Fast Track to Innovation (FTI)

  • 27 October 2020

  • The Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) is a fully-bottom-up innovation support programme promoting close-to-the-market innovation activities open to industry-driven consortia that can be composed of all types of participants. It can help partners to co-create and test breakthrough products, services or business processes that have the potential to revolutionise existing or create entirely new markets, under the helm of the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot

Call ID: Call 2020

The Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) is part of the Enhanced European Innovation Council pilot (Enhanced EIC pilot). The Enhanced EIC Pilot will pave the way to a fully-fledged EIC; it builds on the lessons learnt from the previous EIC pilot launched in late 2017. The Enhanced EIC Pilot serves as the umbrella for several EU funding instruments: the SME Instrument: the Fast Track to Innovation (FTI), Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Open and Horizon Prizes, thus providing a ‘one stop shop’ for funding of breakthrough, market-creating innovation across the EU.

The Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) provides funding for bottom-up proposals for close-to-market innovation activities in any area of technology or application. This thematic openness – combined with the possibility for all kinds of innovation actors to work together and deliver innovation onto the market and/or into society – is set to nurture trans-disciplinary and cross-sectoral cooperation.

The FTI’s aim is to:

  • reduce time from idea to market,
  • stimulate the participation of first-time applicants to EU research and innovation funding, and
  • increase private sector investment in research and innovation.

Who can participate?

Proposals for funding must be submitted by consortia comprising between three and five legal entities established in at least three different EU Member States or countries associated to Horizon 2020. Actions are to be ‘business-driven’ because they are intended to give breakthrough innovation ideas the last push before shaking up the market. Substantial industry involvement in FTI actions is mandatory to ensure quick market take-up (‘quick’ meaning within a three-year period after the start of the FTI-action). This industry involvement implies:

  • either the allocation of at least 60% of the budget to industry participants in the consortium,
  • or the presence of a minimum number of two industry participants in a consortium of three or four partners, or of three industry participants in a consortium of five partners.

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