Commission invests €36 million for quicker market access of 16 innovative projects
Brussels, 8 June 2016
The European Commission is awarding nearly €36 million to 16 innovative projects under the fourth round of the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) scheme, run under the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020.
The projects include advanced composite material technology for wind turbine blades, a laser robot that detects weld defects in ship hulls, a perfected reperfusion device used for resuscitation, ocean energy technologies and a new faster test for antibiotic susceptibility testing in bacteria. The 16 projects involve 72 partners in 16 countries to help bring their innovation on the market faster.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Through Horizon 2020, we want to support innovative businesses to compete in global markets. These results bring the total investment to nearly €135 million in fast-access EU funding for close-to-the-market innovation activities, helping European R&D reach successful commercialisation."
The FTI scheme was launched in January 2015. The fourth round of the scheme attracted a total of 263 project proposals involving 1157 participants by its cut-off date of 15 March 2016. This brings the total number of proposals received since the launch of the programme to 1166, of which 62 we selected to receive more than €134.7 million in funding in total. Almost half the project participants (46%) are SMEs.
The FTI is a fully bottom up measure promoting innovation activities at the close-to-the-market stage. It supports mature innovative concepts that have already been tested. Supported activities include systems validation in real working conditions, testing, piloting, validation of business models and standard setting and pre-normative research.
The scheme runs during 2015-2016 as a pilot initiative under Horizon 2020, with a budget of €200 million. The scheme is open to all kinds of participants and supports any topic under the “Societal Challenges” and the specific objective “Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEITs)”. This thematic openness, combined with accessibility to all kinds of innovation entities, will nurture trans-disciplinary and cross-sector cooperation for growth through innovation.
The pilot is implemented through one common and continuously open call. Proposals can be submitted at any time. The next cut-off date for applications is 25 October 2016.