Fabian Demicoli

Commission announces €100 million Fast Track to Innovation and five innovation prizes

The European
Commission presented details of a new €100 million "Fast Track to Innovation"
(FTI) pilot action and five innovation prizes under Horizon 2020, the European Union's €80 billion research and innovation programme.

The FTI aims to support Europe's economy by offering innovative businesses and
organisations grants to give a final push to get great ideas to market. The
prizes offer a reward for technological breakthroughs of high societal
relevance. The initiatives underscore the drive to support innovation in Europe
as part of the first, two-year Horizon 2020 work programme. This announcement
also confirms the €7 billion for Horizon 2020 calls during 2015 and sets out
the timetable for applications.

The Fast Track
to Innovation scheme will be open to applications from January 2015. It will
support small consortia of three to five organisations with strong business
participation to give promising ideas the last push before entering the market.
It is open to ideas in any area of technology or application and to any legal
entity established in the EU or in a country associated to Horizon 2020.

The contests
for the five innovation prizes will start in late 2014 and early 2015. The
prizes, worth €6 million in 2015, cover three different thematic areas of
research: health ("Reduction of the Use of Antibiotics Prize",
"Food-Scanner Prize"), the environment ("Reduction of Air
Pollution Prize") and ICT ("Collaborative Sharing of Spectrum",
"Optical Transmission Prize").

The updated
Work Programme adopted confirms details of the calls for proposals for 2015
first announced last December and specifies the deadlines for proposals. All
funding opportunities under Horizon 2020 are accessible from the Participant portal which can be accessed at: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/home.html


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