EIC funding opportunities for science-enabled and breakthrough innovation

The EIC supports the exploration, exploitation and scale up of breakthrough technologies and disruptive innovation. 

The European Innovation Council Work Programme 2021 has just been published.


With its main three instruments, it support the exploration, exploitation and scale up of breakthrough technologies and disruptive innovation.


The main instruments are:

  • EIC Pathfinder: For advanced research to underpin breakthrough / game-changing technologies
  • EIC Transition: For transforming research results into innovation opportunities
  • EIC Accelerator: For startups & SMEs to develop and scale up innovations with high risk and high impact


With specific reference on EIC Pathfinder, this instrument will be developed in mainly open (“bottom up”) approach, in line with previous EIC Pathfinder Pilot concerning FET Open instrument with the novel EIC Pathfinder Open, and its dedicated Proposal Template.

It will support the science-enabled innovation, where high-risk interdisciplinary research devoted to the exploration of deep-tech game-changing paradigms will be supported.


It identifies also EIC Pathfinder challenges, where the goal is to address specific technological and innovation breakthroughs taking into account EU priorities for transitioning to a green, digital and healthy society:

  • Awareness inside;
  • Tools to measure & stimulate activity in brain tissue;
  • Emerging Technologies in Cell & Gene Therapy;
  • Novel routes to green hydrogen production;
  • Engineered living material.


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


Concerning the EIC Transition, it identifies a new funding scheme to bridge gap between research phase (proof of concept) and innovation application, where both EIC Transition Open (“bottom up”), and EIC Transition challenges (for medtech, energy storage) will be supported.


The application for EIC Transition schemes can be received by single applicants or small collaborations who wish to exploit EIC Pathfinder, H2020 FET and ERC Proof of Concept results and transform them in disruptive innovation.


It introduces key milestones to foster exploitation and acceleration of disruptive innovation, in a coherent approach and leveraging in innovation ecosystems, thankful to its proactive management and EIC project portfolios. To know more follow the event where the European Commission, the EIC Advisory Board and EIC Programme Managers will explain more at: http://www.fetfx.eu/event/eic-programme-managers-visions-paths-european-innovation-council/


Last but not least, via the EIC Accelerator, it support the scale up of new deep-tech paradigms coming from individual companies (startups, SMEs, in exceptional cases small mid caps (up to 500 employees), mainly via a blended finance scheme, and through a “bottom up” approach in Accelerator Open,  but also via Accelerator challenges in Green Deal, Strategic Digital & Health Technologies.


For more information, look at: https://eic.ec.europa.eu/index_en