This represents the highest-ever budget (€191 million), number of selected projects (58) and number of applications (902) for this type of funding, which helps to transform high-risk, high-impact research ideas into novel technologies. Among the ideas supported in this round are a radically new concept for converting low-grade waste heat into electricity and edible robots and robotic food that could deliver lifesaving nutrition to humans and animals in emergencies.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
The array of radically new ideas received for the EIC Pathfinder shows the incredible innovations requiring EU support. Investments in research and innovation means that we can back many more of these yet-to-be-discovered technologies and support visionary researchers and entrepreneurs– making Europe more competitive and ensuring Europe leads the next wave of innovation.
The highest number of successful projects come from Germany, Italy, Spain, France and Switzerland, with almost 30% led by female researchers and 26% classed as ‘green technologies’ set to support the objectives of the European Green Deal.
As well as a share of the €191 million budget, selected projects will receive access to business acceleration support and coaching services. Following the success of the EIC pilot phase (2018–20), the fully-fledged EIC is expected to be launched early next year under Horizon Europe, the new EU research and innovation programme, with increased funding for breakthrough technologies.