25 May was the first deadline of the EIC Pathfinder Open call. We received 908 consortia applications (5341 participants in total) calling for more than €2.7 billion of grant support. This is a higher number than the Pathfinder calls under EIC pilot and preceding FET Open programme. Applicants are coming from 60 countries and are mainly from Higher Education bodies and research institutions, but with a relatively high number from the private sector (29% of participants, of which 67% are SMEs).
With €168 million budget allocated to this call, it is expected that approximately 55 applications will be funded. The evaluation process has begun and will be finalised at the end of September with the selection of interdisciplinary teams of researchers to realise their radical visions for science-towards-technology breakthroughs.
As of 15 June, interested organisations can apply for EIC Pathfinder Challenges calls, offering a budget of €132 million in 2021.
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.
Grants of up to €3 to €4 million support early stage development of future technologies (e.g. various activities at low Technology Readiness Levels 1-3), up to proof of concept. As novelties under the full EIC, Pathfinder projects will benefit from interactions with EIC Programme Managers and can receive additional funding for testing the innovation potential of their research outputs or for working across projects for portfolio actions.
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