Helping businesses secure and maximise R&D tax credits and grants

Fast Track to Innovation

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.

Fast Track to Innovation

Fast Track to Innovation Explained

What is the Fast Track to Innovation grant?

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) is a fully-bottom-up innovation support programme promoting close-to-market innovation activities. It is part of the European Horizon 2018-2020 work programme and was launched on 27th October 2017. Proposals are built on a business plan and focus foremost on achieving high impact. Fast Track to Innovation targets relatively mature, ground-breaking new technologies, concepts, processes and business models that need final development to be able to shape a new market and achieve wider deployment.

The FTI’s aim is to:

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

What levels of grant funding are available?

The Fast Track to Innovation offers a maximum EU contribution of €3M per proposal with a funding rate of:

  • 70% for for-profit entities
  • 100% for not-for-profit entities
  • Time-to-grant (from the cut-off to the signature of the grant) of around 6 months.

The overall budget for 2019 is €100m which is divided equally between the cut off dates below.

Proposals can be submitted at any time during the three-year programme and the deadlines for 2019 Fast Track to Innovation proposals are:

  • 21 February 2019
  • 23 May 2019
  • 22 October 2019

What types of organisations can apply for this fund?

Fast Track to Innovation proposals needs to be ‘business-driven’ as the fund aims to give breakthrough innovation ideas the last push before shaking up the market.  Proposals for funding should be submitted by a consortia consisting of 3-5 legal entities established in at least three different EU Member States or countries associated to Horizon 2020. Educational institutes and research organisations can form part of the consortia providing the following mandatory requirement must be met:

  • 60% of the budget is from industry; or
  • At least 2 out of 3 members or 3 out of 5 of the consortia are from industry.

If you are an SME and unable or not willing to form a consortium, then the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument may be a more suitable option.

Is your innovation ready for you to apply for the Fast Track to Innovation fund?

If your business is looking for substantial funding to test, demonstrate and validate your innovation before full commercial roll-out, then the Fast Track to Innovation fund is for you.

If your proposal involves technological innovation, your consortium should declare that the technology or the technologies concerned are at least at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6. The intention will be to bring the TRL up to 8 for technological innovations and to a comparable level of maturity for nontechnological innovations during the lifetime of the FTI action.

What are the project areas for the Fast Track to Innovation fund?

Fast Track to Innovation proposals can come from any industry and must relate to the specific objective “Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies” and/or to any of the specific objectives under the priority “Societal challenge” as set out by Horizon 2020.

Societal challenges 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

The emphasis for Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT) actions will be on:

  • 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.

Project areas selected for funding in the past include:

  • Continuous hazardous water pollutants sensing in the environment
  • Public private partnership to revolutionize delirium care in hospitals
  • Renewables-based drying technology for cost-effective valorisation of waste from the food processing industry
  • Automated scanner for kissing bond detection in friction stir welded materials
  • Immediate Oil Spill containment to mitigate the impact on the marine ecosystem
  • A cost-effective solution for controlling Salmonella and Escherichia coli in poultry production.

learn how myriad associates helped 4 Irish companies secure DTif funding

The Fast Track to Innovation Application Process

How long does it take to prepare a Fast Track to Innovation application?

The maximum length of a Fast Track to Innovation proposal is 30 pages and typical preparation time takes around 500 hours of work. You will need the right combination of people to cover the application’s key aspects: the technology, market knowledge, commercialisation plan, and financial details.

What’s the Fast Track to Innovation evaluation process?

Fast Track to Innovation proposals are evaluated by independent experts.

Once you have submitted a proposal, the Commission:

  • checks for eligibility
  • engages independent experts to evaluate it

In the evaluation process, proposals are given scores for excellence, impact, and quality and efficiency of implementation – based on the Standard Evaluation Criteria.

A panel then checks that the evaluation criteria have been consistently applied to all proposals for the same call.

Coordinators and Participant Contacts are informed by the Evaluation Results Letter of how their proposal did in the evaluation. Following the evaluation round, grant preparations are opened for the highest-scoring proposals.

What types of Fast Track to Innovation proposals are likely to succeed?

Your Fast Track to Innovation proposal is more likely to succeed if it:

  • Clearly demonstrates a cohesive relationship between the partners
  • Clearly shows the innovative step and how each partner contributes
  • Each partner has a meaningful role
  • Clear business plan that takes the project output to market in under 2 years
  • Demonstrates how the project satisfies an unmet market need
  • Detailed and fully costed project work plan for all partners.

How long does it take to receive a decision regarding a Fast Track to Innovation grant?

For the Fast Track to Innovation, the grant body aims to inform you within 10/12 weeks after submission whether or not your application meets the necessary thresholds in order to be considered fundable. You will be told if your proposal will be funded after the relevant cut-off date, which occurs every three months.

How is Fast Track to Innovation grant money paid?

For an FTI, there is an advance payment of up to 80% of the grant for all partners to the coordinating company, minus 5% retained by a guarantee fund.  The balance of payment will be made at month 12 and month 24.

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How Myriad Associates Can Help

Why choose Myriad Associates as your specialist R&D grants funding advisor?

Myriad Associates have an enviable track record with R&D grant applications. Using our grant application services can give you a significant competitive advantage over other grant applicants.

We assess your chances of success

We hold a workshop session with you

We help you prepare your grant application

We submit your grant application

We help you comply with the conditions of your grant

We take care of your application from start to finish

Project Assessment – Initial consultation to discuss your project and assess its chances of success (up to 1hr free consultation) 

Workshop Session – Our specialist consultants discuss all the relevant technical, commercial, and financial details of your project with you during a workshop session. We then generate a gap analysis & allocates tasks accordingly.

Grant Writing – We will provide you with full access to our grant templates & optimise your application to maximise your chance of success.

Submission and Feedback – We complete the online registration process and submit the grant application on your behalf. Grant assessors provide feedback on both successful and unsuccessful grant applications, and we review this feedback with you to give you on-going advice and guidance.

Compliance and Monitoring – When your grant application is approved, we can help you prepare & complete all documentation requests from the grant body.

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