The EIC Transition aims to further develop promising results from EIC Pathfinder projects and the European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept (PoC) funding line. The instrument thus supports both research activities to validate and demonstrate advanced technologies within applications at Technology Readiness Level 4 to 6 (TRL 4-6) and to advance the market readiness of these technologies and the necessary development of business plans for the commercialisation of the applications. EIC Transition supports the validation of the novel technology from the laboratory into relevant application environments (through the use of prototyping, formulation, modelling, user testing or other validation testing) as well as the development of a sustainable business case and business model towards commercialisation.
Applicants have two possibilities to receive funding through the EIC Transition: through the "EIC Transition Open" (open calls) or through the "EIC Transition Challenges" (topic-specific calls).
The expected outcomes of an EIC Transition project are a) a technology proven effective for the intended application and b) a business model, initial validation and a business plan for market introduction. It is also expected that IP (intellectual property) rights are formally and adequately protected.
The EIC Transition Open funding instrument is aimed at successful EIC Pathfinder, ERC Proof of Concept and Future Emerging Technologies (FET) projects that want to further mature both their technology and their business idea.
Either individually or in small consortia of up to five partners, SMEs, start-ups, universities and research institutions are invited to achieve Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 or 6 with their results through EIC Transition Open funding, so that they can then be brought to market in the EIC Accelerator. In addition to the validation and demonstration of the technology under operational conditions, the EIC Transition Open can also be used to promote cooperation between SMEs, research actors, potential users and customers, for example.
Funding for individual applicants (start-ups, SMEs, spin-offs or teams from universities and research institutions) with (almost) completed EIC Pathfinder or ERC Proof of Concept projects, FET projects or European Defense Fund projects that serve a civilian purpose. Large companies that do not qualify as SMEs cannot apply individually.
A small consortium of two participants from two different EU Member States or associated countries.
A consortium of three to a maximum of five members is also possible (three of the participants should come from different EU Member States or associated countries).
- Eligible activities
- Further development of results / technologies from previous projects
- Validation of the technology in the laboratory & application area
- Business modelling & commercialisation planning
- Objectives: Further development of technologies from "EIC Pathfinder", ERC "Proof of Concept" projects, as well as FET projects into business ideas; starting point for application in the EIC Accelerator or for attracting other sources of funding; establishment of a new company.
- Funding rate: 100 percent of eligible costs
Budget: between 0.5 and max. 2.5 million euros per project. Larger sums can also be applied for with detailed justification.
The projects will also be eligible for the following measures:
"Ad hoc grants": Additional up to 50 000 euros for the implementation of complementary activities ("portfolio activities") to be used for the commercialisation of the innovation.
Fast Track application model for the EIC Accelerator
Business Accelerator Services (BAS)
- Project duration: 1-3 years
A total budget of 128.36 million euros is available for 2023. Of this, 67.86 million euros have been reserved for the Transition Open and 60.50 million euros for the Transition Challenges.
- Application with max. 25 pages.
- Two-stage application procedure via the European Funding & Tenders Opportunities Portal.
- Stage 1: Evaluation of the application by three EIC assessors. The evaluation is based on the sum of the mean scores of the 3 application parts. The applications are evaluated according to the criteria "Excellence" (weighting 60 percent), "Impact" (20 percent) as well as "Quality and Efficiency of the implementation" (20 percent).
- Stage 2: The applicants of the best applications will be invited to an interview with an expert jury of maximum six EIC reviewers in Brussels. In this stage, the jury evaluates the above criteria with a "Go" or "No-Go" vote.
- Preference will be given to women-led SMEs or consortia.
- Projects that only make it through the first stage can receive an EIC Seal of Excellence under certain conditions.
The timetable foresees approximately 17 weeks from the deadline to the grant agreement:
The cut-off dates in 2023 are: 12 April and 27 September 2023.
