Fast Track to Innovation

Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) has been phased out since December 31, 2020. Funding programs for SMEs can now be found under the European Innovation Council (EIC) (in German language).

Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) supports industry-strong consortia in order to convert highly innovative ideas that are already in an advanced development phase into marketable products. FTI is part of the European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot.

The Fast Track to Innovation funding programme

It is particularly, but not exclusively, aimed at companies. It is open-ended (bottom-up) and supports industrial partners and non-industrial partners in developing concrete and high-risk innovations so they are marketable.

Conditions of participation

  • No thematic requirements but applications should address the research and innovation policy priorities pursued under Horizon 2020; these primarily relate to job creation, sustainable economic growth and the solution of major societal challenges.
  • Collaborative projects only: in FTI projects, a consortium comprises no less than between three and five independent institutions from three different EU member states or associated countries.
  • At least 60% of the project budget must go to industrial partners (small, medium or large companies) or at least half of the partners must come from industry.
  • Non-industrial facilities such as universities and non-university research institutions can also participate.
  • Interdisciplinary/trans-sectoral projects are welcomed, but are not a requirement.
  • Market entry should take place no later than three years after the start of the project.
  • Starting from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6: prototype in an environment.

Funding in Fast Track to Innovation

  • Eligible activities: from the demonstration phase to market launch, with activities such as:
    • piloting
    • test facilities
    • system validation
    • validation of business models
    • pre-normative research, or
    • standardisation
  • Objective: market-ready product, process, service or business model. The focus is on technological breakthroughs and service innovations.
  • Funding rate:
    • 70% for activities close to the marketability
    • 100% for research activities
    • plus 25% for indirect costs
  • Maximum funding amount per project: 3 million euros.
  • Project duration: 12-24 months.
  • Business Acceleration Services (BAS): free support measures such as coaching, mentoring or matchmaking activities etc. Only for the SMEs in the consortium.


The available budget per year amounts to 100 million euros (approx. 47 projects).

Application procedure for Fast Track to Innovation

  • 30-page application in English (template provided).
  • The application must contain the relevant parts of a business plan, such as the economic relevance of the product for the industrial partners in the consortium and the commercialisation strategy of the consortium.
  • The evaluation focuses on the area of impact; this is given double weighting.
  • Single-stage application.


The schedule is designed so that the project can start about 6 months after the deadline:

Cut-off dates/deadlines:

Applications can be submitted to Fast Track to Innovation on an ongoing basis. In 2020, there are three cut-off dates when the applications received to date will be evaluated. Here is an overview of the cut-off dates in 2020:

Do you have an innovative idea that you would like to turn into a marketable product? Contact BayFOR's Unit for SME advisory services:

Dipl.-Jur. Natalia García Mozo

Natalia García Mozo
Head of Unit SME Advisory Services
Phone: +49 89 9901888-171

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