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Fund Overview – Horizon 2020 Fast Track to Innovation Grant

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The Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) grant is a European funding programme aiming to encourage both investment and participation in research and innovation and reduce the time from idea to market. The European Innovation Council launched this programme as part of the European Horizon 2020 programme in October 2017, which is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever, complete with nearly €80 billion of funding.

Who can apply?

The grant is available to consortia of 3-5 legal entities in at least three different countries in the EU-28 or countries associated with Horizon 2020. These entities can include educational institutes or research organisations, provided that 60% of the budget is from industry or 2 out of 3, 2 out of 4, or 3 out of 5 of the entities are from industry.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may find success with the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument if they cannot make a consortium.

The grant targets close-to-market projects, focusing on business-centred projects which will offer high impact and require a final push to be deployed further in the market. The proposals can come from a wide variety of industries, so long as they relate to the specific objective “leadership in enabling and industrial technologies” or the “societal challenge” specific objectives, both outlined by Horizon 2020.  The former objectives include:

  • Research and innovation to strengthen Europe's industrial capacities and business perspectives, including SMEs.
  • Public-private partnerships (PPPs)
  • Cross-cutting Key Enabling Technologies (KETs)
  • Seizing the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) opportunities
  • Contributions to solving Societal Challenges and to Focus Areas
  • Cross-cutting aspects, like international cooperation and responsible research and innovation.

The latter objectives include:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing;
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy;
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy;
  • Smart, green and integrated transport;
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials;
  • Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies;
  • Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens

If the project involves technological innovation, the Technological Readiness Level (TRL) must be at least at a 6. The aim is for the project to have a TRL of 8 by the end of the involvement of FTI.

What kind of funding is available?

The overall budget for 2019 is €100 million, divided equally for the three cut off dates (21st February, 23rd May, 22nd October). There is a maximum contribution from FTI of €3 million per proposal. For-profit entities can receive a funding rate of 70% and not-for-profit entities receive 100%. The grant should be received in around 6 months from the cut-off.

How do you apply?

A proposal can only be up to 30 pages long, typically taking up to 500 hours of work. The proposal should cover the technology, market knowledge, commercialisation plan and financial details. Independent experts will then evaluate the proposal regarding excellence, impact, quality and efficiency of implementation. The highest-scoring proposals will receive grant funding. The best proposals will:

  • Clearly demonstrate a cohesive relationship between the partners
  • Clearly show the innovative step and how each partner contributes
  • Demonstrate the meaningful role of each partner
  • Have a clear business plan that takes the project output to market in under 2 years
  • Demonstrate how the project satisfies an unmet market need
  • Have a detailed and fully costed project work plan for all partners

How can Myriad Associates help?

Myriad Associates has much experience with R&D grant applications. We take you all the way through the application, from the initial project assessment to the submission and subsequent documentation. With guidance through the entire process, your application may have a competitive edge over other applications. Read about our success with the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, or contact us now to start your application.


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Please contact us to discuss how working with Myriad Associates can maximise and secure R&D funding opportunities for your business.

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