H2020: Getting ideas to market
25.07.2014 - The European Commission aims to support innovation in Europe and announced a "Fast Track to Innovation" pilot as well as five innovation prices under Horizon 2020.
The European Commission is launching a new €100m "Fast Track to Innovation" (FTI) pilot action that will open for applications in early 2015. The measure belongs to the European Union's €80bn research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. It is the only such action that provides funding for projects that are close to market and business driven projects. The pilot is also open to proposals in any area of technology or application. The grants are expected to help innovative businesses and organisations in the final push getting ideas to market. The FTI scheme will be open to applications from January 2015. It will support small consortia of three to five organisations with strong business participation and is open to any legal entity established in the EU or in a country associated to Horizon 2020.
In addition to the programme, the commission also announced five innovation prizes. The prizes offer a reward for technological breakthroughs of high societal relevance. Two of the prizes belong to the thematic area of "health", most notably the "Reduction of the Use of Antibiotics Prize". Worth €1m, the prize will reward a rapid test that can identify at the point of care patients with upper respiratory tract infections that can safely be managed without antibiotics. The contest will open in early 2015, and the prize will be awarded in late 2016.
"The response to the first Horizon 2020 calls has been enormous, with more than 17,000 proposals already submitted. I am impressed by the clear rise in industry interest, particularly from small businesses. Today we are firing the starting gun on the 2015 calls and I am confident they will meet equally strong demand. The Fast Track to Innovation and the new prizes will provide even more opportunities for innovators across Europe to get involved. With these measures we are contributing to increase Europe's competitiveness and create growth and jobs," commented Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner.
Watch a video on Horizon 2020