Fast Track to Innovation, A new Horizon 2020 funding Instrument
By Ingemar Pongratz
The European Commission has starting 2015 launched a new funding instrument called Fast Track to innovation. This is a pilot initiative originally design by members of the European Parliament to support close to market project and ensure market introduction of different ideas and products.
The Fast Track to Innovation is a pilot initiative which aim to reduce time to market for new products and services and in addition aims to increase Industry participation in Horizon 2020, in particular to first time Horizon 2020 participants.
The Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme will fund any ideas and projects as long as they are described in the Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies or the Societal Challenges priorities and is thus a very wide scheme that will attract very different topics in many different industrial sectors.
The scheme is specifically design to support ideas that are close to market, in fact the project must demonstrate a clear plan to enter the market within 36 months after the project has started. In addition, the FTI will also support activities such as marketing, market pilots, business model validation etc.
In contrast to the SME-Instrument, the FTI project is based on small consortia, at least 3 partners from 3 different EU countries. Maximal consortium size is 5 participants and industry participation need to be high. The participants can include organizations that play a key role in the commercialization process, such as investors, incubators, or industrial organizations.
Similar to the SME-Instrument projects, there are no set deadlines for FTI project proposal. Instead there will be several cut-off dates in 2015.
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