There are opportunities both for companies and public entities to join projects, that can be with just one participant or with consortia including several partners. Some projects are called for in a top-down manner with specific topics to answer to, some are more open in focus, often called bottom-up projects.
Examples of EU grants that companies can apply for:
- EIC Accelerator – for a single company
- Fast track to innovation – for a group of maximum 5 partners from at least 3 countries
- Green Deal Call – for initiatives meeting EU:s new sustainability policy
- LIFE – the European instrument dedicated to the environment
In 2021 the program Horizon Europe will be introduced. Grants that companies can apply for include:
- Pathfinder (TRL 1-6): The Pathfinder’s will provide grants to high-risk cutting-edge projects exploring new and deep-tech areas aiming to develop into potentially radical innovative technologies of the future and new market opportunities. The Pathfinder overall objective will be to nurture potential market creating innovation out of breakthrough ideas and bring them to demonstration stage or development of business cases or strategies for further take-up by the Accelerator or any other market deployment solution.The Pathfinder will be open to all types of innovators, from individuals to universities, research organisations and all companies, in particular start-ups and SMEs, with a focus on multi-disciplinary consortia. In the case of single beneficiary projects, only individuals, start-ups and SMEs will be eligible. The instrument will be devided in Pathfinder research and innovation projects (TRL 1 to 4) and the Pathfinder’s Transition activities (TRL 3 to 6)
- Accelerator (TRL 5/6 to 9): Accelerator will provide financial support to SMEs including start-ups and, in exceptional cases and for scale-up purpose only, small mid-caps. Beneficiaries must have the ambition to develop and deploy in EU and international markets their innovations, in particular but not only breakthrough ones, and to scale up rapidly. The Accelerator shall provide support in the form of EIC blended finance, a mix of a “grant or reimbursable advance” component, to cover innovation activities (TRL 5/6 to 8) and an “investment” component (equity, guarantees for loans/investors, etc.), to complement support to innovation activities and provide for effective market deployment, including scale-up (TRL 5/6 to 9).