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European Innovation Council
EIC Pathfinder

Support to research teams to research or develop an emerging breakthrough technology


What can you expect as part of EIC Pathfinder?

With its Pathfinder programme the EIC supports the exploration of bold ideas for radically new technologies. It welcomes the high-risk / high gain and interdisciplinary cutting-edge science collaborations that underpin technological breakthroughs. 

Pathfinder goes beyond what is already known. Visionary thinking can open up promising avenues towards powerful new technologies.

Applicants participating in EIC Pathfinder projects are typically visionary scientists and entrepreneurial researchers from universities, research organisations, start-ups, high-tech SMEs or industrial stakeholders interested in technological research and innovation.

Projects typically involve consortia of researchers and other partners from at least three different countries, but there are also opportunities for individual teams and small consortia (two partners).

Grants of up to 3 to 4 million euro support early stage development of future technologies (e.g. various activities at low Technology Readiness Levels 1-3), up to proof of concept. Pathfinder projects can also receive additional funding for testing the innovation potential of their research outputs.

EIC Work Programme 2023

The EIC Work Programme opens funding opportunities worth over €1.6 billion in 2023. For the EIC Pathfinder, €343million is available for multi-disciplinary research teams to undertake visionary research with the potential to lead to technology breakthroughs.

EIC Work Programme 2023 - amended 11 August 2023
(1.42 MB - PDF)


Funding opportunities

The EIC Pathfinder programme consists of a combination of both open and challenge driven funding.

Open Funding

EIC Pathfinder Open provides funding for projects in any field of science or technology, based on high-risk/high-gain science-towards-technology breakthrough interdisciplinary research.

The total indicative budget for this call is EUR 179.5 million.

The EIC Pathfinder Open 2023 call closed on 7 March 2023, 17:00 (CET).

For more details read the EIC Work Programme 2023 and check the Funding & tenders portal.

Strategic EIC Pathfinder Challenges

EIC Pathfinder funding is also available for specific challenges that are typically steered by an EIC Programme Manager.

2023 EIC Pathfinder Challenges

The total indicative budget for this call is EUR 163.5 million which is expected to be allocated in approximately equal shares across the Challenges.

The call opened on 20 June 2023 and it will be closed on 18 October 2023 at 17:00 Brussels local time.

Previous years challenges

2022 EIC Pathfinder Challenges

2021 EIC Pathfinder Challenges


EIC Pathfinder calls

Apply for Pathfinder Open call

How to communicate your project

General publications26 March 2021
Pathfinder Open proposal template
(3.58 MB - PDF)


Latest statistics - 19 October 2022

proposals evaluated
projects chosen
€167 million
total EU contribution
€3.8 million
average EU grant

Support to applicants and beneficiaries