenges only.


Your proposal must meet all the following essential characteristics:

  • Convincing long-term vision of a radically new technology that has the potential to have a transformative positive effect to our economy and society.
  • Concrete, novel and ambitious science-towards-technology breakthrough, providing advancement towards the envisioned technology.
  • High-risk/high-gain research approach and methodology, with concrete and plausible objectives.

How to apply ?

You must submit your proposal via the Funding and Tender Opportunities Portal before the given deadline.

Deadline for submitting your proposal:

  • EIC Pathfinder Open: 7 March 2024 
  • EIC Pathfinder Challenges: 16 October 2024


26 MARCH 2021
Pathfinder Open proposal template


Apply for the EIC Pathfinder


Do you need help ?


The network of National Contact Points (NCPs) is the main structure to provide guidance, practical information and assistance on all aspects of participation in Horizon Europe.

Find your National Contact Point


Find answers to questions frequently asked by applicants about types of funding, eligibility, submission of proposals and much more

Browse the frequently asked questions


All EIC supported projects and companies get access to coaching, mentoring, partnering and other EIC Business Acceleration Services (BAS).

Read more about the Business Acceleration Services

EIC Pathfinder portfolio Strategic Plans

The Programme Managers proactively manage EIC portfolios. The specific portfolio objectives and activities are incorporated in the Strategic Plans for each EIC Pathfinder Challenge portfolio which are stored here.


  • News article

On 27 October 2023, the EIC Cell and Gene Therapy Symposium took place in in the context of the 30th Annual ESGCT Congress in Brussels. The event was organised by Dr. Iordanis Arzimanoglou, EIC Programme Manager for Health and Biotech.

  • 3 min read