The EIC Transition Challenges aim to provide financial support for the further development of a technology and the development of a business strategy. Applications are open for technologies that contribute to the objective of the specific Challenge. Projects funded under Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe can also apply for the Challenges. For 2023, the following three themes are foreseen:
- "Full scale Micro-Nano-Bio devices for medical and medical research applications": the overall objective of the Challenge is to finalise micro-nano-bio technology suitable for transition to market. At the end of the project, a business plan and pitch deck should be prepared, suitable for approaching private investors and industrial partners. A commercialisation strategy (including formal IP protection) and a business model, validation and business plan are also expected outputs of the project. Issues such as ethics, safety and sustainability/ circular economy should be considered in the design ("eco-design"). Gender specificity should be addressed. The opportunity for policy development and standardisation should be addressed throughout the project and pursued within the challenge portfolio. The objectives are defined as follows:
- The realisation and validation of a fully functional integrated micro-nano-bio device or system based on micro-nano-bio modules developed within previous EU-funded projects. The focus is on the integration and/or refinement (e.g. further miniaturisation, production scaling, etc.) of the existing modules in order to realise a flexible product ready for investment within the limited timeframe of the project.
- The development of devices or systems under this Challenge should lead to high-impact technological development driven by market needs.
- "Environmental Intelligence": this Challenge addresses environmental pollution and the ongoing need to develop innovative sensors, devices or technologies that can efficiently and effectively monitor and detect a growing range of pollutants. The detection of key environmental parameters by biological, chemical and physical sensors, eventually integrated into complex networks, will enable information processing as well as modelling with the aim of monitoring, early detection and warning. At the end of the project, a mature technology prototype should be presented that has been validated or demonstrated in a relevant environment (TRL 5/6) and demonstrates an advantage in a specific environment (e.g. air, soil, water). The technology should have a high impact in terms of economic returns and environmental benefits. Technologies should meet the following characteristics:
- Materials, processes and systems that aim to detect/monitor, prevent, reduce or eliminate environmentally resistant and/or emerging pollutants in the air, soil or hydrosphere.
- technologies that do not use critical raw materials or ensure their full reuse and/or recycling (sorting and refining). They will enable synergies between sensors and artificial intelligence at the interface of environment/sustainability and data science, enabling the implementation of environmental monitoring and/or remediation measures.
- Solutions to detect, combine, analyse and interpret environmental data, including signals of ecosystem stress caused by a wide range of factors.
- -Technologies with minimised carbon footprints, measured through full life-cycle analysis, to ultimately protect the environment from pollution and prevent human exposure to pollutants, as well as mitigate or reverse the effects of climate change.
- "Chip-scale optical frequency combs": A frequency comb with integrated photonics, compared to a laser frequency comb, is a new category of on-chip frequency combs generated by non-linear parametric amplification or other effects. Remarkable progress has been made in the development of photonically integrated frequency combs over the last decade, but their full potential has yet to be realised. Objectives of this Transition Challenge relate to the goals of the European Chips Act. The Challenge aims to support the successful transition from experimental proof-of-concept or laboratory-validated technology to technology validated or demonstrated in a "real-world" environment by achieving the following:
- Advancing novel chip-scale frequency comb technologies for applications requiring multiple frequencies of laser light, with higher conversion efficiencies than currently available, and with extensions of wavelength ranges across all spectral regions with integrated photonic technologies.
- Mature frequency comb technologies that incorporate integration options for other functional elements, and are compatible with wafer-scale manufacturing. The use of new materials such as gallium phosphide, lithium niobate and others can also be considered.
- Exploiting the precision of optical frequency combs by developing concepts for new industrial applications, such as: Integrated multi-channel light sources for optical communication in data centres, High-efficiency sensors measuring molecular spectra in the mid-infrared range, or Optical atomic clocks on a chip.
- The same conditions of entry apply as in the EIC Transition Open, but with the above prescribed challenge topics.
- Funding rate: 100 percent of the eligible costs.
- Budget: 0.5 to max. 2.5 million euros per project. Larger sums can also be applied for with detailed justification.
- Projects are also eligible for the following measures:
- "Booster grants": additional up to 50,000 euros for the implementation of complementary activities ("portfolio activities") to be used for the commercialisation of the innovation.
- Fast Track application model for the EIC Accelerator
- Business Accelerator Services (BAS)
A budget of 60.5 million euros is available for the Challenges in 2023.
Application procedure and timetable in the EIC Transition Challenges
- The application process is the same as for the EIC Transition Open and is carried out via the European Funding & Tenders Opportunities Portal.
- The timetable is analogous to the timetable of the EIC Transition Open.
The application deadlines for the EIC Transition Challenges are 12 April and 27 September 2023.
Do you have an idea for an EIC Transition project? Contact the SME advisory services of BayFOR now: