Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : SOFT Innovation Prize

Topic identifier: Prize-Innovation-SOFT-2018
Publication date: 21 November 2017

Types of action: RPr Recognition Prize
Opening date:
07 December 2017
Deadline: 08 March 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Fusion research encompasses innovation in the domains of physics and technology over a wide variety of specialisations. Fusion researchers are constantly challenging the scientific state-of-the-art and improving the technology thereby creating the conditions for innovation, much of which can be exploited in other science and industrial sectors for the benefit of society. A fundamental basis of Horizon 2020 is the drive and support for innovation across the product development chain from research to market. In this context the researcher plays a critical role.

The SOFT Innovation Prize is being offered to highlight and reward the excellence in innovation that can be found in fusion research as well as the quality of the researchers and industries involved. Following the successful running of this contest in coordination with SOFT 2014 and 2016 (Symposium on Fusion Technology), the European Commission is holding the contest again in coordination with the next SOFT in 2018. There are no specific categories for this prize. Contestants are free to submit an application concerning any physics or technology innovation that has been or is being developed in magnetic confinement fusion research and that has a market potential or has been taken up (or recognised) by industry to be further developed for the market.

The indicative budget for the prize is EUR 0.09 million from the 2018 budget

The specific rules of the contest will be published in 2018 by the Commission[1], which will directly launch and manage the contest and award the prize based on an evaluation made by independent experts.

Expected Impact:

By awarding the ‘SOFT Innovation Prize’, the Commission will showcase innovations in this research sector giving visibility to the most dynamic, forward-looking and innovative researchers, research teams or industrial contestants. This visibility will provide greater potential for valorisation of the research, and the contest will stimulate the research community globally and in the EU to develop a stronger innovation and entrepreneurial culture in fusion research.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Open Science
Clean Energy
International cooperation

[1]On the Participant Portal but also actively publicised elsewhere to maximise participation.

Topic conditions and documents

Please, see text below or see for full details in the Rules of Contest and the Euratom Work Programme 2018 .

1. The contest is open to researchers or research teams funded under the Euratom fusion research programme, to researchers or research teams working for a national programme in an ITER partner country or in any third country that has a bilateral fusion cooperation agreement with Euratom, and to industrial participants benefitting from the ITER project. Example of proof: The Commission may request substantiating document such as contracts, etc.

2. The researcher, research team or industrial participant must obtain permission from the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to submit an application and provide supporting documentation. The owner of the IPR should comment on the state of the IPR, i.e. free or contractually embedded, and name of possible contractor(s).

3. The complete application for the 'SOFT Innovation Prize' should include:

  • a technical description of the innovation;

  • a state-of-the-art assessment of the innovation (using a publicly available patent database such as the EPO Espacenet);

  • an account, in general terms, of the market potential for the exploitation of the innovation;

  • the contribution that the prize could provide for the exploitation of the innovation.

4. For the common Rules of Contest for Prizes please see General Annex E of the work programme.


The prize will be awarded, after closure of the contest, to the contestant(s) who in the opinion of the jury best addresses the following cumulative criteria:

  1. Originality and replicability: The extent to which the idea is innovative, original and a first-of-a-kind use of the technology in industry or in the domain of application. The description should be clear, logically presented and well-illustrated.

  2. Technical excellence: The extent to which the innovation is demonstrably state-of-the-art and based on excellent science and engineering.

  3. Economic impact and exploitation of the innovation: The extent to which the submission demonstrates understanding and awareness of the relevant innovation aspects, including market potential / needs and business opportunities.

  4. Plans for potential exploitation and further development of the innovation: The short term potential for successful exploitation and further development of the innovation, as described in the application.

Members of consortium are not required to conclude a consortium agreement.

6. Additional documents:
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme
Legal basis: Euratom Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

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