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News article18 November 2021

European Innovation Council to award up to EUR 168 million to first set of science-towards-technology breakthroughs

European Innovation Council selected 56 new projects under the Pathfinder Open call.

Pathfinder 2021 results

They are the first to be selected under the EIC since its launch in March 2021 and are set to receive up to of EUR 168 million for funding (on average EUR 3 million for each project). They will develop novel technologies for future applications across a very wide range of topics – health, environment, energy, computing and artificial intellligence.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: 

The EIC Pathfinder projects have already excelled at producing high quality research. With the new mechanisms under the EIC, we can back many more of these yet-to-be-discovered technologies. And more importantly we have the means to support the whole value chain and to transform these innovative technologies into successful companies in Europe.

The successful projects were chosen among 868 evaluated proposals, with the highest number of selected applicants coming from Germany, Italy, Spain, and France. The majority of participants originate from higher education and research organisations and 16.5% are SMEs. 

Selected projects will receive not only grants, but also access to tailored-made coaching under the EIC business acceleration services.

Background information

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 EUR 3 to EUR 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 fully-fledged EIC, Pathfinder projects 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. In addition, promising results can receive substantial follow up funding through the EIC Transition scheme to create a commercial venture, or use the Fast Track scheme to access the EIC Accelerator for bring innovations to market.

The Pathfinder Open funding has no predefined thematic priorities and is open to proposals in any field of science, technology or application.

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Publication date
18 November 2021