EC publishes first Horizon 2020 Work Programme update – launch of FTI and innovation prizes
On 22 July 2014, the European Commission adopted the updated 2014-2015 Horizon 2020 Work Programme which confirms the amounts for the actions to be implemented through next year's budget. It also introduces a new pilot call for Fast Track to Innovation and five research Innovation Prizes.
The Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) is the only measure in Horizon 2020 that provides funding for close-to-market, business-driven projects, that is open to proposals in any area of technology or application. It is currently introduced as a pilot project. Application is not restricted to SMEs, but does require strong business involvement in small consortia of three to five organisation. FTI should promote trans-disciplinary and cross-sector cooperation. The aim is to reduce time from idea to market, stimulate the participation of first-time applicants to EU research funding, and increase private sector investment in research and innovation. The FTI budget for 2015-2016 is euro 200 million. FTI will be open for applications from 6 January 2015.
Innovation prizes ("inducement prizes") are a Horizon 2020 instrument to deliver breakthrough solutions to problems of societal interest in Europe (energy security, climate change, ageing society, public health, etc.). In an open competition, a cash prize is awarded for the accomplishment of a challenge. The target is defined and specified through award criteria, but without prescribing how it should be achieved. The innovation prizes will start in late 2014 / early 2015, with a total budget of euro 6 million, and will cover specific thematic areas in the fields of health, the environment and ICT.
For more information on the updated Horizon 2020 Work Programme, Fast Track to Innovation and Innovation Prizes, see the Commission's web site:TOP