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Horizon Europe - Innovative Europe


On this website, our team offers you an overview of the programme part Innovative Europe. It mainly funds basic and applied research carried out by project consortia and which is market-driven. Research activities should include the early involvement of companies in project consortia. In total, there are two funding instruments:

The EIC (EN) supports high-risk, ground-breaking ideas that demonstrate high potential for creating new products, processes, services, business models and in the best case new markets. It aims at making the EU an internationally attractive place for investments in highly innovative technologies and companies.

Altogether, there are three funding schemes:

The EIC Pathfinder funds unconventional, visionary and high-risk research ideas aimed at fundamental breakthroughs in technologies at an early stage of development. Moreover, it supports the establishment of corresponding research communities and knowledge and technology transfer activities. Higher education institutions, research organisations and high tech enterprises as well as deep tech companies can apply for the EIC Pathfinder. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are especially invited to participate in the projects.
Further information of the EU Commission (EN)
Further information of the NCP EIC (DE)

Out of the EIC Pathfinder and the Proof of Concept scheme of the European Research Council (ERC), promising results shall be developed further by means of the EIC Transition. It aims at developing further technologies and business ideas. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups, research organisations and higher education institutions can apply for the EIC Transition either alone or in small project consortia. The objective of the EIT Transition is to develop the outcomes until Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 5 or 6 in order to make the ideas market-ready by means of the EIT Accelerator.
Further information of the EU Commission (EN)
Further information on the EIC Transition (DE)

The EIC Accelerator addresses small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which perform research having a European or global direction. It aims at making concrete innovations market-ready. The instrument comprises bottom-up grant-funding without any thematic restrictions and a swift funding decision - including the option to apply for venture capital.

Only single, profit-oriented SMEs which fulfil the SME-criteria of the EU and which are located in an EU member state or associated country are eligible for funding. Research organisations, higher education institutions and larger companies can support the respective SME as a subcontractor.
Further information of the EU Commission (EN)
Further information of the NCP EIC (DE)

The EIT connects outstanding higher education institutions and research organisations with industrial companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the form of Knowledge and Innovation Communities (EN) (KICs). A KIC is a highly integrated public-private partnership. Since 2009, the EIT funded the following KICs:

  • EIT Climate-KIC: climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • EIT InnoEnergy: sustainable energy
  • EIT Digital: future information and communication society
  • EIT Raw Materials: radical innovations for the raw materials sector
  • EIT Health: healthy living and active ageing
  • EIT Food: sustainable supply chain from resources to consumers
  • EIT Manufacturing: leading manufacturing innovation is made by Europe
  • EIT Urban Mobility: mobility for liveable urban spaces

There are several ways in which external higher education institutions and researchers can collaborate with the existing KICs.

Under Horizon Europe (2021-2027), the following measures will be implemented:

  • The EIT will launch two calls for proposals on new KICs: one in the area of cultural and creative industries, and one in the area of water, ocean and maritime sectors and ecosystems.
  • The EIT will expand its networks, and it will integrate more higher education institutions, companies and research organisations by drafting regional strategies. The selection of cooperation partners and the preparation of KICs shall become more inclusive in the future.
  • The EIT will support higher education institutions with financial resources, expertise and advice. The higher education institutions can use this support for developing economic activities in their respective priority areas. The EIT will design and implement measures especially in countries with a low innovation performance.

You will find further information on the EIT on the website of the NCP EIT (DE).