European Innovation Council stops submissions
By Ingemar Pongratz
The Horizon Europe Research & Innovation programme has started. In general, submissions to the Horizon Europe scheme are delayed but some areas are accepting submissions.
One area that was open was the European Innovation Council (EIC). Recently, it was reported that the European Innovation Council stops submissions for the June 2021 call.
The European Innovation Council (EIC) aim to support entrepreneurs and innovators through several different funding instruments and prizes. The funding instruments available through the EIC include the EIC PATHFINDER scheme. The EIC PATHFINDER scheme provides funding to researchers and entrepreneurs. The aim of the PATHFINDER scheme is to support early-stage projects inn predefined areas. These areas (called challenges) include among other Gene and Cell Therapy, Green Hydrogen Production, among other.
Furthermore, the EIC will also support entrepreneurs and innovators through the EIC transition scheme. This scheme is restricted to ERC or Pathfinder grant holder. The EIC transition schme provides support for Proof-of-Concept projects in industrial environments or demonstration activities.
Finally, the EIC Accelerator provides funding for small innovative companies or Start Ups. The SME Accelerator funding is a combination of regular grants (up to 2.5 MEUR) or a combination of grant funding and private risk capital funding for equity.
The EIC Accelerator opened for submissions earlier this year and received quickly a large number of applications. In fact, the number of applications submitted was so large that the submissions European Commission decided to close the call.
That the European Innovation Council stops submissions was a complete surprise.
The original information provided to applicants was that the call would close in June 2021, so the information that the call closed early will create considerable problems. Comments from applicants that had planned to submit a proposal but were not able to do so was not sympathetic at all.
The EC received a lot of proposals and closed the call. The EC was therefore concerned that the evaluation would not be efficient. The Commission suggested to proposers that they need to wait until the next call (October 2021) with their applications.
It is thus obvious that the evaluation of proposals is still a problematic area for the Commission. Hopefully there will be improvements in the evaluation system in October 2021.
Ingemar Pongratz is founder of Fenix Scientific AB / Pongratz Consulting. In addition, Ingemar Pongratz established Letavis AB, a life science company which is working on developing new products for the agricultural sector. Our products have gone through extensive testing in industrial environments and increase plant growth considerably.
Through Pongratz Consulting, we help organizations and universities to apply for European funding schemes. Please contact us if you would like to know more about our activities.